Project Management Qualifications

Project Management Qualifications

Typical project management qualifications and accreditation.

By Emma Meakin

There are three main recognized organisations that devise and award project management qualifications. They all offer different levels of certification suitable for different types of project management roles.

PRINCE2 Foundation

The best known qualification is PRINCE2, awarded by APMG International. The PRINCE2 Foundation qualification is suitable for the most junior roles, including project administrators, office staff, planners and coordinators. Prior project management experience isn’t necessary at this level. The equivalent qualifications from the other two certifiers are the Introductory Certificate, awarded by APM, and the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), issued by PMI.

PRINCE2 Practitioner and other high-level courses

For those taking on management roles, and with at least two to three years of project management experience, APMG International offers the PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification. Roughly equivalent are the APM Project Management Qualification (APMP) and PMI’s Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). At the highest rung, for programme managers and directors, APMG International offers its MSP qualification (Managing Successful Programmes), whilst PMI has its PgMP (Certified Programme Management Professional).

APM follows a slightly different structure, offering its Practitioner Qualification (PQ) based on a practical assessment for project managers with at least three years experience of managing non-complex projects. It then offers the designation of Registered Project Professional (RPP) for senior managers with five years of experience in managing complex projects.

Switching accreditation

In many cases these organisations recognize each other’s qualifications for those wanting to progress to the next stage, so it generally is not essential to start from the bottom rung if you need to switch accreditation. All three awarding bodies benefit from wide recognition and a great deal of overlap in terms of course content and best practice recommendations. APM is focused mainly on UK practitioners, whilst APMG International and PMI both have an international reach.

Offer training to employees

Project management is a key area for any business and you should ensure that you have in place your own internal procedures to ensure that your projects are effectively managed. Offering training will not only motivate your staff but also strengthen your business.