Certified SNAP Practitioner (CSS/CSP)

IFPUG currently has two levels of certification related to SNAP: Certified SNAP Specialist (CSS) and Certified SNAP Practitioner (CSP). 

The CSS certification was introduced in 2023 as the new standard for Software Non-functional Assessment Process (SNAP) expertise and recognizes individuals who have mastered the SNAP method. 

The CSS designation indicates that the accredited individual, by passing a rigorous exam and achieving a score of 90% or better, has displayed the fundamentals of SNAP at a significant depth. 

The CSP designation recognizes the initial level of knowledge and skills in the SNAP. T

he CSP designation will be granted if the individual scores at least 80% overall correct with at least 70% correct on each section of the Certification Exam.

Taking the SNAP Certification Examination

The new SNAP Certification Exam for CSS is available now in English.

Additional information about the new SNAP certification exam will be posted here shortly. For more details, contact [email protected]

The certification, registration, result and certificate will be delivered by IFPUG’s Certification partner Brightest. Currently the CSP Certification Examination is delivered in the following languages:

Exams can be taken at any of the 5200+ Pearson VUE Test Centers or even in your own home via the OnVUE software: https://home.pearsonvue.com/brightest. For more information about exam options, never hesitate to contact the Brightest team via [email protected], or us via [email protected].

CSP Exam Overview


This section is intended as an overview of the background and policies surrounding the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG) Certified SNAP Practitioner (CSP) Exam.

As the use of Software Non-functional Assessment Process (SNAP) continues to grow, it is essential that individuals with an initial level of knowledge and skills be recognized. The CSP designation is a formal recognition of an initial level of expertise in the area of SNAP, both knowledge and application of the IFPUG counting rules according to the IFPUG Assessment Practices Manual (APM).

The dictionary defines the word certify as: 1. a. To confirm formally as true, accurate, or genuine; testify to or vouch for in writing. b. To guarantee as meeting a standard; attest. In order to formally confirm this initial level of expertise, IFPUG chartered the Certification Committee (CC) to develop and administer the CSP Exam. This examination is the mechanism for certifying that an individual meets the requirements to qualify as a CSP.

An individual who passes the CSP Exam receives a formal certificate from the IFPUG Office stating “IFPUG certifies that [name] has met the requirements as specified by the standards and guidelines of the International Function Point Users Group to qualify as a Certified SNAP Practitioner (CSP) for the [version/series] of the Assessment Practices Manual.” The certificate indicates the Month and Year the exam was taken, as well as the Month and Year the certification expires and the membership expiration date. The CSP Certificate will be valid for a period of three (3) years provided the individual who has been certified remains an IFPUG Member. An individual may remain certified by taking the CSP exam in the third year of certification.

The CSP Exam is a test of both the knowledge of the counting rules laid out in the current release of the APM and the ability to apply those rules.

The CSP exam consists of two sections: Definition and Implementation. Definition questions are scored at 1 point for each question. Implementation questions are scored at 2 points for each question.

A successful exam includes the following:

  1. Candidate will have at least an 80% overall score, including both the Definition and Implementation sections

    Calculation: (Definition questions correctly answered x 1 point) + (Implementation questions correctly answered x 2 points) / 140 total possible points = exam score


  2. Candidate will have at least a 70% score on the Definition section

    Calculation: total number of correctly answered questions / total number of questions (60) = Definition section score


  3. Candidate will have at least a 70% score on the Implementation section

    Calculation: total number of correctly answered questions / total number of questions (40) = Implementation section score

The IFPUG APM is the guiding body of knowledge for developing the CSP Exam. As one of the IFPUG Counting Standards committees, the IFPUG CC is subject to rulings of the IFPUG Board of Directors, ensuring the integrity and credibility of the CSP Exam.

Download the Latest IFPUG Assessment Practices Manual (APM) Release

The primary objectives of the IFPUG APM are:

  • Provide a clear and detailed description of Non-functional Assessment;
  • Ensure that assessments are consistent;
  • Provide guidance to allow a non-functional assessment to be applied to popular methodologies and techniques; and
  • Provide a common understanding to allow tool vendors to provide automated support for non-functional assessment.

