Projects IN Controlled Environment or PRINCE2 is one of the most widely used project management qualifications in the world. It was created by the UK government. Currently, the certification is administered by AXELOS, an organization that is partially owned by the government of the UK. Many UK government projects require candidates to have this certification, which is why it is most prominent there. However, it is growing significantly in places outside of the UK like in India, the USA, and Australia.
There are two certification levels of PRINCE2
1) Foundation - This is the first level of certification that confirms that you understand the methodology well enough to work with it. It shows that you can work as a member of a project management team that is working in an environment supporting PRINCE2. It is equivalent to CAPM or IMPA level D certification. You don’t need any technical diploma, bachelor’s degree, or any other education requirement for this course. There is also no project management experience required. You can just read the manual and take the exam.
2) Practitioner - This is the second and least certification level of the PRINCE2 system that is designed for anyone who wants to work as a project manager. This can be a role where project management is a part of day-to-day work or a formal project management function. It is considered equivalent to the PMP or IPMA level C certification. There is no educational or project experience required for this course. The only requirement is the PRINCE2 Foundation certification. Some candidates take both exams at the same time. Other accepted project management certifications in place of the PRINCE2 Foundation are PMP, CAPM, and IPMA level A, B, C, and D. The PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification is valid for 3 years. After this, you have just retake the exam for maintaining your qualification.
PRINCE2 is the second version of the Projects in Controlled Environments methodology. If you want to add this qualification to your CV, your first step should be to enroll yourself in a training program. But before this, you need to learn more about the certification and ensure that getting certified is a good choice for you or not. Here are the few things that you should know about that might help you in making a decision:
3) It's not just used in the UK :- Originally, the PRINCE2 methodology was developed by the United Kingdom’s government for managing large-scale public sector projects. But today, it has found implementation in several private and public sector projects all across the globe.
There were 3 levels of qualification
Before 2017, there were 3 levels of qualification:
1) Foundation - This was the entry-level qualification that didn’t require any previous experience or knowledge.
2) Practitioner - This level was for teaching the candidates how they can manage and execute a project. It had some prerequisites, but if you had the Foundation certification, all of them were covered.
3) Professional - This was the most advanced qualification level in the PRINCE2 certification scheme. It was examined by an assessment center where you would work a case study for several days.
PRINCE2 qualification still has the Foundation and Practitioner level. However, the Professional level was shut off.
5) It is an open book exam
When you are giving the Practitioner certification exam, you can bring your PRINCE2 Manual with you to the exam room. However, you won’t have enough time to go through the entire book to search for answers to all the questions. There is a limited amount of time to answer the answers. What you can do is mark the key pages so that you can check them out quickly. Note that the Foundation exam is not an open book. You can’t bring your PRINCE2 Manual for this exam.
6) You will find all the answers in the Manual
Unlike other certifications like the PMP exam, where questions are taken from other documents such as the Code of Ethics, all the questions in the PRINCE2 certification exam will be from the manual.
7) Your knowledge to apply the methodology will be tested
For the practitioner exam, a method known as Objective Testing is used. All the questions are multiple-choice. However, there can be multiple parts in each question and every answer can have multiple parts. The aim of the exam is to test your knowledge of how you can implement your knowledge in a real-world project. The exam can be difficult, but with the right training and practice with the objective testing format, you will be able to pass the exam with flying colors.
8) PRINCE2 can be used with Agile
People who are working in an Agile project management environment can go for the PRINCE2 Agile qualification. It is perfect for teams who use Agile but also want more structure in their work.
9) AXELOS manages PRINCE2
When it was developed, PRINCE2 was managed by the UK’s Cabinet Office, as a government department because of what it was used for and how it was developed. But today, the qualification is developed and managed by AXELOS, a new organization that is a joint venture between the Cabinet Office and Capita.
10) You won’t be getting any letters after your name
PRINCE2 certification does not come with any post-nominals.
11) All candidates have to re-register
Like PMP and several other credentials, PRINCE2 must be maintained. If you want to claim yourself as a registered PRINCE2 Practitioner, you have to update your PRINCE2 certification. The certification is valid for three years, after which you have to take a recertification exam. This exam will be shorter than your normal practitioner exam.
12) There are no CPD requirements
In several professional qualifications, candidates are required to keep track of their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points. This is not the case with the PRINCE2 qualification as it is not a membership-based organization.
It is important that after you get your PRINCE2 certification, you continue to learn new things and work on your professional development.