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Project Management Certificates compared – PMP vs PRINCE2 vs IPMA (Part 2)

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Finally, I’ve got some time to finish the table witha comparioson of the most popular project management certifications families: PMP, Prince2 and IPMA.

The following table compares 3 certificates, you can also download the full version of the table (CAPM, PMP, PgMP, Prince2 Foundation, Prince 2 Practitioner, IPMA-D, IPMA-C, IPMA-B, IPMA-A certificates)

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Shortname PMP PRINCE2Foundation IPMA-C
Full name Project Management Professional PRINCE2Foundation IPMA Level C: Certified Project Manager
CareerLevel Project Manager ProjectCoordinator Project Manager
Exam Yes Yes Yes
Number ofquestions 200 75 Depends oncountry
Duration 4h 1h Depends on country / most often consists of 2 parts
DifficultyLevel hard medium hard
Experience 4500 hours of ‘leading ad directing project tasks’ – 3 years(with higher education) Not required 3-5 years ofworkings on projects
Training 35 contact hours of project management training Not required Not required
360degree assessment No No Depends oncountry
Interview No No Depends oncountry
Skillsassessment No No Depends oncountry
Age Not required Not required 25 years old
Requiredcertificates No No No
Recertification Yes No Yes
Howoften? 3 years n/a 3 years
Method 60 PDUs or exam n/a Recertification application verified by assessors (an additionalinterview may be required)
Cost 555 USD (discount for PMI members) 200 Pounds Depends oncountry
Popularity Very Popular Very Popular Medium
Number ofcertified >300000 >200000 > 20000
Official Information PMP Handbook Prince2 Qualification Scheme SPMP – IPMA
KeyPublication PMBOK Guide Prince2 Manual IPMA CompetenceBaseline

The full table which compares the following certifcations: CAPM, PMP, PgMP, Prince2 Foundation, Prince2 Practitioner, IPMA Leval D, IPMA Level C, IPMA Level B, IPMA Level A can be downloaded here.

In the next part of  the article (in a half of March) I’ll write what you shall to take into account when choosing a project management certification path for yourselves ourfou your employees.

The first part of the post.

The following links also can be interesting for you.

Comments (42)

  • Mateusz, jaki sens jest porownywac PMI i PRINCE2 Foundation? Czyms porownywalnym z PMI jest przeciez PRINCE2 Practicioner….

  • Hello,
    I guess one must be biased once one has made a selection of which qualification to pursue and yet, still I feel duty bound to emphasise a major anomaly (unlkess I am misreading it or jumping to a conclusion) in the above table, i.e. that the Prince2 Foundation certification (as far as I am aware) is not recognised as being an adequate qualification to assert oneself at any level of being a competent Project manager, rather the Practitioner certification provides one with a far deeper understanding of the Prince2 framework for managing change delivery. Even so, I don’t know any Prince2 qualified Practitioner who would say they pursued it because it provided the most thorough grounding in project management, rather that it opened doors to potential employment due to its widely recognised and deployed modus operandi.
    Personally, as a Business Analyst, I am aware that there is a market for PM-savy BAs and Prince2 is, once again, the recognised standard, particularly in the UK however increasingly in continental Europe.
    I would welcome any feedback.
    Yours sincerely,
    Michael Grant. LinkedIn Group Member of Business Process Improvement

  • Nice comparison. PMI PMP rules in the US.

  • Hi,
    A few people asked my why those certificates were compared (especially Prince2 Foundation not Prince2 Practitioner).The main criteria was the popularity, and fact that the certificates don’t require to hold any other certificates. I encourage you to open the full table with compariosn of all 9 certificates.

    By the way many people in my country write “Prince2 Practicioner” insted of “Prince2 Practitioner”.

  • HI,

    I would be interested to see a 6Sigma Black Belt Certification alongside these others qualifications. Where do you think it would sit?

    Kind regards


    Good work, I have been looking for something like this for a while.

  • Nice summary, thanks for sharing..

  • Surprised to not see Scrum listed – very surprised.

  • Hi Laszlo,
    SCRUM is mailny for software development purposes, I’ve wanted to make this comparison much more universal.

  • Hi,

    I am afraid there are some not valid data in IPMA column, please check it (i.a. trainings required, how often, etc.)


  • This was very interesting although I didn’t know that Prince2 was considered a PM certification, I thought it was more for developers.
    Are you planning on something similar for BA’s?

  • Hi Martin,
    I think that tour confusion comes from the fact that the rules for IPMA exams differ from country to country, so you need always check with your local IPMA chapter.

  • I think this is a nice summary. As a Project Manager in the US who does a bit of government work, the PMP is the golden ticket. The PMBOK was endorsed by our government’s Office of Management & Budget and adopted by most agencies of the government through their adoption of PMBOK or thinly-rewritten PMBOK for large IT and Technical projects.

    You add to that a base of 300,000 PMPs worldwide and you have a pretty powerful force. This is not to say that other certs cannot arise and even be better than PMP in some dimension, but they may be fated to be the Macintosh to the PMP’s Windows.

    The important thing is that PMs use a common language (not spoken language but language of projects), common artifacts, and definitions of terms – this leads to better integration and continuity of long projects that go through several PMs.

    It would be interesting to compare terms across Certs – WBS, RTM, Change Control, etc.

  • I don’t agree with the basis of the comparation. From my point of view it would be more correct to compare PMP with IPMA B (at least) (A) and Prince 2 Practitioner. And I fully agree with the last comment – PMBOK is more universal system, then others. I also would be interested to compare real differences in approaches to initiate, plan and other stuff.

