Certified SCAMPI℠ High Maturity Lead Appraiser

High Maturity organizations use statistical methods and quantitative data to understand risk and predict outcomes based on past performance.  As a result of high maturity practices, these organizations consistently perform beyond their competitors. 
Are you ready to lead appraisal efforts for organizations seeking to achieve CMMI maturity levels 4 or 5? Become a CMMI Institute-Certified SCAMPI High Maturity Lead Appraiser.


High Maturity organizations use statistical methods and quantitative data to understand risk and predict outcomes based on past performance.  As a result of high maturity practices, these organizations consistently perform beyond their competitors. A Certified High Maturity Lead Appraiser can lead appraisals for organizations aiming to attain a CMMI maturity level 4 or 5.

Certified SCAMPI High Maturity Lead Appraisers (HMLAs) understand the concepts and actions of high maturity practices and lead trained teams of professionals in the appraisal of one or more CMMI process areas to determine an organization’s process capability and/or maturity level.  Only 30% of CMMI Lead Appraisers have achieved this distinctive level of expertise and are certified to lead high maturity appraisals.

Getting Certified

Becoming a Certified SCAMPI High Maturity Lead Appraiser involves a number of steps along the path to certification.  Click to expand each of the steps below to see the details.

If you have any questions about the Certification process, please email certification-info@cmmiinstitute.com

  Step 1: Meet Qualification Criteria

Before applying to become a SCAMPI HMLA, you must:

  • Be a current Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser in good standing
  • Present evidence of having led at least two CMMI SCAMPI A Appraisals and participated as an appraisal team member on at least one high maturity SCAMPI A appraisal
    Note: CMM appraisal experience will not be accepted
  • Present evidence of experience working in a high maturity process improvement environment in one of the following two areas:
    • Developing/facilitating high maturity training at an organization
    • Statistical/quantitative management, or modeling & simulation experience in direct support of managing/building products

  Step 2: Complete the prerequisite course

Individuals seeking the HMLA certification must successfully complete the Advancing Organizational Capability: Achieving High Maturity course within the last five years.

  Step 3: Submit CMMI Appraiser Application Package

Submit a completed Application Package.

The criteria used to determine acceptance of the application is listed in the Appraiser Application Review step below.

The High Maturity Lead Appraiser Application Package must include the following:

  • Completed CMMI Appraiser Application Form
  • Confirmation of CMMI Partner Sponsorship
    • You must have a sponsoring organization that is a CMMI Institute Partner. Your sponsoring organization must have a fully executed CMMI Product Suite License agreement for the delivery SCAMPI appraisal services with the CMMI Institute. (Please refer to the Partner Network on how your organization can apply to Become a Partner.)
    • Your sponsoring partner organization must submit to the CMMI Institute a completed Partner Candidate Sponsorship form for you.
    • You must have completed and signed the CMMI Institute Code of Professional Conduct.
  • TOEFL score for non-native English speakers:
    • As a Certified CMMI Appraiser, you will be required to communicate technical concepts in English. You must be able to read, write, and speak understandable English. You will not qualify as a lead appraiser if you cannot demonstrate this requirement. We strongly recommend that you provide your TOEFL score as demonstration of this prerequisite

  Step 4: Review Appraiser Application

Each application will be reviewed by the CMMI Institute CMMI Appraiser Application Review committee using established qualification criteria (listed in Step 1).

If your application meets the qualification criteria, you will receive instructions for scheduling the entry examination.

  Step 5: Take HMLA Entry Examination

If your application meets the qualification criteria, you will receive instructions for scheduling the HMLA Entry Examination by contacting the CMMI Institute at info@cmmiinstitute.com to schedule your exam. 

After you have registered on for the exam, you will need to create an account in ProctorU to schedule the exam. You may take the exam at home or any other location of your choice for a fee of $400.

