Selecting the Credentials to Compare
The first step in our investigation was to identify all those credentials that are generally globally recognized and that are advertised or otherwise positioned as attesting to knowledge, skills, attitudes, strengths or competency in project, program or portfolio management. We selected the following organizations that are generally recognized around the world. In alphabetical order, they are:
- American Society for the Advancement of Project Management (asapm, as an IPMA Member)
- Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACE)
- Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM, also a member of IPMA)
- International Council of Systems Engineers (INCOSE)
- OGC/APM's PRINCE2
- Project Management Institute (PMI)
Obviously, this list is not all-inclusive, nor was it intended to be, but it was felt that it represents the more commonly recognized credentials in the field of project/program management.
Note that the International Project Management Association (IPMA) is an umbrella organization comprised of organizations from individual countries such as the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) from Australia. Hence AIPM credentials along with those from the relatively new American Society for the Advancement of Project Management (asapm) were selected as being representative of those offered by other IPMA organizations.
For the purposes of this paper, the asapm "project associate" and the AIPM's CPPP are roughly equivalent to the IPMA level D. The asapm "project manager" and AIPM's Certified Practicing Project Manager (CPPM) are roughly equivalent to IPMA's level C. asapm' s "senior project manager" is roughly equal to IPMA's level B (AIPM appears not to have a certification at this level yet). And asapm's "program manager", "portfolio manager" and "project director" are all IPMA level A, as is AIPM's Certified Practicing Project Director (CPPD).
This limited research also didn't address other specialty certifications, such as the Construction Management Associations Certified Construction Manager (CCM) credential, although for follow on research it would be interesting to add those as well. Also interesting would be to compare and benchmark the various project and program management credentials against existing licensing requirements, such as the North American Professional Engineer (PE) licensing process or against other professions, such as the CPA or various Medical Board certification processes.