The IPMA certification (IPMA 4 – level certification) program is a world leading qualification based on the IPMA’s competence base and provides standards towards which project management performance can is measured.
The IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB) is the basis for the IPMA certification system.
The process involves a combination of the following:
- Self assessment.
- Written examination tests.
- Certified professional experience.
- Independent third party interview assessment (where applicable).
IPMA Level A – Certified Projects Director
Has at least five years of experience in portfolio management and / or programme management with strategic relevance, of which three years were in responsible leadership functions in the management of complex portfolios or programmes and has two years of experience in managing projects (entry requirement).
The candidate shall be able to manage complex portfolios or programmes (core competence).
- Is responsible for the management of a complex portfolio of a company / organisation or a branch of the organisation, or for the management of one or more important programmes.
- Contributes to strategy and makes proposals to senior management. Develops project management personnel and coaches project managers to improve their competence in PM.
- Directs senior project managers and project managers and manages the members of the portfolio or programme team.
- Develops and implements project management requirements, culture, processes, methods, techniques, tools, handbooks, guidelines for his programme or portfolio.
The main criteria for the complexity of a portfolio or programme (IPMA Level A) are:
- Number, importance, variety and complexity of active projects in the programme or portfolio and number of project managers directed.
- Proposals to the overseeing body for decision and own decisions.
- Selection and development of project management requirements, processes, methods, techniques, tool, regulations and guidelines in the organisation.
- Influence on the selection, training and employment of project managers.
- Coordination of all projects of his portfolio or programme and ensuring compliance to strategy.
IPMA Level B – Certified Senior Project Manager
Has at least five years of project management experience, of which three years were in responsible leadership functions of complex projects (entry requirement).
The candidate shall be able to manage complex projects (core competence)
- Is responsible for all project management aspects of a complex project and all project management competence elements.
- Has a general management role in a large project management team and leads managers of sub – projects.
- Uses adequate project management processes, methods, techniques and tools.
The complexity of the assessed projects is evaluated for the following ten criteria:
- Objectives, assessment of results
- Interested parties, integration
- Cultural and social context
- Degree of innovation, general conditions
- Project structure, demand for coordination
- Project organisation
- Leadership, teamwork, decisions
- Resources, including finance
- Risks and opportunities
- Project management methods, tools and techniques
IPMA Level C – Certified Project Manager
- Has at least three years of project management experience in responsible leadership functions of projects with limited complexity.
- Shall be able to manage projects with limited complexity, and / or to assist the manager of a complex project in all competence elements of project management (core competence).
- Is responsible for managing a project with limited complexity in all its aspects, or for managing a sub – project of a complex project.
- Applies common project management processes, methods, techniques and tools.
IPMA Level D – Certified Project Management Associate
Experience in the project management competence elements is not compulsory; but it is an advantage if the candidate already has applied his project management knowledge to some extent (entry requirement).
Shall have the knowledge in all competence elements and be able to apply it (core competence):
- Can practice in any competence element. May work in some fields as a specialist.
- Works as a project team member or a member of the project management staff.
- Has broad project management knowledge and the ability to apply it.
Organisations and business of today need personnel with solid project management competence. So, certified project managers know how to deliver with quality, faster and less expensively. The IPMA certification is performance based and provides standards by which project management performance can be measured.
- A benchmark for the recruitment, training and development of project management staff.
- A marketing tool by demonstrating the company’s commitment to professional project management.
- Confidence to clients that the company can handle the clients’ business efficiently and cost effectively.
- Provides peer recognition of one’s competence.
- Compliments and enhances other technical or business qualifications.
- Assists the transferability of an individual’s skills from one company or industry to another.
- Last, through participation in the certification process, individuals enhance their confidence in their project management and general business knowledge.
- It enables clients to assess a proposed project manager’s competence and also
- It provides positive proof that the individual concerned has gained peer recognition of his / her ability to manage projects.
Benefits for global organizations
- Communication and co – operation are accelerated due to an internationally compatible certification process.
- Cross – comparisons of project management and also performance criteria can be made and
- Appropriate competencies can be set up and also developed to uniform standards, thereby ensuring effective placement of personnel.