Practitioner in Agile Quality (PAQ)

Practitioner in Agile Quality (PAQ)2019-08-12T16:04:57+00:00

Agile software development allows organizations to respond to changing market dynamics with speed and confidence and get to market faster with products that delight their customers’ and add value to their experience.

The Practitioner in Agile Quality (PAQ) immerses participants in agile practices with an emphasis on the key competencies essential for high performing agile teams working together collaboratively to increase value to the business and the customer. A Practitioner in Agile Quality can use agile as an effective pathway to accelerate the delivery of quality software.   

Agile quality is the collective responsibility of the whole team. PAQ certification is not just for testers but anyone, and everyone, in the team who needs to continuously deliver better products, services and user experiences using agile.

The course builds on existing testing, software quality management and agile theory inspiring and building confidence through hands-on exercises and experiential learning aligned to the PAQ Competency Framework. The final practical assessment ensures that PAQ holders have demonstrated that they can achieve the expected PAQ competency outcomes.

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“Dolphins communicate, collaborate, synchronize, learn together and adapt, whilst having fun. Everyone has seen them – they are agile! A Practitioner in Agile Quality (PAQ) ensures quality products and delivery of real business value by being visible, seeking and reacting to customer feedback early and often.”   

Leanne Howard, PAQ Master Trainer

The PAQ Competency Framework is based on the underlying knowledge, skills and behaviors that candidates need to demonstrate during both the PAQ course and practical assessment.

Whilst these competencies and the framework look similar to learning outcomes and objectives found in many training courses, the critical difference is that the competencies are expressed in a manner that focuses on what a candidate ‘can do’ in terms of practical application of knowledge, skills and behaviors.

The framework has been structured in Competency Areas and Competency Outcomes as follows:

Agile Mindset Faster Delivery Build Quality In
Prove that you can put into practice
all the soft skills appropriate to the
agile mindset aligned to the Agile
Manifesto and principles.
Optimise delivery through
implementing efficiencies
and effective practices,
maximizing the work not done.
Implement the team activities
to ensure the product quality
objectives for each persona are
met from inception throughout
the product lifecycle.

Engineering Principles

Continuous Testing

Scalability

Build the right product, right first
time maximizing Business value
using repeatable, auditable and
adaptable processes, whilst
minimizing technical debt.
Support the integration of code
by iterating through a plan, build,
test multiple times per day, in
order to complete committed
items aligned to acceptance criteria
and the iteration definition of done.
Identify additional risks and
changes required to effectively
scale processes based on team
size and/or distribution.

Expected Competency Requirements – a statement that can be prefixed by ‘can’ or ‘is able to’, expressing the specific skill and/or behaviour, that is being demonstrated either during the course or in the practical assessment. The underpinning knowledge is assumed from the prerequisites listed for the course which is augmented during the training.

The full list of the competencies is listed further below in this document.

Click here for the full PAQ Competency Framework.

PAQ is delivered as a 3-day training course – it is experiential and deeply immersive in the agile application of the PAQ Agile Competencies.

Participants will be evaluated against the soft skills and behaviors listed under the ‘Agile Mindset’ Competency Area. The PAQ 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 behaviors 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.

Note: Training providers may offer a 5-day course that includes 2 days of foundation level agile training that will ensure candidates hold the necessary prerequisites for PAQ.

The PAQ exam is in the form of a Competency Assessment that verifies the practical application of Agile principles. The assessment takes place at the end of the course, or it can be separately scheduled to be taken via remote proctor. Candidates who pass the assessment are awarded the PAQ certificate. Any candidate failing will have an opportunity to schedule a re-sit with their training provider.

The assessment is ‘hands-on’ on where candidates are given a product backlog release which includes user stories, associated design documentation plus a ‘multi-drop’ application seeded with defects. Candidates will be given instructions as to what is expected of them during the practical assessment and the opportunity to create the work products required.

Each practical assessment will contain 1/2 additional scenario-based questions requiring written answers (up to 5 questions in total) that cover a selection of competencies. These written answers will be marked along with the answers to the product backlog release by an independent assessor.

  • Assessment duration: 2.5 hours.
  • Total Credits: 100 (90 credits from practical and 10 credits from the scenario based questions)

To pass candidates must score 60 credits (60%) in total.

Accredited PAQ training is currently mandated to be eligible for the PAQ competency assessment.

Do you need more information? You can find them here: https://isqi.org/en/practitioner-in-agile-quality-paq

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

Do you need more information? You can find them here: https://isqi.org/en/practitioner-in-agile-quality-paq

You can find all Training Provider here: https://www.alliance4qualification.info/practitioner-agile-quality

You can also book a training here: https://isqi.org/en/training-certification

If you are interested in becoming a trainer and a training Provider for PAQ and joining one of the global lists of accredited trainers, please get in contact with us at agile@isqi.org or suzanna.salem@isqi.org  for the most up to date information about starting the accreditation process.
The material can be licensed by any company or training provider worldwide – it is compulsory to have at least two trainers who successfully passed the PAQ course and the PAQ exam.

Licensing the material does not involve any costs to be paid upfront. The use of the material will be charged per student trained. The licensing fee is dependent on the usual local market price.

Pre-requisites for PAQ trainers Accreditation:

  • Achieve PAQ Training successfully and pass the exam
  • The future Trainer is expected to have met one of the agile knowledge pre-requisites which can be demonstrated by holding certifications such as iSQI® Certified Agile Essentials (CAE), iSQI® Certified Scrum Master Pro, ISTQB® Foundation Level Agile Tester OR have at least three years of Experience in agile projects.
  • At least two years of training experience and good knowledge of English language
  • 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
    Performing all the activities associated with the fundamental test process
  • ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level certificate or equivalent knowledge

For more information watch our webinars or contact us here.

