Skip to content

What’s in a name? APM qualifications explained

Added to your CPD log

View or edit this activity in your CPD log.

Go to My CPD
Only APM members have access to CPD features Become a member Already added to CPD log

View or edit this activity in your CPD log.

Go to My CPD
Added to your Saved Content Go to my Saved Content

APM recently announced its intentions to update the names of its qualification suite. From December our Introductory Certificate and APMP qualifications will be known as the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification (PFQ) and APM Project Management Qualification (PMQ) following the launch of our new APM Project Professional Qualification (PPQ) in April. 

But why? Well, as the project management profession has evolved, so too have APM’s qualifications. They have developed organically over an extended period of time by different people for different purposes; as a result, their names, in particular, have adopted a number of variants and styles. 

These include, for example, APM Professional which became APMP and then APMP – The Project Management Qualification. The APM Introductory Certificate in Project Management is known as the IC, ICPM, Introductory Certificate and so on.

But we know from feedback we’ve had from training providers, employers and candidates that it can be difficult to understand how APM’s qualifications link together as a coherent progressive career path; something the profession has been looking for over a long period of time.

Bringing consistency to the names, guiding candidates and employers from the ‘fundamentals’ through ‘management’ to ‘professional’ levels of understanding, will help demonstrate that APM qualifications can support a candidate throughout their career, allowing them to be taken individually or in sequence. 

Practically any re-branding will take some time to fully bed in and no doubt we will still see and hear references to the old names for some time to come. But the clearer we can be in demonstrating a progressive pathway, the more effective we will be in showing that project management is a career path worth pursuing. 

We do hope that the change of name will clarify a gap in understanding the progressive nature of the suite thereby promoting a long term investment in professional development that the profession needs. 


Join the conversation!

Log in to post a comment, or create an account if you don't have one already.

  1. Richard Renshaw
    Richard Renshaw 04 November 2016, 03:24 PM

    Excellent Scott.

    As a suggestion could you consider to adapt the below;

    a table to map the re-branded APM qualifications to the IPMA four levels as of the present;

    Then repeat the table to include nominal dates for subsequent qualifications to cover all the IPMA four levels. Such could be structured dates as: draft 1, draft 2 etc. for example at IPMA level A.

    In addition there could prove to be other qualifications in synchronization which I thought could be listed as a URL link; for example

    It's just a suggestion, hope it appeals.


    Sunny Qata

  2. Brian Martin
    Brian Martin 07 November 2016, 03:29 PM

    With the new qualifications above and the transition from the old I am no longer clear which qualifications are required to acheive full membership and to carry the designation MAPM. can you advise?

  3. Tim Combley
    Tim Combley 11 November 2016, 03:34 PM

    Hi Brian, there are no requirements for any qualification to become a full member and membership is granted on experience (min. 5 years). However, passing the PPQ and PQ demonstrate the required experience and grant you full membership. I hope that makes sense, feel free to email me on with any questions. 

  4. Mark George
    Mark George 27 July 2017, 08:00 PM

    I have sadly had some negative comments and impressions, from other, reinforced today. The requirement to pass the associations own training schemes to achieve full membership, at some personal cost. There seems to have been no considerations of experience or attempts by your review panel to establish credentials before bestowing student level membership on a 20 years seasoned professional working under the most stringent of all construction contracts. Might I suggest you update your membership definitions, as I am clearly not just starting out on my career. I have asked for review and validation of the decision but as stated some negative stereotypes have been sadly reinforced.