Project Management Certification: a Critical Market Overview


Seminar Paper, 2011

27 Pages, Grade: 1,7


Excerpt

Inhaltsverzeichnis

List of Abbreviations

List of Figures

List of Tables

1. Introduction

2. Project Management Organisations, Knowledge Standards and Guides

3. Project Management Certifications
3.1. IPMA
3.1.1. About IPMA
3.1.2. Certification Levels
3.1.3. Certification Process
3.2. PMI
3.2.1. About PMI
3.2.2. Certification Levels
3.2.3. Certification Process
3.3. Other Global Accepted Certifications
3.3.1. AIPM
3.3.2. P2M

4. Comparing Project Management Qualifications

5. Conclusions

Bibliography

List of Abbreviations

illustration not visible in this excerpt

List of Figures

Figure 1: Universal IPMA Four-Level-Certification system

Figure 2: Taxonomy range 1, technical competencies (IPMA Levels)

Figure 3: Taxonomy range 2, behavioural competencies (IPMA Levels)

Figure 4: Taxonomy range 3, contextual competencies (IPMA Levels)

List of Tables

Table 1: Average scores expected of a candidate at each IPMA Level

Table 2: Compulsory and optional steps in the initial certification process

Table 3: Characteristics of the written exam at IPMA Levels C and D

Table 4: Characteristics of the report at IPMA Levels A, B and C

Table 5: Characteristics of the interview at IPMA Levels A, B and C

Table 6: PMI Credential Definitions

Table 7: Overview about PMI's certification requirements and assessment process

Table 8: Examples of Knowledge-Based Project Management Standards, Assessment Processes and Qualifications

Table 9: Equivalent Project Management Role and Professional and Government Recognised Qualifications in Australia

Table 10: Summary of Stated Purposes and Word Length of Knowledge Guides

Table 11: National Member Associations of IPMA

Project Management Certification: a Critical Market Overview

1. Introduction

More than a quarter of enterprises are organising most of their work in projects.[1] Because of the growing acceptance of project work there is growing need for qualified staff for managing projects. But “there has been much debate within the field of project management as to whether it satisfies criteria for status as a profession.”[2] Morris and Pinto reported that development and recognition of a distinct profession of project management has certainly been a strong driver in the development of standards for project management. “A body of knowledge, standards and related assessment and qualification processes can therefore be seen as essential building blocks in the formation and recognition of a profession.”[3]

According to Kuster et al. there are two main organisations certifying project management skills: International Project Management Association (IPMA) and Project Management Institute (PMI).[4] The scope of this term paper is to verify the truth of this statement and to provide a critical and comparative market overview about different project management certifications as well as certification methods.

2. Project Management Organisations, Knowledge Standards and Guides

According to Project Perspectives 2011 - the annual publication of IPMA – Peter W. G. Morris is Professor of Construction and Project Management at University College London (UCL). He is the leading proponent of ‘the management of projects’ perspective. He has also worked on the linkage between corporate and project strategy and on project-based learning. He is currently co-editing The Oxford Handbook on Project Management. In addition to his five books, he is the author of over 110 papers.[5]

After investigating of literature, Morris and his co-author Pinto provide the most integrated overview about the project management certifications. They list following standard and guides relating primarily the management of individual projects, which are considered to be standards, either formally or informally:[6]

- Project Management Institute’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), Published by PMI in 2000;
- Association of Project Management Body of Knowledge (APM BoK), published in Dixon in 2000;
- BS6079 Guide to Project Management, published by British Standards Board in 1996
- ISO 10006 Guidelines to Quality in Project Management, published by International Standards Organisation (ISO) in 1997
- ICB: IPMA Competence Baseline, published by International Project Management Association in 1999
- P2M: A Guidebook of Project Management for Enterprise Innovation, published by Engineering Advancement Association of Japan Project Management Development Committee in 2002.

