The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA) certification is designed to validate the existence of those qualities and skills in a professional that enable the effective practice of IT architecture. IT Architecture certifications are available for the following disciplines:
- IT/Solution Architecture
- Business Architecture
- Enterprise Architecture
Three levels of certification are available, depending on the length and characteristics of the Architect's experience.
- Level 1: Certified Architect - able to perform as a contributing Architect with assistance/supervision, with a wide range of appropriate skills
- Level 2: Master Certified Architect - able to perform independently as lead Architect, and take responsibility for delivery of solutions
- Level 3: Distinguished Architect - delivering leadership, scope, depth and breadth of impact
There are two different routes to Architect certification, but the certification criteria are the same for both:
- Via Direct Certification: Application is made directly to The Open Group. The Direct route is available to individual practitioners, as well as to Architects working in companies or organizations that do not have an Accredited Certification Program.
- Via Accredited Certification Programs (ACPs): Architects applying for certification via an ACP must be employees of the accredited organization. Application is made through the ACP.
The framework of accreditation and certification is specifically intended to standardize the process and criteria for Architect certification and establish a world-wide foundation for the required skills and experience of professional Architects.