Safe Scrum Master Vs Safe Advanced Scrum Master: Which Is A Better Fit

When opting for certification in agile management or scrum master, two names always popped up: Safe Scrum Master and Safe Advanced Scrum Master. Aspirants always get confused about which credential to choose as both are built on a Safe Framework. Even though both certifications look the same, there are significant differences, if we look at the bigger picture. So, if you’re one of the aspirants who is confused between these two and wants to know the difference between Safe Scrum Master and Safe Advanced Scrum Master, fret not, this article is for you.

Read this blog thoroughly to get a complete picture of Safe Scrum Master Vs Safe Advanced Scrum Master to make an informed decision.

Safe Scrum Master Vs Safe Advanced Scrum Master: 5 Major Differences

Certifications Objectives:

  • The Safe Scrum Master credential showcases the tactical skills needed to become an effective Scrum Master in a Safe organization. The certification course will help you to gain the mastery of the skills needed to coach Agile teams and deliver business value. You will learn how scrum master empowers and leads Agile teams and how to enable Agile events like iteration planning, team sync, and iteration retrospective. 
  • The Safe Advanced Scrum Master levels up your knowledge in the Safe Agile. The course is built on the solid foundation of Safe scrum master and aids you in discovering how to facilitate success for Agile teams, Agile Release Trains, and the organization. It will also give you knowledge and tools to improve your coaching and facilitation skills to deliver success and increase business value.

Agile Methodologies:

  • The Safe Scrum Master works with Safe Scrum and Safe Kanban frameworks and methodologies. You’ll also learn the principles of servant leadership, so you can develop high-performing, engaged, continuously improving teams in your organizations. 
  • Whereas, the Safe Advanced Scrum Master course will help you apply Lean, Kanban, DevOps, and Safe principles and methodologies to improve your team and effectively meet business outcomes.

Certification Level:

The former is the basic level certification while the latter is the advanced level certification. The level of study is one of the major distinctions here.

Recommended Prerequisites:

  • The certifying body – Scaled Agile, does not demand or specify any prerequisites or requirements to get any of the Safe courses. Though it is not recommended, for Safe Scrum Master you must have basic knowledge and familiarity of Agile and Safe concepts. 
  • On the other hand, for the Safe Advanced Scrum Master course, it is highly recommended that you should complete the Safe Scrum Master certification because it will become easy for you to get along with the advanced skills.

Course Content:

  • Though both of the certifications work on a safe paradigm, the course content has significant differences. The Safe scrum master course first provides safe agile training to aspirants aiding them to get familiar with the Safe Paradigm. The course emphasizes the different SAFE, Scrum, and basic agile concepts. It also covers objectives like defining the scrum master team/ team coach role including team coach responsibilities, and agile team coaching. 
  • The SAFe Scrum Master course also describes the responsibilities of Scrum Masters in events such as Program Increment (PI) planning and other managerial events such as Iteration reviews, Backlog Refinement, Daily Stand-ups, Iteration planning, Iteration retrospectives, etc. 
  • On the other hand, The Safe Advanced Scrum Master courses focus on topics that are relevant to the advanced position of a SAFE Scrum Master. It covers and familiarizes the seven core competencies of an Agile business, such as Lean-Agile leadership, continuous learning culture, lean portfolio management, etc. Moreover, this credential course also focused on applying SAFE principles, exploring Agile and Scrum anti-patterns, and improving flow with Kanban and XP. 

The below table will help you understand the difference between Safe Scrum Master and Safe Advanced Scrum Master quickly.

Read more: An Inclusive Guide on Scrum Master Certification

Features Safe Scrum Master Safe Advanced Scrum Master
Difficulty Level Basic Advance
Prerequisites No, but basic knowledge of Agile and Safe is recommended No prerequisites but the Safe Scrum Master course is recommended
Attendee Beginners Scrum Master Release Train Engineers or Existing Scrum Master
Eligibility Familiarity with Agile and Scrum Concepts Familiarity with Agile Principles and awareness of Kanban, Scrum, and XP Experience working with Lean-agile methodologies.

