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SEI-Certified Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method Leader

Certification • Software Architecture

The SEI Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method (ATAM) is a proven method for evaluating software architectures. Government and industry organizations such as Aetna, BAE Systems, Boeing, Cisco, KPMG, Lockheed Martin, Motorola, Nationwide, Raytheon, Robert Bosch GmbH, Siemens, the U.S. Army, and Unisys have used the ATAM for more than 15 years to expose architectural risks that threaten their ability to achieve their business goals.


How do you know whether your system will achieve qualities that are important to your organization, such as performance, reliability, security, and maintainability? An SEI-Certified ATAM Leader is able to lead a team of individuals who have received the SEI ATAM Evaluator certificate through an SEI-authorized ATAM evaluation. This evaluation provides insight into the quality of a system and enables communication about design decisions and reasoning about key system quality attributes.

The five-course sequence and observation exercise that make up the ATAM Leader certification provide a qualified software professional with the technical depth and social techniques needed to lead an SEI-authorized ATAM. The ATAM observation provides the candidate with feedback from an ATAM expert as he or she conducts a software architecture evaluation using the ATAM.

Upon completing the certification process, participants will be entitled to refer to themselves as an SEI-Certified ATAM Leader and will be listed as SEI-Certified Individuals as long as they are sponsored by an SEI Partner that has chosen to appear in the SEI Partner Directory.

Who Should Get This Credential?

SEI-Certified ATAM Leaders are experts in software architecture evaluation using the ATAM, which requires technical expertise in software architecture and quality attributes, a working knowledge of the ATAM, and strong facilitation skills.

Term and Renewal

ATAM Leader certification is valid for a period of three years from the award date.

The SEI requires that you renew your certification according to the SEI-Certified ATAM Leader certification renewal requirements, including

  • maintain SEI-Certified ATAM Leader certification in good standing
  • maintain sponsorship with an SEI Partner
  • attend two of the annual ATAM Leader workshops during the renewal cycle
  • submit ATAM data to the SEI in accordance with established processes for each ATAM evaluation performance. A minimum of one ATAM evaluation and submission of data is required in the three-year period.

Summary of Fees

There are fees for courses and training. SEI Partner organizations pay annual support fees for certifications. Training fees are set by the SEI. For more information about fees, please contact the SEI at

How to Apply

1. Meet Qualification Criteria

Before applying to become an SEI-Certified ATAM Leader, you must meet the following qualification criteria:



  • at least 5 years of experience working in a software engineering environment, including two years of experience in the construction of software-intensive systems as a designer, architect, or in a related senior technical role
  • at least 2 years of experience developing software
  • superior oral and written communications skills
  • ability to interact with domain and technical experts
  • demonstrated knowledge and experience in software architecture
  • facilitation skills and experience

2. Submit Your Application

Submit application materials to Only complete applications can be accepted. Applications must include the following:

  1. a completed ATAM Leader certification application
  2. a signed Code of Professional Conduct for SEI Services
  3. proof of sponsorship by an SEI Partner for the Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method Product Suite
  4. current resume or curriculum vitae that confirms you meet the qualifiecation criteria
  5. documentation of participation as an ATAM evaluator on at least one ATAM evaluation team including a positive recommendation from the ATAM Leader
  6. U.S. Army Candidates only: Endorsement Form from your immediate supervisor or organizational sponsor


Certification Process

The certification process ensures that ATAM Method Leaders are qualified software professionals with the technical depth and social techniques needed to lead an SEI-authorized ATAM.

  1. The ATAM Leader Review Board reviews application materials.
  2. Within 18 months of successfully completing ATAM Leader Training, candidates must demonstrate the ability to successfully lead an SEI-Authorized ATAM evaluation either through a field observation or a simulation observation.
    • Candidate's organizational sponsor is responsible for scheduling the observation by submitting an Application Form Candidate Observation and, if required, obtaining and paying an SEI-approved interpreter or translator.
    • The observer is an experienced ATAM Leader.
    • Only one candidate SEI-Certified ATAM Leader can be observed at a time.
  3. Following the observation, the observer will provide feedback to the candidate and submit an observation report to the SEI.
  4. The SEI ATAM Leader Review Board will review candidate performance during training and the observation exercise.
    • If candidate performance is unsatisfactory at any time during qualification, the SEI will provide feedback and, if necessary, steps for remediation.
    • Any additional SEI support for remedial work will be billed to candidates' sponsoring organizations in accordance with its SEI Partner license agreement.
  5. Successful candidates will receive a certification diploma.

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Training courses provided by the SEI are not academic courses for academic credit toward a degree. Any certificates provided are evidence of the completion of the courses and are not official academic credentials. For more information about SEI training courses, see Registration Terms and Conditions and Confidentiality of Course Records.