David H. Curling,
B.Eng (Mech), P.Eng, p.t.s.c., Certificated Project Manager,
Fellow APM, Fellow PMI, CD

Editor's Footnote-
Unfortunately, the "PMI Canada" that David speaks of in his presentation is now defunct.
Published here October 2002.

Editor's Preface | The Context | On Globalization | Project Management Standards
The Project Management Profession | The True Profession
Project Management Certification | Project Management Organizations Initiatives
National Initiatives | Global Union | Dispatch From the Future

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.[5]

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 magazine.

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 Professional".

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 career levels.[6]

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.

The True Profession  The True Profession

5. On Certification - A Personal Journey http://www.pmforum.org/docs/journeyc.pdf
6. PMI Certification - A White Paper
Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Search My Site | Site Map | Top of Page Top of Page