Recognition of Prior Learning for PRINCE2® Practitioner

Insights | 04 August 2014

From 1 July 2014, Project Managers with certain recognition of prior learning will no longer be required to sit the PRINCE2® Foundation examination PRIOR to taking the Practitioner examination.

Currently recognised qualifications include:

  • Project Management Institute (PMI)® – based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)®
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
  • International Project Management Association (IPMA)
  • IPMA Level A® (Certified Projects Director)
  • IPMA Level B® (Certified Senior Project Manager)
  • IPMA Level C® (Certified Project Manager)
  • IPMA Level D® (Certified Project Management Associate)

So as a PMP® or CAPM® credential holder for example, this appears great news.

Or does it?

4 Pros of Recognition of Prior Learning & NO PRINCE2® Foundation Exam

  • Saves time (and therefore money) on having to study for a Foundation accreditation
  • Enlightened approach recognising prior learning/experience in project management
  • Proves that organisations like AXELOS do listen to Project Manager’s frustrations – AXELOS are responding to the needs and concerns of the global project management community
  • Makes career development easier for professional Project Managers by recognising knowledge, expertise and prior certification.

But like everything in life – there really is no such thing as a ‘free lunch’. As a professional in project management I can hear you asking – what’s the catch? Such a wary lot, aren’t we – always on the alert for those unwanted threats which could cause our project to come crashing down…!

4 Cons of Recognition of Prior Learning & NO PRINCE2® Foundation Exam

  • PRINCE2® Practitioner examination is a 2.5 hour Objective Testing Examination (OTE). The exam is based on the 327 page PRINCE2® textbook – Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2®. Candidates seeking to sit the Practitioner level qualification must understand and be able to apply PRINCE2®.
  • The language of PRINCE2®< versus the PMBOK® guide. Warning: Do not walk into a PRINCE2® Practitioner workshop (or book an exam for that matter) after having successfully passed the CAPM® or PMP® and automatically expect to pass the exam.  For example, can you explain the following terms:
      • Executive
      • Stage
      • PID
      • Highlight Report
      • Checkpoint Report
      • Difference between an Exception Report and Exception Plan
      • Why “Closing a Project” is a process but never a Stage
      • Project Board
      • Work Package (in terms of PRINCE2® not the PMBOK® guide)
      • Quality Management Strategy
      • Project Approach
      • Customer’s Quality Expectations
      • Daily Log
      • (I could go on all day…)
  • The Proactive Project Manager. Did you walk into your PMP® or CAPM® exam and pass it first time without serious self-study or attending a preparation workshop?
  • Success Statistics. Did you know that the global average pass rate (2011-2013) for PRINCE2® Practitioner exams was only 76%? In other words, a quarter of people who take the examination fail the Practitioner accreditation…

Many would argue that project management is project management in anyone’s language – but is it?

As a PMBOK® guide certified project manager I understand the 10 knowledge areas, 5 process groups and 47 processes of the Guide. But does this necessarily prepare me to complete an accreditation based on the 7 processes, 7 themes and 7 principles (and terminology) of PRINCE2®? Alternatively consider you (or your children) have just learnt to drive on an automatic car. Would you/they realistically pass the practical driving test on a manual car without any further learnings or experience in a manual vehicle?

As a PMP® and PRINCE2® practitioner I am all for the recognition of past studies – but ensure that you set yourself up for success if you are pursuing further project management accreditation. As a successful Project Manager you owe yourself that.

 For more information on our PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner workshops, please contact our Professional Development Consultants today on 1300 70 13 14.

PMP, CAPM and PMBOK are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. PRINCE2® is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited

1 thought on “Recognition of Prior Learning for PRINCE2® Practitioner”

  1. Kevin Byrne says:

    Very well put, Tracey. As a practicing Project Manager and PRINCE2 trainer I completely agree.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enquire Now


    1300 70 13 14


      Stay Informed

      Subscribe to our newsletter and receive quarterly industry news updates and stay informed of forthcoming PM-Partners group events.