Mar 102017
Project Management apprenticeships

Ever since the 1980’s when professional qualifications in project management started to appear there has been a steady increase in the use of project management in all types of organisations. It is no longer confined to engineering or construction or IT software projects. In fact, project management is now used in almost every type of major business area and industry as companies tend to use project centric methods to grow and develop.

So whether you are involved in producing new high-tech products, building bridges, creating software applications, tourism, healthcare and many, many other fields the chances are you will come across projects in your working environment.

So it’s great news that a new UK Government Apprenticeship Levy looks set to encourage major employers to train their budding project managers in PM best practices. And, that those trainees will have started on a path to a series of professional qualifications culminating eventually in chartered status as a project management professional.

Young people who might enjoy and excel within a career as a project manager will no longer have to take a university degree to get started (with all the associated student debt issues that entails). So there is now a direct route straight into a project management career via a project management apprenticeship – these are Higher Apprenticeships that develop the practical skills and behaviours that a successful project manager requires.

More About The Apprenticeship Levy

The UK government wants to improve productivity in UK based companies by investing in the people who work there. It’s plan is to create 3 million more apprenticeships (including higher apprenticeships like the project management one) in England by 2020 and they are using the Apprenticeship Levy to ensure quality training is provided by employers. The Apprenticeship Levy comes into force in April 2017 and is charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s salary bill if in excess of £3 million.


The Benefits of the Project Management Apprenticeship Programme


The PM apprenticeship programme is directly aligned with the industry standard APM Competence Framework so all apprentices will benefit from learning industry best practices. The employer will consequently benefit from these best practices being used to complete projects – resulting in more rigours management of projects and hence more consistently successful outcomes. The apprentice will also gain well-recognised and highly regarded professional qualifications and accreditation.

Project management apprenticeships are normally undertaken via a remote course of study using online tools so there is no requirement to travel far afield to attend training courses, meaning that location is not a deterrent to completing the programme. It can usually be complete within an 18 month – 2 year period.

Apprentices are taught a combination of theory and practical skills such as:

  • Budgeting and Cost Control
  • Communication
  • Risk management
  • Schedule management
  • Stakeholder management
  • Collaboration & Teamwork
  • Leadership


This is a marvellous opportunity for anyone to embark on a career in project management – the newest of the chartered professions. It can eventually lead to chartered status in this highly regarded and growing profession.

Jun 142015

For a veteran project manager, running project meetings is common. For beginners and new project managers, however, this is a novel concept that can be scary. When a project manager is new to the game, there comes a time when a new project comes along – it could be about a new service, product, building, computer system, and anything else – and the project manager is given the responsibility. For ensuring that everything is going according to plan, various project meetings are held during the life of a project. This is why every project manager must know how to run a project meeting in the most efficient way possible.

Here are some great steps to follow for running a great project meeting –Have Clear Objectives For The Meeting – Every project manager has been a simple teammate once. Thus, it is not far fetched to assume that every project manager has attended at least one meeting where the leader rambled on for hours and the meeting stretched on without any aim or motive. This is a classic example of a meeting that lacks objectives. Therefore, before setting the meeting, the objectives of meeting should be clear in the project manager’s mind. This would ensure that no one’s time is wasted and the meeting actually leads to great results.

Plan The Meeting Agenda Properly – It is often prudent to set an agenda for the meeting. The project manager must circulate this agenda to all the people who would be attending the meeting and this activity should be done at least 2 days in advance. Thus, everyone would have ample time to prepare for the meeting and clear out their schedules. An important part of project management planning is ensuring everyone knows what is expected of them right from the start. Some managers just give their teammates half an hour before the meeting and this is wrong. No one would be prepared and on top of that, the meeting might be delayed as people try to accommodate their previous engagements. A timely meeting agenda solves all these problems.

Have Short Meeting Papers – A huge pillar of every team meeting is motivation. When the speaker starts to lose the attention of people, it means that the meeting is already a failure. The most common reason for this is a mountain of project papers at the meeting. Experts always recommend to have just one page for every paper. This would also ensure that the resources of the organization are not getting wasted. Plus, it would be easier to digest concise information. It is also recommended to have a basic template for people to use during meetings.

