Are you serious about functional size measurement – then certify!

Certified function point analysts (CFPA) are becoming more and important in business. Functional size based metrics like price per function point are more and more recognized as important, as more functionality means more value to the customer (or the business) and people understand that it is logical and fair to pay more money for more value. Nesma function point analysis is one of the few ISO/IEC standards for functional size measurement and the method is used in many countries worldwide. Although there were some differences in the past, nowadays the Nesma counting guidelines and the IFPUG counting guidelines are very similar to each other, resulting in the general belief in the industry that historical data of projects measured in Nesma function points and projects measured in IFPUG function points can be used together in activities like project estimation or benchmarking.

Why certification is important

As functional size is the main input for many cost estimation models and for benchmarking instruments. Therefore, measuring the right functional size is of crucial importance. Using the wrong size can easily result in inaccurate project estimates (possibly resulting in large overruns) or wrong conclusions.

Nesma advises to only use function point analysis carried out by certified analysts (CFPA).

The size expressed in Nesma function points (FP), measured by a Nesma certified analyst (CFPA) ensures that the size is measured in an objective, repeatable, verifiable and therefore defensible way.

Function Point Analysis is more than just ‘counting’, a misused word that is sometimes heard in the industry. FPA is a profession and a craftsmanship, and should be recognized as such. The certified function point analyst is capable to measure many different types of functional documentation and is capable of clearly distinguishing functional requirements from non-functional requirements. Certified  analysts also see the flaws in the documentation, resulting in cost savings by correcting errors very early in the project lifecycle, avoiding cost of having to repair them later on. That’s why passing the certification exam is not easy at all and requires a lot of study, practice and experience.

The exam

The Nesma certification exam is handled by the professional exam institute Eureka. The exam specifications in Dutch are available here. Participants can take the exam in many locations in the Netherlands, on any weekday one desires.

For registration, please check the Eureka site. At the moment, most of the information is in Dutch.

For those of you who want to take the exam in Dutch there is an example exam with model answers available in Dutch.

Nesma strongly advises to study the Hotel casy study as part of the exam preparation activities. This case study is available in Dutch and in English on the Publications page.

Advantages Nesma CFPA certification

  • International recognized certificate, similar to the IFPUG CFPS certificate;
  • Certify once, no renewal necessary;
  • You don’t need to remain a Nesma member to stay certified.

International exams (in English) are organized by Nesma, under supervision of Eureka. Take a look at the special page for CFPA exams in English with the location details for the international exams. The price for the international exam depends on your Nesma membership and the location:

In the Netherlands:

  • 700 EUR for non-members
  • 450 EUR for members

Outside the Netherlands:

Prices depend on your membership, the location and the number of participants.
Send your request for a quote to Nesma.


For registration go to the Eureka registration page.