25 Years Project Management Experience: Do I Really Need PRINCE2?

“Even though I’m a veteran project manager, I’m not PRINCE2 certified, but that seems to be all companies want in their PM job descriptions. How do I get companies to look at me anyway?”

In our experience at Arras People we find a good deal of employers ask for a project management qualification such as PRINCE2, but when we delve deeper it transpires the organisation isn’t working stringently to the process but they are working within a structured environment. Therefore, the real requirement tends to be experience of working within these structures – if you can clearly demonstrate working through the project life-cycle in your CV and have worked to PRINCE2 then ensure it is clear in your CV.

My advice would be to revisit your CV and ensure you have listed (and contextualised) your core competencies in your CV working through the project life-cycle and if you have been working to PRINCE2 or similar – state this.

i.e. “…Managing multiple concurrent business transformation projects in line with PRINCE2 practices to…”

There are, however, a large number of organisations that do require the qualification AND experience of working in the structures. For those roles if you haven’t got the badge you won’t be considered for the role.

If you have the opportunity to take a PRINCE2 course through your current employer, take it. But we only recommend professionals self fund such qualifications to back up current experience.

Personally my take on this is, PRINCE2 has been considered the defacto standard accreditation in project management for a while now. Organisations use PRINCE2 on a job description as a yard stick. They’re using it to say – we want a project manager and the only external standard we can apply to that which says you’re a Project Manager is PRINCE2 (or PMI and APM accreditations).

Whether we think that is right or wrong is by-the-by. The market has made it so. To comply means you’re doing what the market wants you to do, and therefore you’re ticking the box.

Regardless of whether you’re fairly new to project management or have been practicing for many years – at some point you’re going to have to give the market what it wants.


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  1. Hi
    I have just read your article, ’25 Years Project Management Experience: Do I Really Need PRINCE2?’ and was wondering if the same applies with Agile. I too have 25 years experience in Project Management working mainly within company requirements on a project by project basis using bespoke structures of basic project management principles through the project life cycle including business process mapping, gap analysis, risk management, etc. I am currently embarking on the PMI certification of PMP, Prince2 Foundation and Agile. What is the market leader at the moment in terms of PM qualifications, is Agile still a market leader?

    Many thanks

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