Project management certifications

In project management there are two big certifications: the PMP® (better known in the States) and PRINCE2®.

Below I describe the two certificates. As a quick take-away: if you are writing a job description please call for “project management certification” rather than “PMP certification.” PRINCE2, as well as other PMI-issued certificates, may serve for your needs.

PMI and the PMP

The PMP is issued by the Project Management Institute (PMI). To receive a PMP, you must have documented project management experience (4500 hours for someone with a bachelor’s degree), a limited amount of classroom experience, you must pass the 200-question PMP exam, and you must agree to the PMI code of ethics. The exam does not have a single source text, although you are expected to be familiar with the Project Manager’s Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). The PMP is then issued for three years and must be renewed by showing relevant professional development.

(Aside: additionally, the PMI also offers the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certificate, the Program Management Professional (PgMP), the PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP), the OPM3 (for organizational project management), and several other certificates. The CAPM is designed as a “PMP-lite” for people with less project management experience.)

PRINCE2, the framework formerly owned by the OGC

PRINCE2, on the other hand, was created by the OGC, the same organization that created ITIL. PRINCE2, along with ITIL, was recently purchased from the British Government by “AXELOS.” In any case, PRINCE2 certification is much like ITIL certification: there are three certificates, for PRINCE2 Foundation, PRINCE2 Practitioner, and PRINCE2 Professional.

PRINCE2 certificates have no experience requirement. PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner are exam-based; PRINCE2 Professional apparently requires “a 2½ day residential assessment center.”

Unlike the PMP, PRINCE2 has a single source text. PRINCE2 is also more prescriptive than the PMBOK in that it provides a methodology you can implement–with specific process flows and sample project templates.