QA Total Learning™ is our newest and most effective way to learn.

Combining the best of digital and live learning, with access to world-class industry experts, we focus on ensuring you can apply your learning to help drive impactful results in your workplace. What's more, our digital platform gives you the tools to track your progress and manage your own learning.

This course provides comprehensive first-level training for anyone involved in software testing. It is accredited by the ISTQB and follows the CTFL 2018 syllabus specified by the International Software Testing Qualification Board (ISTQB).

This Total Learning course covers the fundamentals of testing: definitions of testing standards, planning, managing the lifecycle, reviews, and the tools available. Techniques for creating tests are described and practised. It culminates in a 1-hour multiple-choice examination for the Foundation Certificate in Software Testing. Successful learners will also gain the ISTQB Certified Tester - Foundation Level, a globally recognised qualification.

Target Audience

  • The 2018 Foundation Level qualification is suitable for anyone who needs to demonstrate practical knowledge of the fundamental concepts of software testing, including people in roles such as testers, test analysts, test engineers, test consultants, test managers, user acceptance testers, and software developers.
  • It is also appropriate for individuals who need a basic understanding of software testing, including project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors and management consultants.
  • The new 2018 syllabus is recognised as a prerequisite to other ISTQB® certifications where Foundation level is required. (Note: all previous releases of Foundation level, including the 2011 syllabus and ‘grandfathered’ Foundation level certifications, will remain valid.)

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The Foundation-level qualification is aimed at anyone involved in software testing. This includes people in roles such as testers, test analysts, test engineers, test consultants, test managers, user acceptance testers, and software developers.

This Foundation-level qualification is also appropriate for anyone who wants a basic understanding of software testing, such as product owners, project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors, and management consultants.

Delegates should already have a basic working knowledge of IT and an understanding of the testing role in software development. Holders of the Foundation certificate will be able to go on to higher-level software testing certifications.

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At the end of this course, the learner will be able to

The business outcomes expected of a candidate who has attended the 2018 Foundation-level certification course are as follows:

  • Promote efficient and effective communication by using a common vocabulary for software testing
  • Understand fundamental concepts of software testing
  • Demonstrate understanding of how different development and testing practices, and different constraints on testing, may apply to optimising testing in different contexts
  • Contribute effectively to reviews
  • Use established techniques for designing tests at all test levels
  • Interpret and execute tests from given test specifications and report on test results
  • Understand test management principles for resources, strategies, planning project control, and risk management
  • Write and communicate clear and understandable defect reports
  • Understand the project factors that drive the test priorities and test approach
  • Understand the value that software testing brings to stakeholders
  • Appreciate how testing activities and work products align with project objectives, measures, and targets
  • Assist in the selection and implementation process of testing tools
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Course Outline

This Total Learning course consists of three key stages, all explained during a 1-hour virtual kick off session, which includes a Q&A session:

  • Digital stage – 20 hours, completed over a minimum of 4 weeks
  • Live event – 2 days
  • Exam – 1-hour Foundation examination

Digital stage

The Digital Learning is valid for 3 months from the date of the kick off session

During the Digital stage, learners will work through online content exploring the complete ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) syllabus through a series of modules. Digital modules include:

  • Module 1: Fundamentals of testing
    • What is testing?
    • Why is testing necessary?
    • Seven testing principles
    • The psychology of testing
  • Module 2: Testing throughout the software development lifecycle
    • Software development lifecycle models
    • Test levels
    • Test types
    • Maintenance testing
  • Module 3: Static testing
    • Static testing basics
    • Review process
  • Module 4: Test techniques
    • Categories of test techniques
    • Black-box test techniques
    • White-box test techniques
    • Experience-based test techniques
  • Module 5: Test management
    • Test organisation
    • Test planning and estimation
    • Test monitoring and control
    • Configuration management
    • Risks and testing
    • Defect management
  • Module 6: Tools
    • Test tool considerations
    • Effective use of tools

Live event

During the 2-day virtual Live event, learners will work individually and in teams to consolidate the ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level theory through practical, exam-focused activities. The facilitator will use digital tools to create a virtual workspace environment, enabling a collaborative and interactive learning experience.

  • Live Day 1:
    • Introductions
    • Fundamentals of testing
    • Planning and estimation
    • Risk
    • Static testing
    • Equivalence partitioning
    • Boundary value analysis
  • Live Day 2:
    • Decision tables
    • State transition testing
    • White-box techniques
    • Exploratory testing
    • Testing throughout the lifecycle
    • Defect management
    • Test automation tools
    • Preparing for the ISTQB CTFL exam


The ISTQB exam is now available online via remote proctoring. The exam can be taken at a time and date of the learner’s choosing after the completion of the course. More information will be provided during the course.

Between the Live event and the exam, learners will have the opportunity to practise ISTQB sample exam papers to test their knowledge and to practise exam techniques and timings.

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Dates & Locations

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Find more answers to frequently asked questions in our FAQs: Bookings & Cancellations page.

How do QA’s virtual classroom courses work?

Our virtual classroom courses allow you to access award-winning classroom training, without leaving your home or office. Our learning professionals are specially trained on how to interact with remote attendees and our remote labs ensure all participants can take part in hands-on exercises wherever they are.

We use the WebEx video conferencing platform by Cisco. Before you book, check that you meet the WebEx system requirements and run a test meeting (more details in the link below) to ensure the software is compatible with your firewall settings. If it doesn’t work, try adjusting your settings or contact your IT department about permitting the website.

Learn more about our Virtual Classrooms.

How do QA’s online courses work?

QA online courses, also commonly known as distance learning courses or elearning courses, take the form of interactive software designed for individual learning, but you will also have access to full support from our subject-matter experts for the duration of your course. When you book a QA online learning course you will receive immediate access to it through our e-learning platform and you can start to learn straight away, from any compatible device. Access to the online learning platform is valid for one year from the booking date.

All courses are built around case studies and presented in an engaging format, which includes storytelling elements, video, audio and humour. Every case study is supported by sample documents and a collection of Knowledge Nuggets that provide more in-depth detail on the wider processes.

Learn more about QA’s online courses.

When will I receive my joining instructions?

Joining instructions for QA courses are sent two weeks prior to the course start date, or immediately if the booking is confirmed within this timeframe. For course bookings made via QA but delivered by a third-party supplier, joining instructions are sent to attendees prior to the training course, but timescales vary depending on each supplier’s terms. Read more FAQs.

When will I receive my certificate?

Certificates of Achievement are issued at the end the course, either as a hard copy or via email. Read more here.

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