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How To Become A Chartered Project Professional – Guide

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 1st May 2018

Over the past few weeks we have had lots of people asking us “What is the best route to Chartered Project Professional? (ChPP)“, so below we set out the options. Over the next few months we plan to write blog posts covering everything you need to know to get Chartered Project Professional. We plan to cover all the competence areas, both knowledge and practice and provide guidance on how to complete the necessary forms. We plan to send out a post every week (or so) and if we get sufficient interest will publish podcasts and webinars. As we say we “are with you all the way”.

So if you are interested in joining the journey then subscribe to our newsletter by entering your details below. And by the way we won’t share this data with anyone else.

Understanding the different Routes to Chartered Project Professional

The Chartered Project Professional standard is open to anyone. Of course, the chances are that it will appeal mainly to those individuals who work in and around the project management disciplines. These can be as perhaps a Project Manager, Programme Manager, Project Office Manager or perhaps one of the supporting functions such as Risk Analyst or Estimator.

Whoever does seek to obtain the recognition may be coming from a wide variety of different backgrounds and educational achievement. They will need to decide whether they are eligible and particularly if they are ‘professionally active’. This means

a)       having a proven track record delivering projects, programmes, portfolios or a key control or enabling function; and

b)      having up-to-date knowledge of current practices and methods; and

c)       being actively involved in the project management profession.

If most of the evidence provided in an application is more than five years old, they can still apply, and will just need to explain how they continue to meet points b) and c) above. They can do this through their CPD and their project overviews.

There are five main components of any application which are

·         Personal Information (such as name, address, etc)

·         Referees

·         Project Overviews

·         Evidence of CPD

·         Evidence of understanding and complying with professionalism and ethics.

In addition to these there are two further (and by far and away the largest) sections. Applicants will need to demonstrate their ‘Advanced Technical Knowledge’ and ‘Professional Practice’ (of that knowledge). In later blog posts we are going to explore each of these in a lot more detail.

The nature of this submission will vary depending on whether or not they have a ‘Recognised Assessment’ which can provide exemption from one or both of these aspects.

The way the APM have arranged the application process is for individuals to apply through one of three Routes which are

·         Route 1: for those who have a Recognised Assessment for Technical Knowledge.

·         Route 2: for those who have a Recognised Assessment for Technical Knowledge and Professional Practice.

·         Route 3: an experiential Route for those who do not have a Recognised Assessment but do meet the eligibility criteria.

A ‘Recognised Qualification’ is one that has been assessed to be at an appropriate level and standard by a third party nominated by APM. Any organisations (such as other project management standards bodies, universities, etc.) can apply to have their qualifications assessed and then any individual with that qualification will then inherit the commensurate exemption. At the time of writing there are no Recognised Qualifications except the APM’s own Registered Project Professional (RPP) standard. This provides exemption for Route 2 for both Knowledge and Professional Practice.

So, for now we just wanted to get the ball rolling by having a little ‘expose’ of these three Routes as a starter for ten. Slightly obtusely we will not be taking them in order.

Route 2 requires that the applicant has a Recognised Qualification for Knowledge and Professional Practice. As mentioned above, the only one that currently exists in this space is the RPP. Therefore, if the applicant holds that standard they will be able to seek to follow Route 2. This will mean they just need to demonstrate their CPD and Professionalism and Ethics (as well as the standard basic personal information and referees). These two aspects are tested at the interview which for Route 2 in just half an hour long. It seems likely therefore that anyone with RPP, wanting to do a Chartered Project Professional application will follow this Route. To do otherwise would seem to be somewhat illogical. Interestingly there are also a few reasons why an individual may wish to do RPP prior to the Chartered Project Professional application. It makes the Chartered Project Professional application much simpler and straight forward and if the applicant has already got the APM-PQ qualification or the APM-PPQ qualification then the RPP application itself is simplified as these provide exemption for the knowledge-based aspects of the RPP application whereas they do not do the same for Chartered Project Professional. Food for thought.

Next, we will look at Route 1. This has the option to seek exemption from just the Knowledge-based aspect of the application. The only slight issue at this time (and of course this may change) is that there is no Recognised Qualification that has been accepted at this time (April 2018). There is much speculation about what may fill that gap. There will hopefully be some organisations that may apply to have theirs included and it would be highly speculative to predict which these may be. However, it is likely that university courses such as project management degrees, masters and similar course will eventually gain acceptance. For now, Route 2 is currently unavailable to any applicant. We will let you know when this changes. Route 2 will also require demonstration of the ‘Professional Practice’ as well. As this is essentially the same as required for Route 3 we will cover what that looks like below.

We expect most applicants without RPP to follow Route 3. Under this regime, (to remind you) the applicant will need to demonstrate

a)       Their Advanced Technical Knowledge

b)      Their Professional Practice of that Knowledge

So, the 6-million-dollar question is how the applicant does that, and the answer is going to be covered in detail in later blogs once APM have released details of the assessment plan during May 2018, until then this is somewhat speculative. Essentially the applicant will need to show compliance in both respects through the description of how they qualify for each of ten mandatory and two optional competencies from the APM competence framework. In the case of the Professional Application, this will be either through some form of short paragraph against each of the 12 competence areas (similar in nature to the original RPP standard) or alternatively written answers to specific questions (such as the current RPP). Of course, APM may come up with some new and cunning way of assessing Professional Practice but we think it highly unlikely that this will be in the form of an assessment centre such as the (now soon to be retired) APM-PQ.

This is all well and good for the Professional Practice elements of the application, but the very tricky part of that application will revolve around the Knowledge based aspects which will be evidenced only at interview. This means the applicant will need to be thoroughly prepared to describe their knowledge to a panel of assessors. They will need very specific examples of each and be able to describe them in some detail and then (as detailed in the standard) be able to compare them with their working practices. In essence, they will need to be able to critically analyse what they do against best practice. Clearly this will require a sound fundamental knowledge of the various competences and this may require some refreshing. It is highly likely that most applicants will already have some form of qualification such as APM-PMQ, and in these circumstances they will be very well grounded. If on the other hand they do not have any qualification or one that is centred around an alternative syllabus or competence framework, they may struggle to make sense of the application and the nature of the questioning and what is required for it.

We are going to try to help and demystify some of this for these types of applicants (and anyone else for that matter). It should be noted that Route 3 has a 90-minute interview with two assessors and it can be assumed that a large portion of this interview (probably 30 minutes) will be dedicated to the knowledge aspects.

So, for now have a look at your experience and academic qualifications and come to a conclusion about which Route you would like to take.

We will be producing more blogs and some podcasts to help you, we believe that access to Chartered Project Professional ought to be as slick and obstruction free as possible, so we have decided to offer whatever advice we can free of charge through these blogs – so watch this space.

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  1. Elaine McKenna says:

    Evening I am interested in applying for the Route 3 application for APM Charter and would appreciate feedback and guidance as to how I might be able to achieve this in 2020. I am circa 20 years in PM and Prog Mgm working on successful programmes in the UK, Europe and Middle East.

    • pnaybour says:

      Elaine thanks for your comment, we are currently mostly running programmes for corporate groups but will explore with John if some open sessions might be of interest.

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