Highways England is introducing a new scheme for developing project professionals in collaboration with APM.
The organisation is introducing two new certificates for emerging project professionals, aligning with APM’s frameworks and standards – Foundation Project Professional and Practising Project Professional. These certificates are effectively the stepping stones to provide a clear ‘line-of-sight’ from the beginning of their careers, through to chartered status if they choose to pursue it.
The Highways England team is promoting these steps to drive a professional development culture through their project delivery community, make it achievable for talented and emerging professionals to target their CPD and career pathway, learn from the wider professional community through APM associate membership to achieve Full Member status within the APM (MAPM) and on through to Chartership earlier in their career.
Peter Mumford, major projects executive director at Highways England, says: “We want to attract the best new talent and enable our project professionals to reach their full potential – and that’s why we’re working with APM. Developing recognised project professionals through independent assessment will give our people the support they need to build their experience and meet their career ambitions.
In addition to endorsing the progress of young professionals, the scheme provides Highways England with the governance, organisation and controls to deliver our schemes effectively, says Mumford, assuring customers that the organisation is delivering projects safely and efficiently. “With that in mind, I’m going to lead by example and have set myself the target of achieving APM certification this year.”
The Foundation Project Professional certificate, as the first step, is awarded for supporting project delivery and embedding learning from the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification (APM PFQ). To achieve this evidence is submitted against six APM competencies - covering technical and behavioural disciplines at level 2 of the APM competence rating scale.
The more challenging Project Professional certificate is awarded for taking ownership of delivery tasks within a project team by providing evidence against eight APM competencies covering technical and behavioural skills across level 2 and 3 of the APM competence rating scale, with 12 months of continued professional development (CPD) activity. Highways England has made the commitment to award Associate Membership of APM with the practicing professional, giving staff access to additional APM professional development resources and networks.
Chief executive at APM Debbie Dore welcomed Highways England’s commitment to the profession: “Raising the profile of project professionals and the roles they play is pushing the industry forward and encouraging innovation across delivery. By mapping its career paths to the professional qualifications and chartership offered by APM, Highways England will give its employees a great opportunity to develop their career aligned to professionally recognised standards.”