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Certified Pega Lead System Architect (CPLSA)

Lead System Architects are responsible for the design and quality of Pega solutions.

Your Certified Pega Lead System Architect journey begins here

Pega Lead System Architects lead implementation teams and ensure that solutions leverage the technology to provide optimum business value. They provide technical mentoring and leadership across teams.

The CPLSA Learning Path Overview

This learning path combines Pega Academy courses with on-the-job experience to ensure that system architects get exposure to the breadth and depth of Pega products which is required to perform effectively in a leading role.

full certified lead system architect path

CPLSA Prerequisites

CPLSA is the highest level of technical achievement in Pega. Prior to training as a Lead System Architect, individuals must gain field experience and demonstrate their technical aptitude by earning first their System Architect and then their Senior System Architect certifications. 

Build Expertise

After earning Certified Pega Senior System Architect (CPSSA) certification, Pega recommends that real-world experience of at least 36 months be gained before attempting to achieve the CPLSA certification. Working 36 months or longer implementing Pega applications expands the depth of Pega knowledge and builds the expertise that is required to successfully complete the program.

However, recognizing that each person has different project implementation opportunities, Pega recommends that CPLSA candidates at a minimum become familiar with the features and functions of the latest Pega version prior to starting the CPLSA program. The Senior System Architect mission will help you learn about the latest features and functions.

36+ months experience

Senior System Architect topics include:

  • Customizing Security Requirements in Pega Applications
  • Configuring Background Processing 
  • Customizing the User Experience 
  • Improving Application Performance 
  • Creating Mobile Solutions
  • ...and much more! 

Lead System Architect Course

Senior system architects who pass the LSA Readiness Assessment can take the Lead System Architect mission or register for the Lead System Architect Instructor-Led course.  The two week course teaches best practices in technical design and architecture of a Pega application. System architects use their configuration skills to build an application that they design and architect.  

Topics include:

  • Pega Platform Design
  • Pega Platform Design Extended
  • Application Design
  • Application Design Extended
  • Data Model Design
  • Reporting Design
  • Security Design
  • Deployment and Testing Design
application design and build phase

Testing Requirements

To complete the CPLSA certification, system architects must take and pass two exams in the following order:

  • Pega Architecture Exam 
  • CPLSA Application Design and Build


Pega Architecture Exam

The Pega Architecture exam validates that system architects have mastered the design and architecture skills taught in the Lead System Architect course and that they can guide an application development team on configuration decisions. 

The Pega Architecture exam is a two hour standard exam that is delivered at Pearson VUE testing centers. The cost is $175 per exam attempt. The exam blueprint, which includes prerequisites and exam topics, is available here in Pega Academy. Additional exam information and registration is available at the Pearson VUE site. CPLSA candidates only need to pass the Architecture exam once (any version 8.x or above) to be eligible for the CPLSA Application Design/Build.

You can prepare for the Pega Architecture exam by taking the CPLSA Architecture Exam Preparation Clinic, available for free. View the schedule in Pega Academy.

CPLSA Application Design and Build

After successfully completing the LSA Architecture exam (version 8.x and above), the final step is the CPLSA Application Design & Build. The CPLSA App Design/Build tests one’s ability to architect, implement and analyze Pega Platform solutions. Working within a set of business requirements, system architects will be required to:

  • Document your analysis and solutions using a supplied documentation template
  • Design and implement extensible and reusable solutions for new requirements
  • Analyze key areas of the current design and identify architectural deficiencies

Now comprised of two individual phases, candidates will be responsible for designing a solution to business scenarios in Phase I. Candidates will then implement a solution based on their proposed design for one of these scenarios in Phase II.

The Application Design phase of the exam is completed over a 14 day period, and requires a score of 75% in order to pass. This portion of the exam will require candidates to review business scenarios and determine optimal designs for various aspects of each solution by documenting their design thought process.

Next, the Application Build phase is also completed over a 7 day period. The App Build requires a score of 75% in order to pass. This portion of the exam will require candidates to fully implement a Pega application based on the optimal designs proposed for one of the business scenarios in the App Design phase.

Each phase of the exam requires approximately 35 hours to complete (depending on experience)The exam durations should allow enough time to complete the exam with minimal disruption to their normal work schedule.

The CPLSA Application Design/Build exam is managed by Pegasystems. The cost is $600 USD per attempt. This includes the cost of the Application Design, and if passed, the Application Build.

Click here to complete your payment and schedule the exam. Please note you will only be able to reschedule your exam up to three times, at a maximum of 30 days each time. Any exams not completed within this guideline will result in a failure with no a refund. 

