PRINCE2 Professional - Highest level PRINCE2 certification
PRINCE2 Professional - what is it?
When I first started using PRINCE2, in 1998, almost no-one had their Practitioner qualification – including me!
But “what is great today is normal tomorrow” and now, Practitioner is entry level for many PRINCE2 positions. Candidates who have completed both of these qualifications then ask ‘What’s next?’
PRINCE2 Professional (PRINCE2 Pro) is a new qualification which tests, through an Assessment Centre, your ability to apply the PRINCE2 method when managing a non-complex project. In order to test this, the PRINCE2 Professional qualification moves beyond the boundaries of PRINCE2 and includes globally recognised project management competencies, as well as inter-personal skills.
Advantage Learning was one of the organisations invited to pilot this new qualification and we have been closely involved in the pre-launch testing and training sessions.
What happens at the Assessment Centre?
Candidates will work in groups of 3- 4 people observed by an Advantage Learning Evaluator. An external Moderator will also be part of the Assessment Centre staff. You will work on a Case Study but there is no exam. It's all about you providing evidence so that the Evaluators can decide that you are competent in the required performance criteria. The Assessment Centre is not a course. No training is provided.
How long is the Assessment Centre?
2 days and 1 evening. The course assembles the evening before Day 1. Day 1 runs roughly 8 AM to 8 PM, while Day 2 finishes around 4 PM. It is helpful if you can make this a residential event so that you can work informally with your fellow candidates in the evening without worrying about the daily commute.
What does PRINCE2 Professional test?
There are 22 PRINCE2 Professional Performance Criteria. These range from familiar PRINCE2 areas, such as Starting up a Project, through to areas such as interpersonal skills or managing team performance. The full project life cycle is covered.
Candidates are graded against the Performance Criteria from 0 (Poor: no examples given) to 3 (Extensive: 6 or more examples given). To achieve a pass you must achieve a score of 1 in each Criteria and an average score of 1.6 across all 22.
How will I be Assessed for PRINCE2 Professional?
The Assessment Centre assembles in the evening before Day 1 and candidates are given a project scenario which is built up during the next 2 days. They also receive a Quality Management System for the sample organisation in the scenario and this contains outlines of PRINCE2 Management products, such as the Business Case and Work Packages. No PRINCE2 Manual is permitted during the Assessment Centre.
There are 3 methods of assessment during PRINCE2 Pro:
1 - Sessions
Each session consists of group work, involving 3 – 4 persons under the eye of Advantage Learning Evaluators. Each PRINCE2 Professional Assessment Centre will consist of between 6 and 16 candidates. For each session you will be presented with extra information relating to the scenario and given a group task – for example; to assemble the Project Management Team for the project.
During the session there are no deliverables and nothing is handed in at the end. The Evaluators will observe your group working through the task together. And, to make it interesting (and test that interpersonal skills criteria), the groups will be mixed up during the Assessment Centre – so you’ll be working with different people.
2 - Written exercise
One part of the Assessment Centre is a written exercise. This is an individual task. In the pilot, the task was to create a Benefits Realization Plan.
3 - Interview
Day 2 starts with a 1-2-1 interview of 10 – 20 minutes with the Moderator. This is in-depth and gives you the chance to clarify your knowledge and give you “another shot at proving you understand”.
Overall, the Assessors are looking for evidence that you understand PRINCE2 and can demonstrate practical project management skills. They are observing the team discussions and decisions – you don’t present or deliver any written material – it’s all about observing you perform the tasks required to show evidence that you are competent in the required areas. Pilot candidates felt that they were looking for keywords. It’s a lot of information in a short space of time and pilot candidates found it challenging.
Who are the PRINCE2 Professional Assessors?
Advantage Learning will provide trained Evaluators who will observe your progress during the assessment centre. In addition, our Evaluators are all PRINCE2 Approved Trainers. The Evaluators observe candidates during the group sessions and exercises and gather evidence of competency in each of the PRINCE2 Professional performance criteria. There will also be a Moderator, from APMG.
What experience do I need in order to take the PRINCE2 Professional?
You must be a PRINCE2 Registered Practitioner to apply. You’ll also need to show us actual PRINCE2 experience – solid PRINCE2 knowledge and then a few years of PRINCE2 practice should stand you in good stead for this. PRINCE2 Professional tests your competence in using PRINCE2 so the paper based knowledge and application you've demonstrated in the Foundation and Practitioner exams are pre-requisites for a successful PRINCE2 Professional Assessment Centre.
PRINCE2 Professional Qualification - In Summary
PRINCE2 Professional is a challenging qualification that will allow skilled and experienced Project Managers to show that they have achieved a level of professional development above PRINCE2 Practitioner.
In other words, it’s a chance for the best to rise above the rest.
Market research suggests that about 30% of PRINCE2 candidates would be interested in PRINCE2 Professional. When you consider the skills and experience required, I think the true number will be less. Which allows those that do make it to shine even brighter!
How do I apply for PRINCE2 Professional?
We are running a waiting list for Scotland of suitably qualified PRINCE2 Practitioners for the next PRINCE2 Professional assessment centre. You can register your interest at no obligation. We'll contact you when the next PRINCE2 Pro event is ready to go.
Get on the waiting list for the next PRINCE2 Professional Assessment Centre
In England (London) we are running two events on 17 June 2013 or 7 October 2013 mail email@example.com for more information on this. Not sure if you qualify? Call Johan Stewart on 0131 668 2445 and request the PRINCE2 Professional Self Assessment form. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org