What is the difference between the ECBA, CCBA, and CBAP Certifications?

Ever since the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®) announced a new multi-level, competency-based certification framework, there have been a lot of questions as to the differences between the levels. The IIBA designed the levels to allow BA professionals to demonstrate your ability to perform and prove you can apply your experience in a given situation. The program includes four levels of credentials, three of which involve a written examination process. So, which one is right for you?

The four levels of credentials follow a BA’s career path and are meant to be a guide, but you do not need to complete them in order.  For example, if you already have the experience and requirements of a CBAP®, you do not need to complete the ECBA® or CCBA® first.

The table below briefly explains the purpose of each credential.


The ECBA exam is strictly knowledge- and recall-based that requires candidates to understand basic business analysis. The CCBA exam contains some scenarios, and more knowledge- and recall-oriented questions that require candidates to apply their knowledge of tasks and techniques in the BABOK. The CBAP exam has many case study and scenario-based questions; applicants are required to draw upon their experience and apply it to analyzing situations and synthesizing information. The CBATL does not have an exam and no details have been released as of the time this blog was published.

The table below further details the target audience, requirements, and assessment for levels 1-3 of IIBA.


Now that you know what certification is right for you, you may be wondering what to study for towards your particular exam. The table below details the exam blueprints for levels 1-3. These blueprints are guidelines giving the percentages of knowledge areas represented on each of the exams. Take the exam blueprints seriously. They help you focus your study, and knowing them is part of a good preparation plan. For example, the CCBA exam only has 6% of its questions on Solution Evaluation. You won’t need to study that chapter of the BABOK Guide as much as Requirements Analysis and Design Definition. The latter, along with its associated techniques, represents nearly one third of the questions you will see on your exam and deserves extensive study.


Whenever you are ready to start pursuing an IIBA certification, ALC can help!  We offer numerous products, resources, and certification preparation courses to help you prepare for your CBAP or CCBA exam.