The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a widely adopted methodology for scaling agile practices in organizations. SAFe certification is becoming increasingly popular among agile practitioners who want to demonstrate their expertise in this framework. This blog will overview SAFe and discuss the steps needed to become a certified SAFe Agilist.


What is SAFe and why is it so popular?

SAFe, also known as the Scaled Agile Framework, is a methodology designed to help organizations implement agile practices at a larger scale. The framework offers a comprehensive set of guidelines and best practices that organizations can customize to meet their specific needs, enabling them to coordinate and align the work of multiple teams on large projects.


According to the latest Agile annual report, over 53% of respondents currently use SAFe as their Enterprise Agile framework of choice. This underscores SAFe’s growing popularity among organizations seeking to implement agile practices at scale.


SAFe’s popularity stems from its ability to help large enterprises achieve agility at scale, reducing complexity and increasing collaboration. It provides a common language, principles, and framework that enable organizations to deliver value to customers quickly and efficiently. SAFe is widely used across industries like finance, healthcare, and government, and benefits from a large community of practitioners who share best practices, making it easier to adopt and implement.



Who is a Certified SAFe Agilist?

A Certified SAFe Agilist (SA) is a professional who has acquired the certificate after completing the required SAFe Agilist certification training and passing the certification exam. This certification signifies that the individual thoroughly understands the SAFe framework and can lead and contribute to a Lean-Agile transformation.


The SA certification is not limited to a specific role or position but is relevant to anyone involved in a Lean-Agile transformation. The accreditation covers key competencies such as the application of Lean-Agile principles, execution and release of value through Agile Release Trains (ARTs), and building an Agile portfolio with Lean-Agile budgeting.


No Prerequisites


What do you learn?

The SAFe Agilist (SA) certification course covers various topics related to the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and how it can be applied to your organization. By completing the SA certification, you will learn:


  1. The principles of SAFe: You will learn about the fundamental principles and values that underpin SAFe, including the Agile Manifesto, Lean thinking, and the SAFe House of Lean.
  2. The key components of SAFe: You will learn about the key components of SAFe, including Agile Release Trains (ARTs), Portfolio Management, and the Continuous Delivery Pipeline.
  3. How to establish Team and Technical Agility: You will learn how to establish a culture of continuous improvement and implement the technical practices required to achieve this.
  4. How to organize around the flow of value: You will learn how to organize your teams and workflows around the flow of value to the customer, and how to implement the SAFe Agile teams and roles required to achieve this.
  5. How to align massive organizations around clear objectives: You will learn how to align your organization around a common mission and vision and implement the SAFe practices required to achieve this.
  6. How to participate successfully in critical SAFe events, such as PI Planning: You will learn how to participate in SAFe events such as Program Increment (PI) Planning and collaborate with other teams to achieve the shared goals of the PI.
  7. How to adopt a customer-centric mindset: You will learn how to adopt a customer-centric mindset and use the SAFe principles and practices to deliver value to the customer quickly and efficiently.


What do you get?

Upon completing the SAFe Agilist (SA) certification course, you will receive:

  • Online interactive classes
  • SAFe Agilist certification
  • One-year Scaled Agile membership
  • Digital Badge
  • 15 PDUs and 16 SEUs
  • Free learning bytes


Exam Details

The SAFe Agilist certification exam tests your knowledge of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and your ability to apply its principles in a real-world context. It’s a 90-minute online exam with 45 multiple-choice questions. To pass, you need to score at least 80% or 36 out of 45 questions correctly. Before taking the exam, you must attend a SAFe Agilist course, a 2-day online workshop. The course prepares you for the exam and provides the knowledge and skills needed to become a certified SAFe Agilist.

Check the exam details and format:

Duration 90 minutes
Number of questions 45
Passing score 36/45 (80%)
Competency level Foundational; Competent, some knowledge or experience; can perform tasks with assistance
Question format Multiple choice (one answer) or multiple select (2-3 answers)
Delivery Web-based, closed book, no outside assistance, timed
Access Community Platform upon completion of the course
Cost The first retake – May be taken immediately after the first failed attempt. The second retake – May be taken 10 days after the first retake. The third retake – May be taken 30 days after the second retake. All subsequent retakes require a 30-day wait—the retake fee – is $50; $250 for SPC.


Benefits of Becoming a Certified SAFe® Agilist

There are several benefits of earning a Leading SAFe Agilist certification, including:


Improved career prospects: Leading SAFe Agilist certification is highly valued by organizations that are adopting SAFe methodology. Earning this certification can improve your chances of landing a job or being promoted in organizations that use SAFe.


International recognition: The SAFe® certification, including Leading SAFe®, is globally recognized as Scaled Agile Framework, a renowned global agile certifying organization, issues it. This certification indicates that you possess valid credentials to work in any part of the world, which can open up numerous career opportunities worldwide.


Higher remuneration: SAFe is a niche skill, and certified professionals can expect rewarding salaries. SAFe certification enhances your profile, increasing your employability, and can result in a salary increase of at least 25% compared to non-certified peers. Starting with the foundational ‘SAFe Agilist’ certification can be a great way to begin your journey.


Lean- Agile Leadership: Leading SAFe certification covers Lean-Agile leadership, an integral part of the SAFe framework. The certification program provides a detailed understanding of every parameter, pillar, and basic Agile scaling principle. In addition to delivery and coding, the certification focuses on people – individuals and teams working to achieve on-time releases. This emphasis on people is one of the reasons for SAFe’s widespread popularity.


Spike in SAFe Adoption: As more organizations adopt Agile practices, having SAFe certification can boost your employability. Employers increasingly seek professionals with expertise in SAFe, and a certificate can prepare you to meet their expectations. The relatively low number of SAFe-certified professionals creates a competitive advantage for those who hold this certification, increasing their visibility across industries and opening up opportunities for intellectual growth.



SAFe® Salary Report 2023


Country Currency Salary
Canada CAD $102K
UK GBM £60k
Australia AUD AU$129K

Source: PayScale


What next?

Stay caught up – stand out by enrolling in the SAFe Agilist certification course at Skillbook Academy. Scaled Agile, Inc. aims to promote individual growth by offering various role-based certifications and courses. With the SAFe Agilist certificate, you can carve your career path and enjoy numerous opportunities to enhance your professional growth.


Still, have questions about the Leading SAFe Certification? Check out these frequently asked questions to find answers to common queries.


  1. How much does the Leading SAFe Certification cost?
    The cost of obtaining the Leading SAFe Certification is USD 545.
  2. How long is the certification valid?
    It is valid for one year. To maintain a valid certificate, individuals must renew their certification before expiration.
  3. What is the process for becoming certified?
    To become certified, one can enrol with Skillbook Academy, a Scaled Agile Partner. The process involves taking an online course over two days, practising the concepts covered in the course, and then taking the certification exam. By diligently following this process, one can pass the certification exam with flying colours.
  4. Who is the ideal candidate for SAFe® certification?
    The SAFe certification suits professionals involved in large-scale Agile transformations, such as executives, managers, architects, and analysts responsible for driving Agile adoption and change within their organization. And anyone who has scrum and agile experience.

By reading through these frequently asked questions (FAQs), you can better understand the requirements for obtaining a Scaled Agile Framework certification and determine if it aligns with your personal and organizational goals.