Make Sure That The Right People Are Attending The Meeting – Of course, the core project team attends the meeting and the project manager takes care of everything. However, there are some meetings that are more important than the others. These are those meetings that involve decision making at a higher level. Thus, if such a meeting is planned, the project manager should ensure that the relevant people who have the authority to make decisions regarding the project are present at the meeting. Otherwise, there would be no point to the discussions and the relevant points would all have to be repeated at a later date in front of the decision making person.

Ensure That Everyone Is Comfortable In The Meeting Room – This might not seem like an important factor but when team members are uncomfortable, their concentration slips. To avoid this, the project manager should plan the meeting in a room with proper air conditioning (during the summer months), comfortable chairs and other basic amenities. If the meeting is being held during the evening, there should be provision for some refreshment like tea, coffee, and biscuits.

Always Stay On Schedule While Running a Meeting – For a project meeting, especially an important one, people should clear their schedule 30 minute before and after. This is to ensure that if the meeting runs late, no one would be suffering. Also, project managers should do their best to ensure that the meeting starts and ends on time. This can be achieved by having a good plan for the meeting and also keeping some time aside for slippage. Every point of discussion should have a set time for the meeting to be on schedule.

Project managers who train from Parallel Project Training are equipped to deal with whatever their job throws at them. It is a must for project managers to have proper education and nobody understands this better than PPT. After all, they have about 30 courses every month and their training is spread across 21 countries, including USA, UK and the Middle East. With the help of state of the art learning tools, experts, training professionals and teaching gurus, PPT has established a name for itself. Any manager who wants to make a mark on the industry must undertake a course with PPT.

Feb 162015


RAG stands for Red, Amber and Green reporting. There are lots of programs that use these reports. Can we ultimately trust bosses that use the RAG results? Yes and no. It all depends on the situation. Let’s explore this a bit further.THE PROGRAM OF RAG

Bosses use this program to indicate how good or bad a project is going. With each level, specific light comes on. If you see the red light, it means there are problems with the program. When this happens tweaks need to be made. In some cases, it might mean going back to the drawing board entirely and starting over.

With the amber light, it means the program is okay. Will that mean good or bad for the program. It all depends. With some programs that enter the amber stage, you do need to go back and try a few things out. Other times it means that everything is okay and you can move forward.

The green light means that everything is good. In some cases, it means that everything is gold.

Usually companies use these reports when it comes time for budgeting and project scheduling. It’s used to indicate which programs need to have more money spent on them. If a program gets the green light around this time, you only need to do minimal scheduling. Sometimes you don’t need to schedule anything at all.


That’s a very good question, especially concerning those who handle things in unethical ways. This reporting is good to identify which programs have glitches. It also is used to identify the weaknesses. Now this does come with a downside. The management has to be confident in the project to begin with. The management needs to be confident in moving forward with something. The management also has to be accurate in their assessments. It’s easy to “fix” the results. Some personnel will do this to justify their own agenda. Using this method requires a great deal of trust.


1) The main one is the trust issue. There are some upper managements that can’t be trusted. When you turn this reporting over to them, it’s like setting a kid loose in a candy store.

2) Lack of confidence in the information. You have to not only trust the management, but you also need to trust the information. Is the information coming across as fair and correct? Is there a green light, when there should be a red light? Sometimes computer systems will mess up. You have to expect this. At the end of the day, you need to put your trust in the accuracy. This is difficult for a lot of people.

3)Some put out the wrong projections, because they don’t want to upset the senior management. Sometimes lower management will prefer to work out the problem themselves.


1) Apply practical problem-solutions to your problems. Identify early on where the issues are coming from, then work to fix them. If you do this early on, you will avoid the upset of upper management.

2) Use a template everyday. This will keep things under budget and on track. The template can also give more accuracy with the colors, not to mention where the project actually stands.

