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Choose Your International Project Management Certification Wisely

28 May 2013
Choose Your International Project Management Certification Wisely

When you apply for a project manager job opening, it is possible that the company will not consider your application if you do not possess a certain project management certification. This raises questions as to which project management accreditation the recruiting company or HR manager prefers.

Our experience is that very often, there is a distinct lack of understanding about the relative merits of the most commonly considered credentials. We receive many calls regarding the different certification accreditations available in the marketplace. The three most well-known and internationally recognised professional project management accreditation organisations are:

  • PMI - Project Management Institute
  • IPMA - International Project Management Association
  • APMG - Association for Project Managers Group

The table below provides a certification comparison. This is based on availably published data, which was used to create a “scoring model” that would enable some rational and meaningful comparison between the various credentials in project management.

This analysis is not meant to be a definitive end product. It is merely a progression to help us understand the process of measuring and assessing competency in applied project and program management.

Available certifications

What are the distinguishing features between the three different accreditations?  Some schools of thought like to summarise as follows:

IPMA Competence-based

PMI Knowledge-based

APMG – Methodology-based and does not address Behavioural skills.

Currently, there is no cross-recognition of accreditations between the three organisations. However, there are some interesting comparisons from academics and organisations such as GAPPS (Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards). 

When determining which certification is the best match for your specific circumstance, talk to a reputable organisation that understands the difference between entry-level exam-based certifications and advanced certifications that correlate to increased project and business success. The Institute of Project Management also offers numerous certifications of different levels for various project management areas, and we are an Authorised Training Partner of PMI. If you are interested in learning more about our courses, contact us.

Invest wisely!