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Shaping the future of certification

A guest blog from Matthew Gage, Deputy Director at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ):

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) sent a joint delegation to represent the UK Government in a private and public sector research group looking to shape the Project Management Institute’s (PMI’s) future certifications (the CAPM and PMP).

The research group met in Iceland and included representatives from project delivery organisations across the globe, including a number of high profile private sector companies from a variety of sectors including defence, logistics and infrastructure.

Sarah Wright, Mark Sutherland and I were there on behalf of our Government to assist PMI with developing their next generation of certification for project professionals across the globe: something that will have a real impact on our growing profession.

The trip started dramatically as on arrival at Reykjavik airport some of the conference attendees, including myself and Sarah, spent an extra six hours in the plane on the tarmac due to extreme weather conditions. The wind was so strong that the plane had to be moved into a hanger so we could disembark!

UK project delivery maturity

One of the most significant observations that struck me that weekend was how far we’ve come as a profession in the UK government over the last few years. The introduction across government of common Project Delivery Functional Standard and the Project Delivery Competency Framework have helped us take a huge stride forward in professional maturity.

The Project Delivery Standard supports government’s strategy for central cross-departmental corporate functions that help deliver more efficient and effective government.

In MoJ the creation of our Project Delivery Function is already helping to raise standards. It’s giving colleagues better career opportunities and creating an environment that allows projects to get on and deliver. It’s also great that we’re being recognised for this progress by being asked to support others across the world

Certification challenges

In Iceland our delegation was allocated to “Job Task Analysis”. Our role was to consider the learning objectives for the certification levels and weighting of those outcomes. Sarah looked at a new Entry Level certification, Mark and I reviewed the existing CAPM (Associate) level, whilst a third group focused on Agile certification.

My group was tasked with developing the next generation of the ‘Project Management Professional’ certification, reflecting the need for stronger project leadership skills in an increasingly volatile and uncertain environment. No easy task!

The group was made up of people from all over the world, including Brazil, Mexico, the US, India and Europe. It was fascinating to hear that despite the cultural differences there was a broad consensus about how to deliver projects and what others would be looking for in their project professionals.

By the time the conference closed on Sunday evening, we’d all made a host of new friendships that are already providing opportunities to learn and share from a range of diverse environments. Moving forward the PMI expects to publish the new certification levels this summer, so watch this space!

If you’d like to find out more about the Project Delivery Profession contact

If you'd like more details about the profession in MoJ contact me:   

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