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The CPSA®-
Foundation Level


The CPSA-Foundation Level (CPSA‑F®) conveys the ability in a team to design and document an appro­priate software architecture, to assure and evaluate quality, and to know the necessary tools, all that for properly described requirements and systems up to a medium size. Parti­ci­pants receive profes­sional tools to success­fully implement software archi­tec­tures and optimally design modern systems.

Certification as CPSA‑F® is a valuable seal of approval for an inter­na­tio­nally recognized training standard in software architecture and offers many advan­tages for profes­sional development.


Contents of the Foundation Level


The concept and meaning of software architecture


Tasks and respon­si­bility for you as a software architect


Your role as a software architect in projects 


State-of-the-art methods and techniques for the develo­pment of software architectures

Build up your Skills

Training at Foundation Level provides the following skills 


How you can coordinate essential software architecture decisions with other project parti­ci­pants from the fields of requirements management, project management, testing, and development.


How you can document and commu­nicate software archi­tec­tures based on architecture patterns and technical concepts.


How you can independently carry out the essential steps in designing software archi­tec­tures for small and medium-sized systems.

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

How does iSAQB compliment TOGAF?

Alongside the TOGAF training, the CPSA program rates highly in companies inter­na­tio­nally. Compared to the TOGAF training, the CPSA program generally places more emphasis on the practical imple­men­tation of IT systems.

How is the curri­culum at CPSA Foundation Level being developed further? Is it possible to take part in the develo­pment process?

Within the iSAQB, the Foundation Level working group is committed to further develo­pment and updating of the CPSA Foundation Level curri­culum. Together, the experts of the working group contribute sugges­tions for impro­vement and evaluate change notices, which all interested parties can post as “GitHub Issues” in the public repository at Each release cycle is two years. Changes in the curricula usually affect existing training courses of training providers as well as the current exam questions. All training providers and licensed certi­fying bodies will be notified of any changes well in advance of the release of a new curriculum.

I have lost my certi­ficate. Can it be reissued?

If your certi­ficate has been lost, you can contact the certification body that took your exam or the iSAQB. Generally, you can request a copy of your certi­ficate within 10 years after the date of the exam.

May I call myself “Software Architect” after passing the exam?

The CPSA certification is not a vocational quali­fi­cation, but a proof of knowledge in the field of software architecture. The iSAQB is not entitled to award vocational quali­fi­ca­tions, so we propose you call yourself “Certified Profes­sional for Software Architecture by iSAQB” after passing the exam.
In Germany it is unclear if it is legally allowed to call oneself “Software Architect”. We recommend you inform yourself about the laws regarding the vocational quali­fi­ca­tions in your country.

What does the Foundation Level curri­culum include?

The CPSA‑F (Foundation Level) consists of the following parts:

  1. Basics of software architecture, role and task of software architects
  2. Description and commu­ni­cation of software architectures
  3. Design and develo­pment of software architecture
  4. Architecture and quality
  5. Tools for software architects
  6. Examples of software architectures


Part 1–5 are relevant to the CPSA‑F certification exam.

The detailed learning content and learning objectives can be found in the official curri­culum, here online or for download.

Which requirements must I fulfil to access Foundation Level certification?

Parti­ci­pants should have the following knowledge and/or experience:

  • At least 18 months of practical experience in software develo­pment, acquired by programming various projects or systems outside of education.
  • Knowledge of and practical experience in at least one higher programming language.
  • Basics of modelling and abstraction.
  • Basics of UML (class, package, component and sequence diagrams) and their relation to source code.
  • Practical experience in technical documen­tation, especially in the documen­tation of source code, system designs or technical concepts.

Helpful for the under­standing of some concepts are also:

  • Knowledge of object orientation
  • Practical experience in at least one object-oriented programming language
  • Practical experience in the design and imple­men­tation of distri­buted appli­ca­tions, such as client/server systems or web applications


We consider it useful to prepare for the CPSA‑F exam by attending an accredited training course – but in general you can also take a CPSA‑F exam without training.

Who may offer and conduct CPSA Foundation Level training?

In order to be able to offer and conduct training courses, an accredi­tation by the iSAQB is required. That means that training providers commit themselves to the accredi­tation condi­tions of the iSAQB. For more details, please see our accredi­tation info page.


Curri­culum Foundation Level

Curri­culum for the Foundation Level with all learning goals and terms for the individual chapters.

English Version [pdf]

Deutsche Version [pdf]

Versione Italiana [pdf]

Versión en Español [pdf]

Foundation Level – Exami­nation Rules

This document contains the general rules for a CPSA Foundation Level exami­nation. It provides information on duration, types of questions, scoring, privacy and confi­den­tiality agree­ments, and examples are provided.

English Version [pdf]

Deutsche Version [pdf]

Versión en Español [pdf]

Versione Italiana [pdf]

Foundation Level – Mock Exam Answers

This file contains the solutions to the questions from the Foundation Level mock exam.

English Version [pdf]

Foundation Level – Mock Exam Questions

The Foundation Level mock exam contains 39 questions and is based on the real exam.

English Version [pdf]

Foundation Level Info Brochure

Info brochure with general information about the CPSA Foundation Level.

English Version [pdf]

Deutsche Version [pdf]

General Info Brochure

Info brochure with general information about the iSAQB and CPSA certifications.

English Version [pdf]

Deutsche Version [pdf]

Glossary of Software Architecture Termi­nology

This document provides trans­la­tions of terms between English and the respective language. The English version also contains explana­tions for the single terms.

English Version [pdf]

Deutsche Version [pdf]

Versión en Español [pdf]

Versione Italiana [pdf]

Glossário de termi­no­logia de Software Architecture [pdf]

Industry Excellence

All CPSA® training courses are conducted by iSAQB® Accredited Trainers and Training Providers. Profit from these excellent iSAQB partners!

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