Project Management Certification
National project management certifications are driven by cultural and legal
frameworks. For example, the Australian approach is to certify Qualified Project
Practitioners, Registered Project Manager and Master Project Director. To receive
a Registered Project Manager certificate one is required to pass a knowledge
examination and an on-the-job evaluation of competency.
The International Project Management Association (IPMA) Certificated Project
Manager (CPM) accreditation is reached through a competency based process. Extensive
hands on experience is required in the management of projects. A 5-8000 word
Project Report, equivalent to a Master's thesis, is the next milestone. If the
Project Report satisfies an Evaluation Board then there is a personal appearance
and interrogation by an accrediting Evaluation Board.
The IPMA has a career profile of four levels including certification of project
managers. Depending on experience and competency, certification of project managers
has two senior levels: Certificated Project Manager, and Certificated International
Project Manager. APM entrance certification of practice is an Associate Project
Management Professional (APMP). "Work on devising a mid-level award, between
APMP and CPM continues, according to D.L. Heath in the February 1998 Project
In Canada, professional certification comes under provincial jurisdiction.
Canadian project management practitioners are moving to a realization of the
very strict legal and social requirements for a "Canadian Project Management
The recent dramatic changes in the PMI PMP Certification process allows for
the accreditation of more than one level of project management practice. The
imperative for this is the intense pressure from American Industry and Government.
The reorientation of the certification examination to the project life cycle
recognizes one of the flaws in the current PMP learning. The reengineering of
the PMP Program is seen as a move towards accreditation of project management
However worthwhile the PMI Project Management Professional Certification, and
it is an international marketing success, it does not meet the needs of national
professional accreditation (legal) bodies. Bill Duncan, the PMI Director of Standards,
writes in a thread in the PMI Internet mailing list, "Is the PMP really
a certification? Of course it is, but it is certification as a project management
professional, not as a project manager. Certification as a PMP should not be
used to imply or warrant that your PMs actually know what they are doing".
However, he goes on to say that PMP Certification can be used to "demonstrate
commitment to the profession and evidence of a certain level of knowledge."
I have participated in the development of the PMI PMBOK, providing original
text for Chapter 12 Project Procurement Management (Exposure Draft 8-94). However,
I continue to have some difficulty in accepting a first year College level examination
of eight (8) "generally accepted project management practices" as more
than a basic level of knowledge qualification.
Certification - A Personal Journey http://www.pmforum.org/docs/journeyc.pdf
6. PMI Certification - A White Paper