“All of the documents, except BS6079 and ISO 10006, are used as the knowledge base or standard for professional certification programs”, Morris and Pinto say. In fact ISO 10006 is mainly a quality management rather than a project management standard. And the Guide to Project Management was published by BSI only to help organisations achieve successful delivery of construction projects.[7]

Every standard and guide for project management listed above focuses mainly on what project management practitioners have to know by managing of individual projects. The Japanese P2M is one exception. It extends the focus beyond the management of single projects to management of programs of projects by taking account of corporate strategy implementation and enterprise innovation and management. It also provides the basis for a certification program, which is managed by 2002 founded Project Management Professionals Certification Center (PMCC). The PMCC and Japan Project Management Forum combined to legally form the Project Management Association of Japan (PMAJ) later in 2005.[8]

Project management knowledge standards and guides like ICB, APM BoK, PMBOK Guide and P2M identify the minimum knowledge coverage required relative to the purpose of each standard.[9] Almost all differences in scope of coverage, depth of treatment, terminology used, format and structure can be attributed to the different purposes of each of the guides. But they share a nucleus of core content about project management.

3. Project Management Certifications

As already cited Kuster et al. cover only two organisations certifying project management skills: International Project Management Association (IPMA) and Project Management Institute (PMI).[10] As we could see Morris and Pinto provide additionally the PMAJ, former PMCC, which certify project management skills based on the P2M. According to Pannenbäcker et al. the already mentioned project management knowledge standards and guides APM BoK, the ICB and associated National Competency Baselines (NCBs) form the basis for the IPMA’s four-level certification program.[11] There are also a number of standards for aspects of project management that are provided in languages other than English, but these are not part of this paper, because their application tends to be limited to their country of origin. “The Japanese P2M is an exception, as an English translation of a significant part of the standard has been widely distributed.”[12]

For the purpose of managing international projects in the global economic and financial environment the focus of this paper will be on the certification bodies IPMA and PMI. But the author will also give a short introduction of P2M and AIPM – Australian Institute of Project Management, which is endorsed by the Australian Government on 1st July 1996.[13]

3.1. IPMA

3.1.1. About IPMA

According to Burghardt IPMA is an international association for project management of more than 40 national project management organisations. Germany for example is represented by the GPM (Gesellschaft fuer Projektmanagement).[14] On the website of IPMA we can found, that IPMA is a world leading non-profit making project management organisation, which represents more than 50 project management associations from all continents of the world.[15] In fact the actual number of national project management bodies is 52.[16]

In cooperation with the national project management organisations IPMA created guidelines for certification of project management staff. This IPMA Competence Baseline Version 3.0 is a joint framework document. All IPMA member organisations and certification bodies keep themselves with the ICB to ensure their uniform and harmonised standards. The ICB defines 46 competence elements that are essential for a professional project management and which allow an individual certification of the project management staff. ICB will be used for PM training material as well. GPM published the ICB 3.0 also in German language as well as the manual for ICB application.

3.1.2. Certification Levels

Certification by the baseline scheme of IPMA gives great advantages for project members and project managers as well as for the project management service providers and their customers. Burghardt provides following advantages:[17]

- Project member as well as project manager gets a worldwide accepted certification which attest their project management competences.
- Project management service provider is able to establish project management competences of its staff
- Customer gets higher certainty of project success

IPMA created a universal assessment framework for competence evaluation of project managers and project staff. Four IPMA titles can be awarded by applying the same particular standards to each category of people:[18]

“Certified Projects Director (IPMA Level A): means that the person is able to direct an important portfolio or programme, with the corresponding resources, methodologies and tools, that is the subject of the certification rather than the management of a single project. To take on this responsibility an advanced level of knowledge and experience would be required.”

“Certified Senior Project Manager (IPMA Level B): means that the person is able to manage a complex project for which the criteria are defined in Chapter 3 of ICB. Sub-projects are normal, i.e. the project manager is managing by sub-project managers rather than leading the project team directly.”

“Certified Project Manager (IPMA Level C): means that the person is able to lead a project with limited complexity which signifies that he has demonstrated the corresponding level of experience in addition to the ability to apply project management knowledge.”

“Certified Project Management Associate (IPMA Level D): means that the person is able to apply project management knowledge when he participates in a project in any capacity and common knowledge is not sufficient to perform at a satisfactory level of competence.”

3.1.3. Certification Process

Figure 1 gives an overview about requirements, the certification process and validity for each title.

