Why Get Project Management Certification?

06 November, 2014

Anyone who is a practicing Project Manager will appreciate that this is an applied discipline. Sitting back in an Ivory Tower, thinking beautiful thoughts is not what it takes to succeed in this front-line position. However, in recent years, there seems to be an obsession with formal qualifications – not only in Project Management, but in all areas. What is the benefit of this? Why should we go off and get some sort of certificate in project management?

Will having CAPM® (Certified Associate in Project Management), PMP® (Project Management Professional) or even PgMP® (Program Management Professional) after your name make you a better Project Manager? Will head-hunters come beating a path to your door, trying to seduce you with lucrative opportunities?

Sadly the answer is probably not. While formal project management certification will tick a box for some human resource gatekeepers, it is more likely that your past experience will be the deciding factor when hiring decisions are made. So why bother coming to Velopi, or any other project management training provider, taking a course and sitting an exam?

One answer can be found in that old film, The Wizard of Oz. The Scarecrow character did not believe he had a brain, despite making clever decisions all through the film. He only became convinced that he was clever when the wizard presented him with a diploma. For many practicing Project Managers, there is a nagging suspicion at the backs of our minds that we are out of our depth. This could be because we had to obtain an undergraduate degree to get our original role, so how come we are now in a different line of work, but without anything to justify our job title? Have we any right to call ourselves Project Managers?

This is where a certificate in project management, such as the PMP® can make a big difference. For a project management practitioner, most of the PMP® exam preparation course will cover familiar ground. This gives you great self-belief – especially if you go on and pass the PMP® exam at the end of the day. Now you feel legitimate and more comfortable with the title Project Manager.

But, unlike the Wizard of Oz, where the diploma was simply handed over, the CAPM®, PMP® or PgMP® accreditations involve some serious study and an exam. For some people that exam is a bridge too far. If you are married, with children and a dog, there is little time to catch your breath, let alone put in some serious study time at home. So how can you get your project management certification without doing an exam?

Velopi has considered this scenario and we have teamed up with Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI - formally FETAC) and have become an Approved Training Provider for its Level 6 Component Certificate in Project Management (6N4090). While this involves taking a course, the student is assessed in terms of a portfolio of work, rather than on a written exam.

Velopi has offered this project management certification option to many companies so that their Project Managers can be trained up together in the same way. They then apply what was learned to their next projects and present a portfolio of project management artefacts to show how they have managed these projects. They also include a description of the project, what they learned from the course and how they applied these lessons to their work.

For the pragmatic individual, this is a much more attractive option. Doing an exam is all very well and good, but demonstrating practical work really shows both the candidate and the examiner that lessons were actually learned and applied in a real-world situation.

If the QQI certificate in project management sounds like the right option for you, please visit our course page or contact us directly. Velopi is a Registered Education Provider for the Project Management Institute and an Approved Training Provider for Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) so you will be in good hands.

By Velopi Seamus Collins

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