Which Project Management Qualification to choose

Posted on: 13th May 2021

What’s best for you?

Choosing the best project management qualification for you can be a difficult and time consuming task, because there are many qualifications to choose from. You need to consider several points that may help determine the route you take. They are:

  • What is your project management experience, if any.
  • Do you want a career in project management or is the qualification required to support another career.
  • What is the availability of the qualification and what are the delivery options (classroom, Live Online, Online).
  • Is a specific qualification required by your employer, future employer. If so then your choice is simple.

APM Project Management Qualifications

Consider this as the main route to improving your project management employability. Your career can be further supported by learning additional project management frameworks/methods to complement your APM based knowledge. Popular methods include: PRINCE2, PRINCE2 Agile, AgilePM and MSP. In the next section I’ll focus on APM qualifications and how they can be of benefit.

APM Project Fundamentals Qualification  | (APM PFQ course details) – step 1

An introduction into project management. No experience required. You will learn the fundamental principles of project management, and this is the first step on the APM’s project management route to become a Chartered Project Professional. This qualification can also be used for members of a project management team, so everyone understands the language of project management. A two day course with one multi-choice exam at the end.

APM Project Management Qualification  | (APM PMQ course details) – step 2

This course includes an in depth look at the APM’s topics from the Body of Knowledge (BoK) version 7. It will be an advantage to have some project management experience. Preferably at least two to three years working in a project management environment. The course is quite intensive with evening work each night. You will be given questions to submit by the morning of the following day where they will be evaluated and discussed. This is to prepare you for your exam and also to understand how the APM wants you to answer the questions. If you are PRINCE2 Practitioner qualified then you have an option of taking the 2 hour exam instead of the standard 3 hour exam. This is in recognition of prior learning.

APM Project Professional Qualification  | (APM PPQ contact us) – step 3

This course forms part of the route to become a Chartered Project Professional (ChPP). Its another examination based qualification that assesses your capability in delivering professional projects. The course will cover core and specific competencies required across all areas of project management. Its a good next step to consider after taking your APM PMQ, getting more experience and improving your career prospects and earning potential.

APMG Qualifications

Agile Project Management®  | (AgilePM course details)

This project management framework has really taken off and become very popular with many UK, European and Canadian organisations. Its a tried and tested method that sits well in todays turbulent market. You’ll see it called Agile Project Management or AgilePM. The qualification is split into foundation and practitioner levels with two exams. In comparison with an APM PMQ, PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile its much lighter product and most delegates find it easier to understand and pass the exams. You might consider combining an AgilePM with an APM PMQ qualification to improve your employability. I’d consider taking AgilePM before the APM PMQ to improve your chances of exam success for both qualifications.

Change Management®  |  (ChMgt course details)

This course is designed to help organisations and their staff manage the impact of change. It provides techniques to plan and implement successful transformational initiatives.  The four day course consists of a foundation and practitioner element with two exams. The course is very interactive and would be useful for anyone looking for a certified framework designed to support business change. In many large companies there are dedicated Change Management members of staff employed to speed up the implementation of a change program. If you wanted to group this qualification with another you might consider either AgilePM, PRINCE2 or an APM PFQ or PMQ depending on your overall direction.

AXELOS/PeopleCert Qualifications

This is a very new path to take for project managers who want to focus on a specific set of methods. As you can see from the image below, becoming either a certified PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner and MoR, MSP Practitioner you can become a ProPath Project Expert or ProPath Agile Project Expert. The qualifications must be kept up to date to maintain the overall certification. To become a ProPath Programme Leader you must have successfully completed an MSP, MoP and P3O practitioner exams and all qualifications must remain in date.

PRINCE2 has become a very popular project management framework across the UK, Europe and many other countries around the world. Its a tried and tested method that acts as a hand rail for the project manager to use from the start right through to the end of a project. Some companies require this qualification even if your not going into project management.

PRINCE2®  |  (PRINCE2 Foundation, Practitioner course details)

PRINCE2 is an intensive four and a half day course with a foundation and practitioner exam. The foundation is a one hour multi-choice exam and most delegates on our courses pass first time. To reduce your risks there is an option to pay for “Take2” which gives you a second go at the exam if you should fail. You can pay for a Take2 for both foundation and practitioner exams but most people consider using if for the practitioner exam only. This qualification goes well with APM PMQ or AgilePM.

PRINCE2 Agile®  |  (PRINCE2 Agile course details)

This PRINCE2 Agile course includes elements of agile not included in the standard PRINCE2 certification. You would choose either the PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile course and not do both. The course is equally as intensive as PRINCE2 and includes an identical examination structure.