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APMP and PRINCE2 - the numeracy and literacy of project management?

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It is not exactly a new to say that achieving PRINCE2 Practitioner on its own does not make you a fully-rounded project manager. You only have to get a few battle hardened project managers in a room comparing their war wounds to hear the difficulties of Prince2 Practitioner being perceived on its own as the sole panacea to all project management ills.

This isnt an old tribal bias. Practitioners say much the same about those with APMP; how can you become a project manager with only five days training?

This view has created a false distinction between PRINCE2 qualifications and APMP. Youre either one or youre the other. But at a recent Project round table on qualifications Adrian Dooley of APM Group put it quite beautifully when he said that this was like choosing to do literacy rather than numeracy.

Both APM and the Office of Government Commerce have been increasingly vocal in recent months about the symbiotic relationship between APMP and PRINCE2. I made the case in an article in Project earlier in the year. The OGCs White Paper echoed the sentiments and a TSO book by Graham Williams APMP for PRINCE2 Practitioners has the support of both parties.

This bow wave of interest saw that a long desired concept could actually become a reality the possibility of creating a tangible relationship between PRINCE2 and APMP, clarifying once and for all that the decision is not either/or, but both / and.

So the idea of developing a new route into APMP was born, one for those who have gained prior learning with PRINCE2 Practitioner. The interest in the idea has been intense; finally there is an opportunity to marry the methodological knowledge offered by PRINCE2 with the wider project management knowledge offered through APMP, without having to cover the crossover twice.

So where are we with the plan? Well, we have developed a concept syllabus based on Graham Williams book and run four pilot examinations. The feedback from this will be evaluated in the middle of May with a view to preparing its release in early-June.

Because of the interest in the idea, we will be launching the new route in phases.

A soft launch to a small number of training providers will happen in July with courses likely to be available in the autumn 2010. We anticipate that all training providers holding dual accreditation for APMP and PRINCE2 will be able to run exams from early 2011 with new accreditations being available later in the year.

At the moment the idea remains in concept, but early indications suggest that the pilot has been successful and we should be in a position to make the syllabus and exam structure available in early summer. When we start rolling out the full launch in September, we anticipate a significant interest as project professionals gain the opportunity to become both literate and numerate in project management. Its an important development in our profession. Watch this space for more details.


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  1. Paul Naybour
    Paul Naybour 18 June 2010, 06:53 PM

    This is a huge step forward to see more collaboration between the OGC and APM. We are running a micro-site to explain the background to this new qualification.It includes a pool to see how many people are interested in this qualification. Votes are rolling in fast.Vote now at:APMP for Prince2 Micro site

  2. Alessia Fedeli
    Alessia Fedeli 09 May 2010, 09:11 PM

    Well done to APM and OGC. I have been waiting for this type of course for years. No doubt I will be one of the firsts to register with an approved provider as my personal development (and hopefully career) would benefit from this new concept.Please keep us updated on the progress made.

  3. Victor Fashoro
    Victor Fashoro 08 May 2010, 01:07 AM

    Well done, Liz. This is a welcome development. As an accredited trainer who delivers courses in both areas, I believe we cannot emphasise enough to our collegues in industry the main message: both are required to provide completeness for the project professional. We are not alone in our misconceptions as in North America, (Canada in particular) introducing PRINCE2 without addressing the advantages of the method, despite having PMI certification is laying the foundation for skepticism in your audience. I happen to think Graham's book is one of the best resources of our time and hope he will find the time to provide us with a PRINCE2: 2009 version before long. Keep up the good work. Can't wait!