3) Find common ground between lower and upper managements. This way there won’t be any issues when it comes to the results. As long as you establish good communication between the upper and lower levels, the stress levels will go down.

4) Establish some consistency when it comes to the reporting. Don’t just run one report one week, then a second one two weeks after. Consistency is the key.

Learn more about RAG Status Reporting
Sep 262014

A basic knowledge of Microsoft Project is almost essential for any Project manager these days in order to implement project management planning and control techniques. This tool has helped Project managers everywhere to manage effectively and efficiently, transforming the way the world sees Project management. Understanding Microsoft Project thoroughly might take time but the efforts are worth it, mainly because of the benefits that the tool offers. The following are a few advantages of using Microsoft Project –

Improve Performance

Microsoft Project is compatible with both 32 bit and 64 bit options where a diverse range of projects (sizes and types) are supported. Especially with the 64 bit option, Microsoft Project has expanded the memory and capabilities of Vista and Windows 7 to hitherto unscaled heights. Large project files are nothing for Microsoft Project, especially when the Project Server is connected to them.

Growth Capabilities

Project managers who train on Microsoft Project and learn all its uses can actually realize the tremendous growth capabilities this tool provides. Organizations are using this tool to optimize their resources, prioritize important investments, achieve a greater level of control over all works and projects (no matter what the size or type), and use the powerful dashboard to actually visualize the results.


The most important tool at a project manager’s disposal is how to collaborate with various members of the team and achieve the desired results. This is exactly what Microsoft Project offers by allowing project managers to task status updates for members of the team. Collaborating on task progress and communicating plans across team sites is also possible with Microsoft Project.

Evaluating Possibilities

Many a times, a project manager has to monitor the work that is ongoing, consider various options for new projects, and evaluate possible scenarios. In Microsoft Project, professionals can use inactive tasks and experiment with plans. This tool is also capable of performing what-if analysis. Simply toggling can insert or remove multiple tasks along with the effect these tasks will have on the project schedule. There are various tools built into Microsoft Project which allow managers to perform a comparison between scenarios, change highlighting and undo on multiple levels.

Controlling and Delivering

Microsoft Project offers flexibility when the manager wants to set multiple baselines along with quick comparison of forecasted vs. budget vs. actual values for measuring the progress of an initiative. User defined labor and cost categories can be created with time phased high level budgets. Controlling project costs can be made extremely simple and easy by quick comparison of budgets and forecasts. Integrated management of performance and predictive analysis is also offered.

Intuitive and Familiar

Microsoft products have been used over the years by everyone, and when it comes to project management tools, managers want something that feels familiar and intuitive. Opening the first project file on Microsoft Project feels familiar and at home because of this reason. Thus, no time is wasted in getting acquainted with the interface or learning where to find basic functionalities. While Microsoft Project is pretty different from Word, Excel and PowerPoint, it still follows the same basics and is easy to get around. Project managers who have used other solutions often complain about lack of familiarity and difficulty in getting acquainted but this is one problem that managers can never face with Microsoft Project.

Easy Integration with Other Products from Microsoft

Microsoft has recently been trying to integrate all its products across various platforms and Microsoft Project is no different. Instead of feeling like work is being performed across PowerPoint, Word and Excel, Microsoft Project (along with other products) gives the illusion that a single application is being used which offers project management, email, spreadsheet analysis and word processing. The ability to toggle between various Microsoft products, sending information and data across multiple applications, opening applications within applications, and overall user experience sets Microsoft Project apart from other project management solutions.

Time Saving

Essential functions are offered by Microsoft Project which save time. These functions include auto complete, zoom, text wrapping, filtering, et al. The copy and paste function has been improved as well and because of integration with other Microsoft applications, seamlessly maintaining key formatting is pretty easy with Microsoft Project. The simple option of creating and saving templates on Microsoft Project can save a lot of time of a project manager. This saved time can be used for other and more lucrative purposes. Instead of wasting time on basics and fundamentals, Microsoft Project allows managers to micromanage.

