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Blog post 28 May 2013

Choose your International Project Management Certification Wisely

Choose your International Project Management Certification Wisely

When you apply for a project manager job opening , there is always the chance that the company may not consider your application if you do not possess project management certification.

This, of course, raises the question as to which project management accreditation the recruiting company or HR manager prefers.

Quite frankly, our experience is that very often, there is a distinct lack of understanding by those hiring as to the relative merits of the credentials that are most commonly considered.

We receive many calls regarding the different certification accreditations that are available in the marketplace. The three best well-known and internationally recognised professional project management accreditation organisations are

  • PMI - Project Management Institute
  • IPMA - International Project Management Association
  • APMG - APMGroup

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

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

Available certifications

What, in a nutshell, are the distinguishing features between the three different accreditations.  Some schools of thought like to summarise succinctly 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, some further interesting comparisons from academics and organizations such as GAPPS (Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards). 

Are your needs to add a credential after your name to improve the recognition of your competencies or to improve your performance in your chosen discipline? When trying to determine which certification is best for your requirements, talk to a reputable organisation that understands the difference between entry-level exam-based PM certifications and the advanced certifications that can correlate to increased project and business success. The Institute of Project Management offers numerous certifications of different levels as well as for a variety of project management areas.

Invest wisely!