Our goal with this paper is to assert the value of project management certification by considering who benefits from it, who provides it, and the standard upon which it is based. Anyone giving even slight attention to project management knows that certification is a "big thing". Between 1996 and 2000, as PM certification became popular (and companies had money to spend), few people seemed to question its cost, ROI, or the basis for evaluating competence. Today, companies are rightfully challenging these and other value factors, as are individuals, professional societies, and others who might benefit from properly certified project managers.
"The worth of a thing is what it will bring."
"Certification, degrees, and other qualifications
are just hunting licenses.
As these two quotes suggest, the value of project management certification depends on the perception of its worth from different perspectives: those who are buying the skills of a competent (certified) person, and those who are paying for the "I'm certified!" credential. At this point, it's worth reminding ourselves of the basic definitions.
Based on these definitions, I will examine the three factors affecting the value of project management certification, namely: The Beneficiaries; The Certifiers; and The Standards.
1. From The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition