ISTQB CTFL (Foundation Level)

The CTFL qualification is aimed at anyone involved in software testing. This includes people in roles such as testers, test analysts, test engineers, test consultants, test managers, user acceptance testers and software developers. This CTFL qualification is also appropriate for anyone who wants a basic understanding of software testing, such as project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors and management consultants. Holders of the CTFL Certificate will be able to go on to a higher level software testing qualification.


Objectives of the CTFL qualification

  • To gain recognition for testing as an essential and professional software engineering specialisation.
  • To provide a standard framework for the development of testers' careers.
  • To enable professionally qualified testers to be recognised by employers, customers and peers, and to raise the profile of testers.
  • To promote consistent and good testing practices within all software engineering disciplines.
  • To identify testing topics that are relevant and of value to the industry.
  • To enable software suppliers to hire certified testers and thereby gain commercial advantage over their competitors by advertising their tester recruitment policy.
  • To provide an opportunity for testers and those with an interest in testing to acquire an internationally recognised qualification in the subject.



This ISTQB CTFL syllabus (version 2018) forms the basis for the International Software Testing Qualification at the CTFL. Four levels of learning objectives are defined and the cognitive levels are given for each section in this syllabus:


  • K1: remember, recognise, recall;
  • K2: understand, explain, give reasons, compare, classify, categorise, give examples, summarise;
  • K3: apply, use;
  • K4: analyse.


The level of detail in this syllabus allows internationally consistent teaching and examination. In order to achieve this goal, the syllabus consists of:


  • General instructional objectives describing the intention of the Foundation Level.
  • A list of information to teach, including a description, and references to additional sources if required.
  • Learning objectives for each knowledge area, describing the cognitive learning outcome and mindset to be achieved.
  • A list of terms that students must be able to recall and have understood.
  • A description of the key concepts to teach, including sources such as accepted literature or standards.


Download: CTFL syllabus 2018 (PDF - 1.12 MB)


Click here for the online registration form


Entry criteria for writing the ISTQB CTFL Exam

The entry criteria for taking the ISTQB CTFL Certificate examination are:


  • That candidates have an interest in software testing.


The candidate will benefit if he/she:

  • Has at least a minimal background in either software development or software testing, such as six month's experience as a system or user acceptance tester or as a software developer.
  • Takes a course that has been accredited to ISTQB standards national boards.


Exam format

The ISTQB CTFL Certificate examination will be based on the ISTQB CTFL syllabus. The format of the examination is multiple choice. The exam paper consists of 40 questions and must be completed within 60 minutes.