What has the impact been on your career since becoming a Chartered Project Professional?
Becoming a Chartered Project Professional (ChPP) has been a huge milestone for me, both in my own professional development and as a member of the profession contributing more broadly to society. The chartered standard is a fantastic framework for project professionals to benchmark their skills and round out their development, particularly in early and middle career stages.
I have achieved recognition of my project delivery experience and been able to draw on the deep body of knowledge and support of other industry professionals to understand what ‘good’ looks like and how I can improve my own practice. These are tangible benefits but most important is the confidence ChPP has given me in my delivery capabilities to progress my career and seek additional responsibilities – I do not view the chartered standard as an end point, but more of a beginning in broadening my professional horizons and continuous development.
What does being chartered mean to you?
It is important to me that organisations deliver social value beyond simple economic necessity, and in my view being chartered is a key differentiator which helps individuals to contribute more effectively to society as a whole. Chartership connects individuals within the community and forms a sense of purpose that is greater than the sum of its parts. It can also help to embed awareness of political, social and environmental factors which are integral to project delivery, looking beyond the immediate consideration of ‘how are we going to do this?’ towards ‘what will the impact be – and what should the impact be?’
Chartership also formalises and promotes project management as a distinct discipline and profession. I think this distinction is especially important for project managers in construction, where there have historically been other more established pathways into industry which do not focus on the core principles of project management so much as the sector and environment in which we operate.
Being chartered is a recognisable mark of quality which helps to contextualise and formalise the profession, raising awareness of the broader social benefits which we can deliver alongside practical outcomes. As a chartered project professional, I am passionate about my work and I am always looking for ways to share this passion with others. This can take many forms, anything from taking pride in a ‘job well done’ to more proactive engagement, such as organising site visits for students and aspiring professionals.
Would you recommend becoming a Chartered Project Professional?
Chartered Project Professional is well worth the effort and I highly recommend this route to aspiring project managers. Certainly in construction the recognition will enhance employability and provide access to a huge variety of practicing and engaged professionals, as well as giving you the tools and resources to continue developing your career.
I particularly enjoy connecting with like-minded professionals and promoting both the profession and industry within wider society, which is facilitated by the chartered standard. As qualified professionals, we have a significant role in shaping positive outcomes through our projects. ChPP is not an end point, but a start to a rewarding career.
What are your tips for applying to become ChPP?
I recommend getting engaged with the APM as early as you can in your career to understand what the chartered standard is about and to help target your development. I was fortunate to be exposed to project management in a structured sense in my first job (with the Civil Service), and I formalised my learning through the APM ‘Introductory Certificate’ which is now known as the Project Fundamentals Qualification (PFQ). This is an excellent first step in understanding project management theory and developing your exposure, and I recommend this route to all of our graduates and apprentices. I would argue that there is a project manager in all of us to some extent, but it is the structured application of theory and practice which eventually leads to chartership.
It is important to understand your own learning style to develop your project experience and prepare for submission and assessment. For me, it was really beneficial to combine study with hands-on experience – I worked full time as a project manager while studying an accredited Master’s degree part-time. This suited my learning style and allowed me to develop a thorough understanding of the technical competencies required alongside demonstrable professional practice.
I also advise talking to other industry professionals, participating in study groups with colleagues if possible, and not rushing the process – the journey is as important as the end result, if not more so!