Course Description

ISTQB-BCS Foundation Certificate

This course is the certified ISTQB-BCS Certified Tester – Foundation Level (previously ISEB Foundation Certificate) – an established qualification and an industry recognised standard for companies and individuals to prove knowledge of the fundamentals of software testing.

e-testing have been accredited by the BCS to run the foundation certificate since 2002 and our pass rate is consistently high. Our trainers are experienced testing practitioners with many years of software testing experience to relate to candidates in order to enhance the learning process. This tutor led course is carried out over three days at locations UK wide.


The course is priced at £750 per delegate, excluding VAT. All course materials, lunch and refreshments are provided at no extra cost. Courses can be arranged at your offices for group bookings of 4 or more delegates, these can be run on the normal three day basis or for less experienced groups, over four days – allowing extra time for practical exercises and discussion. Contact us for full details or a quote. Please note prices exclude VAT.

Online Course Option
This course is available online, as-well-as in our classrooms. If you wish to take this course online, please select the “Online” venue when selecting your preferred date. Further details about our online course options can be found here.

Select the location of your choice, then click a date to book a place:

Who Should Attend

The ISTQB-BCS Certified Tester, Foundation Level course is aimed at software developers, testers (both technical and user acceptance testers), test analysts, test engineers, test consultants and managers – including test managers, project managers, quality managers and anyone with an interest in software testing. The ISTQB-BCS Certified Tester Foundation Level course is a prerequisite for taking the more advanced BCS Intermediate Certificate.


On completion of the course, candidates should be able to:

  • Perform effective testing of software
  • Be aware of techniques and standards for software testing
  • Have an awareness of what testing tools can achieve
  • Easily find more information about testing
  • Establish the basic steps of the testing process and understand where testing fits in to each stage of the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

Course Design

The course is made up of several modules:

Session 1: Fundamentals of Testing

Why is Testing Necessary
Defines software errors, defects, and failures, and explains their contexts, causes, and costs. Recounts the role of testing in software development, maintenance, and operations, and discusses how testing is related to risk and to quality, and how to determine how much testing is enough.

What is Testing
Remedies the misperception that “testing means running a program to see what it does” by identifying the test activities that precede and follow test execution. Distinguishes static and dynamic testing, and differentiates testing from debugging. Emphasises the need to ensure that test objectives are relevant to the testing context.

General Testing Principles
Describes 7 basic principles of good testing, which should be applied to all kinds of testing and at any level.

Fundamental Test Process
Outlines the essential activities of a fundamental test process, consisting of planning and control, analysis and design, implementation and execution, evaluating exit criteria and reporting, and test closure activities.

Psychology of Testing
Discusses differences between the tester’s and developer’s mindsets, the importance of independence in testing, and how independence can be achieved while maintaining good relations.

Session 2: Testing Throughout the LifeCycle

Software Development Models
Discusses different ways of relating test activities and work products to development activities and work products; draws out a set of integrated relationships suitable for any life cycle model, based on four “levels” of testing (component testing, integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing) and the principle of “early test design”.

Test Levels
Describes the major objectives and targets of each of the four test levels, identifying related development work products (“test basis”), types of defect and failure looked for, and likely test personnel.

Test Types: the Targets of Testing
Describes and compares four types of test “target”: software functions; “non-functional” characteristics such as performance and usability; software architecture and other structures such as program code; and change-related testing (confirmation testing and regression testing).

Maintenance Testing
Describes the special environment and considerations of post-release (“maintenance”) testing, including impact analysis to establish the need for regression testing.

Session 3: Static Techniques

Reviews and the Test Process
Explains why reviews are beneficial, what can be reviewed, and when in the lifecycle they should be carried out. Discusses the costs and benefits of reviews, and the relationships and differences between static and dynamic techniques.

Review Process
Describes the phases, roles, and responsibilities of a typical formal review. Explains the differences between informal reviews, walkthroughs, technical reviews, and Inspection. Discusses the factors for successful performance of reviews.