Successful completion of the High Maturity Lead Appraiser Entry Examination requires candidates to have an in-depth understanding of:

  • the CMMI Model
  • quantitative and statistical concepts and practical applications
  • organizational business objectives and relationships to CMMI practices
  • differences in maturity level 2, 3, 4, and 5 process areas
  • implications of high maturity practices for projects and organizations
  • elicitation of requirements from sponsor and education of sponsor regarding true weaknesses
  • understanding interrelationships between maturity levels 2/3 and 4/5

Recommended Study Materials

  • CMMI V1.3 Constellations (Acquisition, Development, and Services)
  • Course materials from CMMI courses (Introduction to CMMI, Intermediate Concepts of CMMI, and SCAMPI Lead Appraiser Training).
  • SCAMPI A V1.3a Method Definition Document
  • SCAMPI Lead Appraiser Body Of Knowledge, 2007 (CMU/SEI-2007-TR-019) – High Maturity Skills competencies
  • CMMI-Guidelines to Process Integration and Product Improvement, 2006, 2nd Edition, Chrissis, Konrad, and Shrum
  • Measuring the Software Process: Statistical Process Control for Software Process Improvement, Addison & Wesley, 1999, Florac and Carleton
  • Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos, 1999, Wheeler, Donald

The exam is in a multiple choice format and each candidate will have 3.0 hours to complete the exam. If you do not pass the entry examination on your first attempt, you may retake the examination one additional time within 3 months of the first attempt. Should these two attempts not be successful, you must wait six additional months before submitting a letter to the CMMI Institute Certification Program with a request to retake the examination. Permission will need to be granted for subsequent testing. Exam results are valid for a period of 18 months. After 18 months, the examination must be retaken and successfully completed prior to being scheduled for an HMLA oral examination.

  Step 6: Schedule and Take HMLA Oral Examination

The HMLA Oral Examination is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your interpretative skills of the model and its practices, discuss your professional experiences, and show your understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a HMLA. Candidates must successfully pass an oral examination administered by two designated HMLA examiners.

After passing the HMLA Entry examination, you can schedule your HMLA Oral Examination by sending an email to certification-info@cmmiinstitute.com.

The HMLA Oral Examination usually requires 2-2.5 hours to complete and covers model and method topic areas, including:

  • CMMI high maturity concepts and process areas
  • quantitative and statistical interpretations
  • organizational business objectives and relation to CMMI high maturity process areas
  • implications of high maturity practices for projects and organizations
  • process performance baselines and models
  • elicitation of requirements from sponsor, and education of sponsor regarding true weaknesses
  • personal examples of interpretation applied to high maturity evidence in an appraisal

HMLA Oral Examination grading is based on a weighting system that credits candidates with points based on answers provided. The examination includes several question types including short-answer and scenario-based.

The HMLA Oral Examination fee is $1,800 USD. An invoice in that amount will be sent to a candidate’s sponsoring organization and must be paid in full at least one week prior to a candidate’s scheduled exam date.

Candidates are allowed to take the oral examination once every twelve months. Candidates may retake the oral examination if needed. The cost of a retake is $1,800. Requests to purchase and schedule a retake should be sent to certification-info@cmmiinstitute.com

When scheduling a retake, a candidate should keep in mind that the High Maturity Lead Appraiser Entry Examination results, which remain valid for a period of 18 months after completion of that exam, must be valid at the time of the HMLA Oral Examination. A candidate may take the oral examination a maximum of three times.

  Step 7: Receive your Certification

Candidates who pass the HMLA Oral Examination will be granted the High Maturity Lead Appraiser certification. You will receive a certification diploma and will be listed in the CMMI Institute Partner Directory. 

  Step 8: Renew your Certification

All SCAMPI High Maturity Lead Appraiser certifications are valid for three years. Certification as SCAMPI High Maturity Lead Appraiser includes a commitment to ongoing professional development to maintain a high proficiency and skill in the practice. Please review the SCAMPI High Maturity Lead Appraiser Renewal Requirements that lists the ongoing professional development activities that are required to maintain the certification. Additionally, a renewal tracking document is also located in your files located in the Partner Resource Center.

Helpful Info

CMMI Institute Certifications have a number of steps with detailed requirements along the way. This list is intended to be a helpful place to find the forms and fees connected with each step of the your certification journey.

Please see the “Getting Certified” tab for all of the Certification details.

Certification Step   Applicable Fees
Understanding CMMI High Maturity Practices course   $3,900
Submit Complete CMMI Appraiser Application Package 
Completed CMMI appraiser application form & Partner sponsorship items
  No application fee
CMMI Appraiser Application Form    
Partner Candidate Sponsorship Form    
SCAMPI High Maturity Lead Appraiser Entry Examination   $400
CMMI High Maturity Oral Examination request   $1,800
CMMI Partner Resource Center    
CMMI HMLA Renewal Requirements  


Getting Started

In order to achieve this certification, you must be sponsored by a CMMI Institute Partner organization.

Become a Partner

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Sponsorship Form



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