BPMN Training FAQ

I recently received by email a set of questions regarding my BPMN training. Since I get similar requests on a regular basis, I see it might be good if I just posted the answers.

1. Which class or classes do I need to take to achieve your certification?

I provide BPMN training through a variety of channels. Right now, the only one that offers certification is BPMessentials, which is a joint venture of Bruce Silver Associates and itp commerce, maker of the Process Modeler for Visio BPMN tool. The standard BPMessentials online training (wtc.01), private on-site 2-day classes, and the 2-day public classes offered four times a year through Brainstorm/BPMInstitute all include certification. An abridged BPMessentials Level 1-only class (wtc.l1.01) and classes based on Microsoft Visio Premium 2010 do not come with certification.
2. How does your BPM certification rate against some of the other institutions offering BPM certification?
There is no generally accepted "standard" for BPM certification. Most organizations offering it use a multiple choice test based on that organization's assumed BPM body of knowledge. I have experience with the OMG OCEB certification, having participated in putting together the BPMN part of it. That tests areas of BPM quite far removed from BPMN, much of it (in my view) trivial and obscure. I would compare it to the California DMV written test for getting a driver's license. Some organizations provide a certificate of training that just shows that you paid for and attended some number of courses, not any particular learning. Our certification is different. It simply demonstrates your ability to create BPMN diagrams that are not only correct according to the spec but conform to my "method and style" principles. Students create two models. One is based on a standard scenario; the other is more open-ended but must contain certain elements such as parallel split/join, event gateway, error throw-catch, etc. The models are created during a 60-day period after the training and are emailed to me for evaluation. (The BPMessentials training includes 60-day license to the software, which provides special validation tools to check conformance to the style rules in addition to the official BPMN rules. ) A few students get it right on the first try; most have to fix a few things and resubmit. Through this process, the students actually learn how to create good BPMN models.
3. Is your certification recognized in the industry vs. other institutions offering BPM certification? In other words, is there an overall BPM certification authority?
There is no overall BPM certification authority.
4. Will I learn the same BPM principles in your training as I would in other programs?
Probably not.
5. I already have Visio 2010 Premium and I downloaded process modeler professional last night. Will this setup meet the needs of your training exercises? Is there any other software that I need or that would beneficial to have?
I periodically do a 2.5-hour free training for Visio 2010 Premium, which shows the basics of the Level 1 palette, method and style. It does not include certification. The BPMessentials training requires the Process Modeler add-in, included in the training. It works with Visio 2010, 2007, or 2003. No other software is required.
6. If I need more than 60 days to complete the program will additional days be granted. Being on-call so much can really impact the amount of time I have to devote. I certainly hope to be done in 60 days. However, I cannot be sure. It makes me a little nervous that I only have 60 days and then I am cut off from the training material.
The intent is that the training and certification are completed in 60 days. If you have been working through the exercises, we will usually grant a free extension of 2-3 weeks. We also offer an upgrade to a non-expiring license to the software and 1-year maintenance, which effectively gives you 1 year to complete the training and certification.