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What project management qualification is best for me?

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So, you’ve heard of project management, the ever-growing profession with over 2 million full time equivalent workers. Maybe you work with a project manager, have been a project manager for a while, manage events, started a business, or just want to know what the fuss is about. Being part of the project management community is the best career decision you can make to stand out in any job market or kick start your career as a project professional (or both).

Getting started

Let’s start with those of you who want to become project managers, work with project managers or want the fundamental skill that is managing projects (like an event or product launches) with undeniable success. The Project Fundamentals Qualification (PFQ) gives you a good basis of project management knowledge – it’s ideal for anyone who wants to learn more about what is and how to ‘do’ project management.

The PFQ is a qualification that assesses your knowledge of the essential, core parts of project management, allowing you to start on an exciting career path as a project manager. Or to better understand project management processes when part of a project team.

The qualification is assessed by multiple-choice exam, made up of 60 questions, taken in an hour. And it’s not scary even if the thought of exams put you off. Find out how to pass an online project management qualification in this blog.

The PFQ is also levelled by the Scottish Credit and Qualifications’ Framework (SCQF) to be level 6, which is the equivalent level of rigour to a Regulated Qualifications Framework England (RQF) level 3 qualification (i.e. equivalent rigour to an AS Level or A Level).

Levelling up

Maybe you know what project management is, you’ve completed the PFQ and you want something to help you further; you’re looking to move deeper into a project management career. If you’re a practising project manager, have taken some project management qualifications, starting out your career or just want to hone your understanding of project management then the Project Management Qualification (PMQ) is right for you.

With the PMQ you can further develop your project management knowledge, consolidate what you know and put yourself a cut above the rest. It helps you achieve a broad understanding of project management that will help you get involved in projects from individual assignments through to large capital projects. You’ll learn how project management elements interact and how projects fit into a strategic and commercial environment.

There are two options to take this qualification’s assessment:

  • A three hour paper, with an additional 15 minutes reading time at the start, where you answer ten short answer questions from a selection of sixteen.
  • If you hold the PRINCE2® Registered Practitioners qualification then APM offers a two hour paper, with an additional 10 minutes reading time at the start, where you answer six short answer questions from a selection of ten.

The Project Management Qualification is levelled by the SCQF to be level 7, which is the equivalent level of rigour to an RQF level 4 qualification (i.e. equivalent rigour to; an NVQ or Higher Apprenticeship).

One step further

So you’re a seasoned professional – you manage projects regularly, you’ve got project management qualifications and want to take the next step in your career. To gain comprehensive understanding of professional project management capability, covering the core and specific competencies required across all areas of project management you should take the Project Professional Qualification (PPQ).

The PPQ will evaluate your skills and capability in delivering professional projects, assessing you in an environment akin to a project professional’s working practices. It’s also great step to take if you’re looking to achieve the Chartered Project Professional (ChPP) standard.

This qualification’s assessment is based on a pre-seen case study and is divided into three parts:

  • a scenario assessment,
  • an oral exam
  • a written report.

In total, the assessment of all three elements will last 2 hours 35 minutes and will take place on the same day. 

The PPQ is levelled by the SCQF to be level 9, which is the equivalent level of rigour to an RQF level 6 qualification (i.e. equivalent rigour to a Bachelor's degree, Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma). Find more information about project management qualifications here.

Royal status

You’re not new to the game. You know what projects are, you’ve delivered plenty and you want to reach a benchmark in the project management world that makes you the best. Well, then looks like you should take the steps to chartership. Are you ready?

  • You are professionally active with a proven track record of delivering projects, programmes, portfolios or a key control or enabling function.
  • These projects, programmes or portfolios exhibit characteristics of complexity.
  • You have the required breadth of project experience to meet the requirements of ten mandatory and two elective competences.
  • You have an advanced technical knowledge and are able to confidently evaluate and analyse theory of current practices and methods.
  • You are committed to continuing professional development and an ethical way of working.

The Chartered Project Professional (ChPP) standard is a professional benchmark that demonstrates attainment of a defined level of technical knowledge, professional practice and ethical behaviour.

The application process is designed to be as inclusive as possible with different routes according to your qualifications, previous assessments and experience. The same requirements for technical knowledge and professional practice apply to everyone but they are tested in different ways.

There are three routes:

  • Route 1: if you have a recognised assessment for technical knowledge.
  • Route 2: if you have a recognised assessment for technical knowledge and professional practice.
  • Route 3: an experiential route if you don’t have a recognised assessment but do meet the eligibility criteria.

For more information on joining the chartered community, click here.

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