You can prepare for the CPLSA Application Build with the CPLSA App Design and Build Preparation Clinic, available for free. View the schedule in Pega Academy.

Certified Pega Lead System Architect, Next Steps

After certification, CPLSAs can continue to take advantage of the numerous training opportunities offered by Pega Academy:

  • Upon achieving your Pega Lead System Architect certification, you will be invited to join the LSA Community of Practice, which is a knowledge-sharing forum just for Certified Pega LSAs. Continuing education event invitations are emailed to all Certified Pega LSAs.
  • To round out your CPLSA experience, you may want to complete the following missions in Pega Academy:

Explore other training offerings

Frequently Asked Questions

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No, please note any email address that does not end in domain is not affiliated with this program. Participating in uploading your exam scenario could result in losing your CPLSA credential.

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Yes, anyone who has completed their written exams and not yet taken the CPLSA App Build is eligible to complete the current Application Build. Pega reserves the right to make changes to this expectation as future exams are released.

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We take the quality of the CPLSA App Build practical exam very seriously. Each version of the exam requires significant development time to create and maintain, as well as the time required to grade each individual exam submission. To ensure we are able to maintain the long-term viability of this exam offering, we are raising the price to $600 on October 1, 2021.

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Based on candidate feedback, we have decided to extend the time frame to allow more flexibility. The CPLSA App Build Exam is now broken up into two separate exam parts, with each phase demanding approximately 35 hours of work each.

These two portions are administered across two separate weeks. Candidates will receive two weeks (14 days) to complete the App Design and submit for grading. If the App Design is approved, candidates can schedule an additional week (7 days) to build the Application based on their proposed design.

The exam is not completed until the candidates receive a passing score on both the Design and the Build.

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We want to make the exam as accessible as possible.  We understand the candidates have project work and deadlines to meet.  By expanding the amount of time allowed, we aim to provide more flexibility to complete the App Design and Build during personal hours instead of requiring dedicated time off the project.

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App Design grading is based on the candidate’s ability to identify, evaluate, and document possible Pega solutions to solve selected aspects of a business scenario. The candidate should document his/her design thought process when comparing possible solutions to arrive at an optimal solution. A common error is to present only a single possible design which does not demonstrate the candidate’s architectural experience in identifying and evaluating solutions.

App Build grading is based on the candidate’s ability to fully implement a Pega application based on the optimal solution reached in their App Design phase. Grading criteria includes (but is not limited to): Functionality and implementation method of the required features, best practices, re-usability, security, user experience. A production ready application is expected. A design document is NOT required since it is based on the design submitted in the previous phase.  The candidate should however, submit a functional test document which guides the grader through testing the various requirements presented in the business scenario.

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Yes, if you scored above a 60% on your CPLSA App Build, you can amend the application, package and resubmit for consideration at no additional cost. If you score below a 60%, the CLSA Team will provide feedback for your review and you may re-attempt the exam after 3 months. You will be subject to paying the exam fee at that time, as this will be an entirely new exam to complete.

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This will depend on the number of submissions we are receiving at the time you submit your App Design / App Build. If you have questions on the status, or your position in the grading backlog, reach out to [email protected] and we will try to provide you with a status update.

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The CLSA Team will let you know whether you are eligible for a Design Fix / Build Fix based on their review of your submission.

If you are eligible for a design fix, you will schedule a 7-day period to rework and resubmit the design.

If you are eligible for a build fix, you will schedule a 4-day period to rework and resubmit the build.


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You will have 30 days from receiving your result to schedule your Fix.


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Candidates should all complete the new 8.8 Lead System Architect mission and review theC PLSA App Design & Build Preparation Clinic.

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Log into Pega Academy and visit the CPLSA Exam Registration page*. You can resume your case and edit the start date, up to two hours prior to your scheduled exam time. Once you have received your exam scenario, you can no longer reschedule.

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Please direct your requests to [email protected]. We try to respond to all emails within 48 hours.

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You may not share your work with anyone besides the Pega CLSA team.  Any sharing of your work or the questions is considered a violation of our policy.  Violators will have their results voided and will be banned from re-attempting the exam for three years. If someone asks to copy your work or if you receive an email request for your work, please report the incident to [email protected]

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The LSA Architecture exam (taken through Pearson VUE) follows Pega’s standard exam retake policy: Up to 3 attempts within a 12-month period, with a 3-day waiting period between the 1st and 2nd attempts, and 14-day waiting period between the 2nd and 3rd attempts.

The LSA Design and App build retake waiting period is 3 months from the date of receiving the result.

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