SAFe® 4.0 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This FAQ provides a place to find answers to commonly asked questions about SAFe. The following topic areas are covered in the sections below.

New SAFe® 4.0 Features

Where can I find out about the differences between SAFe 3.0 and 4.0?

What additional resources are available to learn about SAFe 4.0?

The SAFe 4.0 site itself is freely revealed. Additional resources are available at the site, including various Presentations and Downloads. The SAFe 4.0 Glossary and Courseware (see below) are also good sources of information.

Why does the SAFe Big Picture expand and collapse?

The Big Picture can be expanded or collapsed to three or four levels. The default view is the three-level version (3-Level SAFe), which is simpler and lighter weight than its 3.0 predecessor, but has new features as well. Three-Level SAFe is backwards compatible with SAFe 3.0, so those currently operating with 3.0 can continue to do so, or migrate easily to this version 4. With one click, the Framework expands to four levels (4-Level SAFe) to handle the most demanding needs of large value streams and complex systems development.

Is SAFe 4.0 backwards compatible with SAFe 3.0?

Yes. For those currently using SAFe 3.0, three-level SAFe 4.0 should be a straightforward migration with little to no impact on existing implementations, but with the opportunity for easy expansion to many of the new features of version 4. However, if you prefer to continue using SAFe 3.0 in your organization, we are committed to continuing to support SAFe 3.0 and all of its associated courseware at least through 2016. It is available at V3.scaledagileframework.com

Where can I find the SAFe blog?

It is now called “SAFe News” and is located on the top menu bar of the scaledagileframework.com site.  You can also quickly access the latest blog entries from the bottom of the home page.

Where can I find previous version of the Scaled Agile Framework?

The previous versions of SAFe can be found using the following URL addresses:

  • SAFe 3.0
  • The SAFe v2.5 and SAFe LSE websites and courseware have been retired

Do the old SAFe 3.0 links still work?

Yes they do, however, if you get a 404 error, simply replace the first part of the URL with V3.scaledagileframework.com.  For example: v3.scaledagileframework.com/release-planning, instead of scaledagileframework.com/release-planning. The new versions of the SAFe 3,0 articles may have different names on the 4.0 version. Release planning in 4.0 is called PI Planning and its URL is scaledagileframework.com/pi-planning.

What is the plan for supporting SAFe 3.0?

SAFe 3.0 will be available at least through 2016.

Where can I find the free Pacific Express e-book on launching an Agile Release train?  Will it be updated for 4.0?

It can be found at: http://www.scaledagileframework.com/books/.  At this time we do not have immediate plans to update it for 4.0.  However, many of the things discussed in the book are still applicable. We suggest you read about PI Planning and Pre- and Post- planning at the following URLs:

Courseware & Training

Can I still license SAFe 3.0 courseware?

Yes, you can still license 3.0 courseware through 2016.

Will SAFe 3.0 public classes still be taught?

Public classes of SAFe 3.0 will be phased out in early 2016, based upon market demand. However, you will still be able to schedule private SAFe 3.0 with one of our partners throughout 2016.

Where can I find SAFe 4.0 classes?

Available classes can be found here.

  • The SPC 3.0 class has been upgraded to “Implementing SAFe® 4.0 with SPC Certification.” It has been renamed to reflect the additional focus on implementing SAFe in an improved workshop format.
  • Leading SAFe 3.0 has been upgraded to Leading SAFe® 4.0.
  • SAFe ScrumXP has being replaced with the new SAFe 4.0 for Teams (S4T).

Is there an Instructor-led version of the “What’s New in SAFe 4.0” video course?

Yes, we offer a one day Instructor-led version of “What’s New in SAFe 4.0” course, which can be licensed by SPCs in good standing.

When will the SAFe 4.0 version of PM/PO?

The 4.0 version of PM/PO is now available.


I was certified on a previous version of SAFe, will I need to re-certify on SAFe 4.0?

  • SPCs: SPCs certified on earlier versions of SAFe will need to upgrade if they wish to teach V4.0 courses. As a current SPC in good standing, you are eligible to upgrade your certification to SPC4. Having the SPC4 credentials will broaden your opportunities and allow you to support enterprises building the largest systems and solutions.
  • SA, SP, and PM/PO: There is currently no requirement to update your certifications. Those certified as SAFe Agilists (SA), SAFe Practitioners (SP), and Product Managers/Product Owners (PM/PO) currently meet all the requisite skills to maintain their certifications through SAFe 4.0.

How do SPCs certified on SAFe 3.0 or earlier become certified on 4.0?

  • SAFe 3.0. Please visit the Introducing SAFe 4.0 and the SPC4 Certification page on scaledagile.com for information on how to become certfied on 4.0. If you were certified in SAFe 3.0, this should be all you need.
  • SAFe 2.5 or earlier. For those certified in earlier versions of SAFe, please use all the current SAFe 3.0 resources to get up to speed and then prepare for the 4.0 SPC exam. In addition, we recommend the Pearson Leading SAFe 3.0 LiveLessons video course for learning about Version 3. You do not need to take any other exam besides 4.0.

What is the best way to prepare for the SPC4 certification? Is there a practice exam available?

Currently, there is no practice exam. We recommend thoroughly studying the materials provided to you in the Scaled Agile Learning Management System. Click here for more information on the upgrade process and how access these materials.

How long do I have to wait to receive my exam results?

You will receive your exam results immediately upon completion and it will provide a report showing the areas where you can improve your knowledge.

Is there a cost to become certified on the new version of SAFe?

No. SPCs in good standing (not expired or suspended) can upgrade their certification to SPC4 by taking and passing the new SAFe 4.0 SPC Exam. We’ll help you prepare with in-depth study materials that include the new video course, “What’s New in SAFe 4.0,” the SAFe 4.0 Glossary, and Upgrade Workbook, as well as all the supporting SAFe 4.0 content now available. If your certification has lapsed, you will need to renew your certification before you can take the exam. Please email us at support@scaledagile.com.

Why is the SPC Certification version specific?

SAFe 4.0 is different enough that access to 4.0 courseware is restricted to those who become SPC4 certified. The SPC4 credential will be a must-have for those SPCs working in the larger enterprise and systems context. To learn more about SAFe 4.0, spend three minutes with Dean and watch this video.

I am an SPC in good standing and was not contacted by Scaled Agile with instructions on how to take the free 4.0 exam, what should I do?

Your email address may be out of date, or perhaps you did not renew your certification. Please contact support@scaledagile.com.

What happens if fail the SPC4 exam? Am I subject a waiting period and fee for exam re-takes?

If you fail the upgrade exam, you are eligible for one free retake without no waiting period required. Please take the time to review the material provided in the exam category feedback.


Last Update: 1 May 2016