Static Analysis by Tools
Describes the objectives of static analysis as a form of “automated review”, and compares it to dynamic testing. Identifies typical code-level defects most easily found by static analysis, and lists typical benefits of static analysis.

Session 4: Test Design Techniques

Identifying Test Conditions and Designing Test Cases
Covers the analysis of test conditions from a test basis document, the design of tests to exercise those conditions (“Test Design Specification”), and the implementation of tests via detailed “Test Case Specifications”, “Test Procedure Specifications”, and test execution schedules.

Categories of Test Design Technique
Explains the characteristics and differences between specification-based testing, structure-based testing, and experience-based testing. Identifies reasons that both specification-based (black-box) and structure-based (white-box) approaches to test case design are useful, and lists common techniques for each.

Specification-Based or Black Box Techniques
Describes four black box modelling techniques (equivalence partitioning, boundary value analysis, decision tables, and state-transition testing), and how their degrees of “coverage” may be measured. Introduces the concept of use case testing and its benefits.

Structure-based or White Box Techniques
Describes the concept and importance of statement and decision coverage, including their potential use at all test levels. Explains how to identify test cases based on process flows by using statement testing and decision testing.

Experience-Based Techniques
Explains how to supplement systematic techniques with additional creative test techniques, such as error guessing and exploratory testing.

Choosing Test Techniques
Shows how different techniques can be used for different kinds of testing and the importance of choosing the appropriate techniques for particular kinds of problem.

Session 5: Test Management

Test Organisation
Discusses the importance of independent testing, stressing the resulting need for good communication between testers and the rest of the organisation. Recognises and describes the different roles of “tester” and “test leader” (test manager), listing typical tasks of each.

Test Planning and Estimation
Summarises the purpose and content of the Test Plan document according to the ‘Standard for Software Test Documentation’ (IEEE 829). Differentiates two estimation approaches (the metrics-based approach and the expert-based approach). Explores concepts of test adequacy criteria (“exit criteria”) for specific test levels, and outlines several testing strategies that might be selectively combined into a planned “test approach” for achieving them.

Test Progress Monitoring and Control
Describes the need to monitor test activities to identify deviations from the Test Plan, so that corrective (“control”) actions may be agreed and undertaken. Identifies common metrics used for monitoring test preparation and execution, such as progress in test case specification, or tests run, passed, and failed. Summarises the purpose and content of the Test Summary Report document specified in the ‘Standard for Software Test Documentation’ (IEEE 829).

Configuration Management
Explains why configuration management and change control are necessary, particularly in testing. Discusses the configuration items for testing.

Risk and Testing
Describes the nature of risk, distinguishing “project risks” from “product risks”, and shows how risk analysis is used throughout testing to determine what to test, how much to test, and what should be tested first.

Incident Management
Discusses how to record incidents according to the ‘Standard for Software Test Documentation’ (IEEE 829), what needs to be tracked, and analysing defect statistics. Discusses the difference between severity and priority, and between defects and change requests.

Session 6: Tool Support for Testing

Types of Test Tool
Describes seven categories of software test tools, outlining what each type can do, and particularly identifying tools that might benefit testers in their testing.

Effective Use of Tools: Potential Benefits and Risks
Summarises potential benefits and risks of test automation and tool support for testing.

Introducing a Tool Into an Organisation
States the main principles of introducing a tool into an organization, describing the goals of a proof-of-concept/piloting phase for tool evaluation, and recognising that factors other than simply acquiring a tool are required for good tool support.

The Exam
The examination is carried out at the end of the third day of the course. It is a one hour, closed book, multiple choice exam with a pass mark of 26/40. Successful completion of which leads to the award of the ISTQB-BCS Certified Tester, Foundation Level Certificate in software testing by the British Computer Society and the ISTQB, an Internationally recognised qualification in software testing.