The not-for-profit Association for Project Management (APM) offers a range of highly-regarded qualifications for project management professionals at all stages of their careers. There is the APM Introductory Certificate for those new to project management, or playing a supporting role in corporate projects for the first time, right through to the Practitioner Qualification (APM PQ) and Registered Project Professional (RPP) credential that recognise both learning and practical experience.
Project Managers involved in major projects that might be large scale or complex (or both) are expected by many organisations to hold one of these globally-recognised accreditations. Organisations such as BAA are actively working towards all of their project managers undertaking training to obtain the APMP qualification that underpins the project management profession. This qualification is not just about the theory of project management but draws on a body of knowledge that assists an individual to implement the theory in real commercial environments.
Organisations involved in the programme management of the London Olympic Park also view the APMP qualification as a fundamental training requirement for their professional staff and consider the APM PQ and RPP as pre-requisites to be appointed to run the most critical projects.
But the benefits of such qualifications are not purely to enable individual project managers to deliver projects more consistently and successfully – an independent 2011 review by specialist recruitment agency Arras People indicated that project professionals with an APMP qualification can expect to earn up to £10,000 per annum more than similarly experienced managers without such a qualification.
Fortunately, the benefits in terms of career progression and earning capacity for those with the APMP qualification do not exclude those who initially embarked on training in other recognised methods. For example, project managers with a PRINCE2 Practitioner level accreditation can study for the APMP via a shorter training course that takes account of their previous learning and experience with the PRINCE2 method.
It is often hard to find the time out of your day-to-day responsibilities to undertake professional training but with project management becoming more and more of a recognised profession it is essential for a successful career to find that time. The APM, with the support of 50 public and private sector organisations, is working towards achieving Chartered status for the project management profession in order to raise professional standards in project management. Once Chartered status has been awarded there will be even more of a distinction between professionals holding recognised credentials and others working in the field without recognised accreditation.
Fortunately there are many training options available for those who cannot attend a traditional classroom-based training course, such as e-learning, podcasts, webinars and short workshops with backup from established communities of project management professionals.
If you have completed the APMP and experienced the benefits to your own career first-hand why not let us know your own success story to help inspire others?