The Royal Charter

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Posted by Jess Faulkner on 12th Feb 2017

Since its early days, APM has played a leading role in promoting the profession, raising standards and developing excellence through its qualifications in project management. This contribution has included the APM Body of Knowledge and APM Competence Framework, as well as qualifications that provide developmental opportunities and recognition for all stages of a project professional's career.

Chartered status takes APM to the next stage in its journey of growth.

It has been achieved thanks to the hard work and commitment of those dedicated to achieving APM's goals of upholding and raising professional standards in project management.

To celebrate this achievement, leading figures from APM and the wider project management community reflect on what APM and its new status mean to them as project professionals.

David Waboso, president, APM

Projects are the way that modern economies deliver change.

They act as a key driver of jobs and growth in the economy, enhancing the quality of people’s lives, and aiding sustainability and security.

Although it is true that project management largely grew out of engineering and the built environment, it can now be seen at the heart of nearly all business sectors, from financial services to pharmaceuticals, retail and wholesale.

Now, through APM’s Royal Charter, the profession has achieved official recognition of the sheer scale of project management’s impact on both the economy and society.

This, in turn, demands that we, as individuals, continue to commit to personal learning and development, and also to the highest standards of probity and integrity.

The challenges for the profession are becoming more complex and intertwined. The world is politically fractious. We face endless demand, increasing expectations and an ever-present downward pressure on costs. Technological advancement is driving a fourth industrial revolution, in which managing data and automation will be key.

Increasing social, political, economic and technological change, nationally and globally, underline the need for successful management of projects.

So, the Royal Charter brings welcome status and recognition that consolidate our position among other professional bodies. But we must make it a staging post on a longer journey towards growth and prosperity.

Sara Drake, chief executive, APM

This is an important moment for the profession, providing official recognition of the status of project, programme and portfolio management. Chartered status will help APM develop its leadership role as the voice of the profession, demonstrating the societal and economic contribution of project management, leading and influencing others, and encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration with like-minded individuals and organisations.

There is a need from time to time to consider the forces buffeting the profession and what we can do to help members succeed. But our core purpose – meeting the needs of members and the wider public, creating a sense of community, facilitating networking and employment opportunities, and providing qualifications and skills – will always remain important.

APM will, as always, continue to promote the core values at the heart of the project profession: confidence and trust, excellence in professional knowledge and judgement, and delivering beneficial change.

John McGlynn, chairman, APM

It is a real privilege to take on the chair role for APM at such an exciting time for the profession. The Charter provides recognition for the profession, reward for the Association that has championed its cause, and opportunities for those who practise its discipline.

Having a day job as a director at Atkins, one of the world’s leading engineering and project management consultancies, brings home to me the importance of the work that APM has been doing over the past 40 years. That work has made a significant contribution to the ability of organisations such as mine to deliver today’s increasingly complex projects on time as well as on budget.

The APM Body of Knowledge has guided our project managers, who assess their skills against the APM Competence Framework, and make extensive use of qualifications and professional networking events to develop their skills and share knowledge.

Tom Taylor, past chairman and past president, APM

I would like to express my and many others’ appreciation to all the people and groups who have conscientiously and professionally supported the Chartered application, over an extended period, each and every step of the way – and achieved this result and success.

It is invidious to name names. APM chairmen, APM board members/trustees, chief executives, company secretaries, and our special advisers and legal teams – they all deserve our appreciation. There are very many others who showed understanding, discretion and patience.

So, time to consider, reflect and celebrate… but only for a short time. Then we will be pressing on. This is a great time to be interested and involved in any aspect of project management. The project management community, including APM, now has important and vital work to do.

Frances Nichols, chair and Kathryn Nichols, CEO, The Nichols Group

In 2007, as chairman of APM, Mike Nichols, our father and the founder of The Nichols Group, began a

project to inspire and gather support to obtain a Royal Charter for APM. He worked determinedly towards achieving this until his sad passing in 2013, and we are certain that he, like us, would be delighted at this successful outcome.

Chartered status demonstrates how important all those involved in project management are in achieving growth, improving the quality of people’s lives and enhancing future prosperity. It gives project professionals recognised standing among the others who contribute to project delivery. It also gives the public confidence that the
Chartered professionals delivering projects have achieved a standard, abide by a code of professional conduct, and maintain and develop their skills.

The Mike Nichols Award, launched to celebrate his legacy, commemorates Mike’s ethos – recognising projects, organisations and individuals who inspire others and deliver positive and lasting benefits to society and the world. The Royal Charter will inspire and attract people into the project profession, and it will be an important part of Mike’s legacy.

Simon Taylor, board member and volunteer champion, APM

When I first joined APM some five years ago, Chartered status (and when we would attain it) was always a hot topic of debate. Becoming Chartered has always been a key step on the career paths of other professions and, for APM, it represents a critical part of our journey towards cementing the importance of project management to society.

This news is a pivotal step forward for APM and really highlights the importance of the volunteer community and the role it plays in generating, disseminating and facilitating the discussion of project management principles and the application of knowledge.

Chartered status will drive us to ensure we actively safeguard the reputation of the Association and the profession in everything we do. I’ve never been more excited about our future.

Spencer Hobbs, 2016 APM Project Professional of the Year

APM’s Chartered status will provide a benchmark for project management excellence that practitioners from all industries can aspire towards and be measured against.

I found that obtaining the Registered Project Professional designation gave me a highly effective framework to identify the project management competences that I needed to develop to the acceptable standard. It also gave me the confidence to put myself forward for APM’s 2016 Project Professional of the Year award.

I anticipate that the Chartered designation for APM as it makes the transition to the new Chartered body will encourage many others to identify and make improvements across each of their project management competences, which will result in a better holistic performance.

Sarah Tyson, project management apprentice, Sellafield Ltd

I am currently studying an FdSc in project management, part of the four-year Project Management Apprenticeship Scheme. This course complements my day-to-day work because it is delivered on a day-release basis and will allow me to develop my academic understanding of project management.

One of the key benefits of attending this course is that the degree is accredited by APM. As a consequence of this, the degree is recognised by various industries and remains in keeping with the professional body’s best practice.

Through Sellafield’s Project Academy, my goals are to successfully complete my foundation degree and continue my academic studies further within the company, potentially progressing to a master’s degree.

The benefits of Chartered status

  • Raising standards through a robustly assessed register of project professionals who are committed to professional development and a code of conduct
  • Enhancing the status and recognition of project management as a means of delivering beneficial change in our economy and society
  • Facilitating continued collaboration and research to develop the practice and theory of project, programme and portfolio management

The next steps now that APM is Chartered

  • APM is now establishing an operational Chartered body.
  • The grant and sealing of the Charter completes the first stage in this process.

Two further stages must follow:

  • Stage 2: APM's executive will undertake various procedural, legal and accounting steps necessary to activate the new Chartered organisation on 1 April 2017.
  • Stage 3: The new Chartered organisation will conduct an open and public consultation on aspects of the new Chartered designation. It will then give due consideration to the results of the consultation in order to finalise the criteria for admission to the register of Chartered project professionals. After this, APM will begin accepting applications to the register.


It is anticipated that Registered Project Professionals will have already demonstrated the competence level required for any future Chartered standard. More information about this will be provided by APM on its website throughout the process.


Read more about APM's journey to chartered


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