An introduction

How competencies map to role definitions.

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APM Competence Framework introduction

APM, the Chartered body for the project profession, has produced the APM Competence Framework 2nd edition which describes the competences deemed necessary for effective project, programme, portfolio management and PMO in today's environment and in our view of the future needs of the profession. It has been created by professionals for professionals and it provides a common reference for all organisations and individuals engaged in project activities regardless of their size, sector or geographic location. 

Complete the self assessment form based on the APM Competence Framework. This will highlight areas where you have existing skills or knowledge, as well as identifying areas for enhancement, focusing your career development.

The Competence Framework has been developed through a robust and thorough consultation process, and has been fully approved by the relevant APM technical assurance groups. You can have confidence that it’s been developed based on cutting edge thinking with input from industry experts. 

The new framework has been developed to help project professionals understand and assess their current competence against a common baseline. It looks for evidence in 2 areas: Application (demonstrating actions and behaviours) and Knowledge (demonstrating understanding).

Key features and benefits at a glance:

  • Modern framework to use as it is or easily adapt and integrate it into your existing frameworks.
  • Simplified format that’s easier to use and assess yourself and your organisation against.
  • Number of competences streamlined from 47 to 27, removing duplication.
  • Scope extended to cover more roles including project management, programme management, portfolio management and PMO.
  • 14 new role profiles developed to allow professionals to measure their skills, knowledge and professional needs against specific roles and competencies. Now you can marry the skills you have to the skills you require.

Download the self-assessment form

About the new framework

The new APM Competence Framework provides a common independent reference for all organisations and project professionals regardless of their size, sector or location. It’s been developed by the Chartered body for the project profession in order to support our expanding profession and the widening roles we play - not just project management, but additionally programme management, portfolio management and PMO.

We have achieved this by developing specific competences relating to these different functions, and by using new terminology for common competences to indicate how they apply across all four disciplines. 

Our new framework enables organisations to assess their capacity and capabilities across the breadth of their different functions – it enables senior management teams to plan the skills development and knowledge acquisition strategies in a common way for all delivery teams.

For individuals in the profession our new framework enables you to assess the knowledge and experiences that you have against the knowledge and experience you require to progress your career, and to identify the study pathway that will best suit your requirements.

Benefits for training providers

  • Modern framework that can be used as it is or easily adapted and integrated into organisation specific competence frameworks.
  • Clearly defined competences with outcome focused performance indicators that can be easily measured.
  • Provides you with a trusted professional body view of the competences needed in specific roles.
  • Provides effective benchmarking tool for your project, programme, portfolio and PMO managers.
  • Provides you with role profiles that create a structure for career development, enabling you to develop specific training courses and development opportunities.
  • Underpins the APM qualification programme and career development path.

The APM Competence Framework can be used by APM accredited training providers, for example as an external APM branded training delivery tool, on a restricted or extended use basis on purchase of the appropriate licence.

Benefits for project professionals

Who should use it?

Individual project professionals can use the framework to assess their level of mastery against each competence, to help them understand their current performance level and identify their development needs and suitability for different roles in the future. 

  • Enables you to identify strengths and development needs to support your career progression.
  • Enables you to be better prepared for your next move.
  • Helps you identify the most relevant career route or qualification to best progress your career.
  • Provides you with clearly defined competences with outcome focused performance indicators.
  • Provides a resource that can be used over a number of years to measure change in performance and experience.
  • It’s been tried and tested by professionals so you can have trust in its rigour.

Training providers: 

The new framework is a great tool to help you understand the training needs of individuals who wish to complete APM qualifications through your courses. It can be used to support organisations, identify the development requirements of the project professionals who work for them, and ensure that the training they receive is bespoke and aligned to their specific needs and requirements. The APM-designed self-assessment tool can underpin the tailored training proposals you will make to your clients in ways that directly reference their competence and capacity needs.

Benefits to your organisation

Whether you want to use our suite of products to understand the competences and capacity in your current organisation, or if you want to understand the development needs of your project professionals or embed our competences into your bespoke frameworks, our framework can be easily adapted to meet your specific needs. 

  • A new industry benchmark. A framework against which you can measure the knowledge and skills that you currently have and to plan for your future needs. It’s a powerful new tool for organisational development.
  • Support for the development of project professional knowledge and skills at all levels in your organisation. The new Competence Framework enables you to consider skills and capacity across functions and throughout the hierarchy.
  • Modern framework that can be used as it is or easily adapted and integrated into your existing competence frameworks.
  • Clearly defined competences with outcome focused performance indicators that can be easily measured.
  • Provides you with APM's view of the competences needed in professional project roles.
  • Enables you to establish, embed and measure the effectiveness of the project management skills across your workforce.
  • Provides an effective benchmarking tool for your project, programme, portfolio and PMO managers across your organisation.
  • Facilitates movement between the disciplines as people are more aware of what is needed within each role.
  • Provides you with role profiles that create a structure for career development, enabling individuals and organisations to see the areas they need to develop.

Download the Competence Framework

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