This page outlines the QGIS Certification Program.


The goal of the certification program is to provide a unified, standardised system for certification of users and developers of QGIS.


As QGIS gains in popularity, more and more people are attending training courses for QGIS and receiving certificates of course completion from the organisation that presented the course. However, before the inception of this certification program, there was no oversight of such training and certification from the QGIS project itself, leaving room for 'cowboy vendors' to provide substandard training, and also limiting the ingress we would make into government and corporate training schedules.


12.02.2015 IRC log

  • prepare survey for potential collaborators
  • prepare survey for potential users

How will / does it work?

The program provides a tiered system of certification, with each level only being accessible to those who have completed the underlying levels. A typical workflow will be:

  • Person attends a training course conducted by a certified trainer or by self study
  • Person attends a certification center where they complete an online test comprised of e.g. 50 multiple choice questions selected randomly from a pool of e.g. 500 questions. The test requires the user to perform an action in QGIS (running locally using standardised datasets) and then choose the correct answer based on the result they get in QGIS.
  • On successful completion of the test, a certificate is generated (pdf) presigned by Gary Sherman (PSC Chair) and then printed out and signed by the local examiner office. Each certificate issued is allocated a globally unique number.
  • On completion of one level of certification the user is eligible to sit exams for the subsequent level.

-> see questions and reflexions below


The Certification is currently in its inception phase.


  • Create mockups of certificates.
  • Define curricula for entry level courses.
  • June 2011 : Formalise and document plans for the certification program.
  • July 2011 : Start grandfather period for QGIS Trainer Certificate holders.
  • August 2011 : Start building django app to manage certifications.
  • October 2011 : End grandfather period.


  • Create a 'grandfather period' of 2 or 3 months and put out a call for applications for people to apply to the PSC for de facto certification.
  • Establish certification levels and which levels can be grandfathered e.g.
    • QGIS User (no)
    • QGIS Professional (no)
    • QGIS Trainer (yes)
    • QGIS Developer (yes)
    • QGIS Examination Center (no)
  • Establish under which criteria people should be grandfathered in e.g. for certified trainer it may be 2 or more of:
    • developer status / svn committer (including documenters)
    • translator status
    • track record of providing QGIS based training
    • period of using QGIS not less than 3 years
    • etc.
  • Evaluate applications and grandfather in those who meet the criteria
  • Issue certificate numbers to the bootstrap group (e.g. reserve 1-50 for this purpose)
  • Design official certificates with Gary's signature on the digital master
  • Initially just manually add issue details to a wiki page in a table somewhere while we get an automated system in place


Reflexions and questions

Vincent Picavet's advice to the process and responsibilities for certification :

  • The Certification Authority should be an independent, non-profit org, either
    OSGeo, or QGIS association
  • The certification platform should be under the CA responsibility but its
    operation be contracted to a private org after an open tender bid. The
    platform operator should not be allowed to give training.
  • The exam content should be under the responsibility of the CA, but it could
    be initially contracted to a private org after an open tender bid [1]
  • There should be an open process to apply as a "certified trainer", allowing
    to advertise "certification training" and invigilate exams
  • Certification should have either a fixed cost, or a cost relative to the
    GNP/mean salary of the country of origin of the trainee [2]

[1] I would rather have an open collective process to build the exams, but
could be harder to setup.
[2] I would prefer the second option


  • do we want "certified trainers" or "certified training companies" ?
  • What would be the pricing and business model ?

References and external resources

Done.png (481 Bytes) Redmine Admin, 2011-11-23 04:44 PM

Certificate-template1.jpg (114 KB) Redmine Admin, 2011-11-23 04:44 PM

12.02.2015-IRC.log Magnifier (21.1 KB) Robert Szczepanek, 2015-02-12 08:35 AM