ISTQB® releases new Certified Tester Foundation Level 2018 (CTFL) Syllabus

The ISTQB® General Assembly has approved the new 2018 version of the ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level syllabusfor general release. Foundation Level is core to the ISTQB® Certified Tester Scheme providing essential understanding and knowledge to anyone involved in testing. The updates reflect market feedback and the current state of the software testing industry.

The release consists of the ISTQB® Foundation Level 2018 syllabus, an Overview document, Accreditation guidelines, Glossary items and terms, Release Notes including traceability on Learning Objectives level from the 2011 to the 2018 syllabus, Exam Structure and Rules and 2 Sample Exams.

The ISTQB® has provided the new 2018 Foundation Level syllabus as follows:

  1. To ISTQB Member Boards, to translate into their local language and to accredit training providers. Member boards may adapt the syllabus to their particular language needs and modify the references to adapt to their local glossary terms.
  2. To certification bodies, to derive examination questions in their local language adapted to the learning objectives for this syllabus
  3. To training providers, to produce courseware and determine appropriate teaching methods
  4. To certification candidates, to prepare for the certification exam (either as part of a training course or independently)
  5. To the international software and systems engineering community, to advance the profession of software and systems testing, and as a basis for books and articles

“We are witnessing big changes in the market: technology, methods, domains. These changes impact the way we design & execute tests, manage tests and automate tests. The new 2018 core foundation syllabus refreshes the terminology and standards of testing, reflecting the latest practices we have witnessed in recent years. The knowledge base has been updated with more emphasis on practical use and relevancy in the market” – says Alon Linetzki, ISTQB® Marketing working group chair.

“This update to the Foundation Level syllabus positions the ISTQB® well in terms of the current realities of software development, such as agile methods, Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery, delivery pipelines, and IoT. The fundamental principles and best practices of testing remain, explained in terms of these current realities, and test processes, test levels, and test management have been extensively updated to take into account these realities and evolving industry trends. We’re proud of this new syllabus, the product of thousands of hours of hard work by leading software testing professionals around the world,” said Rex Black, ISTQB® Foundation Working Group Project Manager and Technical Editor for the Foundation 2018 syllabus release and Agile Working Group Chair.

“The Foundation working group has representation from ISTQB® Member Boards around the world ;we have a diversity of experience covering most variations within software test industry. I am proud of the Foundation working group and all of the people that have made a contribution to this huge task. This 2018 syllabus has more emphasis on reviews and less on test management, compared with our 2011 version. We have reduced the number of K1 learning objectives from 27 to 15 to focus less on remembering and more on being able to apply knowledge.,” says Klaus Olsen, ISTQB® Foundation working group chair.

The following sunset rules are effective:

Training Provider Accreditation:

  • Within 12 months from 4th June 2018 all training providers must accredit/re-accredit for the 2018 syllabus if training/material is accredited for delivery in English.
  • Within 18 months from 4th June 2018 all training providers must accredit/re-accredit for the 2018 syllabus if training/material is accredited for delivery in a non-English language.


  • Within 12 months from 4th June 2018 all English language 2011 syllabus exams will be withdrawn
  • Within 18 months from 4th June 2018 all non-English language 2011 syllabus exams will be withdrawn

Further Information is available from the ISTQB® website:

Media Contact:
Klaus Olsen, ISTQB® Chair of Foundation Level Syllabus Working Group,

Alon Linetzki, ISTQB® Chair of Marketing Working Group,

About ISTQB® 

The International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB®) was founded in November 2002 and is a non-profit organization, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, whose mission is to advance the software testing profession. ISTQB® has defined the “ISTQB® Certified Tester” scheme that has become the world-wide leader in the certification of competences in software testing. It is supported in its mission by almost 60 member boards. Thanks also to the Global Exam Providers, it has today a world-wide coverage and has administered as of December 2017 over 785.000 exams, issuing over 570.000 certificates

ISTQB® is an organization based on volunteer work by hundreds of software testing experts around the world.

To find out more about ISTQB visit:

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