Dear ISTQB. Please update your syllabi. It is 2023 already.

Daniel Delimata
6 min readMay 17

On May 9, ISTQB announced the release of a new version of the foundation syllabus (v. 4.0). Version 3.0 was released in 2018, so after 5 years, we could expect significant changes. After all, 5 years is actually a whole epoch in IT. Unfortunately, not in ISTQB. Time seems to flow differently there. This new syllabus is a good opportunity to look at how far the ISTQB approach is from the present IT. I would like to focus here not only on this newest CTFL syllabus but on the holistic vision behind all ISTQB syllabi.

The CTFL syllabus approaches agile methodologies reluctantly. It notices them but treats them as something worse, what can be hardly tolerated. It mentions agile in 7 paragraphs of the main contents (not counting Introduction, Bibliography, etc.). We will not learn much about testing in agile from the CTFL syllabus. We are referred to a separate syllabus for these matters. What do we learn from this work? Not much. Unfortunately, the best way to learn testing in Agile is learning separately testing and learning some Agile framework like Scrum or Kanban.


The main problem with the ISTQB approach is the vision of QA in SDLC. ISTQB tends to see the tester as a separate role in the process. Scrum and other modern frameworks see the team, and testing is just one of the activities to produce the increment. This is a very important difference.

If there is a role, then there is also some responsibility. ISTQB wants to see testing as the exclusive responsibility of testers. Modern approaches emphasize that quality is the responsibility of the whole team.

If all team members feel responsible for the whole product, then the understanding of the needs of testing is better. People just cooperate on a daily basis. In ISTQB, cooperation is something special that needs to be allowed in syllabi. Let us see, for example, CTAL-TM.

p. 19 “The Test Manager needs to consider requirements during the scoping and estimation of test effort, as well as remaining aware of changes to the requirements and exercising test control actions to adjust to those changes. Technical Test Analysts and Test Analysts should participate in…

Daniel Delimata

Test Automation Engineer | Typesetter | Testing Teacher