CBAP CCBA Eligibility Requirements

CBAP / CCBA Application Series – Step 4 of 7 – Understanding the Five Core Eligibility Requirements

by Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo6

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series CBAP Application Series

Here is a reality:

If you don’t understand in-depth the core eligibility requirements for CCBA or CBAP Examination, you will regret to have missed some fine details and end-up thinking that you won’t qualify to write the exam OR you maybe unnecessarily stalling your application initiation.

From the perspective of psychology, if something is hazy and muddy, your brain’s stalling centers get activated. This allows you to perennially stall starting of the application process (been a victim myself, until I took a solid action).

It is important to read the fine print and implications of each of these requirements. So, lets dive in and analyze this in-depth. I will be sprinkling some tips as and when necessary.

Page Nr. 7 of the CBAP Handbook provides a detailed explanation of the eligibility requirements. In this post, I will provide some commentary to these, add info that seems to confuse a lot of applicants, and inject a few of the repeated questions I get from the CBAP/CCBA aspirants.

1. Work Experience – 7,500 Hours (for CBAP) or 3,750 Hours (for CCBA) of BA Work in the last 10 yrs.

I get a lot of questions around this requirement. The experience that IIBA refers to here is the Business Analysis work experience, and NOT the experience with a job title as the Business Analyst.  Its not required that you hold a title of “Business Analyst” to be eligible. Your work should be in the area of business analysis and within the fringes of the six knowledge areas described in the BABOK regardless of what title you held.  With our profession being relatively new, there is no real uniformity in the titles different organizations adopt. Besides there is a lot of overlap of the KAs defined in BABOK® and other disciplines.

So, you should be a Business Analyst according to how the BABOK® defines it regardless of what your company calls you:

A business analyst is any person who performs business analysis activities, no matter what their job title or organizational role may be. Business analysis practitioners include not only people with the job title of business analyst, but may also include business systems analysts, systems analysts, requirements engineers, process analysts, product managers, product owners, enterprise analysts, business architects, management consultants, or any other person who performs the tasks described in the BABOK® Guide, including those who also perform related disciplines such as project management, software development, quality assurance, and interaction design.

(Reference: BABOK® V2 Chapter 1, page 3 )

So this means the following candidates can qualify for CBAP or CCBA:

      • A BA that transitioned from being a QA Analyst.
      • A Programmer
      • A Project Manager
      • A PM

I strongly urge you to read the CBAP or CCBA Handbook, and look into the acceptable and non-acceptable activities. There is also a table with examples on page 8 of the handbook detailing out the work that would qualify and won’t qualify.

2. The Minimum Knowledge Area Requirement

A minimum of 900 hours in four of the six Knowledge Areas is required for CBAP. (Two out of Six for CCBA).

900 hrs = Roughly 7 months.

Here are some quick tips based on this equation:

Rough high-level breakdown – it is always easy to visualize your work experience in a project or a series of projects, in parts. So, breakdown your overall experience in the increments of 7 months, and see if you meet the minimum.

Here are a few examples:

If you worked 6-7 months working only on building a business case and refining it, you have most likely met the minimum of 900 hrs for Enterprise Analysis

On a side note: Not sure why the handbook has the number 900 as “Demonstrated experience and expertise”. Maybe there is a theory similar to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hrs to expertise from his book, “The Outliers”.

If you think of this as “7 months” you would know that a smart analyst (intelligent and experienced) working in an area that is relatively new would be able to demonstrate good performance and expertise.

3. Education Requirement 

This requirement is fairly straightforward. However, there is a slight room for confusion here. High School can mean different in different parts of the world. Since IIBA is a Canadian organization it is referring to “High School” as grades 9 through 12. In India High School means grade 7 through 10, and some states don’t even have grade 11 or 12 (they have equivalent of these).  To read more about how various countries define High School, please read this Wikipedia article, and apply your country’s equivalent of Grade 12.

4. Professional Development Requirement 

This requirement is fairly straightforward though. However, one thing to note is that the first time CCBA or CBAP Application requires 21 PD Hours – Professional Development Hours – and not the CDUs (Continuing Development Units). CDUs apply only to recertification. A lot of times there is confusion related to this because of the similarity with the PMP certifications, which refers to both the first time certification and recertification as PDUs (Professional Development Units).

5. References For CBAP / CCBA

This is fairly straightforward requirement; however, I want to clarify a few questions that I have been getting from the community:

  • What if you don’t have references of a career manager from 5 yrs back?
  • Does having at least one CBAP reference increase my chances of getting approved?
  • I have worked as a contractor for over 10 clients in the past 5 yrs, whose reference do I give and will it be valid?

I hope this post has help you get clarified on all the CCBA / CBAP eligibility requirements.

Have any of these requirements been hazy to you?

If you have any questions or comments on this, please use the comments section below to share your thoughts. 

Series Navigation<< CBAP / CCBA Application Series – Step 3 of 7 – Essential BABOK SkimmingCBAP / CCBA Application Series – Step 5 of 7 – Seven Easy Ways To Document Your Work Experience >>

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Article by

Yaaqub Mohamed (Yamo), is the founder of The BA Coach community and host for the #1 ranked business analysis podcast in iTunes. He believes in adding relentless value to the BA community and advancing the practice.  He host this blog, and podcast to help business analysts throughout the world, do analysis better, by providing educational, relevant, and inspiring content. He's the author of 'The Five Pillars of a Great Business Analyst', best selling 'The Ultimate CBAP-CCBA Study Guide' and the creator of the revolutionary 'Ultimate BABOK Kit'. 

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6 Responses to “CBAP / CCBA Application Series – Step 4 of 7 – Understanding the Five Core Eligibility Requirements”

  1. […] Understand the 5 Core Eligibility Requirements – CBAP or CCBA eligibility requirements demystified. In this segment I will walk through the core requirements of being eligible to apply for the CCBA or CBAP exam. […]

  2. […] you go past the “Why CBAP (or CCBA)” barrier, the big challenge is understanding the various requirements and prepping for […]

  3. Shweta Greeb says:


    I have too much confusion figuring out the eligilibity for CBAP.
    I have 5.5 years of experience and most of it is in Business Analysis even though profile want on paper. Have worked for major telecom giants as well. How can i check if i am eligible for the certification. Please help.


  4. rahul says:

    Hi Yamo,

    I find your artcicle excellent and really helpful. As you mentione done of your frequent question that “If I have worked as a contractor for over 10 clients in the past 5 yrs, whose reference do I give and will it be valid?”

    I have a similar question that i worked for 4 clients in 6 years with infosys. Do i mention my organization as Infosys for all those projects or should i mention the specific client name. Also whose reference do i give.

  5. Tolu Makanju says:

    Hi Yamo
    I only recently became aware of BABOK and its certifications. I am currently interested in the CCBA, the only area that I immediately see as a challange for me is the 21 hours of professional development units. I don’t know how or where to get these. Can anyone point me to where I can. I would prefer somewhere that allows me to get them online and all within a few days.

  6. Mod AbuRrob says:

    HI all,

    Any one please can help me with filling the CBAP application – work experience- list of checkboxes, what should be checked and what should not?

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