Other benefits of Microsoft Project include quick estimation of project deadlines, avoiding over-committing of resources, simple updating of plans, user controlled scheduling, timeline view, team planner, easy sharing, at-a-glance planning, saved effort, and so much more. There are many project managers, however, who don’t quite understand how important this tool is. This is because they have not been able to explore it properly. Microsoft Project Training at Parallel Project Training can help with that.

May 022014

Released on April 29, 2014, an updated APM Project Management Qualification course hit the markets with success. Previously known as APMP, the latest version of this course is based off of the sixth edition of Association for Project Management Body of Knowledge. Offering significant benefits and new developments that take a fresh approach on the blended learning system, this new course has highly successful ratings among users already. Individuals who enroll in this course will take advantage of the following benefits:

Podcasts for Each Section

With approximately 31 podcasts to ensure a thorough coverage of the course’s syllabus, the fifth edition boasts of more than 400,000 downloads since first being launched in 2009. With the latest version being released on April 29, 2014, more than 450,000 individuals have already downloaded the podcasts. These podcasts are designed to work hand-in-hand with Parallel Project Training’s integrated e-learning course, which is located on the website. Users can download the latest versions through an RSS feed on the Android or through the iTunes store, with these podcasts designed to be played on various podcast apps.

Updated Study Guide

Those who enroll in the APM Project Management Qualification can utilize the sixth edition’s study guide as a factual reference for completing the course. Currently, more than 4,500 students have taken advantage of the study guide for exam preparation. Reports show that this updated study guide presents the Association for Project Management Body of Knowledge and exam syllabus in concise, clear language to ensure an easier understanding of the information within. Utilizing more than 20 years of APMP training experience, this book offers students numerous exercises, case studies, and sample test questions to prepare them for the qualification exam. With additional coverage on Environmental and Employment legislation, this study guide works with the latest syllabus to ensure optimal training results.


Re-built from scratch, Parallel’s e-learning revolves around the updated coursework, offering students a bite-size and media-enriched design. The e-learning works hand-in-hand with the study guide, offering students a thorough overview of the various topics covered under the Project Management Qualification.

Exam Prep Study Group

Parallel Project Training has kept the previous online exam prep study group and includes it with their distance learning package. More than 450 people have connected to this study group at some point during their training program, with the group providing students with on-line tutor assistance and sample questions to aid in their blended courses, distance learning, and modular training. The exam prep study group helps prepare students for taking the qualification exam at the end of the course.

Other than an updated version of the Association for Project Management Body of Knowledge, the qualification program is undergoing additional changes that will have a positive effect on aspiring professional project managers, with one change being the renaming of the qualification certificate to APM Project Management Qualification. Offering a clearer understanding of the APM qualification, this name perfectly portrays the first step for those seeking a new career as professional project managers.

Our Transition Plans

All updated public and distance learning courses through the APMP have a strong basis in the sixth edition’s material. With a recommendation to transition to the latest versions as soon as possible, Parallel Project Training will discuss individual transition plans with their corporate clients to ensure a smooth process.

Originally known as the APM Introductory Certificate, the APM Foundation Qualification retains all original objectives that are found in the fifth edition version. The Association for Project Management has implemented one change, which is the name update of learning objectives to assessment criteria. With the APM currently in the process of updating the IC study guide, Parallel Project Training will offer the updated guide to users once it is available.

With plans to withdraw all fifth edition qualification material by the end of December, Parallel Project Training will allow students who have not taken the qualification exam by the end of the year to upgrade to the latest version by paying £50 (plus VAT). This fee will help cover any e-learning package costs that are associated with the new book and admin.

To remain current with the latest version, enrollees should focus their studies on APM’s sixth edition, which is offered through Parallel Project Training. If you choose to do otherwise, please inform us at the time of booking.

Nov 262013
Professional Project Management

Both private business firms and large organizations that are involved in completing large projects recognize the true importance of project managers. With the amount of knowledge and experience needed on the job becoming more complex, businesses are realizing the true benefits of hiring a professional project manager (PPM) to control the project teams.

