Certification Guide for Traditional Project Management


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The IAPM certification process is based on the latest version of the IAPM’s PM Guide. The content of the PM Guide represents the IAPM’s project management knowledge base. This knowledge base was developed in collaboration with an international panel of academics and project managers. It is continuously optimised and adapted to international standards and findings.The PM Guide can be downloaded from the IAPM website free of charge.
The IAPM certifications of Certified Junior Project Manager (IAPM), Certified Project Manager (IAPM) and Certified Senior Project Manager (IAPM) reflect current practices and experiences in the area of internationally proven project management.

The Certification

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Certified Junior Project Manager (IAPM)
Applicants must demonstrate a basic knowledge of the project management competence elements. Verification of working experience is not necessary.

Certified Project Manager (IAPM)
Applicants must demonstrate a knowledge of the project management competence elements. Verification of working experience isn’t necessary, but advantageous.

Certified Senior Project Manager (IAPM)
Applicants should have at least five years of project management experience, three of which in a senior position or a position with major responsibilities. They are required to furnish proof of project management experience and competence in the use of project management methods and tools.

Application and Examination Admittance Procedure

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The certification application must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Application documents for Certified Junior Project Manager (IAPM) and Certified Project Manager (IAPM) certification: 
  • Application documents for Certified Senior Project Manager (IAPM) certification: 
    • Application form (online) with details of project management experience (list and description of between one and five projects in which the applicant was project manager or held a key management function).

The forms have to be filled in on the IAPM website. Postal applications are not possible. When the form has been filled in and all the necessary information has been provided, the documents are checked by the IAPM for completeness and compliance with admission requirements. Persons applying for Certified Senior Project Manager (IAPM) certification who do not meet the application criteria will be notified by the IAPM. They cannot object to the IAPM’s decision. If the applicant does not yet have Certified Project Manager (IAPM) certification, the IAPM recommends this option. A new application for Certified Senior Project Manager (IAPM) certification can be made as soon as the applicant has gained additional experience in project management and satisfies the IAPM criteria. 

The Examination

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To improve the candidates’ chances of success in the examination, the IAPM offers three different types of tests/examinations.

Selftest, Pre-Test and Certification Examination
The self-test (or pre-test for Certified Junior Project Manager (IAPM) certification) and the certification examination can be taken online on the IAPM website with any computer. Certification candidates must have their applications approved by the IAPM before they can take the certification examination.
This approval is obtained in a formal admissions procedure. Applicants are not required to prove formal training or attendance of a course provided by an IAPM-licensed training partner to be eligible for admission to the certification examination. However, the IAPM advises them to take a preparatory course with an IAPM-licensed training partner before the examination.

Selftest / Pre-Test
Certification candidates can take the selftest to get an idea of what kind of questions they will encounter in the examination and the level of difficulty. A pre-test which is similar to the self-test is an integral aspect of Certified Junior Project Manager (IAPM) certification. The test is accessed via the website at www.iapm.net. When the certification candidates have taken the self-test or pre-test, the IAPM sends feedback on their level of knowledge in the areas covered by the certification examination. This enables them to focus learning activities on specific areas and remedy any knowledge deficits.

Certification Examination
When candidates have been admitted to the certification examination by the IAPM they can use a computer of their choice to take it. Before the examination is taken the candidate is required to sign an affidavit confirming that they will take the examination alone and without any outside assistance or materials. The questions cover all IAPM competence elements as set out in the PM Guide. They are taken randomly from a comprehensive catalogue of questions that is updated regularly.
Passing the certification examination
To pass the certification examination you have to score at least 65%. The examination is graded automatically after it is taken and the candidate is informed of the result via electronic communication within three working days. If the candidate passes the certification examination an internationally recognized certificate is issued.
Retaking the examination
Candidates who do not pass the certification examination may retake it at a time of their choice. If the second attempt is a fail, the candidate has to wait 12 months before the certification examination can be taken again. A third fail excludes the candidate from all further certification examinations.

The IAPM certification

The certification can be taken via a reputable online examination procedure. The costs are based on the gross domestic product of your country of origin.

From the IAPM Blog

Become a Network Official

Do you want to get involved in project management in your environment and contribute to the further development of project management? Then become active as an IAPM Network Official or as a Network Official of the IAPM Network University. 

For better readability, we usually only use the generic masculine form in our texts. Nevertheless, the expressions refer to members of all genders.