Why is 3 day course mandated to undertake ISTQB Advanced Test Automation Engineer Certification

Hello Guys,
This is my first post in Ministry of Testing
Hope you all are doing well and Safe.

I am an automation engineer and have been in testing professional for last 13 years. I have completed my ISTQB foundation level examination few years ago and now am interested in undertaking ISTQB® Certified Tester Advanced Level - Test Automation Engineer.

I have accessed the BCS website for the same . However it seems you are required to undergo mandatory training of 3 days to undertake this exam.

What I am concerned about is I have been home studying and training myself for this examination, and it feels the partners at BCS are forcing me to take 3 days of theoretical training and than allow me to take examination. I remember when I undertook my foundation course I had an option to take the exam directly without needing to go through the training course.

The cost of examination is around £385 however the course of training + exam is around £1800. Is this appropriate especially when the BCS website mentions training course as recommended and not mandatory. So they should allow me to undertake the exam without needing to go through the course.

Please advise if anyone has an idea about this.


I can just purchase a exam voucher for automation engineer without buying the training.
You might want to take a look at the A/ISTQB site itself.

You can always study the course, yourself: Test Automation Engineer - ISTQB® International Software Testing Qualifications Board

Also £385 might seem a bit off since it’s 250 usd


Thank you @kristof for the information. I have checked the ASTQB board and that is the US Testing board for US. As I am based in UK , I need to follow the instructions as per UKITB

In UK there are 2 exam providers for UKITB : BCS and iSQI
So far I have contacted BCS for the Automation ISTQB examination I have to go through their partners. However, all of their partners have the only option of training + certification and not certification alone. On speaking to BCS support personnel they have asked me now to speak to their partners directly i.e to check if I can get registered only for examination

Thank you again for sharing the information I have now dropped an email to ISTQB team to understand the steps as in their website they themselves mentions training courses are optional and partners should allow to undertake examination directly.

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I can add that with covid, there is online option. So at that moment you can chose the one with $ $ and at the end it’s international certification. They must recognize the ID you have independently from where you took it (in case you need to show it somewhere).

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Hello @emna_ayadi, Thank you for your response. I completely agree with your point and that was one of the option I was looking for. I did my foundation certification from India and Indian Testing Board allows us to take the exam
What I didn’t appreciate was UKITB partner BCS not taking up the responsibility of providing this option where other countries testing board allowing this.
Hoping to get this corrected to benefit other testing colleagues in UK .

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When they smell money … :smiley:


I’m on the support team for ASTQB, and I’m certain that ISTQB does not require training, nor should any of the member boards require training.

You are allowed to take the ISTQB exam from any country board and you will appear on the ISTQB successful candidate register. The difference may be that if you take your ISTQB through your country board that you’ll get some extras, which is understandable. We give extras to people when they take the ISTQB exam through us (ASTQB) and our exam provider, AT*SQA, such as a free connection to LinkedIn, extra publicity, etc. But there is no requirement to take training.

All of that said, the ISTQB Test Automation Engineering exam is challenging, and a quality course is certainly helpful. However, you are more than welcome to self-study, and I’ve spoken to individuals who have successfully passed that exam after studying on their own. In any case, I wish you the best on your exam!


Thank you @astqb for sharing your view and insights.

I have dropped an email to ISTQB support team asking them to help me out and they assured me to look into this and will contact UKITB and BCS regarding this. ISTQB too felt that the training is not compulsory. They have referred me to the BCS website where it says training is recommended. However, I have shared the BCS support email as well as chat where they say in the website they have recommended however it is mandatory to under fo the training.

Awaiting for ISTQB team to advise the next steps after they have discussed with UKITB and BCS.
Thank you for all your views and support. I will keep this forum updated as and when I hear more on this from ISTQB.


I’ve done that course with QAIQ. The exam isn’t part of the 3 day course, it’s something taken afterwards. For QAIQ they use a commissioned book that takes you through the entire syllabus from end to end. The course being 3 days takes you through what’s needed to pass the exam, it doesn’t cover the entire book.

It tells you what’s important to know and also takes you through many exam questions to get you into the correct ISTQB head space - which may not be how you would actually think.


As it happens, I’ve just been down this rabbit-hole myself, @hari_naidu. While if you click through to BCS, you get sent to various providers who only want to sell you training, if you go through ISQI, you end up here, able to purchase a voucher just for the exam, which though it is priced in dollars, is only valid in the UK.


Thank you @badgersruleok for your view. I agree even with so much of experience in testing when I look into foundation level examination and try to attempt random questions based on real world experience it is incorrect most of the times. Theoretical and work experience knowledge is totally different and sometimes some guidance do definitely help

However my concern was they should have an option to allow people to attempt certifications directly without needing to go through mandatory training. Awaiting for ISTQB to let me know the latest on this

Oh wow, Thank you @darryl . I didn’t explore this site before in detail. I guess I visited iSQI site only once and assumed it to be a site for US testers as the cost was in $.
I will explore this more in next few days.

May I please ask you if I need to book a date before I pay for the exam or can I pay for a voucher and use on a future date

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@hari_naidu You buy the voucher then book the exam afterwards, it takes a few hours for the voucher to come through by email so give it plenty of time :slight_smile:

Make sure you change the language, for some reason as well as showing dollars, it defaults to Spanish, in the UK?! It’s a very odd experience.


Thank you @darryl . I will give it a go :slight_smile:

I have received an email from ISTQB who have confirmed this has been communicated to UKITB . UKITB will be speaking to BCS and I than should be getting a response from UKITB.

ISTQB has re-confirmed there should be an option to undertake certification directly without requiring to undergo mandatory training.

Awaiting for UKITB and BCS to let me know the next steps. Will keep you all posted
Thanks again for all your inputs

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I neglected to add a link, but here is the direct purchase form for ISTQB exams from AT*SQA. You’ll see that it doesn’t require training (or even mention it).


Thank you @astqb. I will look into this as well :slight_smile:

Further update
ISTQB has discussed this with UKITB , who now also have sent me an email confirming training is not mandatory
UKITB has also communicated to me that they will be asking their partner BCS to follow the ISTQB guideline and make this course non-mandatory for training

It finally seems to be getting sorted. Thank you again for all your help
Keep you all posted

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