Project Management the QQI Way

06 January, 2014

Here we are in 2014 and no doubt you are bursting with New Year’s resolutions. You are going to be fitter, leaner and kinder to animals. You might also be thinking of improving your professional position by getting some sort of qualification. If you are working on projects or being plunged into the deep end with a project management role, you might be thinking that a bit of formal instruction would help you understand what is going on.

Anyone serious about project management will visit the Project Management Institute’s web-site and consider their offerings. The Project Management Professional (PMP)® is the obvious accreditation to seek out. However, unless you meet the experience requirements, you will not be eligible to sit the exam. Looking further down the list, you might spot the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM, which does not involve years of experience. This looks like the likely candidate for you.

Unless you are planning to do this on your own and pay for a course and the CAPM® exam itself, you might have trouble convincing your employers that this is a good investment. The CAPM® curriculum is very theoretical. The CAPM® exam is based entirely on the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) and culminates in a three-hour, multiple-choice exam. Obtaining a CAPM® certificate in project management is a great personal achievement and will make you more attractive to other companies. But that is not the sort of argument your current bosses want to hear. They want to invest in initiatives that will make the bottom line more impressive.

So you might want to consider Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). QQI offers what they call a level 6 minor award in project management. Snappily encoded as 6N4090, this award entitles you to 15 academic credits as well as your component certificate in project management. The big attraction of this option is that your certificate is awarded based on practical work as opposed to an exam.

The goal of the QQi component certificate in project management is to put you in a position where you can take responsibility for the planning, implementation and review of a project, working independently and supervising the work of others.

If you need to convince your boss that this is the way to go, then the learning outcomes for this component certificate in project management are extremely biased towards practice. You will be able to examine the key principles and concepts underpinning project management theory and practice, as well as investigating a range of approaches to project management, using specific tools and techniques to plan, cost and manage a project. Stressing the importance of communication in project management, you will learn how to communicate project management planning operations using a variety of information channels.

Because a project manager needs to know what is going on, you will examine monitoring and evaluation techniques for a project as well as how to apply appropriate controls and evaluation techniques to achieve project aims and objectives.

With this component certificate in project management, you will be able to formulate a project management proposal by establishing rationale based on valid needs analysis. You will also be able to identify and analyse project risk to include the preparation of a contingency plan

Your critical facilities will be brought to bear by evaluating the methodology and process of a selected project. Again, returning to hands-on practical project management, you will see how to utilise financial planning and budget models within the context of managing a project. Most importantly, you will see how to manage a project taking corrective action where necessary to meet agreed goals.

70% of your final grade will be based on your “Portfolio of Work”. This is a collection of pieces of project management work that you have produced over a period of time, demonstrating that you have actually achieved some of learning outcomes already. The collection may be self-generated or may be generated in response to a particular brief or tasks/activities devised by the assessor.

The remaining 30% of your grade is based on an assignment. This is an exercise carried out in response to a brief with specific guidelines as to what should be included. An assignment is usually of short duration and may be carried out over a specified period of time. This assignment exercise can offer direct project management benefits to the company. Because it will be assessed, you will have to use all the artefacts specified during your training course. This can have fantastic implications for organizations that do not have mature project management processes. The QQI student may have to introduce standard, project management best-practice to the organization. Thanks to your training, you will also be able to justify why these techniques are better than what went before.

So the QQI component certificate in project management is a practical award that is based entirely on real project work. However, you will have to attend a training course by one of QQI’s Approved Training Providers. Velopi’s component certificate in project management course takes three days. In that time you will be guided by experienced project managers (all our trainers have PMP® certification) and given the tools needed to prepare your portfolio and carry out your assignment. They will also offer advice on where to go next in terms of project management training. Who knows, in a few years’ time, you may be back inquiring about doing a PMP® course!

So if the QQI component certificate in project management appeals to you, then please get in touch and we can get you on our next course.

 

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