I just got this from my CST mentor and co-trainer Andreas Schliep:
Currently, an individual is certified when he or she has attended, participated in, and completed a Certified ScrumMaster course.
Effective 1 October 2009, all CSMs will be required to complete a Certified ScrumMaster course and pass a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) online certification exam [in English, ed.] to maintain certification. Click here for the Exam Objectives or Click here for the Exam Administration and Retake Policy.
They seem to really mean it this time.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about the exam. On the one hand, being required to demonstrate some basic understanding of Scrum before getting the certification seems like a good thing.
One the other hand, the value of the Scrum course lies in its experiential nature. Yes, you learn facts and theory, but you spend a lot of time “in motion”: doing games, simulations, exercises, working out problems with your teammates.
I think there is a very great danger that the CSM exam will change the emphasis of the CSM course from experiencing Scrum to preparation for passing the test.
Some people might feel the certification deadline is a reason to take the CSM course in September…
My calendar for courses has wrong dates for the December courses:
A corrected Scrum course calendar is now online.