ISTQB® Certified Tester Expert Level

Who is Expert in Testing?

An expert is a person with the special skills and knowledge representing mastery of a particular testing subject. Being a testing expert means possessing and displaying special skills and knowledge derived from training and experience and being able to apply that knowledge in real-life situations.

A testing expert is one that combines a broad understanding of testing in general with an in-depth understanding in a special test area. An in-depth understanding means sufficient knowledge of testing theory and practice to be able to influence the direction that an organization and/or project takes when creating, implementing and executing testing activities related to the special area.

Why the Expert Level is required?

The Expert Level extends the knowledge and experience obtained at the Advanced Level by providing in-depth, practically-oriented certifications in a range of different testing subjects. Expert-level courses are built basing on knowledge and experience gained on the basis of the Advanced level.

The general description of the Expert Level is available for download here. Please note that all materials on the Expert Level are now under development.

Focus on practical application

Each certification program determines the knowledge of an expert in a particular subject area. The content is supported by the precise goals of training, which emphasise the high expectations from the expert in testing.

At least 50% of the course is practical exercises and discussions.

Expert Level Modules

The Expert Level currently has two modules:

Further modules will be added in the future.

Achieving Expert Level

Criteria are set to ensure good and consistent quality of the Expert Level.

To obtain Expert Level certification, candidates must have:

  • the Foundation Certificate
  • an Advanced Certificate depending on the Expert Module desired (or equivalent ISEB Practitioner certificate).
  • passed the Expert Level Exam
  • at least 5 years of practical testing experience
  • at least 2 years of industry experience in the specific Expert Level topic

Note that the experience criteria may also be attained after taking the exam. It is recommended, however, that the candidate has gained this practical experience before taking the exam. If a non-public exam is to be taken, completion of Expert Level course is mandatory.


Training Courses

The recommended training terms vary, but should last at least 5 days. Each Training Program defines the topics needed for learning and provides practical exercises.

The course does not have to be continuous. The size of the group is limited to 10 students.

Description of the course of preparation for the certificate of the Expert level: download.


The exam is aimed not only at identifying knowledge, but also in defining practical skills. The exam contains questions with multiple answers and questions-essays. Questions-essays suggest looking at the applicant for a certain topic from different points of view, compare them and draw conclusions. Specific rules will be described in detail in the relevant Program. In principle, you can pass the exam without first attending the courses.

The duration of the exam is at least 3 hours. The smaller part of this time is given to questions with several variants of answers, and the most part to questions-essays.

Confirmation of the Expert Level Certificate

Since the receipt of the certificate of the Expert Level, it is valid for 5 years. After this period, the Expert Level must be confirmed. This can be done by retaking the exam or demonstrating the practical activities performed during this period (for example, carrying out appropriate professional testing tasks, attending conferences, writing articles, etc.). The rules and criteria for this confirmation are defined in the Supplement to the Expert Level Certification Program, which is being revised by the ISTQB and will be adapted by the local office (download).