Available in English and Portuguese

Industry Value

As companies use SNAP more and more in their software development measurement programs, IFPUG, as the body who certifies an individual’s capability, must make certain that the certified individual does indeed have the required expertise. Therefore, ongoing renewal that includes active testing is required to maintain the current high status of the CSP designation and to maintain IFPUG’s reputation as the certifying body.

Exam Structure

The exam is structured so that both the knowledge and the ability to apply the definitions and rules as published in the current APM are tested. The two-hour exam currently is composed of two sections: Definition and Implementation.

  • The Definition section consists of 60 multiple-choice questions. The Definition section specifically tests the individual’s knowledge of definitions and rules.
  • The Implementation section consists of 40 multiple-choice questions. The Implementation section indirectly tests the individual’s knowledge of definitions and rules, and directly tests the individual’s ability to apply the definitions and rules through small story problems.

The exam is open book and a copy of the APM may be used during the exam. The exam is designed to not allow more than a few questions to be looked up during the exam. The candidate should prepare as though they will not have time to look up any questions. The IFPUG SNAP (or is it APM) Quick Reference Guide may be used during the exam but the APM will be the official reference in case of any discrepancies between the Quick Reference Guide and the APM.

Download the APM Quick Reference Guide (QRG)

The QRG features key information from the IFPUG Assessment Practices Manual (APM) condensed into one easy page. This is a must-have resource for individuals pursuing their CSP certification.

Available in English, Portuguese and Spanish

The proctor will allow a maximum of two (2) consecutive hours to complete the CSP exam. There will be no scheduled breaks during the two (2) hours.

The exam is created in English. However, bi-lingual SNAP knowledgeable IFPUG members will be used to work with the CC to translate the exam to other languages. The APM must be available in a language a minimum of 6 months prior to having a CSP Exam available in that language. As stated previously, the purpose of the exam is to test the candidate’s knowledge and his/her ability to apply that knowledge.

The purpose is not to test the candidate’s language skills. For that reason, if a participant is taking the SNAP exam in a language that is not their native language, and is not one of the primary business languages of the country, they may request an additional fifteen (15) minutes of exam time. Time extension requests must be made prior to the start of the exam, and are granted at the sole discretion of the proctor. Note: Time extensions are made on a person-by-person basis and are not to be given to all participants.

The CSP Exam Day Rules must be read out loud to all participants prior to the start of the exam. The rules must be available in English and the language of the majority of the exam participants. For example, when the CSP Exam is given in Brazil the rules will be read in Brasilian Portuguese even if there are individuals who will be taking the exam in English. The English Exam Day Rules will be made available to those taking the exam in English. The proctor should be aware of the language that the exams will be given in and ensure that the participants have access to the Exam Day Rules in the language that the participant will be taking the exam.

Proctors will be provided copies of the Exam Day Rules by the Certification Committee at the time the CSP Exam Request is approved by the Certification Committee. Proctors may contact the Certification Committee at [email protected] to ask any questions or clarify rules at any time prior to the day of the exam.

Proctors must be members of the Certification Committee, an IFPUG Board member, or a CSP with at least 1 year left on their certification. They may not work for a company that sells Function Point Analysis, SNAP or Software Measurement Services to other companies, commonly known as IFPUG Partners, unless they are an IFPUG Board member. Proctors must also be IFPUG members.

It is the CC’s policy to review all comments that individuals record on their exam answer sheet, and to give credit whenever a comment supports the given answer.

The successful CSP candidate must have at least 70% in each section and 80% overall score.

The CSP certificate is valid for three years from the time the exam was passed. Candidates who do not pass may re-take the exam at any time, provided at least 14 days have passed from the prior sitting.

Exam Feedback Policy

Feedback is provided to all candidates who sit for the exam. For successful candidates the feedback is a letter from the IFPUG office plus the CSP certificate. For candidates who do not pass, the feedback is a letter from the IFPUG office plus exam percentages by section. These percentages give a general indication of areas requiring additional study before sitting again.

The IFPUG Certification Committee does not provide any lower level of feedback detail to anyone, either topical or specific content. Key testing topics remain consistent from one exam version to the next. Also, some specific questions may be reused from one Exam version to the next. There is the possibility that questions missed by a candidate on one exam may be on the next version of the exam. To review these questions with a candidate would be unfair to others taking the exam.

