What is working professionally?


Professionalism is a demonstrable awareness and the application of expert and specialised knowledge within a specific field and the acceptance of standards relating to that profession application of competences and qualities, including knowledge, and appropriate skills.

Definition from APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition  📖

Working professionally

Some of these skills include the ability to communicate; a core skill for people working in projects, programmes and portfolios to ensure objectives and requirements are understood, plans and benefits are shared, stakeholders are aligned, teams are motivated and knowledge is embedded.

There are many situations in project-based working where ‘deals’ need to be made – from agreeing the release of a functional expert to support the project, to negotiating large contracts with suppliers and everything in between.

Negotiation is a vital skill that project and programme managers utilise during the project life cycle. Another key skill for any project professional is the ability to manage personal time and prioritise work, balancing what is most important with what is most urgent using an electronic diary or calendar, etc.

Working professionally also involves continually developing competence; project professionals seek knowledge and skills through continuing professional development (CPD). CPD is vital for project professionals to keep up to date and enhance their own competence over time, and to advance the standing of the profession and the trust that society puts into the ability for project­based working to deliver value.

Project professionals also have a duty to act ethically and report any wrong doing. All project-based work operates within a legal and regulatory framework relevant to the industry and countries where the work is performed. The the project professional is responsible for understanding the regulatory environment so that they can work professionally. The APM FIVE Dimensions of Professionalism provides a framework to set standards and guide the development of project professionals.

Watch: Professionalism when managing conflict of interests

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APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition

You can read more about working professionally in chapter three of the APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition.

The APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition is a foundational resource providing the concepts, functions and activities that make up professional project management. It reflects the developing profession, recognising project-based working at all levels, and across all sectors for influencers, decision makers, project professionals and their teams.

The seventh edition continues in the spirit of previous editions, collaborating with the project community to create a foundation for the successful delivery of projects, programmes and portfolios.

APM Body of Knowledge


Could you be a project manager?

A good place to start is to visit our careers section; this provides you with the tools and resources to begin your project management journey.

APM Careers

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