As the newest member of the (Alliance for Qualification (A4Q) suite of Agile courses, the Practitioner in Agile course is a practical focus accelerated learning Agile certification. It is designed to allow people with current Agile knowledge to take their skills to a practitioner level in an intensive learning environment.

The course is designed for the whole team, as everyone has an equal responsibility for product quality. It covers the key competencies required to function effectively and efficiently whilst delivering quality. The course is focused on practical application, experiential and collaborative learning through discussion and exercises.

Target Audience

This course is designed for anyone wanting to improve their Agile skills and ensure accelerated quality delivery of working software. This includes developers, BA’s, Project Managers, Team Leaders, Testers, Scrum Masters and all other members of an Agile delivery team.

Benefits of PAQ

For individuals:

  • Hands on, collaborative learning
  • Accelerated path to agile practitioner
  • Prove your agile quality competency
  • Develop your agile mindset (soft skills)
  • Stand out from the crowd with a certification that shows you can do!

For Organisations:

  • Accelerate quality in the organisation with agile quality practitioners
  • Develop agile competency within your organisations to leverage more benefits from agile
  • Demonstrate agile competence to internal and external customers
  • Get ahead of the competition with qualified PAQs who can do!

For the Team:

  • Bring the agile team together with a focus on quality
  • Develop team competence, collaboration and confidence
  • Motivate the team with a career path to practitioner
  • Challenge the team to validate they can do with a practical certification!

This is a practitioner’s course. Candidates are expected to have met one of the agile knowledge prerequisites which can be demonstrated through certifications such as iSQI® Certified Agile Essentials (CAE), iSQI® Certified Scrum Master Pro, ISTQB® Foundation Level Agile Tester OR have 2 years professional experience working in Agile.

Due to the practical experiential learning approach to this course, there is assumed knowledge which, if not met, will make it difficult for candidates to complete the course and assessments within the timeboxed course.

Candidates are expected to be able to already apply basic practices and techniques, such as:

  • Knowledge of Test Design – EP / BVA / State Transition / Decision tables / Exploratory
  • Basic test terminology
  • Understand the difference between functional and non-functional testing including the basic concepts of Performance and Usability testing
  • Perform all the activities associated with the fundamental test process

Competency Areas and Learning Objectives

During the course, delegates will learn and demonstrate during both the QAPAQ course and practical assessment knowledge, skills and behaviours that candidates capable of achieving/demonstrating by the areas and outcomes listed below:

  • Agile Mindset – Prove that they can put into practice all the soft skills appropriate to the agile mindset aligned to the agile manifesto and principles
  • Faster Delivery – Optimise delivery through implementing efficiencies and effective practices, maximising the work not done
  • Build Quality In – Implement the team activities to ensure the product quality objectives for each persona are met from inception throughout the product lifecycle
  • Engineering Principles – Build the right product, right first time maximising Business value using repeatable, auditable and adaptable processes, whilst minimising technical debt
  • Continuous Testing – Support the integration of code by iterating through plan, build, test multiple times per day, in order to complete committed items aligned to acceptance criteria and the iteration definition of done
  • Scalability – Identify additional risks and changes required to effectively scale processes based on team size and/or distribution

Day 1 – Agile Manifesto and Principles

  • Introduction
  • Engineering Principles
  • Practical Exercises
  • Fast Delivery
  • Sprint Practice Exercises

Day 2 – Delivery

  • Retrospectives
  • Planning
  • Continuous Testing
  • Build Quality In
  • Mock Practical Exam

Day 3 – Team and Examination

  • Debt & TDD
  • Agile Mindset
  • Sprint Practice Exercise
  • Scalability
  • Practical Examination including Scenario

Certification/Exams

QAPAQ candidates are assessed at the end of the course with a practical assessment taken under controlled exam conditions. The Assessment measures candidates against the PAQ Competency Framework. This may be taken either directly at the end of the course, or separately scheduled.

The assessment exam will be on-line with a duration of 2.5 hours. It has two parts:

  • Practical: This ‘hands-on’ practical assessment is in the form of a Sample Project which includes a product backlog release, user stories, associated design documentation plus a ‘multi-drop’ application seeded with defects. This will contribute 90 credits
  • Scenario Questions: There will be 1 or 2 scenarios with questions associated with each (up to 5 questions in total across the scenarios). Note: these are not multiple choice but written answers. This will contributes 10 credits.

The exam is 2.5 hrs and delegates will requires to achieve a total of 60 (60%) credits to pass. Candidates whose native language or day-to-day business language is not the exam language can apply for 25% extra time.

On passing the exam, delegates are awarded the PAQ certificate. Any candidate failing will have an opportunity to schedule a re-sit with QA.

Soft Skills exhibited during the course

During the course, candidates will be evaluated against the soft skills and behaviours listed under the ‘Agile Mindset’ Competency Area. The QAPAQ course contains various exercises that will enable candidates to exhibit these characteristics. Qualified trainers will be able to observe these and provide any feedback to encourage candidates to improve their soft skills.

As such, the course is designed to engage with candidates with a view to help them exhibit the Agile Mindset competencies as opposed to a static observation of the skills and behaviours exhibited.

The soft skills evaluation is NOT part of the PAQ exam and as such is not assessed as a pass or fail. However, individual evaluation by the trainer will be provided to each candidate at the end of the course.