Competence Framework FAQs

Are the role profiles available to individual project professionals?

Yes, the role profiles are available to individuals and can be downloaded. the Role Profiles to help you focus on those competences relevant to your situation.


How does the new framework map across to the old one? What are the key differences?

A mapping between the old and new competence frameworks is available. The old competence framework was based on a one to one mapping with the APM Body of Knowledge 5th edition and only covered project management. The new competence framework has been developed on the functions of project programme and portfolio management and the competences that need to be in place to ensure that project, programme, portfolio and PMO management is effective.

The new competence framework is written at a higher level and has removed the duplication that exists in the old competence framework. Rather than go into the detail of specific tools and techniques, in the new competence framework, the emphasis is on knowing and using the most appropriate tools and techniques. The new competence framework also provides role profiles for project, programme, portfolio and PMO roles, allowing greater flexibility and interpretation of the competence framework content.


How do the new role profiles fit in with the competence framework and how can they be used?

The competence framework content has been developed to cover the competences needed for project, programme and portfolio managers and those working in PMO. A number of the competences in each of these roles are the same, but it is the context in which they are delivered that differs.

Conversely, some of the competences are specific for certain roles and do not apply to everyone. The role profiles have been developed to show which competences are applicable to which role and at which level they should be demonstrated.

They can be used to benchmark project professionals across an organisation, for individual career development, talent gap analysis, the basis for job roles or the basis for developing an internal competence framework.


Why have you reduced the number of competences from 47 to 27- surely that makes it less valuable?

The new APM Competence Framework is based on functional mapping, so looking at what functions need to take place for project, programme, portfolio and PMO management to be effective. We have removed duplication and also moved to a higher level of outcome based performance indicators rather than going into detail on specific tools and techniques.

Rather than making it less valuable, the changes that have been made make the framework more accessible, easier to use and provides greater coverage of roles.

Rather than go into the detail of specific tools and techniques, in the new competence framework, the emphasis is on knowing and using the most appropriate tools and techniques. So using Earned Value as an example, there are performance indicators relating to tools and techniques for monitoring and controlling the change initiative. 

How often are you going to review and update this version of the framework?

We see this being a more frequently updated and improved tool. Those improvements and enhancements will be shaped in large part by the feedback and experiences we gather with our clients as we go. A How to Guide is also now available, in response to feedback.



I’m happy using the 1st edition and have embedded it into my company framework. Why should I change?

The original Competence Framework can still be used. However the new Competence Framework has broader coverage and includes project, programme, portfolio and PMO competences and role profiles. The performance indicators are outcome focussed and, supported by the role profiles, it makes it clear as to whether someone is competent at a certain level or what their development needs are.

APM’s new Competence Framework is evidence of our bigger story - enabling greater professionalism and therefore developing the profession and its impact on organisational goals. The new APM Competence Framework is part of a much larger toolkit which APM can provide to support that professional development.


How does the new framework link into the existing qualifications and RPP?

The APM Project Fundamentals Qualification and The APM Project Management Qualification are knowledge based qualifications and based on the APM Body of Knowledge. PPQ, RPP and the APM Chartered Standard are aligned to the Competence Framework.

What support or resources will APM provide to individual project professionals?

Individuals have access to a How to Guide for the Competence Framework and those registered to use the APM website will be given access to the 27 competences from within the new APM Competence Framework, in PDF format, 14 role profiles, and a self-assessment form.

Is there a user guide for trainers and assessors?

There are a series of webinars that will be run to provide assistance to trainers, along with detailed information in the licence packs. Where the content of the qualification relates to qualification content, all assessors will be trained on assessment using the new material. 

Is there a simple self-assessment tool that can be used?

Please download the self-assessment form here.

It is recommended that project professionals complete a self-assessment against the competences at least every 12 months, however it is worth reviewing development against specific competences more regularly. This will help you to keep on top of your personal learning objectives and your progress against them.


Are portfolio managers not always more senior than project managers? Why are some of their required competence scores lower?

Portfolio managers require different competences to project managers. As shown in the role profiles there are some competences that are only applicable for portfolio managers.

Portfolio managers need to be aware of the technical competences needed by project managers and they have to know enough to ensure the job is being completed correctly, but do not need to have a high level of competence in these areas themselves.


Who can I contact if I have any queries regarding the new framework or role profiles?

Calling on behalf of an organisation or training provider?:
Phone: 01844 271 690

Calling as an individual project professional?:
Phone: 01844 271 681 


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