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How to use the APM Competence Framework

What is the APM Competence Framework?

The APM Competence Framework sets out the competences required for effective project, programme and portfolio management. It aims to reflect both current good practice and the future needs of the profession and provides a benchmark for all those engaged in change initiatives.

The framework consists of 29 competences, each based around outcomes that project professionals need to achieve. Each competence includes a title, a brief introduction to the competence, and a series of criteria covering the knowledge and application required to fulfil each competence. The framework also includes a simple, six-point rating system for assessing level of performance against knowledge and application criteria.

Competence Framework FAQs

Why use the APM Competence Framework?

The APM Competence Framework provides a useful tool for individuals, teams and managers alike when faced with questions such as:

  • What should I be able to do in my new role?
  • How can I further my career and get to the next stage?
  • How can we be sure that we select the right person for the job?
  • What can I do to make sure that quality standards are maintained within my team?
  • What learning and development do I need to provide for my staff?

The framework can help with these and many other issues, and is flexible enough to work in harmony with existing workplace policies, standards and frameworks.

Who will benefit from the APM Competence Framework?

The APM Competence Framework will benefit individuals, organisations and training providers within the project, programme, portfolio management and PMO profession. It is relevant across all sectors, projects and organisations regardless of their size, complexity and geographical location.

How do I use the APM Competence Framework?

The key purpose of the APM Competence Framework is as a tool to assess and improve performance. Whether you would like to use the framework to review your own performance or to assess the performance of others, the main steps involved are broadly the same.


Read the Competence Framework online

Use the ratings scale that comes with the APM Competence Framework to score current knowledge and application against the six-point rating system (from 0 ‘unaware’ through to 5 ‘expert’).

Read the Competence Framework


Register / Login and utilise the self-assessment tool

Login to the website and assess yourself against the 29 competences contained in the APM Competence Framework, with our self-assessment tool. If you've not registered on the website, it is free to do so and you benefit by being able to save your assessment and revisit it at your leisure. APM members get further benefits, being able to save multiple assessments and add assessments directly to their CPD log.

Not a member? Join now

Self-Assessment Tool


Get in touch for further assistance

We are on hand to assist with any queries you have regarding the Competence Framework, the self-assessment tool, and any general questions you may have. Please do get in touch with the team.

Contact us

Role profiles

Use our example role profiles to help focus on relevant competences. The profiles are pitched at different levels and give a general overview of the role and typical responsibilities. In many cases the profiles will share common competences. This can be useful in identifying learning and development opportunities. There is also scope to develop and adapt the profiles to the specific needs of your organisation.

Project Manager

Portfolio Manager

Programme Manager


Project Manager

Portfolio Manager (Intermediate)

Programme Manager

PMO Administrator

Project Manager (Intermediate)

Portfolio Manager

Programme Manager

PMO Analyst

Project Manager

Portfolio Manager

Programme Manager

PMO Manager

Project Manager



PMO Officers and Specialists


Login or register for free and complete our self-assessment tool to benchmark yourself

  • Complete your assessment at your own pace
  • Save your assessment
  • Compare your rating
  • Discover your next steps
Use the Competence Assessment Tool
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