In January this year the APMG launched a new certification called the PRINCE2 Professional. This accreditation is now the top qualification in the PRINCE2 curriculum. As many of you will know, in order to pass the other two PRINCE2 certifications (the Foundation and Practitioner levels) candidates need to pass an exam. The Professional certification is assessed in a different way. Candidates need to attend a two-day residential event. During their time on the course they have work in groups through a number of project case studies. Evaluators monitor their performance, and assess the attendees against a number of criteria.
This new method of assessing competency is a welcome addition to the PRINCE2 certifications. One valid criticism of PRINCE2 used to be its reliance on exam assessment. In my own PRINCE2 courses I have seen recent graduates, adept at taking tests but with little business experience, outperform older attendees who clearly have more practical knowledge. The PRINCE2 Professional will bring the method in line with its biggest competitor, the Project Management Institute, who insist on three years experience before issuing their Project Management Professional certification.
Like Foundation and Practitioner courses, the Professional events will be run by APMG accredited training companies. (ATO’s) You can find a list of ATO’s on the APMG website. However as the certificate has only recently launched, most ATO’s are still producing their events.
Preparing for the Professional event involves thoroughly learning the PRINCE2 manual. An attendee should ensure they understand PRINCE2’s ideas regarding the nineteen competency areas that are monitored by the evaluators. These are:
- Preparing the Project Product Description
- Prepare the outline Business Case
- Design the project management team structure
- Tailor corporate strategies
- Perform product-based planning
- Apply the risk management procedure
- Apply the communication management procedure
- Plan the project
- Refine the Business Case
- Prepare the Benefits Review Plan
- Prepare an End Stage Report
- Capture lessons learnt
- Prepare a Work Package
- Apply the issue and change control procedure
- Plan and conduct the Closing a Project process
- Prepare End Project Report (including a Lessons Report)
- Interpersonal skills
- Manage team performance
- Manage own performance
What I would also suggest is reflecting on your own project experience and thinking about how you have applied each of the nineteen competency areas. Even if not all of your past projects used PRINCE2, you will still be able to think about how, for example, risk management or communication management was approached. Linking the theory to pragmatic application will help get you in the right frame of mind for a Professional event.
So overall the PRINCE2 Professional is a welcome addition to the set of qualifications. How popular the certificate will be is difficult to assess at this point in time. I think it might go either way: maybe in today’s straightened economic times people will seek another qualification to put themselves ahead of the competition or on the other hand organizations will not be able to afford to invest in yet another PRINCE2 certificate. Only time will tell.Permalink
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