The Open Group Certified Technical Specialist (Open CTS) Program

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Be confident of expertise and experience with The Open Group Certified Technical Specialist (Open CTS) Program

The Open Group Certified Technical Specialist (Open CTS) certification program is an independent global certification program for qualifying the skills, knowledge and experience of technical specialists. Accepted and applicable worldwide, Open CTS boasts over 3,000 certified professionals from a wide range of organizations in more than 50 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.

The Open CTS certification program is:

  • The most trusted independent benchmark for validating Technology Specialist 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

If you have already registered for the Open CTS program or are currently certified and would like to access your individual records then please use the following link Certification Login.



The Open Group Certified Technology Specialist (Open CTS) program requires candidates to submit a comprehensive certification package detailing their skills and experience gained on working on IT projects, followed by a rigorous peer review process.

The program is unique in that it is skills and experience based, vendor neutral, portable and globally recognized.
To learn more about how to become Open CTS certified, visit:

Open CTS Update - From July 2014 we will be giving candidates the opportunity to have their one to one Level 2: Master Board interviews conducted by video conference (Skype) rather than face to face. To find out more about the Open CTS program contact us here.

The Open Group Certified Technical Specialist (Open CTS) certification represents an ideal mechanism for demonstrating knowledge, success and overall business capabilities. The Open CTS program can significantly enhance and affirm your professional skills, improve your prospects for rewarding assignments, accelerate salary and career advancement, and result in greater peer recognition.

Quotes from Certified Technical Specialists:
  • "The Open Group certification has helped me build business relationship with my customers. This additional certification gives me recognition that I have been qualified by more than a just a vendor alone and one of my clients has since included me in their storage planning efforts and strategy for this year."
  • "I recently completed an IT Optimization study for a large public sector client. The General Manager/CTO noticed the "Open Group Master Certified IT Specialist" on my email footer and commented on it positively. This certification helped my creditability personally and the company by illustrating to our customers that we put our "best foot forward" for them."
  • "I am dealing mostly with clients in China and titles and credentials are very important to them."
  • "At a recent conference I was introduced as an Open Group Master Certified IT Specialist to 50 customers, and at least 5 came up to me after and discussed their participation and confidence in The Open Group."
  • " There are certain customers that do look at certifications and this has helped me with credibility and acceptance by those customers."
  • " On several occasions I was asked by our partners about the certification process so that I had the opportunity to explain our role in the Open Group certification program. This clearly signals our commitment to maintaining high skill level of our IT profession community. This directly translates into respect and trust among our partners."

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

Open CTS 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 CTS program structure to enhance their own learning and development programs.

Philips IT has used the Open CTS program as part of the project to tranform their internal IT department. To find out more about Competence Development at Philips IT, you can:-

Download a webinar by Paul Nijenhuis, Competence Group Manager, Philips IT, by visiting our Webinar archive

Download the case study

In a marketplace where confidence is a key purchasing factor, suppliers can demonstrate their expertise by showing that they use certified IT specialists for specific projects. Open CITS 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 technology 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
“Our services are often delivered in a worldwide, distributed context. Increasingly we will be staffing our projects from multiple sources, potentially both from inside and outside the organization, as well as from multiple continents and suppliers. Envision a complex network of partners, alliances, providers, clients and even competitors. To thrive in this boundaryless environment, it is paramount to have a standardized view of the skills, experiences and competencies of the IT specialists involved. The Open CTS program will help organizations find and select the right resources, and it is even more relevant now that regulatory compliance demands demonstrable quality of service.”
Ron Tolido
Capgemini, Nederland B.V.
“Internally IBM has had a program that validated the technical skills, experiences, and knowledge of our IT Specialists for over a dozen years. In addition, our program has demanded our specialists meet documented standards related to professional skills, such as oral and written communications, and project management.  In working with The Open Group on the development of Open CTS, it was important to IBM that both technical and professional skills and abilities be assessed as part of the program – to allow for the development of well-rounded specialists that can offer our clients maximum value in a consistent fashion across a worldwide marketplace.  The Open CTS program provides for that holistic assessment.”
Phil Stauskas
Distinguished Engineer


T-shaped people are individuals who are experts or specialists in a core skill, but who also have a broad range of skills in other areas. A T-shaped person combines the broad level of skills and knowledge (the top horizontal part of the T) with specialist skills in a specific functional area (the bottom, vertical part of the T). They are not generalists because they have a specific core area of expertise, but are often also referred to as generalizing specialists as well as T-shaped people.
T-shaped people work well in teams because they can see a situation from a different perspective, can reduce bottlenecks, fill skills gaps, and take on new skill sets quickly. This then leads to higher team productivity and greater flexibility.
The Open CTS program measures an individual’s core competence in a specific stream or domain. However, it also covers a broader range of skills and competencies related to people, business, project management, and architecture. In addition, the program looks at an individual’s work experience, professional development, and community contribution. The Conformance Requirements of the program are mapped against the individual’s skills and experience rather than a body of knowledge, and we assess people skills as well as technical abilities. Therefore, if it’s T-shaped people that you are looking for, then hiring somebody with Open CTS status is a good place to start.

General news about The Open Group and Open CTS, including press releases and press coverage, can be accessed here in our News pages, but specific detailed news about CTS developments can be found on our Open CTS News page.