Importance of Professional Project Management

Many corporations utilize formal methodologies for software development, engineering, construction, and manufacturing projects to strategize, plan, and manage the necessary tasks and activities to ensure a successful project completion. For this reason, professional project managers play a vital role in strategizing, planning, and managing project activities, applying their expertise in risk, quality, and change management. These skills are essential for project completion, increasing the demand for PPMs in the business environment.

Professional project managers have a technical ability to effectively manage project tasks and communicate with customers. Not only are accreditations a plus in project management, but professional project managers should hone their other skills to ensure a successful service process, benefiting the project manager with a thorough knowledge of professional techniques and methods.

  • Positive attitude to new tasks and challenges
  • Ability to utilize the right tools throughout the project
  • Knowledge in businesses processes
  • Ability to implement successful business goals
  • Ability to tailor techniques and methods for projects
  • Negotiation skills to obtain additional resources
  • Learning from previous mistakes
  • Diplomatic skills to deal with stakeholders and customers

Why Certification Is Necessary

Many businesses prefer to hire professional project managers over project managers because PPMs understand the true importance of reliable project management discipline when it comes to delivering successful projects to the clientele. Clients associate a professional certification with strong discipline, and the certification indicates the PPM has a higher level of expertise and knowledge, allowing the professional project manager to work more proficiently in a project’s environment.

Benefits of Effective Project Management

Project management offers businesses several benefits, allowing the professional project manager to control and lead the team more effectively. By instituting the proper strategies to ensure the project reaches fruition, PPMs benefit not only the team but also the customers and stakeholders. The top 10 benefits of effective project management include:

  • Improved Customer Satisfaction: Getting the project done on time and under budget will go a long way in satisfying your customers, and a satisfied customer means more business down the road.
  • Increased Service Efficiency: Professional project managers can apply the basic skills and tools needed to ensure a successful project completion, fixing any problems that may develop.
  • Increased Team Growth: Positive feedback encourages the team to seek out new ways to perform their job more efficiently.
  • Improved Service Effectiveness: Previous applied strategies can help the PPM successfully complete new projects.
  • Service Expansion: Providing premium-quality projects will increase the likelihood of your business expanding to new clientele.
  • Increased Competitive Edge: Satisfied clients will inform others of your great service, increasing your business’ competitive edge.
  • Improved Risk Assessment: Keeping the team in line and implementing the right strategies will increase the chances of identifying potential risks in the project, allowing the PPM to fix any issues that arise.
  • Increased Quality: Making sure the project’s quality remains high increases your company’s effectiveness.
  • Increased Quantity: Increasing the quality of the project will increase the likelihood of returning and new customers with more projects.

Because project management can be an extremely complex process, you should contemplate hiring a professional project manager who has had the training needed to complete your business’ projects. Customers want their projects completed not only within the designated time frame and budget but also to meet their high standards. The end result is that the business, project manager, team, customers, and stakeholders come out of every project satisfied. Learn more about how to invest in project management development with Parallel Project Training

Aug 082013
Project Management Soft Skils

Project management may not be easy, but there are things which project managers can do in order to lead their teams through the softer though no less potent power of influence and gentle persuasion. They have no need to be heavy-handed with their employees. Instead, they lead through a combination of soft skills, honed and practiced until those they manage look up to them and obey through free choice, not coercion. Some of the most important soft skills for a project manager to use when leading their team are resource management, communication, flexibility and attitude.

Resource management may sound limited in scope, but it involves many sub-qualities essential to good leadership. Time is one resource which every manager needs to have a firm handle on. They should understand how much time a given project will take, so they can keep their team on task without setting unreasonable expectations, which only wear down morale, or underestimating the timing, leading to excess hours and lowered productivity. This goes hand in hand with personnel management, because employees are by far the most important resource in a company. Managers need the inspirational ability to encourage every employee to give their best work to the project at hand, and the understanding to know when they are, so they can be praised or recognized accordingly. Finally, the manager should know how to distribute material resources fairly and efficiently, so none will be wasted.