Helpful Hints

The following general and/or anecdotal observations may be helpful to candidates preparing for the exam:

  • If you have not been counting SNAP points regularly within the last six months, make an effort to do as many real or practice counts as possible – without the aid of a counting tool. Most people find that counting skills and mechanics tend to slow and weaken without regular use.
  • The CSP Exam is designed to be passed by those candidates who have practical experience in using SNAP. Candidates taking the introduction class should not expect to be able to pass the exam based on taking the class only.
  • Check your answer sheet carefully before returning it to the proctor. There have been many instances where people have left questions with no answer marked or selected, which must be therefore be counted as an incorrect answer.
  • Some people have made “flash cards” by reviewing the APM and writing definitions, rules, etc. on index cards. They reviewed the “flash cards” whenever they had a few free moments – a break during a meeting, sitting in a traffic jam, waiting for the washing machine to finish the spin cycle. They indicated that this technique helped their confidence and recall, as well as their time management during other certification exams.

Exam Day Rules

Special care should be taken to completely read and follow all CSP examination instructions. The Proctors can only answer questions about the instructions, where and how to show your work, etc. Exam Day Rules are read before every Exam session, whether at a conference, workshop or regional location:

CSP Regional Exams

Before scheduling a Regional CFPS Exam, be sure to read the CEP Regional Exam Rules below.

IFPUG SNAP CSP Regional Request Form & Examinations Rules and Responsibilities

The Certification Examination Overview and Guideline contains all information about the concept of the certification as well as how to register for the certification exam.

For a given region, if the Brightest Private Certification Examination is available, then it is the preferred form examination. If a special candidate group wishes to have a regional Brightest Green or Brightest Center examination on site, then the Certification Committee will occasionally approve this together with Brightest. Please contact [email protected] for a special request.

The cost of an IFPUG SNAP CSP regional exam is $175.00. Some regional exam hosts may charge an additional fee in order to cover the costs of hosting the exam. Additional fees will not be collected by IFPUG.

Interested in taking a scheduled SNAP CSP Regional Exam?

CSS Certification Extension Program


Continued Certified SNAP Specialist (CSS) certification can be achieved through reexamination every three (3) years. The CSS Certification Extension program provides an alternative to the reexamination. Before their current certification expires, individuals may extend their current level of CSS certification for up to three (3) years in one (1) year increments by completing cumulative activities in a minimum of one (1) and a maximum of three (3) Activity Categories (as defined later).


Individuals may extend their current level of CSS certification for up to three (3) years in one (1) year increments by completing multiple occurrences within a given Activity Category with a minimum of one (1) and a maximum of three (3) occurrences.

The only limitation in the number of extensions an individual may obtain is the release of a major change in the Assessment Practices Manual (as defined later).

The CSS Certification Extension program is under the jurisdiction of the IFPUG Certification Committee, with oversight provided by the IFPUG Board of Directors (BOD). It is the Committee’s responsibility to consider suggestions from the members and to ensure that the CSS Certification Extension program remains current in adapting to the ever-changing metrics environment.

The IFPUG Board of Directors reserves the right to discontinue the CSS Certification Extension program at any time, without advance notice. CSS Certification Extension program applications postmarked prior to the discontinuance will be evaluated under the current program rules; applications postmarked after the discontinuance will not be evaluated.

Extension Availability

In order to obtain a CSS Certification Extension an individual must hold a CSS designation in the most current Major Change (see 2.4.2) of the IFPUG Assessment Practices Manual (APM). In addition, BOTH the Activity-Credit Criteria described in Section 2.2 must be met AND a valid extension option from the Options for CSS Certification Extension described in Section 2.4 must be available.

An individual who is applying for a CSS Certification Extension must ensure that his/her application and supporting documentation arrives at the IFPUG Office or is postmarked 30 calendar days prior to his/her CSS expiration date. Applications received or postmarked less than 30 days prior to his/her CSS expiration date will be charged a $100 late fee.

Because of the 30-day lead-time required to validate and audit each application, it is possible that an individual will not have completed 100% of his/her planned Activities prior to the submission deadline. The individual must identify on his/her application the remaining planned Activity(ies) and provide supporting documentation upon completion of the Activity(ies).

Conference presentations attended during the same week that an individual sits for the CSS exam may be applied to his/her next extension period, assuming a successful exam. All materials submitted as part of the CSS Certification Extension application process will be retained by the IFPUG Office unless otherwise noted.

