IPMA 4-L-C System

The multi-level certification system offers the opportunity to reflect developing competences. The certificates awarded to individuals are based on typical project, programme and portfolio management roles carried out in practice. These roles in organizations are the possible career paths for people to move through knowledge to skill and expertise in the project management profession. These levels provide a suitable framework for developing career paths in organizations as well as for creating development programmes for individuals and organizations.

Below are summary description of the four different certification levels as defined in the International Certification Regulation (ICR):

  • Level A is constructed in terms of the leadership of others in very complex projects (programmes or portfolios) throughout the life cycle (where applicable) at a strategic level.
  • Level B is constructed in terms of the leadership of others in projects (programmes or portfolios) and includes complexity throughout the life cycle (where applicable).
  • Level C is constructed in terms of the management of others in projects of moderate complexity throughout the life cycle through the application of knowledge/theory across all relevant competences.
  • Level D is constructed in terms of knowledge across all relevant competences only.

See below entry criteria as defined in the IPMA International Certification Regulation (ICR)

Level A

IPMA level A certification is the highest level for project, programme and/or portfolio management professionals.

To possess this certification, you need to demonstrate that you possess the competences as described in the IPMA ICB4, continually and consistently applied these competences in a highly complex environment, taking full responsibility in a leading role.

Typical positions for Level A are – project director, programme director or portfolio director.

Entry Criteria for Project Director

An IPMA certification Level A for project management requires that the candidate has acted in a very complex project environment that has a strategic impact on the organisation.

Eligibility criteria include:

  • that within the last twelve years, the candidate needs to have a minimum of five years’ experience as a project manager in a responsible leadership function in very complex project of which at least three years were at a strategic level.

Entry Criteria for Programme Director

An IPMA certification Level A for programme management requires that the candidate has acted in a very complex programme environment that has a strategic impact on the organisation.

Eligibility criteria include:

  • within the last twelve years, the candidate needs to have a minimum of five years’ experience as a programme manager in a responsible leadership function in very complex programme at a strategic level; or
  • a minimum of four years’ experience as a programme manager in a responsible leadership function in very complex programme and a minimum of three years’ experience as a project manager in a responsible leadership function managing very complex projects at a strategic level.

Entry Criteria for Portfolio Director

An IPMA certification Level A for portfolio management requires that the candidate has acted in a very complex portfolio environment that has a strategic impact on the organisation.

Eligibility criteria include:

  • within the last twelve years, the candidate needs to have a minimum of five years’ experience as a portfolio manager in a responsible leadership function in very complex portfolios at a strategic level; or
  • a minimum of four years of experience as a portfolio manager in a responsible leadership function in very complex portfolios and a minimum of three years’ experience as a project or programme manager in a responsible leadership function managing very complex projects or programmes at a strategic level.

 

Level B

IPMA level B certification is a confirmation of competences at a senior level in projects, programmes and portfolios management. Level B certificate holders have demonstrated the competences described by the IPMA International Competence Baseline®, and have shown to consistently, over many years, apply them while taking responsibility in a leading role.

Typical positions for Level B are – senior project manager, senior programme manager, senior portfolio manager.

Entry Criteria for Senior Project Manager

An IPMA certification at Level B for project management requires that the candidate has acted in a complex project environment within an organisation.

Eligibility criteria include that within the last eight years, the candidate needs to have a minimum of five years’ experience as a project manager of which at least three years were in a responsible leadership function managing complex projects.

Entry Criteria for Senior Programme Manager

An IPMA certification at Level B for programme management requires that the candidate has acted in a complex programme environment within an organisation.

Eligibility criteria include that within the last eight years, the candidate needs to have a minimum of five years’ experience as a programme manager of which at least three years were in a responsible leadership function managing complex programmes.

Entry Criteria for Senior Portfolio Manager

An IPMA certification at Level B for portfolio management requires that the candidate has acted in a complex portfolio environment within an organisation.

Eligibility criteria include that within the last eight years the candidate needs to have a minimum of five years’ experience as portfolio manager of which at least three years were in a responsible leadership position.

Level C

IPMA level C Certification is a confirmation of experience level in managing projects. Level C certificate holders have demonstrated that they possess the competences as described by the IPMA International Competence Baseline®, and have shown to consistently apply those, taking responsibility in a leading role.

Entry Criteria for Project Manager

An IPMA Level C certification requires that the candidate has acted in a project management role within a moderately complex project environment within an organisation.

Eligibility criteria include that within the last six years the candidate needs to have a minimum of three years’ experience as a project manager within projects of moderate complexity, or a minimum of three years’ experience in a responsible project management role assisting the project manager in complex projects.

 

Level D

Achieving IPMA level D certification is a recognition of your knowledge about managing projects. To possess Level D certification, one needs to demonstrate the competences as described by the IPMA International Competence Baseline®, and have shown to know how to apply them.

Entry Criteria for Project Management Associate

An IPMA Level D certification requires that the candidate has knowledge in the Competence Elements (CEs) related to project management. As such, they usually have broad project management knowledge and may work in a project team. Eligibility criteria include that there is no previous experience required and only knowledge regarding CEs related to project management are assessed.