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What are the real benefits of APM membership?

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Few are untouched by the efficiency drives and budget cuts sweeping across the public and private sector. It is a constant presence whenever I talk to project management communities all over the country.

When I address these communities of existing or prospective corporate members, one of the most frequently asked questions is “what do I get for my membership”?

Questioners typically expect me to deliver a list of tangible membership benefits that can be measured in terms of value for money. Of course there are many benefits of being a member over a non-member, but this doesn’t reveal the complete story?

There is often a discernable silence from the audience when I tell them they should not participate with the professional body if they were to join solely for the tangible benefits.

Why, then, should they join?

The answer lies in the intangibles of professionalism by way of alignment to a recognised standard of knowledge and skills required to be a project professional.

Professionalism as a concept can be a little ambiguous. When ‘being a professional’ is put into the context of recognition, status and remuneration, it becomes very relevant to individuals. It is also relevant when put to major public and private sector employers in terms of their need for improved project delivery and efficiency.

I also tell my audiences that participation with the APM is not only about what they get from APM membership personally, but also about their responsibility to put something back into this increasingly important profession.

Being a not for profit charity, the volunteers who run the APM branches, Specific Interest Groups, participate on our advisory groups and represent the profession as APM Trustees are vital to the on-going public benefit requirements of the profession and the APM.

So when considering the benefits of project management it is always important to look at the likely return your investment in a membership subscription, but it is equally important to look a little deeper.


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  1. Andy Jordan
    Andy Jordan 27 August 2010, 07:45 AM

    Totally agree. I put together some thoughts about why my IT Apprentices should join the British Computer Society and one of the main points made was PROFESSIONALISM and that belonging to progressive, like-minded individuals. It's a confidence builder when you start to realise there are many others who think along the same path as yourself. Then there's also a realisation others miss the mark completely, having some unusual thoughts and processes, adding to your confidence that you can think along the same as the majority and can help the others.I mentioned you don't have to pay hundreds of pounds a year on membership as resources are available to tap into those knowledge areas such as LinkedIn. One day when APM has Chartership as per the BCS and organisations start to insist on professional members to run projects then I'd "feel" good that I've been apart of and developed with these professional bodies in these early stages.