PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments v. 2) is a formal project management methodology, developed originally for use on UK government projects, and thereafter published as a best-practice project management guide, a standard for project management activities, and an internationally recognised project management qualification.
PRINCE2 Foundation, PRINCE2 Practitioner and beyond
For over fifteen years, the PRINCE2 project management qualification was divided into two levels: the PRINCE2 Foundation certificate, which tests knowledge of the methodology, and the PRINCE2 Practitioner certificate, which confirms understanding of how the PRINCE2 methodology should be applied in various project management scenarios.
"Note: this article was originally written in 2010, and the PRINCE2 Professional qualification is now no longer available"
In 2010, the APM Group unveiled a new, higher tier: PRINCE2 Professional, a qualification that tests candidates abilities to actually apply PRINCE2 methods, through a rigorous programme of interviews, essays, group challenges, and individual tasks.
Who needs the PRINCE2 Practitioner certificate?
The PRINCE2 Practitioner certificate is appropriate for project managers, or individuals who wish to become project managers. Candidates for the PRINCE2 Practitioner examination need to have already passed the PRINCE2 Foundation exam, and thus PRINCE2 accredited training organisations will sometimes offer training for both PRINCE2 examinations in a combined course.
What is involved in the PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification?
Candidates for the PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification take multiple-choice examination with a pass mark of 59, out of a possible total of 108 marks (i.e. 55%). There are nine complex questions, each including a scenario, around which the multiple-choice questions are based. Students are allowed to use the official PRINCE2 course manual in the practitioner examination, since this is a test of application, rather than foundational knowledge.
The examination lasts two and a half hours, and must be administered by an accredited PRINCE2 exam site. Very recently, the APMG has introduced the remote exam proctor, a web camera device that enables candidates to take the examination online, without travelling to an actual exam site.
After PRINCE2 Practitioner
Successful candidates in the PRINCE2 Practitioner examination are eligible to be listed in the Successful Candidate Register on the APMG website, and may include “PRINCE2 Practitioner” on their business card. Be aware, however, that PRINCE2 Practitioner status is only valid for five years, and successful candidates must renew their status by passing the PRINCE2 Practitioner Re-registration exam.
PRINCE2 Registered Practitioners may also choose to apply for the PRINCE2 Professional certificate, in order to further enhance their project management qualifications.