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Open Certified Architect (Open CA)

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The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA) brings value and recognition to Architects and the organizations that employ them

The Open Group Open Certified Architect (Open CA) certification is an independent global certification for qualifying the skills, knowledge, and experience of Solution, Business, Enterprise and Digital Architects. Accepted and applicable worldwide, Open CA boasts more than 5,000 certified professionals from 180 companies in more than 60 countries worldwide.

The program requires applicants to demonstrate skills and experience against a set of conformance requirements through written applications and peer interviews. There are no training courses to attend and no written exams to complete.

Open CA certification is:

  • The most trusted independent benchmark for validating a Business, Digital, Enterprise and Solution Architect’s skills and experience
  • A distinctive, peer-reviewed, vendor-neutral, globally recognized, portable credential
  • Used by the world’s leading enterprises as an objective measure of capabilities
  • A proven guide for filling critical roles and responsibilities
  • An outstanding career move

Open Certified Architect consists of four specializations, all available at Certified, Master Certified and Distinguished levels:


Business Architect

Today, Business Architecture is shaping and fostering enterprise transformation initiatives and continuous improvement throughout companies of all sizes. The need to have competent Business Architects is a high priority in both the developed and emerging markets and the demand for Business Architects currently exceeds the supply.

The Business Architecture stream in The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA) profession looks at the role of the Business Architect and the competencies needed to perform that role.


Digital Architect

A digital architect designs business processes to improve customer experience, increase profitability, and improve competitive position. Digital architects typically focus on a combination of the following:

  • customer experience
  • cloud and web technologies and solutions
  • data science and analytics
  • business, application, information, and technology architectures

Enterprise Architect

An EA connects an organization’s business mission, methodology and processes to its IT strategy and documentation with the help of an array of architectural models, or views, which provide a picture of how an organization's existing and future requirements may be accomplished in an effective, agile, sustainable and flexible manner.

An enterprise architect works closely with stakeholders, including management and subject matter experts (SME), to develop a view of an organization's strategy, information, processes and IT assets. An EA is responsible for using this knowledge to ensure IT and business alignment.


Solution Architect

Solution architecture is a practice of designing, describing, and managing the solution engineering in relation to specific business problems. Solution architects are responsible for leading the practice and introducing the overall technical vision for a particular solution.


Why become an Open Certified Architect?

Here, Paul Homan, CTO for Industrial Sector, IBM UK&I discusses his personal experiences from The Open CA certification.



  • A Stepwise Path to Certification

    Certification is awarded through experience-based profile assessment against a set of conformance requirements by recognized industry experts within their appropriate field, so no course to attend and no examination is required.


    Certification is broken down into three stages – this allows candidates to manage their certification at a pace that is most suitable to themselves and start to show evidence for their expertise more quickly:


    • Step One - submit five separate Milestones, which are then evaluated independently (Upon successful completion of a Milestone, a Milestone badge is awarded)
    • Step Two - compete the certification application
    • Step Three - attend a board review (Upon successful completion of the board, the full Certification and Certification badge is awarded)Stepwise Path.png


  • Benefits for Individuals

    For individuals, The Open Professions certification represents an ideal mechanism for demonstrating knowledge, success and overall business capabilities. Open CA certification can significantly enhance and affirm your professional skills, improve your prospects for rewarding assignments, accelerate career advancement, and result in greater peer recognition.


    Open Professions are regularly at the top of the most in-demand skills in the Foote Partners’ quarterly pay-review reports, with an above-average pay premium for professionals.


    We will continue our active involvement in the ongoing development of TOGAF® and the Open CA program. Open CA, in our view, is tomorrow’s standard architecture certification, akin to what PMI is for the program management community today.”
    Sascha Kuhlman
    Global Lead, Enterprise Architecture Program


  • Benefits for Organizations

    For organizations, Open CA certification provides an independent, global, experience-based benchmark for identifying, assessing and selecting the most qualified individuals for critical roles and responsibilities. Specifying Open CA certified individuals in procurement and project proposals can considerably reduce recruitment time and cost, and result in higher project success rates.

    Open CA certification can help to optimize the staff recruitment and retention process and motivate staff to acquire this widely recognized industry standard to authenticate their skills and experience.

    Organizations can also utilize The Open Group materials to build their own professional certification programs and apply the Open CA certification structure to enhance their own learning and development programs.

    In a marketplace where confidence is a key purchasing factor, suppliers can demonstrate their expertise by showing that they use certified Solution and Enterprise Architects for specific projects. Open CA certification is a powerful competitive differentiator that provides your customers with reliable assurance of the skills and capabilities of your IT professionals and of the quality and interoperability of your products.

    “Credit Suisse’s IT division is required to provide high-quality, innovative and cost-efficient technology solutions to our integrated global bank. In order to achieve our goals, it is critical that we attract and retain the best IT professionals in the market. By following industry best practices, The Open Group has defined an outstanding benchmark for IT Architects and IT specialists, which makes it easier to identify the highly skilled and experienced professionals that Credit Suisse is looking for. In addition, I am very much in favor of The Open Group’s efforts to certify skills and experience, rather than academic qualifications only.”
    Andreas Buzzi
    Head of Software Engineering
    Credit Suisse