National Competence Baseline: ICB(ng)

 The IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB) is based upon project management theory combined with the practices and demands from some 50+ member associations. It is the common framework document which all IPMA Member Associations and Certification Bodies abide by to ensure that consistent standards are applied.

The PMDAN Certification Body operates a certification scheme in Nigeria which:

  • Defines the competences to be assessed in the National Competence Baseline ICB(ng) derived from the IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB).
  • Conforms to a common regulatory framework described in the National Certification Regulations and Guidelines ICRG(ng) document which is derived from the IPMA Certification Regulations and Guidelines (ICRG).

The main interested parties and their interests are:

  • Project management personnel interested in a universally accepted certification system
  • Management of organisations interested in delivering and receiving good project management services and in personnel development
  • Certification assessors interested in a clearly understandable certification content and process
  • Universities, schools, trainers interested in providing a sound basis for an accepted qualification

The ICB is of most use to individual project managers who wish to review their competence in project, programme and portfolio management, as well as for candidates and assessors involved in a certification. The ICB can also be used as a guide to develop training materials, for research purposes and as a reference document for those who are interested in the project management competence.

The eye of competence, shown below, represents the integration of all the elements of project management as seen through the eyes of the project manager when evaluating a specific situation. The eye represents clarity and vision.

Professional project management consists of 46 competence elements covering

  • the techniques of project management (20)
  • the professional behaviour of project management personnel (15)
  • the relations with the project’s context (11)

IPMA developed the ICB from National Competence Baselines and then enhanced it in a continuous improvement process. A key benefit for clients is that the basis for the competences is not specific to particular companies, organisations, disciplines, sectors of the economy or countries.

Each competence element includes a title, a description of the content, a list of possible process steps and experience criteria required per level. The key words and the key relations to other elements are listed at the end of each element for comprehensive reading.

How ICB Differs

The IPMA Competence Baseline is a deeper, wider reference for the aspects of project management that truly competent project and programme managers demonstrate. Below is an image of ICB, using a familiar “Periodic Table of Elements” Chart. Note ICB’s broader foundation, with its technical, behavioural and contextual groups of competence elements.

Available For Download or Purchase

The ICB is avilable for Download in Adobe Acrobat pdf version from the Resources > Publications section of our website. You can also make arrangements to purchase a printed version at

The technical competence range — describes the fundamental project management competence elements. This range covers the project management content, sometimes referred to as the solid elements. The ICB contains 20 technical competence elements.

The behavioural competence range — describes the personal project management competence elements. This range covers the project manager’s attitudes and skills. The ICB contains 15 behavioural competence elements.
The contextual competence range — describes the project management competence elements related to the context of the project. This range covers the project manager’s competence in managing relations with the line management organisation and the ability to function in a project focused organisation. The ICB contains 11 contextual competence elements.
Technical competences Behavioural competences Contextual competences
1. Project management success 1. Leadership 1. Project orientation
2. Interested parites 2. Engagement & motivation 2. Programme orientation
3. Project requirements & objectives 3. Self-control 3. Portfolio orientation
4. Risk & opportunity 4. Assertiveness 4. Project, programme & portfolio (PPP implementation)
5. Quality 5. Relaxation 5. Permanent organisation
6. Project organisation 6. Openness 6. Business
7. Teamwork 7. Creativity 7. Systems, products & technology
8. Problem resolution 8. Results orientation 8. Personnel management
9. Project structures 9. Efficiency 9. Health, security, safety & environment
10. Scope & deliverables 10. Consultation 10. Finance
11. Time & project phases 11. Negotiation 11. Legal
12. Resources 12. Conflict & crisis
13. Cost & finance 13. Reliability
14. Procurement & contract 14. Values appreciation
15. Changes 15. Ethics
16. Control & reports
17. Information & documentation
18. Communication
19. Start-up
20. Close-out