A second critical soft skill for managers is the ability to communicate. Without effective communication through the ranks, even the best messages will be lost. Good communication has two parts. The first, less important part is speaking. The speaker should be able to express the idea effectively and in a way that the listener can both understand and wish to respond to appropriately. However, contrary to popular belief, speaking is the less important part of communication for a good manager. Listening is even more important. Can the manager be able to listen to what the employees are saying, not just with one ear and half a mind, but give the full attention to what that person is saying? Can they then take action based on what they are hearing? If the manager can do both, they will show their employees that the boss cares about their concerns and gives the hope that they will act upon those needs. This can inspire a great deal of loyalty and that loyalty is critical in effective project management. It means that the employees trust their boss, and in turn, the boss can trust them. That is what truly underlies a healthy relationship.

Flexibility is a third key component of effective soft skills management. As much as one may wish for things to go according to plan, very few things ever will. A quality project manager will have the flexibility and creativity to handle the changes which develop unexpectedly and carry their team through them. This requires the ability to make quick decisions and have those decisions be good ones, something that comes with both practice and wisdom. Here, the aforementioned traits of communication and resource management will be essential, because by communicating the changes to the team and dividing the necessary resources to meet the new task, the good leaders will prove themselves not just to their employees, but to those higher up in the organization.

Finally, the one thread which connects all of these soft skill leadership qualities is attitude. The right project manager should have the ability to convey a mood which is calm, professional, and optimistic. Calmness in the face of stress is a must. When the employees see their project manager suffering the effects of stress, they will suffer it even more, and this will only compound the problem. Therefore, the manager must learn how to adopt an attitude of reassurance to demonstrate that they truly can lead. Secondly, professionalism goes a long way in leadership. Dealing with the employees as professionals, and the clients in a proper manner, establishes the project manager as a person who can be trusted. Thirdly, a positive attitude is contagious and inspiring. It makes for a more enjoyable workplace, which every manager and worker wants to have. In addition, believing that a problem can be solved goes a long way towards solving that problem, which is another benefit of a positive attitude.

For more information on how to develop these project management skills, look into the Parallel Project Training courses. They offer practical, engaging and informative classes on how to become a better project manager using these soft skills and more. They are an accredited APM training provider and a PMI registered education provider, so you can be assured of the quality of the training you will receive.

Dec 132011

Projects come in all shapes and sizes such as straightforward improvements to products or operations procedures through to new product research or major software development. But the key components that contribute to the success of a project are the same no matter how simple or complex the project is and whether it is being run in a small organisation without any formal project framework or in a large organisation as part of a well-established framework in an ongoing programme of projects and with the support of a project office.

The most important factors that will contribute to a project being completed successfully can be broadly broken down into the following 5 areas:

Strategic Planning
Understanding your marketplace, the wider industry and your competition is necessary so that the specific business objectives of the project can be well-defined and, more importantly, meet a genuine need, or anticipated need, within the market to which the end-product will be targeted. For simpler projects in small organisations the “marketplace” may, in fact, be a small internal team or department but the concept of understanding them and their objectives is still the same and still just as important.

Developing the Product
Any new product, process or service needs to be developed or established solely to meet the defined business goals, which need to be articulated and documented at the very beginning of the project. Where a project involves a new process, it is important to prevent it becoming an opportunity to add or change related processes where they do not add real business benefit and do not affect the final outcome or contribute to the overall business aims.

Focused marketing aimed at the right target audience is as vital for the simplest internal projects designed to change an existing operations process as it is to a new product with a global market. Of course, the realities of such marketing are quite different – internal projects are unlikely to have big-budget advertising campaigns for example – but it is still important to “sell” the product/process to those who will be buying or using it. In many internal projects involving major change to the status-quo the greatest challenge is to convince the end-users that they will be better off with the new process in the face of typical human reluctance to change.