  • Nice table and comparison, but can you please share your sources of information to find the number of certified people, and why you don’t consider the OGC as the “issuer” of PRINCE2?

    To clarify the information on “recertification” of IPMA raised by Martin, it’s not well described in their website and apparently not mandatory as the PMP. This is the answer I got from the IPMA support team a while ago when investigating this topic:

    “The idea of renewing professional credentials on a regular basis is relatively new. We do not assume that an agricultural engineer or an architect with a University degree loose their knowledge.

    The certification as well as the recertification are a decision of the indivudual. No recertification does not mean that somebody looses his or her certificate ofr that he or she is no longer active in the profession, but that the certificate is no longer actual, the value of an “old” certificate is not nothing. Our goal is that we can convince many professionals to do the recertification.”

  • Hello,
    I would request the PM cert providers to give a straight forward total requirement in bullet points, like the Min. Qualification degree, experience, fees, compulsory tutions, and any other requisites.
    It took my quite a researching effort to sum up with all the requirements for each certification.

    the analysis was crisp and defined, thanks.


    R Kasba

  • PRINCE2 practitioner has a pre-requiste that you have the foundation certification.

    PRINCE2 is the global PM METHODOLOGY standard whereas PMBOK is the global PM knowledge base. PMP and PRINCE2 Practitioner certification provides evidence of someone who knows about Project Management (PMP) and knows how to do it(PRINCE2).

    There are well over 200,000 PRINCE2 Practitioners globally, and it is already being seen in job adverts in the USA and CANADIAN . (search Monster).

  • Does there any good PM certification for online marketing and website development project managers? and does these certification really works? Thanks.

  • All PM certifications I know, are about general project management, so it doesn’t matter if you manage marketing projects or web site development. But there is a certification specially prepared for marketing manangers it’s called CIM (Professional diploma in Marketing more on . Mateusz –

  • Hello,
    I am novice in PM and planning to seek a career as IT PManager. I have experience of collaborative team working in IT project as a tester. Thinking to get PRINCE2 certified, would it be a good start?


  • I think it’s a good choice especially Prince2 Foundation. It doesn’t require an experience in project management. It is also worth to consider ipma level d exams. It is not as well recognized (depends on coutry where you live in) as Prince2 Foundation, but it will help you develop acurate skills to be pm (there are a selfassessment elemnts). To sum up: Prince2 is a good point in CV (especially when you live in countries where it is popular), but if you think about developing yourself as project manager consider ipma certification scheme. I hope it will help you to make right decision (you can always make both certifications). I’m preapering now a post about things to consider when choosing certification scheme, I hope that it will be ready next week.

  • da best. Keep it going! Thank you

  • Thanks for your help.

    Your comments has given me good amount of knowledge about various certifications.

    Thanks once again.

    give some more details for Prince 2 Practioner and IPMA certifications.

  • Bardzo ciekawe zestawienie! Dobry punkt wyjścia do zainterosowania się wspomnianymi certyfikatami.

  • Have you looked at certifications vs. a Master Degree in Project Management (MSPM or MPM)?

  • PRINCE2 in what countries is mainly popular? in North America PMI seems to be most popular

  • Prince2 is mainly popular in United Kingdom, Netherlands, and other Western & Central European Countries, it is also very popular in Australia.

  • there is a market for PM-savy BAs and Prince2 in the UK ?

  • I have to say that to compare Prince 2 Foundation to the other recognized PM qualifications has slightly skewed the purpose of this forum. The Practioner exam is way more complex than that of the Foundation test as it is not entirely multiple choice, you have to apply the Methodology which is not just limited to the material studied, but also how you apply your own rational to the questions presented. There are more than 35% of applicants that do not pass the Practioner exam the first time (this is a confirmed fact) and it is a 3 hour exam compared to the Foundation test of 1 hour. I would like to also highlight that Prince 2 is not just limited to the IT industry (it was initially developed by the Telecomms industry in the UK) but has board based application as it is about managing processes, technical ability is adventitious but not absolutely necessary as this too is covered by a process.

  • Interesting comparision. Note that in the US beside PMI, there is also AAPM that offers different level of certifications in PM. May be you add it in the next revision of your table. You can check their site at

  • I can contribute a slightly more descriptive comparison between the three main qualifications at Difference between PMI, APM and Prince 2

    I seems a pitty that the IPMA qualification lack to global presence of PRINCE2 and PMI. I think they lack the single driving certificatiob body.

  • Some articles that might give additional information…

    Comparing PRINCE2 with PMBoK:

    How PRINCE2 can complement PMBoK and your PMP:

    Comparison of PM Standards:

    A comparison between PRINCE2:2009 and the GAPPS Standard:

  • Excellent, Great Effort

  • thanks for this great PMP list
    if i may,let me suggest a site for a company providing a PMP course

  • Hi,

    Can anyone give a comparison of PMP and MPM certifications.

  • Thank very much for your contribution to ilustrate several options in project managmenet world… greeting from Peru (Latin American)…. bye

  • yes coming on join services to looking best administration services of the career is build near the great service development think grow on propject

  • very nice table, thanks for taking the time to put this together.

  • Thank you for this great project management certificates’ comparison you have done. Would you please provide to me with some information about trustworthy certificates for Business Analysts?

  • The table had numerous inaccuracies (for all of the certifications except for those offered via PMP) – suggest the author go to each of the sites and then update the table.

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