PRINCE2 Professional

It is great see that over the years that PRINCE2 has become the de facto standard in Europe. The reasons for this are :-
  • 5 Days to become qualified.
  • Prerequisite for most well paid Project Management roles.
  • Low cost of ownership (no expensive annual membership fees)
  • Exams are multiple choice which is easier for those delegates where English is not their first language.
  • The methodology is based around the key processes and tools most likely to lead to project success.
  • It is a UK Cabinet Office standard.

However, one of the criticisms of PRINCE2 is that it does not demonstrate in anyway your practical application of the method and your ability to tailor the method to different project sizes and environments. Furthermore, in the US where PMP is the primary Project Management qualification, many Project Management "thought leaders" argue that PRINCE2 is just not as professional and comprehensive qualification as PMP. Well I think these criticisms know longer apply since the release of the new PRINCE2 qualification “PRINCE2 Professional”.

PRINCE2 Courses
Foundation, Practitioner & Professional
High Pass Rates, Low Class Numbers
Exam Pass Guarantee

From £700

So what is PRINCE2 Professional?

PRINCE2 Professional (PRINCE2 Pro) is a new qualification which tests, through assessment, 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. The later is something that no other Project Management qualification tests.

So what happens at the Assessment Centre?

Candidates will work in groups of 3- 4 people observed by an ATO Evaluator.  An external Moderator will also be part of the Assessment Centre staff. Delegates work on a Case Study but there is no exam.  It’s all about providing evidence to the Evaluators so they can determine that you are a competent PRINCE2 Project Manager by comparing your performance against a required list of criteria. It is important to remember that the Assessment is not a course. No training is provided.

How long is the Assessment?

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 therefore best run as a residential event so that you can work informally with candidates in the evening without worrying about daily commutes. 

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 are you 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.

There are 3 methods of assessment carried out in order to arrive at a pass or fail decision:

  • Work Group Sessions
Each session consists of group work, involving 3 – 4 persons under the observation of a number of Evaluators.  Each PRINCE2 Professional Assessment Centre will host an assessment based on a group of between 6 and 16 candidates. For each session you will be given extra information relating to the scenario and set a group activity – for example; to assemble the Project Management Team for the project.
During the session there are no deliverables and nothing is handed in. The Evaluators will observe your group working through the activity together. To make it interesting and test your interpersonal skills the groups will be mixed up during the assessment – so you’ll be working with different members of the group.
  • Written exercise
One aspect of the assessment is a written exercise. This is an individual task and could be something like “create a Benefits Realisation Plan”
  • 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 a further chance at proving you understand of PRINCE2 and its practical application. 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 and your performance in the various activities. They are constantly looking for evidence that you are competent in the required areas. This part of the course is challenging and really tests your ability devise a practical approach to implementing and tailoring PRINCE2. 

Who are the PRINCE2 Professional Assessors?

The evaluators are provided by an ATO and 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 demonstrate you have a few years of experience in applying PRINCE2 to projects in the real world.  

I like this new qualification and for organisations who are concerned about the embedding of PRINCE2 practices rather than just training people and hoping that they actually use it. My view is that 70% of qualified Project Management Professionals whether they are qualified in PRINCE2 or PMP fail to apply in the real world what they have learned without further embedding activities such as coaching, mentoring, project audits and group exercises such as PRINCE2 Professional.
I believe PRINCE2 Professional is a chance for Project Manager to prove they are “Jedi” or the best of the best. 
I don’t see PRINCE2 professional being remotely as huge as PRINCE2 Practitioner but I do see it being taken up by organisations and individuals who determined to prove their professionalism in Project Management. 

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PRINCE2 Courses
Foundation, Practitioner & Professional
High Pass Rates, Low Class Numbers
Exam Pass Guarantee

From £700