PRINCE2 is the second iteration of Projects in Controlled Environments, a popular project management methodology. If you want to learn more about it or are considering whether or not it would be beneficial for you to become certified, then there are 10 things you should know that might help you make a decision.
1. It’s Not Just a UK Thing
PRINCE2 was originally developed by the government of the United Kingdom to manage large-scale public sector projects. However, today, it’s used in countries all round the world for public and private sector projects.
2. There Are 3 Levels of Qualification
There are 3 PRINCE2 qualifications that you can take:
- Foundation: This is an entry-level qualification that doesn’t require any previous knowledge or experience.
- Practitioner: This level teaches you how to run and manage a project. It has some prerequisites, but these are covered if you have the Foundation certificate.
- Professional: This most advanced level of qualification in the PRINCE2 certification. It’s examined by a residential assessment center where you work through a case study over several days.
3. It’s an Open Book Exam
You can take your PRINCE2 manual into the exam room with you. There won’t be enough time to flick through it searching for answers if you want to get all the questions answered in the allotted time, but have the key pages marked so you can flick to them quickly.
Note: The Foundation Certificate exam is not open book, so don’t get caught out!
Consider the study options are available to project managers as you learn more about PRINCE2.
4. The Answers Are in the Manual
Unlike the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, where some of the questions are drawn from other documents like the Code of Ethics, with PRINCE2 you are tested on what is in the manual.
5. You're Tested on Application
The Practitioner exam uses a method called Objective Testing. It’s multiple choice, but not as you know it. There are multiple parts to each question, and each answer can have several parts. The aim is to test your knowledge of how you can apply the PRINCE2 knowledge in a real project.
It’s a difficult exam, but if you prepare well and have experience with the objective testing format, you will be going into the exam with a high chance of success.
6. You Can Be Agile With PRINCE2
There is a PRINCE2 Agile qualification which is aimed at people working in an Agile project management environment. It’s ideal for project teams who are used to using Agile but who also want a bit of more structure around their work.
7. PRINCE2 Is Managed by AXELOS
PRINCE2 used to be managed by the Cabinet Office in the UK, as a department of the government, which made sense given how it was developed and what it was used for in the early days. Today, it’s managed and developed by a new organization called AXELOS, a joint venture between Capita and the Cabinet Office.
8. You Don’t Get Letters After Your Name
There are no post-nominals with PRINCE2 certification.
9. You Have to Re-Register
PRINCE2 is not a ‘take it and forget it’ qualification. Like the PMP credential, you have to keep your PRINCE2 Practitioner up to date if you want to be able to continue to claim that you are a registered Practitioner. You should re-register every 3 to 5 years.
Re-registration is via an exam. It’s shorter than the normal Practitioner exam. The benefit of doing this is that you don’t have to take the longer, full exam again unless you let your Practitioner qualification expire.
10. There Are No CPD Requirements
Unlike other professional qualifications, there is no need to keep a log of your continuous professional development (CPD) since PRINCE2 is not a membership-based organization.
Keep up your professional development and continue to learn new things as you go, but you don’t have to prove it to anyone once you’ve gained your PRINCE2 qualifications.