Exam Format, Passing Criteria, and Cost

Certifications Safe Scrum Master Safe Advanced Scrum Master
No of the questions 45 questions 60 questions
Format Multiple-choice and single-select format Multiple-choice or multiple-select
Time Allowed 90 minutes 120 minutes
Delivery Web-based, closed-book, no outside assistance Web-based, closed-book, no outside assistance
Cost The first attempt is included in the course registration fee if taken within 30 days of the course completion. The first attempt is included in the course registration fee if taken within 30 days of the course completion.
Retake $50; $250 for SPC Each retake or attempt past the 30-day window is $50

Market Demand: SAFe Scrum Master Vs SAFe Advanced Scrum Master

While we are discussing the differences between these certifications, how can we overlook the difference in job prospects, roles, and salary? Agile and Scrum Master certifications are vastly adopted by coaches, mentors, and scrum masters to effectively fulfill business outcomes. According to a study, the number of SAFe scrum certified is increasing predominantly. The research indicates that certified people are increased to 41% in the current years. Moreover, the number of companies that started implementing SAFe scrum master practices has also increased to 73%.

Job Roles and Average Salary for SAFe Scrum Master Certified

The statistics in the below table are taken from ZipRecruiter.

Job Titles Salary Range Average Salary
Scrum Master $99,500 - $135,000 $113,444
Agile Scrum Master $99,500 - $135,000 $115,386
Certified Scrum Master $98,000 - $150,000 $122,999
IT Scrum Master $99,500 - $135,000 $120,000
Disciplined Agile Scrum Master $99,500 - $135,000 $116,386
Lead Scrum Master $99,500 - $135,000 $116,386

Job Roles and Average Salary for SAFe Scrum Master Certified

Job Titles Salary Range Average Salary
Senior Scrum Master $115,000 - $173,000 $124,628
Scrum Master $104,469 - $135,000 $122,999
Lead Business Analyst $98,349 - $154,500 $107,212
Train Release Engineer $115,141 - $173,000 $115,141
Agile Release Train Engineer $115,141 - $173,000 $115,541
Agile Coach $90,000 - $172,000 $128,429
Senior Project Manager $72,000 - $142,000 $104,496

Conclusion: Which Certification Is A Better Fit?

We cannot overlook the fact that both SAFe Scrum Master and SAFe Advanced Scrum Master are best in their ways and earning any of them can never go in vain. But the most important thing here is that many of you want to ask, which direction to go for. It is tough to give a verdict on which one is better between SAFe Scrum Master and SAFe Advanced Scrum Master. Though both certifications build on the SAFe paradigm, the target audience is different. 

Moreover, if you’re confused between these two and want to make an informed decision, always make a comparison chart and choose one that imitates your knowledge needs and career goals. If you are at the start of your career and want to learn the basics of SAFe and Agile, the SAFe Scrum Master certification is the best fit. Furthermore, if you already have work experience as a SAFe Scrum Master, you should go for the SAFe Advanced Scrum Master, enabling you to advance your knowledge of Agile and SAFe concepts & methodologies.

Frequently Asked Questions

The SAFe Advanced Scrum Master is for experienced Agile practitioners and will give you tools and skills to improve your coaching and facilitation, prevent common mistakes, and encourage unremitting improvement. It also helps you learn how to apply Lean, Kanban, DevOps, and SAFe principles to improve team efficacy and business outcomes.

The difficulty of the exam is subjective and depends on several factors such as your competencies as a scrum master, how well you are familiarized with Agile and SAFe concepts, and your previous knowledge and experience. If you’re aware of the SAFe framework and have a strong grasp of the exam syllabus, you can ace the exam without any difficulty. However, to prepare thoroughly, make sure you’re using reliable resources. In the sea of exam material, Dumpsgate offers authentic, inclusive, and refreshed exam dumps for effective preparation.

The SAFe Advanced Scrum Master course fee is about $1099 which includes the cost of required training and also one exam attempt. But the exam must be completed within 30 days after course completion.

Yes- the SAFe Scrum Master certification is not for a lifetime and it will expire after one year from the date you have earned it.

No. SAFe training is compulsory for this certification course. To get the SAFe Scrum Master certification, you must register for the SAFe training. After completing the course, you can opt for the SAFe exam.

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