Skip to content
Added to your CPD log

View or edit this activity in your CPD log.

Go to My CPD
Only APM members have access to CPD features Become a member Already added to CPD log

View or edit this activity in your CPD log.

Go to My CPD
Added to your Saved Content Go to my Saved Content

What is the Major Project Leadership Specialist Certificate?

The APM Major Project Leadership Specialist Certificate is an assessment designed to recognise the skills and competences of those who lead major projects, programmes and portfolios.

Buildings 3 620 X 620[1]

Who is it for?

The certificate is aimed at project professionals who have delivered in a leadership capacity on a major project. You are most likely to be:

  • accountable for project delivery of a major workstream / major work package / high investment, if not the overall project / programme;
  • managing very senior / public / political stakeholders;
  • a project director;
  • responsible for direct line management of people e.g. project managers as direct reports;
  • established in role or moving up an organisational career path.
Apply now

What are major projects?

A major project is defined as a project that has: 

  • significant benefits and risks
  • macro impact - has led/is leading a significant political, social, economic, technological, organisational transformation, legal, or environmental change.

Although the term 'project' has been used, candidates can also use evidence of programmes and/or portfolios they have led.

Read our case studies
V2 Major Projects GIF 600X600

Hear more about the APM Major Project Leadership Specialist Certificate

How is it assessed?

Your assessment of professional practice will be completed through these three steps:

STEP 1 - A written application that includes:

The context of a minimum of one and maximum of three major projects, including the benefits, main risks, macro impact, applicant role, and accountabilities (800 words per project context). The project context(s) need to demonstrate experience across at least two phases of delivery of a major project. Each project context needs to cover the minimum of one phase, including managing transition activities, where there is a clear handover of major pieces of work, either between phases or into operations.

Statements against each of the eight competence areas, demonstrating achievement of three of the assessment criteria in each competence (maximum 500 words per competence area).


A signed supporting statement from an individual who can verify the evidence presented in the application e.g. a senior stakeholder or sponsor. A signed supporting statement would be needed for each project context.


An interview with two assessors. The full list of competences you’ll be assessed against can be found in the Competence Coverage and Assessment Criteria.

What is assessed?

You will be assessed on the following competence areas:

  • Engagement and relationship management of multi-level stakeholders
  • Judgement, decision making and accountability
  • Leadership in ambiguous environments
  • Major project organisational architecture
  • Strategic procurement and contract leadership
  • Strategic risk management
  • Systems thinking
  • Investment management

Supporting resources


Members              £962
Non-members    £1,062

Apply now

How to apply

Please complete the application form and signed statement of support template, then return to us by emailing the team

Once the application has been initially reviewed and accepted, you will be contacted to provide credit card payment via phone.

Your written submission will be reviewed by one assessor to ensure the evidence is provided in the context of a major project.

If successful at this stage, you will be contacted to arrange your interview with two assessors.

If you have any special requirements, please notify us on the team at least seven days prior to the assessment date.

Apply now

Accepted Route 2 qualification 

APM Major Project Leadership Specialist Certificate is an accepted qualification for Route 2 Full membership, join now as a Full member today.

Join APM

Frequently asked questions

How do I know if this is for me?

To establish if this is for you, we would recommend looking at the list of skills and competences expected in our Competence Coverage and Assessment Criteria document, this should help you gauge if this reflects your current role and skillset.   Case studies on our website may also help.  

I work on a portfolio or programme; can I still apply?

Yes, although the term ‘project’ has been used, candidates can also use evidence of programmes and/or portfolios they have led. 

The major projects I have led require complete confidentiality; can I still apply?

We treat all submissions in a confidential manner, with submissions only viewed by those involved in the administration, assessment or quality assurance of our specialist certificate. You should discuss this with your organisation prior to commencing your application.   

What happens if my written submission fails before the interview stage?

If you fail the written submission, you can re-submit for £200 + VAT.  

What happens if I do not pass the assessment following the interview?

You will be required to reapply at the original cost.  

Can I take this qualification without experience in leading major projects?

The target audience is people who are working on significant projects and has been designed for those with that skillset developed over some time. We would recommend achieving this position before applying as experience of this is required for the assessment.  

How much time should I commit to the application preparation?

This is variable from person to person depending on a wide array of factors, we would encourage you to work through the application at your own pace.  

What is the definition of significant?

It reflects the level of societal, economic and impact it has on a macro scale. We expect the competences will support individuals to understand if this is for them and what we mean by significant. 

Is this specialist certificate above or below Chartered?

The Major Project Leadership Specialist Certificate isn’t on our career path as it focuses on competences of a specialism which are not relevant to all project professionals. As such it is not positioned against our chartered standard and should not be seen as above or below the chartered standard.  

What other specialist certificates are we looking at?

We may consider further development of specialist certificates in the future.  

Do you have a list of Accredited Providers?

No, APM do not accredit any providers to deliver this certificate.

Demonstrate your capability

On successful completion of the certificate, you will have the chance to share your achievement with our Major Project Leadership Specialist Certificate digital badge.

This badge can be shared across social networks and embedded into email signatures and CVs.

Digital badges
Member Benefits Digital Badge 600X400

Quick links to qualifications and standards