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

The True Profession

A true "professions" certification must embrace all of knowledge, ethics, competency and law. But how to bell the cat and measure competency? Certification must ensure that a candidate has been examined for knowledge, competency and practices within an ethical and legal framework. A legal structure must be present that sees the purpose of any credentialing authority as protecting the interests of the general public.

No matter what the profession, a professional body of practitioners is made up of three bodies, each a separate and sovereign entity focused on a different "craft" responsibility. These are:

  • License to Practice
  • Discipline Advocacy
  • Commercial Support

The first requires a separate, usually State sponsored, accrediting authority that ensures the profession is conducted for the public good. The problem is one of "quis custodiat", that is, who polices the police? In North America, this authority is usually provided through some form of national legislation and a licensing authority

The second is Discipline Advocacy. This is the role currently filled by national project management entities such as the Association for Project Management, the International Project Management Association, the Project Management Institute and other national sovereign organizations in Europe, Australia and South Africa. The Chapters or Branches of these national entities provide advocacy of the project management discipline in full measure.

The third is the Commercial Support entity. This is separate but inextricably bound up with the parent Discipline Advocacy organization. This entity provides a commercial arm that permits the separation of product marketing from disciple development. Only the Association for Project Management has furthered this separation.

Much more can be said on each of these divisions of a professional body. What is clear is that organizational confusion is present in any national project management body of practitioners that fail to clearly delineate these responsibilities, and set out proper mandates for each.

<b>The Project Management Profession</b>  The PM Profession

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