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Figure 1: Universal IPMA Four-Level-Certification system[19]

The ICB requests 46 competence elements, which are grouped by:[20]

- Technical Competences (20)
- Behavioural Competences (15)
- Contextual Competences (11)

Knowledge and experience of every competence element will be rated on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). Higher certification levels require higher ratings at each competence element for successful certification.[21] Table 1 shows the average scores, which will be expected of a candidate at each IPMA Level.

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Table 1: Average scores expected of a candidate at each IPMA Level[22]

For assertiveness for example certified project director has to score 7 of 10 for his knowledge and 8 of 10 for his experience at minimum. Whereas certified project management associate has to score only 4 of 10 for his knowledge. Experience is not a component of certification requirements for the lowest certification level D.

The certification process is different from level to level (Table 3). To achieve the lowest level D there are only an application, CV, self-assessment and written exam required. Level A-C require additionally references to evidence the experience, a report and an interview. Each level demands higher claims to successfully achieve the aimed certification level (Tables 2-5).

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Table 2: Compulsory and optional steps in the initial certification process[23]

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Table 3: Characteristics of the written exam at IPMA Levels C and D[24]

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Table 4: Characteristics of the report at IPMA Levels A, B and C[25]

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Table 5: Characteristics of the interview at IPMA Levels A, B and C[26]

The validity of certification levels A-C is 5 years. The re-certification has to be done after these time. A lifelong attest can be awarded only for level D.

3.2. PMI

3.2.1. About PMI

According to the website of the Project Management Institute, PMI is the world’s leading not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession, with more than half a million members and credential holders in more than 185 countries. PMI has its headquarter in Newtown, Pennsylvania. There are also additional offices and service centres in Netherlands, India, Singapore, Sydney and Beijing.[27]

On the website of PMI we can find these statement about the project management standards: „Our worldwide advocacy for project management is supported by our globally-recognized standards and credentials, our extensive research program, and our professional development opportunities.“[28] PMI’s documentation of project management knowledge and skills is called A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide and Standards). It’s the most widely distributed of a number of bodies of knowledge guides and is also recognised as a standard by the American National Standards Institute.[29] According to Cook the PMBOK has been developed through several interactions over many years. The first version was developed in 1976.[30] The latest version PMBOK 2000 was released for certification testing beginning in January 2002.

Morris says about the history of PMBOK as well as about the field of project management as a profession: “One of the attributes of professionals is evidence of the mastery of a distinct body of knowledge leading to a ‘license to practice’ in the area - certification. This obviously implies some definition of the knowledge area. This was a path first mooted within PMI eight or nine years later in the mid 1970s (Cook, 1977). To this end PMI published a Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge® (PMBOK) in 1983.”[31] This guide identified six knowledge areas, which are unique to the project management field: scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, and communications management; the 1987 edition of PMBOK added risk and contract/ procurement and the 1996 edition added integration. The structure and much of the content has remained unchanged since its creation.[32] The PMBOK Guide is used by the PMI to provide a consistent structure for its professional development programs, including but not limited to the following:[33]

- Certification of Project Management Professionals (PMPs)
- Accreditation of degree-granting education programs in project management

Morris furthermore about PMI and the PMBOK Guide: “Certification has proven incredibly popular and with it the PMBOK Guide® has become enormously influential. As of March 2010, there were reported to be over 3 million copies of the PMBOK Guide in circulation (PMI, 2010) with 375,959 people certificated by PMI as PMPs (Project Management Professionals). All over the world people (though by no means everyone) recognise PMBOK as the model of project management.”[34]

3.2.2. Certification Levels

„PMI offers five certifications that recognize knowledge and competency, including the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential held by more than 370,000 practitioners worldwide.“[35] PMI offers on its website five certifications:[36]

“The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) ® is a good entry-level certification if you’re new to project management, or still figuring out your career path.”

“The Project Management Professional (PMP) ® is the most important globally-recognized and independently validated credential for project managers, perfect if you have demonstrated experience and competence in leading project teams.”

“The Program Management Professional (PgMP) ® is designed for those who manage multiple, complex projects to achieve strategic and organizational results.”

