IPMA Level C®

The following requirements are common to all IPMA Member Associations (MAs) that offer the 4-L-C. Some MAs may impose additional requirements.

Experience. Three of the past six years in a responsible leadership position in the management of projects.

Assessment considerations. Candidates will be expected to provide evidence that they have done the following:

  • Were responsible for all project management aspects of a project or sub-project.
  • Used appropriate project management processes, methods, techniques and tools.

A Member Association Example

IPMA’s Member Associations, rather than IPMA itself, administer all IPMA certifications. Each modifies the process (within reason) to fit the unique needs of our nations. This example of the IPMA Level C process, is from PRYSERT, the semi-autonomous certification body of  PMAF, IPMA-Finland. Note that your own national Member Association has a similar process.

IPMA Certified Project Manager is an internationally recognised intermediate-level qualification in the area of project management. The certificate is valid for five years. The certification process is illustrated below. The time required to complete the procedure (from enrollment deadline to receiving the certificate) is typically four weeks.

Phase 1

The certification process starts with the submission of the application form (including Curriculum Vitae, or CV), the project experience form and the self-assessment form by the applicant:

  • The application form (including CV) comprises personal data, basic education, career history with task/responsibility descriptions, and competence development history including training or other educational activities relating to project management. The CV may be of free form, but must include a description of applicant’s possible contribution to project management tools, techniques, methods, competence, etc. development.
  • The project experience form collects applicant’s project experience, including a chronological list of projects, programs and portfolios and the applicant’s roles and responsibilities in each one.
  • The self-assessment form addresses applicant’s knowledge and experience according to the framework presented on your Member Association’s website, and the competence level definitions on the self-assessment form.

All required document templates, the nation’s National Competence Baseline 3.0) and the IPMA certified individual’s ethical instructions are available at the member association website. To continue our Finland example, this information is available at Project Management Association Finland (www.pry.fi). If the submitted materials do not contain sufficient information, the entry requirements are not met, or the relevant instructions are not followed the applicant will not be allowed to enter the certification process until the information is corrected.

The application form must be submitted to the Member Association’s certification coordinator, preferably through e-mail. The e-mailed application form can be signed in the exam. A signed copy of the application form can also be mailed to certification coordinator.

Phase 2

In a two-hour exam the applicant needs to complete various assignments concerning a case project. The assignments cover methods of project organisation, planning and control. Successful completion of these assignments requires good knowledge of basic methods and practical skills.

  • Applicant can only have a calculator, pencil and eraser during the exam.
  • Applicant has to be prepared to identify himself (identity card, driver’s licence or passport) in the exam.

Applicable reference materials for the exam preparation are the National Competence Baseline 3.0, the IPMA certified individual’s ethical instructions and references supplied by the Member Association. For our example, Finland, those references are:

Phase 3

All applicants who have passed the exam shall participate in a one-day workshop in which applicants will undertake practical project management exercises. This workshop is a group exercise where the focus is on behavioural competences i.e. team building and applicant’s capabilities to work as a member/leader of such team and to contribute to the outcome of this team. Note that some Member Associations use more-detailed interviews by a pair of professional assessors in the phase identified below instead of a workshop.

Phase 4

The certification process is concluded with a one hour personal interview with the assessors. This is for clarifying remaining open issues (if any), presenting personal feedback to the applicant and for collecting feedback from the applicant. The assessors will propose for an IPMA Level C certificate to be granted to each applicant completing this certification process. The certification body board of directors makes the final decision on granting the certificate.

Certification Renewal

The IPMA Level C certificate is renewed through a continuous professional development program. This means the certificate holder must be able to demonstrate continued development in and practice of the certified project management principles at the relevant level. This may lead to candidacy in a higher-level project management certificate.

Any one Member Association’s IPMA Level C certificates can be renewed by other Member Associations’ certification bodies, and any Member Association can renew other certification bodies’ IPMA Level C certificates.

The certificate renewal process starts with the submission of the updated application form (including CV), the updated project experience form and a new self-assessment form by the applicant:

  • The application form (including CV) comprises personal data, basic education, career history with task/responsibility descriptions, and competence development history including training or other educational activities relating to project management. The CV may be of free form, but must include a description of recertification applicant’s possible contribution to project management tools, techniques, methods, competence, etc. development.
  • The project experience form collects applicant’s project experience, including a chronological list of projects, programs and portfolios and the applicant’s roles and responsibilities in each one.
  • The self-assessment form addresses applicant’s knowledge and experience according to the framework presented in National Competence Baseline 3.0 and the competence level definitions on the self-assessment form.

The assessors will propose for a new IPMA Level C certificate to be granted to each certificate renewal applicant demonstrating continued development in and practice of the certified project management principles at the relevant level. The certification body board of directors makes the final decision on granting the certificate.

All required certificate renewal document templates, the National Competence Baseline 3.0 and the IPMA certified individual’s ethical instructions are available at the Member Association’s internet site (see the Member Association list at the bottom of this page). If the submitted materials do not contain sufficient information, the entry requirements are not met, or the relevant instructions are not followed the applicant will not be allowed to enter the certificate renewal process.

The certificate renewal application must be submitted to the certification coordinator, preferably through e-mail. A signed copy of the updated application form must be presented to the assessors

Member Nations Offering IPMA Level C, Certified Project Manager

Some IPMA Member Associations have used a distinctive national title for their levels in the IPMA 4-Level Certification; we list them here with those titles. For others, the title is in their national language. Regardless of the title, all IPMA offerings for this level follow the same IPMA Guidelines for the level. We list the links below, plus the titles if they differ from the IPMA default. If the Member Association uses the title Certified Project Manager, only the nation’s name is listed below.

Austria: Projektmanager. Canada. CroatiaCzech Republic. Finland: Sertifioitu ProjektipäällikköGermany: Zertifizierter Projektmanager. GreeceGuatemala: Profesional de la Dirección de Proyectos Certificado (PDP). Hungary: Projektmenedzser. India. IcelandItaly. Latvia. Netherlands:  IPMA level C assessment. NigeriaPoland. Russia. Serbia. Spain: IPMA Nivel C, Profesional de la Dirección de Proyectos. Slovak RepublicIPMA stupeň C. Sweden. Switzerland. Taiwan. USA.

Project Management Complexity

IPMA Member Associations use a management complexity evaluation, to determine whether the project(s) in the applicant’s certification portfolio qualify them for IPMA Level B, Senior Project Manager, or for IPMA Level C, Certified Project Manager. Some Member Associations use the evaluation internally; others share it with applicants. asapm, IPMA-USA shares theirs with applicants; see Evaluating Management Complexity on their website.