IPMA Level C

IPMA® Level C: Certified Project Manager is an internationally recognised qualification offered by APM.

Previously aligned to the APM Practitioner Qualification (PQ), the IPMA® Level C: Certified Project qualification is designed for relatively experienced project professionals who can demonstrate an ability to manage moderately complex projects.

Who is this qualification for?

Individuals with a minimum of three years’ experience as a project manager within projects of a moderate complexity.


Individuals with a minimum of three years’ experience in a responsible project management role assisting the project manager in complex projects.

All experience must have been acquired within the last six years. The evidence timescale can be extended by four years with justification.

What is assessed?

You will be assessed on 28 competences for project management via an exam, a report and an interview. To pass, you must evidence a minimum of 23 out of 28 competences.

The exam will cover seven competence elements, the report will cover 17 and the interview will cover four.

Assessment specifications


IPMA® Level C: Certified Project Manager

Download Syllabus 


What is the process?


Step 1
Firstly, you will need to submit a CV for initial certification which includes personal details, career history, qualifications, training, professional memberships and any other relevant professional development.

Step 2
In addition, you must submit an Executive Summary Report of a maximum 15 pages, self-assessment form, complexity indicator evaluation and two referees who are familiar with your work.

Step 1
You will submit a 25-page report which focuses on the projects which have been referred to in the Executive Summary Report.

Step 2
You will then take part in a two-hour written exam which will ask short answer questions and will focus on your ability to apply knowledge.

Step 3
If successful, you will then partake in a 90-minute extended interview which relates to specific competence elements. There is also an opportunity to evidence the competence elements which may have not been sufficiently covered previously.

Step 4
A final evaluation will be undertaken by the assessor to determine if you have demonstrated sufficient knowledge, skills and abilities in a project management context and the relevant level of competence. You will receive a feedback report which will indicate whether the required standard has been met or whether you are deemed not yet competent. If you are deemed as not yet competent, the feedback will highlight areas of development that can be addressed prior to a potential re-entry.

How can I study for this qualification?

  • You can apply and study for this qualification through one of APM’s Accredited Training Providers.
  • You can also self-study for this qualification and apply directly to APM by completing an application form.
  • The application process begins with reviewing the candidate guidance notes and other supporting information on our website. The application forms can then be completed and submitted to APM via email

Accredited training provider

Novare Consulting Ltd provide accredited training for IPMA Level C. Please visit their website for more information.


Examination regulations

The APM examination rules and regulations can be found here

What materials required for examinations?

In preparation for taking your examination, you may bring with you:

  • A selection of pens/pencils to write with.
  • A non-pre-programmable pocket calculator* (with prior permission from the APM Qualifications Department).
  • A translation only dictionary* (with prior permission from the APM Qualifications Department).

*Dictionaries and calculators will be checked by the invigilator before the examination commences.

What is the Interview format for the qualification?

The interview will be conducted via GoTo meetings:

  • The interview will be conducted by two assessors.
  • The interview will be based on the projects submitted in the report.
  • Each competence element passed will receive one mark.
  • All candidates will be asked “Is there anything else that you wish to add to support your application”.

What is the pass mark for the qualification?

IPMA Level C
Assessment Type Competences elements assessed Pass mark / score
Examination 7 60%
Report 17 12
Interview (Assessors will also use the interview to ask candidates about elements of the report that need further clarification) 4  
Overall pass mark
Candidates must provide satisfactory evidence against at least 23 competence elements by the end of the interview

Where can I find information about which competence elements are assessed against?

This information can be found in the assessment specifications document.

How will results be released?

Results are released to candidates via email with feedback provided if applicable.

Re-taking the written examination

In the event of a failed written examination, we recommend you allow a suitable interval for revision before re-sitting the examination.
For IPMA Level D examinations candidates need to pass both papers and are allowed to retake only once, before having to start the qualification from the beginning.

Candidates may either re-sit through an APM Accredited Provider or register to attend one of the quarterly open examinations. For more details contact IPMAqualifications@apm.org.uk 

View other APM Qualifications

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