What is the difference between ISTQB Certification and ISEB/BCS Certification and CTFL Certification?

One commonly asked question is what is the difference between ISTQB certification and ISEB certification? What is BCS? What is CTFL. With so many acronyms and terms associated with the ISTQB certification exam it is easy for new candidates to get confused between them. The below points will clearly answer any questions you may have and eliminate the confusion surrounding these topics.

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  • ISTQB is a non-profit organization that has defined and standardized qualifications for software testers through its certifications. These certifications are popularly called as ISTQB Certifications. ISTQB has Member Boards that represent and offer the ISTQB exam in their respective countries. Ex. Indian Testing Board (ITB) offers ISTQB exams in India, United Kingdom Testing Board (UKTB) offers exams in UK etc.
  • The first certification that a candidate can take up from ISTQB is called as the ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL). There are other certifications in the Foundation level and other advanced certifications from ISTQB but the CTFL is the most popular certification and the first certification that candidates take up before any other certification.
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  • ISEB is Information System Examination Board (which is now known as BCSBritish Computer Society) which helps in conducting the examinations like ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) Certification.
  • ISEB/BCS is an exam provider and not a certification board. ISEB/BCS also conducts other exams/certifications like ITIL, Business Analyst exams etc other than ISTQB Foundation, Advanced level certifications.
  • ISEB/BCS has been appointed by the United Kingdom Testing Board (UKTB) to conduct ISTQB exams in UK, Netherlands and Belgium. This means that you can take the ISTQB exam at a BCS/ISEB test center in UK. However BCS also conducts the exam through its affiliates Pearson Vue and Prometric.
  • You can take the ISTQB exam from Pearson Vue or Prometric from any city in the world where they have a local test center. The certificate issued will contain a BCS logo along with the ISTQB logo and will be issued by the United Kingdom Testing Board (UKTB).
  • ISTQB Certificate issued by ITB, ANZTB, ASTQB, CSTB, UKTB etc. are equivalent to each other and have the same value. These are just different names of the member boards depending upon the different countries they are in. Just like ASTQB is the member board for USA for ISTQB certification, similarly Indian Testing Board (ITB) is the member board for India and UKTB is the testing Board for UK, ANZTB is the testing board for Australia and New Zealand etc. Only the board names are different but the course content, syllabus, question pattern, passing marks, number of questions in exam and duration of exam all are same.