Activity-Credit Criteria

In order to qualify for a CSS Certification Extension, individuals must meet the Activity-Credit criteria described below.

1. Individuals may accumulate Certification Extension Activities (CEA) from any of the Activities listed in the Activity-Credit Table.

2. Individuals must accumulate a minimum of 1 activity and must not exceed 3 activities in the defined eligibility period.


Individuals must accumulate a minimum of 1 occurrence in a given activity and must not exceed 3 occurrences in a given activity in the defined eligibility period.

3. Individuals are not required to accumulate CEA from any particular Activity.

4. All CSS Certification Extension application and supporting documentation submitted must be in English.

5. The eligibility period for accumulating CEA credit is three years prior to the expiration of an individual’s CSS Certification.

  1. During the subsequent eligibility period, an individual can accumulate sufficient CEA credit to have their CSS certification extended by one (1), two (2) or three (3) years based on the number of CEA.
  2. Activities completed prior the subsequent eligibility period will not be considered for CEA Credit.
    EXAMPLE – If a CSS received a two year Certification Extension by way of the Certification Extension Program, that CSS would have the two years prior to latest CSS expiration date to accumulate sufficient CEA Credit to have their CSS certification extended for a further length of time (1, 2, or 3 years). Any CEA activities completed prior to that two year period would be ineligible for CEA Credit consideration.
Validation and Audit

Each Activity listed in the Activity-Credit Table has Basic Validation and Audit criteria associated with it. All Basic Validation tasks for a given Activity will be performed every time an applicant applies for credit in that Activity. In addition, Audit tasks for any Activity may be performed at random or at the discretion of the Certification Committee for any application. See section 3.2 for Basic Validation and Audit criteria for each Activity.

Multiple individuals may be involved in reviewing an applicant’s CEA documentation. No individual may in any way be involved in reviewing his/her own CEA documentation.

Options for CSS Certification Extension

Take the Current CSS Exam
An individual may take the current CSS exam to continue his/her CSS Certification (become “recertified”). This option eliminates the requirement for any additional education, experience or training classes for that individual. The CSS expiration date is based solely on the date the individual passed the current CSS exam.

Major Change to the Assessment Practices Manual (APM)
If there is a Major Change to the APM, an individual will be required to take the current CSS Exam reflecting the Major Change to become certified (“re-certified”) under the new Major Change version of the APM.

A Major Change is generally defined as a “substantial change” to the APM that warrants a version change to the next X.0 (e.g.; 2.0 to 3.0) version designation. The version number is updated as recommended by the Non-Functional Sizing Standards Practices Committee (NFSSC) with IFPUG BOD approval.

A caveat to the CSS Certification Extensions is that an individual will only be allowed to obtain one CSS Certification Extension if a Major Change occurs during their current CSS Certification. The extension of this scenario would extend their current level of certification and would not provide the individual with certification at the new Major Change level.

Minor change to APM OR No change to APM

An individual must accumulate CEC from the Activity-Credit List. The CEC must be accumulated before the current CSS Certification expires. The accumulation of CEC would “extend” an individual’s CSS Certification for a period of up to three years.

Activity-Credit Table

The following table identifies the Activities that may be used for Certification Extension Activity credit.

Attend an IFPUG SNAP Counting Webinar that is CEA eligible
Attend an IFPUG Affiliate SNAP Counting Webinar that is CEA eligible

1 Year Extension per documented occurrence

Present one SNAP Counting Webinar CEA eligible presentation at an IFPUG Conference
Present one SNAP Counting Webinar CEA eligible presentation at an IFPUG
Affiliate Conference
1 Year Extension per documented occurrence
Perform 10 CEA eligible SNAP counts 1 Year Extension per documented occurrence
Author/co-author two CEA eligible SNAP counting white papers or articles 1 Year Extension per documented occurrence
Participate on the IFPUG Non-Functional Sizing Standards Committee or Certification Committee 1 Year Extension For Each Year Of Service
Webinar Eligible for Certification Extension Activity Credit
Listed below are the only conferences eligible for certification extension credits since 2023.
SNAP Counting Webinar Name

Webinar Date

Zero Function Point Projects

May 5, 2023

CSS Certification Extension Program Submission Forms

CSS Certification Extension Application

CSS Certification Extension Program Application

Questions?Please reach out to Certification Committee at [email protected] with questions about webinars and certification extension activity eligibility.