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Pega Certified Lead System Architect

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

Your PCLSA 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 PCLSA 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.

PCLSA Prerequisites

PCLSA 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

Pega recommends that real-world experience of at least 12 months be gained before attempting to achieve the PCLSA certification. Working twelve 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 Academy is introducing a self-paced course that helps senior system architects fill potential gaps in knowledge and experience. The Senior System Architect Advanced Topic course is based on the Pega 8.3 Platform and is only available in the previous version of Pega Academy.

Senior System Architect Advanced Topics include:

  • Customizing Security Requirements in Pega Applications
  • Configuring Agent Processing 
  • Customizing the User Experience 
  • Improving Application Performance 
  • Creating Mobile Solutions 

LSA Readiness Assessment

When senior system architects are confident that they can configure a Pega solution to successfully meet most business requirements, they can take the LSA Readiness Assessment.  

The LSA Readiness Assessment is an assessment that is taken within the Pega Academy website. This assessment checks knowledge on more advanced configuration topics such as Mobility, Performance, and Authentication. A passing score validates that senior system architects are ready to move to the next level of Pega mastery – design and architecture.

The LSA Readiness Assessment mission is completed in the Pega Academy web site.

Lead System Architect

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:

  • Enterprise Design
  • Case Design
  • Data Model Design
  • User Experience Design
  • Security
  • Reporting
  • Asset Design and Reuse
  • Background processing
  • Performance
  • Deployment and Testing

Testing Requirements

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

  • Pega Architecture Exam 
  • LSA Architecture Design/Application 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. PCLSA candidates only need to pass the Architecture exam once in any version to be eligible for the LSA App Build.

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

PCLSA Application Build

The PCLSA App 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:

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

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 7 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)This time allocation should give a candidate time to complete the exam with minimal disruption to their normal work schedule.

The PCLSA Application build Exam is managed by Pegasystems. The cost is $300 per attempt. Please contact the CLSA Team at to register for the Application Build. 

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

Visit the Pega Collaboration Center to find App Build exam samples and receive test taking advice from instructors. 

Pega Certified Lead System Architect, Next Steps

After certification, PCLSAs can continue to take advantage of the numerous training opportunities offered by 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 CLSA credential.

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Yes, anyone who has completed their written exams and not yet taken the CLSA App Build is eligible to complete their App Build on version 8.3.

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Based on candidate feedback, we have decided to extend the time frame to allow more flexibility. The PCLSA 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 one full week (7 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 want to provide more flexibility to work on the App Design and Build during off hours instead of requiring dedicated time off the project.

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App Design grading is based on the candidate’s ability to analyze, compare and document potential designs for a Pega solution to solve selected aspects of the business scenario. The candidate should document his 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 experience in determining all possible solutions.  Problem areas to solve include (but are not limited to) Case Design, Application extensibility and specialization, Data Model, assignment retrieval and routing. Three different questions must be completed which are weighted at 50%, 25% and 25%. A template will be provided to guide the candidate in the documentation process.

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 8.3 CLSA App Design document, you can amend the documentation and resubmit for consideration. If you score below a 60%, the CLSA Team will provide feedback for your review and you may re-attempt the App Design after 3 months.

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Anyone is eligible for the 8.3 CLSA App Build as long as they have completed the prerequisites. 

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This will depend on the number of submissions we are receiving at the time you submit your App Design, but the CLSA Team will provide an SLA.

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The CLSA Team will let you know whether or not you are eligible for an App Fix or Design Fix based on their review of your submission. If you are eligible, you will schedule a 7 day period to rework and resubmit the design.


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You will have 30 days from receiving your result to schedule your App/Design Fix. Once begun, you only have 7 days to complete the Fix.


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The LSA Readiness Exam has been replaced with a Pega Academy Readiness Assessment. This Assessment is meant to prove you are at the level required to begin your LSA Journey. It is recommended that you complete the Assessment to gauge your preparedness.



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Candidates should all complete the new 8.3 Lead System Architect course and review the PCLSA App Design & Build Preparation Clinic.

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The 7.4 App Build is no longer available for registration.

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​Once you have confirmed that you met all the requirements, please make payment for the exam here. Choose any date and time – this will not be the date that you will take the exam. Once payment is made, send your ENR payment id and the below info to to schedule your exam.

  • Full name
  • Pega ID
  • Company
  • Primary email
  • Alternate email
  • Start date (please send it with at least 2 business days’ notice)
  • Start time (EST)
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Please direct your requests to 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

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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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