The Certified Manager of Software Quality (CMSQ) certification establishes a worldwide standard for the assessment of the capabilities and competencies of software quality assurance professionals that are working at, or soon will work at the software quality assurance management level.

Acquiring the designation of Certified Manager of Software Quality (CMSQ) indicates a level of professional competence in both the principles and practices of software quality assurance, demonstrating the skills and capabilities necessary to manage the software quality assurance function. CMSQ certification provides IT upper management a necessary tool to predict the likelihood of success of individuals applying for management level positions. The CMSQ certification provides the IT professional with an objective assessment of their management skills.


Examination Availability: (CMSQ)

With the move to Pearson VUE Testing Centers as its partner for the administration of certification examinations worldwide there will no longer be a fixed schedule posted with dates / locations as in previous year.

Exams are offered daily at Pearson VUE Testing Centers and seats for the exams are based on availability at each site which depends on when you are planning to schedule an exam. The farther out you attempt to schedule an exam the better the chances are of finding a seat so plan accordingly.

As a general rule most Pearson VUE Testing Centers are open Monday – Friday, however in some locations that may vary. The majority of test centers are open in the morning and late afternoon and a handful have opted to stay open on the weekends.

Waiting until the last minute to try and schedule an exam is not recommended, especially if your application is about to expire as there is no guarantee you will be able to find a seat at a center before the application does expires. If you are unsure of the application expiration status email


Applicant Prerequisites: (CMSQ)

To qualify for candidacy, each applicant must:

  • Currently hold an active CSQA Certification (recommended, but not required).
  • Be working in the field covered by the certification designation.
  • Be prepared to take the required manager’s level examination.

AND meet one of the following three prerequisites:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from accredited college-level institution & 4 years experience in the software quality assurance field
  2. An associate degree & 6 years experience in the software quality assurance field
  3. Eight years of experience in the software quality assurance field.

An applicant for certification must adhere to the Code of Ethics that outlines the ethical behaviors expected of all certified professionals by the ISCB.

Depending upon a compliance sample selected according to program criteria, the applicant may be required to provide upon request detailed education, employment, and reference documentation supporting the information entered in the Customer Portal during the application process. If selected the applicant must supply the required documentation and those who fail to provide the requested documentation may be subject to decertification.


Initial Application & Fee: (CMSQ)

For those who qualify for the CMSQ certification and are prepared to establish candidacy must complete an online Certification Candidacy Application in the Customer Portal and pay the application fee.

The CMSQ application fee is:

The application fee includes the following:

  • Instant access to a PDF file of the Software Quality CBOK (551 pages) which is a useful tool to help prepare for the exam. After payment go to the CBOK Manuals page of Customer Portal for access.
  • The candidates Initial Exam which must be taken within one year from the date payment was processed or the application will expire (see Application Length).

To apply for the CMSQ certification candidates must first login to their Customer Portal account. If new to the Portal then they will need to create one by clicking on the Register Now link, and then the Register as a New User tab.

Make sure the first / last names entered when creating an account matches what is on your government issued photo ID (i.e. drivers license, passport). DO NOT abbreviate or use a nickname. If they do not match when presenting your ID at check-in you will NOT be granted entrance to the examination.

Examination Details: (CMSQ)

The examination itself consist of two parts – constructed response (essay) questions. The exam tests the candidate’s practical knowledge in the following four areas:

  • Quality Leadership
  • The Quality Assurance Function
  • Quality Planning and Execution
  • Communications and Relationships
  1. Part 1 – Constructed response / essay (6 questions each – subjective / 75 minute time limit).
  2. Part 2 – Constructed response / essay (6 questions each – subjective / 75 minute time limit).

There is a total of 12 questions and the exam will take over 2 1/2 hours to complete which includes an optional 10 minute break after part one. The passing mark is 70% which is the average score of both parts.

All exams at Pearson VUE Testing Centers are computer-based.


Exam Scheduling: (CMSQ)

For details on how to schedule a CMSQ exam visit the Examination Scheduling information page.

You will also find details and instructions on how complete various things with Pearson VUE such as Locating a Testing Center, Scheduling, Confirming Appointments, Rescheduling / Cancelling a Scheduled Examination, Admission Policy, and much more.

If you have any questions please feel free to email us at