“The PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) ® is a specialty credential that demonstrates competence in assessing project risks, mitigating threats and capitalizing on opportunities.”

“The PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) ® is a specialty credential for practitioners who want to focus on developing and maintaining project schedules.”

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Table 6: PMI Credential Definitions[37]

PMI offers additionally a new pilot program for certification of agile skills in project management called PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), which validates the ability to understand agile principles, techniques and concepts.[38] This certification “is designed for practitioners who utilize agile approaches to project management in their projects.”[39]

3.2.3. Certification Process

The assessment process and requirements for CAPM, PMP, PgMP, PMI-RMP and PMI-SP we can found in the brochure of PMI on the official website. There is no such information only about PMI-ACP certification, probably because of the pilot status of that certification program.

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Table 7: Overview about PMI's certification requirements and assessment process[40]

3.3. Other Global Accepted Certifications

3.3.1. AIPM

„The Australian National Competency Standard for Project Management (NCSPM) is a government endorsed standard, recognised and used by the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) as the basis for it’s professional registration program.“[41] According to Morris and Pinto NCSPM decided to follow the structure of the PMBOK Guide and to recognise the PMBOK Guide as a contributing knowledge base to the standards.[42] The AIPM offers three certification levels: Qualified Project Practitioner (QPP), Registered Project Manager (RPM) and Master Project Director (MPD).[43] “These three levels correspond to a Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma respectively, of the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) sponsored by the government, which is the generic standard for professional performance capability in Australia.”[44]

[...]


[1] according to Rump / Schabel (2010), p. 16-19

[2] Zwermann / Thomas (2001) in: Morris /Pinto (2004), p. 1150

[3] Morris / Pinto (2004), p. 1150

[4] Kuster et al. (2006)

[5] Project Perspectives (2011), p. 8

[6] according to Morris / Pinto (2004), p. 1153

[7] according to bsigroup.com

[8] www.pmaj.or.jp

[9] Appendix

[10] Kuster et al. (2006)

[11] Pannenbäcker et al (1998) in: Morris / Pinto (2004), p. 1184

[12] Morris / Pinto (2004), p. 1152

[13] according to Morris / Pinto (2004), p. 1163

[14] Burghardt (2008), p. 500

[15] www.ipma.ch/about

[16] www.ipma.ch/memberassociations

[17] Burghardt (2008), p. 500

[18] ICB 3.0 (2006), p. 5

[19] taken from ICB 3.0 (2006), p. 21

[20] Appendix

[21] Appendix

[22] according to ICB 3.0. (2006), p. 194

[23] according to ICB 3.0 (2006), p. 22

[24] according to ICB 3.0 (2006), p. 24

[25] according to ICB 3.0 (2006), p. 25

[26] according to ICB 3.0 (2006), p. 26

[27] www.pmi.org/about

[28] www.pmi.org/about

[29] Morris / Pinto (2004), p. 1152

[30] according to Cook (1977), p. 32-34

[31] Morris (2011), p. 5

[32] according to Morris (2011), p. 5

[33] according to Morris / Pinto (2004), p. 1155

[34] Morris (2011), p. 5

[35] www.pmi.org/what-is-pmi

[36] www.pmi.org/certification

[37] PMI Brochure (2010), p. 4-5

[38] www.pmi.org/pmi-acp

[39] www.pmi.org/certification

[40] PMI Brochure (2010), p. 4-5

[41] P2M Guidebook (2005), p. 7

[42] Morris / Pinto (2004), p. 1164

[43] www.aipm.com.au/certifications

[44] P2M Guidebook (2005), p. 7

Excerpt out of 27 pages

Details

Title
Project Management Certification: a Critical Market Overview
College
University of applied sciences, Munich
Course
Projektmanagement
Grade
1,7
Author
Year
2011
Pages
27
Catalog Number
V179247
ISBN (eBook)
9783656015659
ISBN (Book)
9783656016045
File size
804 KB
Language
English
Tags
projektmanagement, project management, PMI, IPMA, Certification, AIPM, P2M
Quote paper
Alexej Antropov (Author), 2011, Project Management Certification: a Critical Market Overview, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/179247

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