For the wide variety of projects that take place in organisations year-round, the provision of a support mechanism both before and after implementation is another key component to the success of the project. Support might come in the form of IT support (providing the right hardware and software), Human Resources for recruiting and retaining the appropriate staff, facilities for providing the necessary offices or other building space and any number of other support services relevant to the project.

There are different categories of people involved in projects and they all have different and specific roles to play but they are all stakeholders with a vested interest in the project being a success:

• Sponsor:- The sponsor(s) of a project is often a member of the senior management team of an organisation but can also be someone from outside the organisation if a strategic alliance has been set up. Their role is to define the business objectives that are the driving force behind the initiation of a project, to ensure that adequate resources are made available to complete the project and to influence the completion date of the project by defining priorities. They will tend to have a good overview of the project but not become involved in any of the detailed aspects.

• Project Manager:- A professional project manager has the responsibility of creating a detailed project plan that meets the budget, schedule and scope determined by the sponsors. They advise, teach and motivate team members; resolve conflicts and issues with deliverables and deadlines and have a good understanding of all tasks required to complete the project. They also aim to manage and control risks and changes.

• Team Member:- These can range from a subject-matter expert through to a recently hired novice but all team members will have a contribution to make towards the end-product. Each will be responsible for completing individual tasks to a deadline, including resolving issues that arise related to their tasks. More experienced members of the team should help the less-experienced members by answering questions and giving advice to maximise the ability of the whole team to deliver projects successfully.

So if you can get these 5 components right you will be able to do the following on your project:

1. Clearly define the aims of the project
2. Stay focussed only on those aims
3. Successfully “sell” the project to the end-users
4. Provide support for the whole project team as required
5. Select a committed team that will work co-operatively

This will go a long way to ensuring that the final outcome of a project is a successful one. Of course, underlying all of these components and driving the project to success will be professionals who have gained on-the-job experience as well as completing project management training in a recognised methodology such as PMP or APMP.

Oct 082011

Project Management Institute’s prestigious Project Management Professional (PMP) credential shows employers you have the education, skills and experience needed to lead all types of projects successfully. PMI’s PMP program is recognized worldwide and throughout the project management industry, with over 400,000 project managers currently holding the certification across the globe. Certified project managers typically receive 10 percent more in pay than non-certified project managers, as shown on the sixth edition of PMI’s Project Management Salary Survey, a collection of pay data from thousands of PMP certification recipients all over the world. The PMP credential demonstrates your talents and abilities as a project leader and increases your value to employers. PMP certification is a valuable asset for all experienced project managers looking to solidify their place in the field, increase their earning potential and maximize their pool of possible employers.

You must meet PMI’s guidelines to apply for PMP certification. PMI provides two sets of qualification criteria for interested persons to apply under, taking into consideration the unique values of education and field experience. A candidate must have a four-year degree from an institute of higher learning or the equivalent and a minimum of three years’ experience directing or managing projects, with 35 hours of education in the project management field and 4,500 hours spent actually managing projects. An experienced project manager who does not have a bachelor’s degree can still apply for the PMP credential if she has a high school diploma or the equivalent, meets the 35-hour education requirement and demonstrates five years of project management or direction experience, with at least 7,500 hours spent leading projects.Even if you don’t currently meet the requirements for the PMP credential, you might be eligible to apply for PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management certification. The CAPM certification is for project managers who have at least a secondary diploma or its equivalent and either 1,500 hours of project experience or at least 23 hours of education in project management. CAPM helps you stand out among your peers and paves the way toward larger project management opportunities and higher pay in the future.

For more information on PMP certification visit Parallel Project Training PMP certification page

Dec 172010

APM Registered Project Professional (RPP)APM’s Registered Project Professional pilot scheme produces its first group of candidates qualified to the new standard that is officially launching in March 2011. Parallel Project Training is delighted that two of it’s consultants, John Bolton and Lara Taylorson are in the APM Registered Project Professional Pilot Group. This is as a result of their experience delivering complex projects in a wide range of sectors.

What is a APM Registered Project Professional? 