BENEFITS

For individuals

Hands-on, collaborative learning

Accelerated path to the 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 Organizations

Accelerate quality in the organization with Agile Quality Practitioners

Develop agile competency within your organizations 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 the practitioner

Challenge the team to validate they can do with a practical certification!

For Training Providers

Boost your training portfolio with a highly practical course in agile quality

A course for anyone involved in testing but also the whole team

Practical assessment exam – a market differentiator

Soft skills focus plus strong agile quality content

Licensed materials available

Support your customers to develop their organization’s agile competency

Book Your Exam

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION

or have a look at our FAQ.

FAQ

For Training Providers

TPs can add PAQ to their schedules immediately if they have the necessary accreditation and license agreement. The license agreement is required to give the TP access to the PAQ materials.

Trainers need to pass the PAQ exam. Any trainers who hold an iSQI Certified Agile Tester accreditation have the prerequisite skills to train PAQ and do not need to take the exam again. Contact accreditation@isqi.org or your usual iSQI contact person for more information.

In order to become a PAQ trainer, you must hold the PAQ certification and complete the application form. Trainers need to pass the PAQ exam. Any trainers who hold an iSQI Certified Agile Tester accreditation have the prerequisite skills to train PAQ and do not need to take the exam again.

Please note a train the trainer will not be mandated for PAQ.

Contact accreditation@isqi.org or your usual iSQI contact person to arrange a PAQ exam.

TPs can create their own PAQ materials. There will be an initial accreditation fee of 5,000 Euros and an annual fee thereafter of 1,000 Euros.

You find an overview of the course and also the assessment method here on our PAQ landing page.

There is no syllabus with learning objectives; PAQ is based on the PAQ Competency Framework.

If you have any further questions please contact us.

At the moment, that is not possible.

Agile quality is the collective and equal responsibility of the whole team. PAQ certification is not just for testers but anyone, and everyone, in the team who needs to continuously deliver better products, services and user experiences using agile. The course builds on existing testing, software quality management, and agile theory and skills. Please note the prerequisites.

Yes! The PAQ course is focused on practical application with experiential and collaborative learning through discussion and exercises. PAQ is a practitioner level certification and builds on agile theory offering candidates competency that is immediately transferable to the workplace.

Yes there are plenty of practical elements throughout the course. You need the same laptop as for the exam.

Currently, it is available in English – keep in touch though for news of releases in other languages!

The exam is in the form of an assessment against the PAQ Competency Framework. It is taken online with a duration of 2.5 hours. There are 2 parts:

  • Hands-on (90 credits): In the form of a product backlog release which includes user stories, associated design documentation plus a ‘multi-drop’ application seeded with defects.
  • Scenario questions (10 credits): 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

60 credits in total are needed to pass the PAQ  assessment.

Yes, the date and time just need to be agreed with iSQI.

TPs will be listed on the A4Q website and at the iSQI website, there is the option to upload the PAQ training dates to our marketplace.

Contact accreditation@isqi.org or your usual iSQI contact person for the licensing and exam fees in your region.

The PAQ assessment (exam) is delivered online so access to a device is required after the course or the candidate can schedule a remote proctor at a convenient date and time. (Please note – a tablet device will not be suitable for this).

PAQ is a practical focussed accelerated learning Agile certification based on the PAQ Competency Framework. It is designed to allow people with current Agile knowledge to take their skills to a practitioner level in an intensive learning environment. The exam is a practical assessment and shows that candidates “can do” in practice. Organizations and individuals seeking to build agile competence with a view to accelerating quality will greatly benefit from PAQ. Soft skills are an essential competence and PAQ trainers add real value by assessing candidates against the Agile Mindset PAQ Competency Area.

For Individuals and Organizations

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

PAQ is suitable for whole team development within an organization also.

PAQ is a highly practical 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. PAQ will help to develop and affirm competence in agile with a focus on quality. The practical assessment is a great differentiator for PAQ  – you have shown you “can do” – its more than a multiple choice exam. If you an organization PAQ certification can support soft skills development for the team in addition to developing agile quality skills.

The course duration is 3 days. The assessment may take place on day 3 or you may be offered a remote proctor option to take the exam on a date and at a time you choose from home or office.  Training providers may offer a 5-day course where days 1 and 2 focus on ensuring candidates have the necessary prerequisites. Contact your preferred training provider.

This is a practitioner’s course with recommended prerequisites. Candidates are expected to have met one of the agile knowledge prerequisites e.g. shown by holding 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

At the moment, it is available in English.

It is advisable for candidates to write the exam in their native language where possible. By doing so the time extension does not apply, however, the candidate will save significant time reading, considering and writing the appropriate answers, in expressing themselves in their respective own language.

It is possible to answer in English, German, Dutch or Spanish.

Please contact us: exam@isqi.org

The exam is in the form of an assessment against the PAQ Competency Framework. It is taken online with a duration of 2.5 hours. There are 2 parts:

Hands-on (90 credits):  In the form of a product backlog release which includes user stories, associated design documentation plus a ‘multi-drop’ application seeded with defects.

Scenario questions (10 credits): 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

60 credits in total are needed to pass the PAQ assessment.

This is part of the PAQ training course.

The training providers for PAQ are listed on the A4Q Website. You can also find training in our marketplace.

PAQ is a generic agile course and all methodologies are introduced; Scrum is used in the exercises.

Yes, PAQ is a practical course which in itself has inherent value as well as preparing candidates for the assessment.

This is currently work in progress.