The project management profession has a range of qualifications for all levels of project and programme managers that both improve career prospects for the individual and also ensure more successful project outcomes for the employer. But taking the time out of work to attend a project management course is not always easy, especially for those employed by small companies, and this is just one of the reasons that distance learning has become so popular.
For one London-based Australian project manager distance learning offered the chance to study at week-ends so his current project was not disrupted but also the opportunity to use a variety of learning methods: study guides, books, online community, podcasts etc.
Patrick Fermin recently completed the APMP distance learning programme with Parallel Project Training and achieved a high pass rate for this prestigious qualification after dedicating around 70 hours of his own time at week-ends to independent study supported by Parallel. He was attracted by the opportunity to study in his own time and at his own pace and found the podcasts to be particularly useful and the online community an excellent resource for practise papers, feedback on sample answers and general exam technique.
As a structural engineering draughtsman by training who had progressed into a career in a project management role in 2009 he was encouraged at the start of 2014 by his then employer to consolidate his PM skills with a formal qualification. With no existing experience of, or preference for, any particular PM methodology Patrick assessed the advantages of both PMP and APMP before deciding that APMP was better suited to his Europe-based role.
Patrick commented "Studying for the APMP gave me a much wider base of PM knowledge and made me much more conscious of the soft skills and communication skills required to be a successful project manager. It made be more aware of the people involved, how we work together and the importance of building a good project team that understand the benefits of each project. It also gave me a better grounding in the importance of risk management".
Now with his new employer he is involved in projects for major department stores covering store design, space planning and shop fitting and Patrick attributes his success in securing this role to his APMP qualification which helped his CV stand out amongst other applicants and was definitely a positive factor at the interview stage.
Patrick is delighted to have the APMP qualification and it has helped him in his day-to-day role as a full-time project manager, especially on the complex projects he now manages which involve a wide range of stakeholders from clients, suppliers, installers and contractors in the planning and design of department stores.
As his experience grows he expects to enhance his career with further qualifications such as the APM PQ (Practitioner Qualification).
Parallel Project Training deliver a wide range of training courses using a variety of methods and media including e-learning, podcasts, workshops, traditional classroom-based courses and master classes. Underlying their very practical methods of training is a serious approach to professionalism within project management.