IPMA Level A and B qualifications

What are IPMA Level A and B qualifications?

'IPMA Level A: Certified Projects Director' and 'IPMA Level B: Certified Senior Project Manager' are IPMA's highest internationally recognised qualifications in project, programme and portfolio management. 

The IPMA Level A and B qualifications allow applicants and candidates to demonstrate their ability to manage very complex project, programmes or portfolios. 

Who should apply?

IPMA Level A: Certified Projects Director and IPMA Level B: Certified Senior Project Manager certificate holders are able to demonstrate the capabilities of a responsible leader, have the ability to manage complex projects and have used appropriate tools, processes and techniques.

IPMA Level A: Certified Projects Director -  is aimed at those with at least five years’ programme and/or portfolio management experience within the last eight years. Three of these years must show responsible leadership in the management of complex programmes or portfolios. The applicant must also be able to show within the eight years two years of experience of managing projects.

IPMA Level B: Certified Senior Project Manager - is aimed at those with at least five years’  project management experience within the last eight years. Three of these years must show responsible leadership in the management of complex projects.

Applicants can select which qualification is right for them based on their experience and by using the APM Competence Framework 2nd edition.

Supporting documents:

How are the qualifications assessed?

The assessment process for IPMA Level A and IPMA Level B is in English and has three stages:

Stage 1 - Application – the application is an evaluation of recent roles and responsibilities in the management of project(s), programme(s) or portfolio(s), together with a report proposal which describes how the applicant has led each project, programme or portfolio and how they meet the complexity criteria for the APM level applied for.  

Stage 2 - Report – candidates submit a report covering their project(s), programme(s) or portfolio(s) based on the report proposal in the Stage 1 - Application phase. The report describes the application of their competence in the leadership of others using the APM Competence Framework 2nd edition for the appropriate role (Project, Programme or Portfolio) and level (Level A or Level B) being assessed.

Stage 3 - Interview – an interview with two APM assessors to assess achievements and competence.

Successful candidates must be able to provide evidence of leadership in a complex environment and demonstrate competence at the level they are applying for within the environment.

How to apply?

The  application process to become an IPMA Level A: Certified Projects Director or an IPMA Level B: Certified Senior Project Manager begins with reviewing the applicant and candidate guidance notes. The application forms can then be completed and submitted to APM via the email address detailed on the forms.


Re-certification for IPMA Levels A, B and C

IPMA certificates for Levels A, B and C are valid for five years from the date of achievement. It is your responsibility, as the certificate holder, to monitor the expiry date of your certificate and to initiate the re-certification process – you will not be reminded to do this by APM. (IPMA certificates at Level D are not time-limited)

Before applying for re-certification, you may wish to consider whether a higher level of certification is now better suited to your career development and experience.  In that case, you should apply in accordance with the regulations for the relevant certificate.

If you wish to re-certificate for Levels A, B or C, you need to complete the application form and supply the following information and evidence:

  • Confirmation of the date and level of original certification
  • Confirmation that you continue to work in a project management role relevant to the level of re-certification for which you are applying for at least 50% of the time.
  • Your current CV
  • The CV must contain sufficient information to show clearly career pattern and project management experience since the original certification. It should be a comprehensive record of how the candidate has reached this stage in their project management career.
  • A list of projects/programmes/portfolios, on which you have worked in the years since your last certification.
  • Applicants are to provide a detailed summary of any projects, programmes or portfolios they have managed or been involved in since the original re-certification to meet IPMA regulations. Sufficient detail needs to be provided by the applicant to enable the assessors to assess suitability of the IPMA level being applied for;
  • Deliverables, duration, phases, budgets, interested parties, management, complexity of the project role, responsibility, extent of engagement of the applicant.
  • Evidence you have worked in a project management role, relevant to the level of re-certification for which you are applying, for at least 50% of the time.
  • A record of the continuing professional development (CPD) undertaken, in line with the APM CPD scheme requirements; a minimum of 35 hours per year since the original certification.
  • Self-assessment, using the form provided below.
  • Contact details of 2 referees.
  • The relevant fee.

Applications for re-certification will be considered by a suitably qualified assessor at the relevant level. The assessor may decide to recommend:       

  • recertification without the provision of any further information,
  • that you be called to interview with two assessors,
  • rejection of  your application (if the evidence you supply is insufficient or inappropriate).

Please submit your recertification application and supporting documents to ipmaqualifications@apm.org.uk, your application will be processed and the team will be contact you with regards to payment of the appropriate fees.

Download application form   Self-assessment form - level B  Self-assessment form - level C


Are there any time limits regarding the process or reapplying?

To be awarded the IPMA Level A or Level B qualification, candidates must pass all assessment stages by March 2019. In November 2018 new IPMA regulations come into force. Further details will be available on the APM website in the next few months.

Who is an appropriate referee for my application?

Individuals that can verify your application against the eligibility criteria. They may be contacted by APM to solicit additional evidence.

Should I need to cancel or rearrange my interview, is there a cancellation policy?

If you need to cancel more than twenty eight (28) days before your scheduled interview, there is no charge.  If you need to cancel within twenty eight (28) days no refunds are provided.

What is the appeals process?

Unsuccessful applicants can appeal on the basis of the assessment process only after Stage 2 – Report and Stage 3 - Interview. The  Stage 1 - Application is not subject to appeal. Appeals must be made in writing within 30 days of receiving your results. The decision at the conclusion of the appeals process is final. Further information regarding the appeals process is available from IPMAQualifications@apm.org.uk or from the APM website.

When do IPMA Level A and Level B fees become payable?

The level A and level B application fee is payable at three stages of the assessment process. (Prices below exclude VAT)


% of Fee

Level A

Level B

Stage 1




Stage 2




Stage 3








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