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How do I get to RPP from PMQ?

How do I get to RPP from PMQ?

11 Jan 2017

As APM have now been awarded Chartered status, the register of Registered Project Professionals (RPP) will become more important. There is a refreshed RPP standard that will take effect in February 2017. Who should take the new developmental route via PPQ to RPP?

Working towards Registered Project Professional(RPP)/Chartered Project Professional(ChPP) from PMQ (formerly APMP) - updated 13th January 2017

1. What is happening over ChPP?

Following launch of the new Chartered APM on 1st April 2017, a public consultation has to occur on the criteria for admission to a register of Chartered Project Professionals. It is expected that the new ChPP standard will come into effect in early 2018. Successful candidates will be able to put ChPP after their name.

The new criteria can only be agreed after the public consultation. So APM cannot yet confirm what these criteria might be. However it is expected that all those who by then have reached RPP (Registered Project Professional), will have achieved a standard of competence equal to the new criteria.

So if you plan to make a career in aspects of project, programme and portfolio management, it is sensible to start making plans based on the RPP standard.

2. How to achieve RPP?

APM announced in December 2016 a refreshed RPP Standard; it will come into effect in February 2017. It can be found on the APM website.

It explains that applicants for RPP are expected to follow either an experiential or developmental route:

  • demonstrate a minimum of seven years’ relevant experience and have held Full Membership of APM (MAPM) for a minimum of two years (the experiential route)
  • or (the new developmental route) hold either the APM Project Professional Qualification (PPQ) or APM Practitioner Qualification (PQ).


3. Which route to RPP should I follow?

The RPP written submission includes:

  • an overview of at least two projects, programmes or portfolios to be used as evidence, likely to have been within the last seven years;
  • answers to five sets of questions relating to the projects, programmes or portfolios. These will cover both practical competence and breadth of knowledge.

Experiential route - if you have 7 years relevant experience and can demonstrate application of your knowledge to projects in which you have been involved, then go for this route. The cost for an APM Member is £960.00 + VAT, £165 + VAT for a non-member (updated 01/04/2017) Some training providers also provide workshops to help prepare for the interview and written submission.

Developmental route - Taking this route, holders of PPQ or PQ will answer the practical competence questions only and the fee will be reduced.

4. Why spend maybe several thousand pounds extra to follow the developmental route?

Firstly , the developmental route allows candidates to achieve the standard in a shorter time - this is similar to many other chartered professions.

Secondly , the PPQ and PQ assessments are based on evaluating the candidates’ application of knowledge or competences. So one should be better prepared for the RPP written submission and interview.

Thirdly , RPP requires candidates to produce a record of 35 hours of continuing professional development from the previous twelve months. Having achieved RPP, one should continue with a minimum of 35 hours of CPD each year. So project professionals should get used to updating and developing their skills on a regular basis.

5. PPQ or PQ?

Both are competence-based qualifications whose award provides eligibility for full membership of APM (MAPM). In addition, PQ is recognised internationally at IPMA Level C through APM’s association with the International Project Management Association (IPMA). The two assessments differ:

PPQ - pass the examinations for three compulsory modules and one optional module, each of three hours based on a specific scenario. The four examinations must be completed within three years, so the relevant studies (and costs) could be spread across just under four years.

PQ - the assessment session will typically take place over three days; starting at lunchtime or late afternoon on Day 1 and finishing at lunchtime or late afternoon on Day 3. The assessment will comprise:

  • Individual work – candidates will provide written answers in examination conditions to questions based upon the given case study and will also provide a written answer to a question about an issue in project management.
  • Group work (observed) – candidates will carry out group exercises in order to discuss and solve problems related to the case study.
  • Interviews – all candidates will be interviewed on an individual basis.

Costs -

PPQ - there is only one accredited provider so far, who is offering a self-study module fee of £850 + VAT. Total is thus £3400 + VAT.
PQ - there are at least ten providers offering this assessment. A representative offer is of a 1-day Pre-Assessment and a 2 1/2 -day Assessment for £2195 + VAT.

6. Conclusion:

ChPP will develop in importance as APM grows as a Chartered body.

If you have seven years relevant experience go straight to RPP.

If you have obtained PMQ (formerly APMP) and are in the early stages of your career, then consider the development route to RPP via PPQ or PQ.

7. MSC Plans

We plan to achieve training provider accreditation for PPQ. APM have only released sample questions for half a module so far; they will release more sample questions by the end of March which will enable preparation of course material.