I have heard some rumors about a QGIS professional certification program.

I have found some documentation on it at https://hub.qgis.org/wiki/17/Certification but have been unable to find any other articles or web links.

Does anyone know if there is still an effort to provide training and testing for such a certification?

If so how/where would I go about to start the process?

I am in the USA, so any information about a program available either within the United States or available remotely would be especially helpful.

It has been a year and a half since the most thorough answer was submitted. I wonder if there have been any updates?


In brief, No, currently there is no professional certification available for QGIS users.

However, there are several options to consider at this time, the most promising development as of March, 2019 is information I've come across via this blog post from NRGS - "NRGS and QGIS Certification" where the author highlights

all the talk centered around QGIS certification boiled down to two camps: You had your GISP Approach where your portfolio speaks for it’s self. You have a test (IT Certifications) that certify you on an exam. QGIS isn’t an org that can really do either – so they went with option 3 – the community decides who can and can’t be certified. I submitted my class for review and it passed.

ongoing development of a QGIS certification within QGIS organization using Projecta platform to provide this option - Certification programme overview

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The certification platform in Projecta is designed to provide an easy path for projects to be able to issue certification certificates. The system allows a project to approve one or more certification providers. These providers can then set up training centers and course conveners. Course conveners prepare a course and then attendees are assigned to that course. Once the course is completed, certificates get issued by the course convener in digital form. There is the opportunity to charge a fee for each certificate issued. This mechanism can be used to support the parent project.

As a comparison, Esri does provide a technical certification for ArcGIS products.

The link (link is showing up as 404 as of 03/04/2019) you referenced above is the best source I've come across as well that provides a full layout of a "QGIS certificate" details and a certificate template.

How will / does it work?

The program provides a tiered system of certification, with each level only being accessible to those who have completed the underlying levels. A typical workflow will be:

Person attends a training course conducted by a certified trainer or by self study

Person attends a certification center where they complete an online test comprised of e.g. 50 multiple choice questions selected randomly from a pool of e.g. 500 questions. The test requires the user to perform an action in QGIS (running locally using standardised datasets) and then choose the correct answer based on the result they get in QGIS.

On successful completion of the test, a certificate is generated (pdf) presigned by Gary Sherman (PSC Chair) and then printed out and signed by the local examiner office. Each certificate issued is allocated a globally unique number.

On completion of one level of certification the user is eligible to sit exams for the subsequent level.

However, it doesn't appear that it has been finalized at the moment.

Yes, there is continued effort in working towards having a QGIS certificate as there have been meetings periodically discussing how to progress, like (link is showing up as 404 as of 03/04/2019) here and here.

The closest QGIS 'certificate' I found was a 5-sequence course offered by a College in the US - Del Mar College. That offer a certificate in 'Open Source Geospatial Technology'. It was also covered by a GIS content Magazine here

The five courses include:

  1. GST 101—Introduction to Geospatial Technology Using QGIS

  2. GST 102—Spatial Analysis Using QGIS

  3. GST 103—Data Management and Acquisition Using QGIS

  4. GST 104—Cartography Using QGIS and Inkscape

  5. GST 105—Remote Sensing Using QGIS and GRASS The courses are designed to be self-contained complete with all the theory, software instruction, and sample data required to learn at home or office, at your own pace.

They have started with a cohort in 2016 and plan to open enrollment in the Spring of 2017.

Enrollment will be limited to a maximum of 25. If you are interested in joining the first cohort, please contact us. We will be evaluating applicants and selecting the first cohort during October 2016. The first course will begin in fourth quarter of 2016. The next cohort offering will begin in the first quarter of 2017. Email us for more information: fossgeo@gmail.com

Also, in elsewhere I found these programs available:

In British Columbia, Canada there is a program offered by Langara providing a certificate

the curriculum of this program is based on sound principles common to the entire field of GIS, and the classes will be conducted using QGIS

In India, there is a Certificate course in Public Health using QGIS here

  • whyzar, any update you can share? – Kingfisher Jun 5 '18 at 21:03
  • @Kingfisher, just provided an update as fyi, something more promising appears to be available to getting a QGIS certification - changelog.qgis.org/en/qgis/about – whyzar Mar 4 at 14:30

There are plenty of QGIS training providers around the globe:


Some of these are certified. For example in the UK, the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) accredits courses from both:




As alluded to above myself and Phil Davis (Del Mar College) have been working on a new cohort of the GeoAcademy set to begin this spring.

A little background on the GeoAcademy: The GeoAcademy was founded in 2013, when Dr. Phil Davis brought together subject matter experts to author the first ever GIS curriculum based on a national standard, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Geospatial Competency Model (GTCM). The GTCM is a hierarchical model of the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s) needed to be a working GIS professional in today’s marketplace. These KSA’s were vetted by forty U.S. college GIS educators. Since 95% of U.S based colleges and universities use a single vendor's GIS software, it was decided the GeoAcademy should be built using free and open source software (FOSS4G). Over the summer of 2014 the exercises were beta tested on Canvas by over 3,000 students. The first edition of the GeoAcademy was released in September 2014. (The GeoAcademy labs are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.)

Since its development, the GeoAcademy curriculum has been presented at several FOSS4G conferences and is being used by many professors in their GIS programs. An online GeoAcademy MOOC has over 5,000 enrollees. In 2015 the GeoAcademy team was honored to win the Global Educator of the Year Team Award by GeoForAll.

We have also been discussing a QGIS certification as part of this cohort with Tim Sutton (QGIS PSC Chair). The initial proposal is to have QGIS host a Certification page similar to the Commercial support page. It would list all certification providers. Each provider would need to be approved by the PSC or a certification team lead. This proposal has yet to be approved by the PSC.

The GeoAcademy courses would be the first, but hopefully not the last, program to offer QGIS Certification through this page. To obtain certification via this pathway, students will need to pass all courses at a certain level to be offered the QGIS certificate, and complete a capstone course. This will involve conducting a project of their own design under mentorship of the instructor. The capstone will include a project proposal, final report and presentation of results.

For more experienced users wanting certification, we would offer an exam in lieu of the 5 GeoAcademy courses. More experienced users would need to pass the exam and then complete the capstone to achieve QGIS certification.

I'll post a follow up once the proposal has been voted on.


You can get now a QGIS certificate. More details at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfBnGokdlcI

You can see the list of certifying organisations on http://changelog.qgis.org/

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