I believe that project management certification is important and have found it to be critical for advancement in my career as a PM. There are several organizations which provide certification opportunities. Below you will see what I believe are the most important organizations and their corresponding certifications and accreditations.
Project Management Institute (PMI)
PMI is the largest worldwide association for the project management profession and has over half a million members in more than 185 countries. They have several certification levels as follows:
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
This is an entry-level certification and requires a secondary education and at least 1,500 hours of experience or 23 hours of project management education.
Project Management Professional (PMP)
The PMP is the most important PMI certification and is highly recognized worldwide. This certification requires a four year college degree, three years project management experience, 4,500 hours leading projects, and 35 hours of project management education. Alternately, you could qualify with a secondary diploma, five years project management experience, 7,500 hours leading projects, and 35 hours of project management education.
Program Management Professional (PgMP)
The PgMP is a certification for program management and requires a four year college degree, four years of project management experience, and four years of program management experience. Alternately, you could quality with a secondary diploma, four years of project management experience, and seven years of program management experience.
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
This is a new certification for PMI. The PMI-ACP certification requires 2000 hours project management experience, 1,500 additional hours working on agile project teams, and 21 agile training hours.
PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)
This credential is for those who want to specialize in risk management. The PMI-RMP requires a four year college degree, 3,000 hours of project risk management experience, and 30 hours of project risk management education. Alternately, you could qualify with a secondary diploma, 4,500 hours of project risk management experience, and 40 hours of project risk management education.
PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)
The PMI-SP credential is for those whose focus is on scheduling as opposed to managing projects. This credential requires a four year college degree, 3,500 hours of project scheduling experience, and 30 hours of project scheduling education. Alternately, you could qualify with a secondary diploma, 5,000 hours of project scheduling experience, and 40 hours of project scheduling education.
To find out more about PMI certifications and credentials, you can visit PMI’s website at www.pmi.org/Certification.aspx.
Prince2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments)
PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a process-based methodology for project management and is used widely in Europe as well as internationally. In fact PRINCE2 is used extensively by the UK government. There are two PRINCE2 qualification levels, they are:
PRINCE2 Foundation level is for those with a requirement to learn the basics and terminology of PRINCE2.
PRINCE2 Practitioner is the highest level qualification and is suitable for those with the need to manage projects within a PRINCE2 environment.
To find out more about PRINCE2 you can visit the website at www.prince-officialsite.com.
In recent years agile project management methodologies have become more popular. Scrum has become quite prevalent as an agile methodology particularly for software development. Although Scrum does not have a project manager as part of the methodology, a ScrumMaster is responsible for maintaining the scrum process and typically possesses the same skills as a project manager and is therefore worth mentioning here.
Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
To become certified as a ScrumMaster, you must take a CSM course from a Certified Scrum Trainer and then complete an assessment via an online evaluation tool from the Scrum Alliance.
To find out more about Scrum you can visit the website at www.scrumalliance.org.