The Association for Project Management has announced that its range of project management qualifications is to be updated to reflect the changes in the 6th Edition of the Body of Knowledge. At the same time they will be changing the names of the qualifications, to be more descriptive of the qualification levels. While the changes in the qualifications content is minimal, at Parallel Project Training we have taken this opportunity to refresh our learning material and programmes, with a new book, a complete set of bite size podcasts and e-learning.
Scope of the Changes
So far the APM have announced the refresh of the APM Introductory Certificate and the APMP, the changes to contents of the qualifications are quite small but the names of them have been changed. Overall the earlier topics have been restructured as learning outcomes and these are to be measured using new assessment criteria.
Scope of Changes to Qualifications
Introductory Certificate has been re-named The APM Project Fundamentals Qualification The format of the exam remains a one hour exam with 60 questions. The contents of the exam are described in The APM Project Fundamentals Qualification syllabus. This shows that the overall learning outcomes have been restructured to
- Understand project management and the operating environment
- Understand the project lifecycle
- Understand the management structure by which projects operate
- Understand project management planning
- Understand project scope management
- Understand scheduling and resource management
- Understand risk management and issue management
- Understand project quality management
- Understand communication in the project environment
- Understand principles of leadership and teamwork
However within each learning outcome the assessment criteria such as “1.1 define a project” are remaining more or less unchanged from the BoK 5th edition version of the APM Introductory certificate course.
APMP is to be re-titled The APM Project Management Qualification
In a similar manner as the APM Fundamentals Qualification the learning outcomes have been restructured under the following headings.
- Structure of organisations and projects
- Project life cycle
- Project contexts and environments
- Governance and structured methodologies
- Leadership and teamwork
- Planning for success
- Scope Management
- Schedule and resource management
- Risk and issue management
- Project quality management
The assessment criteria are in general similar to those in the existing APMP syllabus, for example “explain why projects are structured as phases (including the use of end of phase reviews, go/no-go decisions and high level planning)” or “describe where the use of portfolio management may be appropriate“. Most of these have been carried over with only a superficial update and modification from the previous syllabus. Only three new assessment criteria have been introduced as part of this review. They are
- Explain the importance of relevant legislation applicable to projects (such as health and safety , environmental, employment, contract, data protection, freedom of information). Health and Safety used to be a topic of its own – no longer.
- Explain a typical project reporting cycle including the gathering of data and dissemination of reports and the principles of reporting by exception
- Define scope in terms of outputs, outcomes and benefits (including use of product breakdown and work breakdown structures)
Parallel Upgrade Plans for APMP and APM IC courses
While the changes made to the syllabuses for these courses are quite small we have fully refreshed our learning material. The main changes are
- A complete revision of our APMP study guide to reflect the structure of the syllabus and to make some minor improvements such as including the quick quiz answers within the book along with explanations of the answers
- New podcasts covering the entire syllabus. These new podcasts are in bite size sessions of 15 to 20 minutes each, just perfect for the commute to work.
- All new e-learning, again in bit size elements, covering all the principle in the syllabus.
The new exams will be available from the APM on the 30th April 2014. The new Parallel material will be released on the 18th April. The last public course using the 5th edition material will be the public course 28 Apr 2014 – 02 May 2014. The first course to use the 6th edition material will be on the 12 May 2014 – 16 May 2014.
Distance Learning Courses
Courses sold after the18th April will be the 6th edition material. The 5th edition exam and material will still be available until December 2014 for those doing distance learning courses. When booking an exam using the 5th edition please make sure you indicate on the booking form that you want the 5th edition exam. After December 2014 we will remove the 5th edition material from our website, and itunes and offer these candidates an upgrade to the 6th edition material for a fee of £50 to cover the new study guide and admin costs.
With corporate clients we will discuss transition plans, but would recommend moving to the new material as soon as possible.