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Benchmarking Survey draws out the need for professionalism

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Posted by APM on 24th Feb 2011

Arras People’s sixth annual survey of the UK project management market has been released recognising that in tough times the profession continues to grow “from short term ‘task force’-type activities to the cusp of being recognised as a fully fledged professional career”.

It reveals that in the last three years the recession has hit practitioners working in the private sector much harder than their public sector peers, but despite continuing pressure on the private sector; the Government’s deficit reduction programme is bringing new challenges to those working in local and central government. 14% of respondents entered 2011 under the threat of redundancy in the public sector although confidence is on the rise in the private sector.

In such challenging times, the survey reveals how the demand for the true project professional remains hugely valued and in demand, reinforcing the message of professionalism that has become the mainstay of APM in recent years.

Qualified to practice?
Although experience remains an essential component of project management and a key element of the APM 5 Dimensions of Professionalism, Arras People believe that “As an emerging profession accreditation and qualification will be an important part of setting the standards going forward.”

The need to develop more rounded professionals has seen the APMP qualification become a “rising star” in the project management world, becoming the 3rd most popular qualification amongst respondents in 2011. The introduction, in 2010, of a new route to APMP for PRINCE2® Practitioners is sure to see further recognition of the qualification as a valuable contributor to the project professional's toolkit.

Positive view of the impact of qualifications
As the profession grows in maturity the role of qualifications as a foundation for professional confidence is increasing. 57% of respondents say their employers now expect employees to have project and programme management qualifications and accreditations with 63% confirming that it helps them to secure new roles.

The launch of APM Registered Project Professional on the 1st March provides a single, robust professional competence standard for the first time. The standard is much needed, with 66% of respondents agreeing that most employers currently confuse project management qualifications with project management competence.

A focus on competence and the reflective nature of the new standard, where candidates are asked to demonstrate they have satisfied 29 core project management competences - appears to meet the needs of the profession with 69% agreeing that they see project management qualifications and accreditations as an important part of their ongoing professional development.

APM 5 Dimensions grows as the choice for employers
The survey also revealed the higher demand for APM related training amongst employees. This trend, Arras say, is “driven by corporate initiatives as they align with the different professional bodies and their methods.”

The growing adoption of the APM 5 Dimensions of Professionalism as a framework of choice is illustrated by the increasing numbers achieving APM Corporate Accreditation. BAE Systems, Costain, Department for Work and Pensions, EC Harris, EDF Energy, Fujitsu, General Dynamics, Rider Levett Bucknall, Rolls Royce, Shell, and Siemens, have all gained accreditation for their project management development schemes in the last year.

Click here to request a copy of the Arras People Benchmarking Survey 2011.

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