A new APM Registered Project Professional designation is designed to raise the standards of professional project management, which was announced at the APM annual conference and awards 2010, has celebrated its first group of successful candidates, including John Bolton and Lara Taylorson from the Parallel team. Following the completion of the first pilot of the new APM Registered Project Professional standard 28 candidates were awarded with their certificates during a presentation at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster on 25th November 2010.

APM Registered Project Professional (RPP) is a new standard that will acknowledge that all professionals across projects, programme and portfolios have reached a recognised standard in their profession. RPP assesses both knowledge and experience across a range of different competencies. APM will start accepting applications for the new standard in March 2011 signifying a significant step forward for the profession.

Speaking at the presentation, Mike Nichols, APM chairman, declared himself “absolutely delighted” that APM are at the forefront of developing the industry. He said: “APM will be able to make its impact on the project management world by launching a new wave of extraordinarily capable project managers who are able to display their commitment by proudly wearing the badge of Registered Project Professional”.

Paul Erricker, project manager on the development of the RPP standard, explained that the standard is based around similar competencies found within the APM Competence Framework, saying: “The competencies are the building blocks that underpin the standard itself”. Paul believes that RPP is an opportunity for people to really develop their career. He feels that those wanting to undertake the RPP process initially will be experienced project managers, but added: “Ultimately it is for those who are developing in project management who want to have a recognised professional standard that they can drive their careers towards”.

Mike Nichols added that it is “especially important” to have the first pilot exercise completed and have successful candidates who have gone through the process becoming, not just Registered Project Professionals, but for some, assessors of future candidates. Geraldine Duffy; a freelance project manager, project management consultant and educator; successfully completed the process as both a candidate and assessor found it to be a positive experience as filling in her portfolio was both challenging and interesting. She said: “I was given a good opportunity to be able to talk about my experiences in project management”.

The second preliminary stage was completed in November with the third and final phase of the pilot process in February readying for the official launch in March 2011. This thorough pilot scheme has allowed the APM to develop a robust process that successful candidate, Stephen Norton, found both “interesting and rewarding”. The programmes and engineering manager from Thales wanted to have his own professional background and competencies independently assessed and found that RPP was the ideal way of doing that. Stephen said: “Going through the process was straight forward. The most valuable part of the preparation was going back to the APM Competence Framework and working through it. That is the advice I’d give to anybody. Start slow and take your time to work through the competencies set and assess yourself against them. That helped enormously”.

Paul Erricker added that, along with tremendous support from the stakeholders, APM have developed “the right standard, pitched at the right level, for the right people in the professional community”.
To stay up to date and to be the first to hear of any news before the Registered Project Professional Standard is launched in March 2011 register your interest with APM at

About APM Registered Project Professional

APM Registered Project Professional will recognise all professionals across projects, programme and portfolios including specialists. Those achieving Registered Project Professional status will demonstrate their professionalism through the APM 5 Dimensions of Professionalism.


Registered Project Professional will recognise practitioners who can demonstrate the capabilities of a responsible leader, have the ability to manage a complex project and use appropriate project management tools, processes and techniques.
This will be demonstrated through:

  1. Broad ranging professional competences
  2. A broad understanding of project management as defined in the APM Body of Knowledge Achievement of successful outcomes through responsible leadership
  3. 35 hours of Continuing Professional Development over the past 12 months Adherence to the APM code of professional conduct.
  4. Application process

What is the APM Registered Project Professional Assessment Process?

Candidates will complete an online application and e-portfolio of evidence which includes:

Short statements providing evidence of competence in the critical competences A project-based CV to support the statements of competence A record of CPD carried out in the previous 12 months Named referees who can confirm a candidate’s suitability Evidence of academic and professional qualifications The applications will be assessed and successful candidates will be invited to a 45 minute professional discussion.

When can I apply?

The APM Registered Project Professional will be available from March 2011.

Do you have questions about the APM Registered Project Professional?

Parallel Project Training are hosting a discussion group on APM Registered Project Professional (RPP) of our community of practice