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How chartered status can boost your career as a project professional

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In a crowded project management profession, practitioners are always looking for ways to stand out. If you’re looking to bolster your profile in 2022, chartership is a great option.

For this article, I spoke to recent graduates of APM’s Chartered Project Professional (ChPP) standard to hear why they wanted to achieve chartership, how they found the process and their top tips for success.

What is ChPP

As APM’s online chartered resources explain, the ChPP standard is a “professional benchmark that demonstrates the attainment of a defined level of technical knowledge, professional practice, and ethical behaviour”.

There are three routes to achieve the standard, based on your prior level of technical assessment, with the bulk of the process formed of a written application and a follow-on competency interview. The application process opens at various intervals throughout the year, with a range of online and in-person support services available to help you succeed.

As a project professional, achieving the ChPP standard proves that you have the perfect mix of technical knowledge and professional practice. It’s not based on any new learning or qualifications but on showcasing the change you’ve already delivered throughout your career.

In December, I spoke to two 2021 ChPP graduates to hear about their experiences.


Stacey is a project manager at SSE Renewables. In her four years as a project professional, she’s delivered change across the engineering, defence and energy sectors, alongside studying for a BSc in digital and technology solutions with the University of Exeter. Right now, she’s working on the Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm project, which is on track to become one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world.

Why did you want to achieve the ChPP standard?

As a young female in a male-dominated industry, I felt gaining ChPP certification would help to minimise doubts and prove that I am suitably qualified for my job role.

How did ChPP compare to other qualifications or standards you’ve completed in the past?

APM’s Project Fundamentals Qualification and Project Management Qualification are both traditional courses, with content and exams, which were very informative. In comparison, the ChPP application requires you to apply your own scenarios to a set of competencies to justify your project management experience.

How has achieving chartership impacted you as a project professional?

ChPP certification has opened up opportunities I never thought I would have. It has acted as a springboard to move into an industry I have always been interested in and given me the chance to talk to students and other professionals, inspiring young females into a project management career that is rewarding and varied.

What top tip would you give to project professionals interested in ChPP?

My advice would be to take your time with the application as you can save your written submission and go back to it as many times as you like. For the interview itself – don’t panic. The questions are based on what you have written, so you already know the answers.


Jack is a senior project manager with the global built environment firm Arup. Before this, he worked for Network Rail, progressing his way up from project management assistant to leading a £70m electrification portfolio in just four years. He’s currently working on Phase 2a of the HS2 programme, which recently secured royal assent from the Queen. He has an MSc in programme and project management.

Why did you want to achieve the ChPP standard?

There were several reasons, but mainly I think it’s crucial for my career ambitions to invest heavily in professional development. APM is a highly regarded professional institution with its Body of Knowledge, a comprehensive resource I’ve referred to throughout my career. With that in mind, I felt compelled to cement my credentials by obtaining its top qualification, ChPP.

How did ChPP compare to other qualifications or standards you’ve completed in the past?

In 2019, I obtained MRICS status with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, so I have experience of what it takes to become chartered. While the MRICS content was directed towards the built environment, the ChPP syllabus covered a broader range of project management fundamentals. Both required the submission of a body of evidence to demonstrate my knowledge and experience against a series of competencies, and both incorporated a robust panel interview.

How has achieving chartership impacted you as a project professional?

Achieving chartership with APM has benefitted me in many ways. It has certainly garnered a degree of professional kudos and recognition, both within and outside my firm. It has also helped to reinforce my confidence in my own abilities, particularly in situations where my technical project management advice is being relied upon by colleagues or clients.

What type of project work would you advise other project professionals to seek out to align with the ChPP competencies?

The 27 ChPP competencies are broad-ranging and, as such, I wouldn’t direct others to focus on any specific type of work. What I would emphasise, though, is that your experience needs to be hands-on and in-depth; ChPP is all about recognising highly skilled professionals, and naturally, the projects you include in your submission must demonstrate your level of expertise.

What top tip would you give to project professionals interested in ChPP?

Plan, plan, plan. Predictable advice from a project professional, but it pays off. I started planning the drafting of my application 12 months before I sat the final interview. Also, remember to surround yourself with good people. It’s crucial that you have a network of ChPP-qualified peers whom you can regularly connect with for advice and guidance. If your immediate network doesn’t contain any ChPPs, reach out to others via LinkedIn.


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