The Top UK Project Management Certifications in 2019- By Role

In a recent blog The Top UK Project Management Certifications in 2019, we explored the results from the 2019 PMBR (Project Management Benchmark Report) dataset to identify the take-up (or not) of PM certifications in the UK.

In this piece we take a look at the data for UK practitioners by four of the most common roles to see if there are any differences in learning paths.

By way of a reminder the top 10 were identified as follows:

Project Managers:

When cut by those indicating that they belong to the Project Manager cohort the top 10 delivers the table below.

Of note we can see the following:

  • The Project Manager cohort is dominated by PRINCE2 with 62% having attained the Practitioner level and a further 9% having just the Foundation level.
  • A not insignificant number of the cohort at 19% have the MSP certification.
  • Scrum is the only Agile based certification making an appearance in the top 10.
  • M_o_R (Management of Risk) makes the top 10, whilst sitting at number 11 across the whole practitioner group.
  • APM – PFQ the introductory certificate from the APM (Association for Project Managers) takes up the last place in the top 10 compared to its 13th position across the whole practitioner group.

Programme Managers:

When cut by those indicating that they belong to the Programme Manager cohort the top 10 delivers the table below.

Of note we can see the following:

  • The Programme Manager cohort is also dominated by PRINCE2 with 75% having attained the Practitioner level and just 3% having only the Foundation level.
  • MSP (Managing Successful Programmes) is the next most popular with 46%
  • Agile seems to be on the agenda for the programme manager cohort taking 3 of the top 10 slots, higher than any of the other groupings.
  • None at 13%, shows that all levels of project management practice do not see certification as a mandatory pre-requisite to getting the job.

Portfolio Managers:

When cut by those indicating that they belong to the Portfolio Manager cohort the top 10 delivers the table below.

Of note we can see the following:

  • This cohort is also dominated by PRINCE2 with 71% having attained the Practitioner level and 16% having only the Foundation level.
  • MSP (Managing Successful Programmes) is the next most popular with 32%
  • Lean/ Six Sigma makes an interesting top ten appearance with 21% making it the only one of the four groups where this certification appears. This supports the idea that operating at this level requires more business/organisation understanding with the emphasis on improvement in profits, employee morale, and quality of products or services.
  • MOP (Management of Portfolios) also makes the top 10 with 13% of the practitioners seeing this as a valid certification for their role compared to 7% across the whole cohort.
  • Agile also makes more of an impression on the top 10 with SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) at 11% compared to 3% across the whole cohort pointing to the need for wider organisational thinking in this kind of role.

PMO Managers:

When cut by those indicating that they operate as PMO Managers the top 10 delivers the table below.

Of note we can see the following:

  • This cohort has the lowest percentage of practitioners who do not hold a recognised project management certification at 7% and outside of their top 10.
  • PRINCE2 is once again the number 1 with 69% having attained the Practitioner level and just 5% having only the Foundation level.
  • Taking in the bigger picture 38% have attained certification in MSP (Managing Successful Programmes) compared to the average across the total group of 29%.
  • P3O® – Practitioner and Foundation appear in the top 10 lists for the first time with 29% having both levels and 3% just the Foundation.
  • MOP (Management of Portfolios) and M_o_R (Management of Risk) both make the top 10, each with 10% of the cohort saying they have attained these certificates.

So, the message from this analysis is clear, training and certification paths are aligned to each of the roles within the project management domain and it is worth considering where you are today as well as your future career path when selecting your certificates.

The AXELOS stable of certificates (PRINCE2, MSP, MOP etc) has the highest take up in the top 10’s across all role types with a lower uptake of those in the APM’s whilst the PMI (Project Management Institute) record just a single entry at the project manager level.

 

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