Association for Project Management (APM) has set a new bar for professionals with the launch of its Major Project Leadership Specialist Certificate.
The new certificate is a targeted assessment for project professionals who lead major projects allowing project professionals to specialise in areas reflecting their own interest and experience.
The Major Project Leadership Specialist Certificate will provide assurance that those who hold it have the specific skills, behaviours and experience required to lead on projects with significant social and economic impacts. Its creation follows calls from the profession to recognise the competences required by those spearheading major projects as they continue to grow in size and impact across the globe.
Based around eight competences, the specialist certificate has been created in collaboration with representatives from private and public sector organisations who already lead the way in delivering major projects, including the Major Projects Association.
Andy Murray, executive director of the Major Projects Association, said: “The very nature of major projects makes the leadership of them very different from the general leadership of large organisations or the leadership of regular projects. For example, leaders of major projects have to deal with complexities such as leading across organisational boundaries, dealing with a temporary organisation that has characteristics of a permanent organisation or dealing with longer timescale which introduce uncertainty and ambiguity of requirements, solutions, benefits and costs. The Major Project Leadership Specialist Certificate assesses competencies required to address such characteristics so major project leaders and their employers can now understand development pathways and capabilities for those who wish to take on the most challenging of projects.”
View from the profession
As part of the Major Project Leadership Specialist Certificate pilot scheme, project experts from a wide range of organisations worked towards the new standard and shared their feedback.
Páraic McLoughney ChPP, FAPM, deputy project manager, BP
“[This certificate] allows you to test your competences and capabilities against a standardised framework, giving you a great sense of your readiness to contribute at a high level in major project delivery. I would recommend it to people who are looking to progress within their major project organisation.
“The process was well structured and clear, with similarities to the chartership process. I particularly enjoyed the interview, which felt very much like a conversation between peers about some of the real challenges associated with the delivering major projects.”
Andrew Goodman ChPP, MAPM, workplace transformation director, Department for Work and Pensions
“The delivery of major projects requires experience, knowledge and leadership. Having a certificate that recognises that but is also a benchmarked professional standard helps to maintain transferable skills between projects and ultimately will further professionalise the delivery of major projects.
“Professional development is key to a continued professional career and the certificate will help maintain that.”