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The IPMA started defining and assessing the competence required for a project management certificate in the s. It was used for a decade as the basis for the further development and later for the validation, of the national certification systems in about thirty countries.
In addition, the personal attitudes required of a project manager and the overall context in which project management operates were addressed. Now, project managers manage their projects, programmes and portfolios in a fast changing context with many interested parties and external influencing factors. The projects are more numerous, more complex and more varied in nature. The demands for behavioural competences of manag- ers and team members have become more pronounced and demanding.
Conversely, we are facing a strong sense of individualism. The need for comprehensive descriptions of the competences for managing projects, programmes and portfolios in this changing context is obvious. This has created the demand for an adequate standard of professional behaviour.
Finally the project manager has to deal successfully with the organisational, economic and social context of the project. For these reasons the International Project Management Association IPMA chose the project management competences from three ranges: the technical range, the behavioural range and the contextual range. We required forty-six elements to describe the competence of a project manager, the professional specialist who plans and controls a project.
He is the person who acts in a transpar- ent manner for the sake of the whole project, programme or portfolio to satisfy the expectations of the customers, the partners delivering goods and services for the project and the other interested parties. The project manager is able to involve specialists when needed and is respected by them when he has to make, sometimes difficult, decisions.
He also has to motivate specialists to use their knowledge and experience for the benefit of the project, programme or portfolio. This was the first official version published in February , with a small modification made in April IPMA especially acknowledges Anthony Skidmore for his technical review and Bart Verbrugge from Van Haren Publishing who helped us project managers to transform our manuscript into a book. The most important contribution to the IPMA Competence Baseline Version 3 came from the IPMA member associations who gave directions, showed a sustained commitment to the revision project and submitted many helpful suggestions and reasons for its improvement.
Message from the revision team Project management is a fascinating and challenging profession. This document is intended to help project managers to develop the professionalism required along their journey.
Their contributions have ensured that the text reflects their requirements and practices in assessing project management competence. As such, the majority of its content focuses on the description of the competence ele- ments. To meet the needs of those interested in the practical application of the ICB, the certification process is described for each level, together with a taxonomy and a self-assessment sheet.
Professional project management is broken down into 46 competence elements that cover the fol- lowing: technical competences for project management 20 elements ; behavioural competences of project personnel 15 elements ; and the contextual competences of projects, programmes and portfolios 11 elements.
The eye of competence 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 also repre- sents clarity and vision. After processing the information received, the competent and responsible professional in project management takes appropriate action. The IPMA Competence Baseline is the basis for certification by the certification bodies of the Mem- ber Associations, who use these competence elements in assessing candidates.
National cultural dif- ferences are addressed in National Competence Baselines by adding specific competence elements and content to the ICB. The ICB should be of most use to individuals and assessors when undertaking an assessment. How- ever, it can also be used as a guide for the preparation of training materials, for research purposes and as a general reference document for people seeking information about applied project manage- ment.
It offers access to the technical, behavioural and contextual competence elements of project management. The ICB is not intended to prevent an individual from thinking independently or having his own opinion; examples are listed to help, not to limit. This chapter provides an overview explaining the reasons why a certification system for assessing competence in project management was established and describes the basic terms, requirements and concepts of the certification system of the International Project Management Association IPMA.
Since the IPMA started with the development and implementation of its universal certification sys- tem the main goal was to certify project management personnel with a globally accepted four-level- certification 4-L-C , that can also be used in a career development system for project management personnel. How- ever, it can also be used as a guide for the preparation of training materials, for research proposals and as a general reference document for people seeking information about applied project manage- ment.
The eye of competence represents the integration of all the elements of project management as seen through the eyes of the project managers when evaluating a specific situation. The eye also represents clarity and vision. See Fig. In the past thirty years project management has been a discipline which has developed tremendously and increased in visibility.
More and more different kinds of projects are managed professionally. In the past, construction and defence projects dominated the scene. Now they are still important but are in the minority. We are dealing with projects in, for instance, information and communication technology ICT , organisational development, product development, marketing changes, production development, research, events, political projects, legislation projects, educational projects and social projects in many different sectors of the economy.
These requirements are defined by collecting, processing and standardising the accepted and applied competence in project manage- ment. Project quality is defined as fulfilling the requirements agreed for the project. Project management quality is defined as fulfilling the requirements agreed for the management of the project.
The ICB contains basic terms, tasks, practices, skills, functions, management processes, methods, techniques and tools that are used in good project management theory and practice, as well as spe- cialist knowledge and experience, where appropriate, of innovative and advanced practices used in more specific situations.
The assessment does not measure or predict the future. It evaluates the past and present knowledge and experience of the candidate based on the evidence presented by the candidate and checked by the assessors.
This evaluation is a good indicator that future projects will be managed successfully. In addition it is a good basis for planning professional development.
The culture of companies, organisations, disciplines, sectors of the economy and countries are taken into account in the interviews and assessment reports, as well as by choosing one assessor from the relevant sector the second assessor is from another sector.
This provides an insight to the reader, into how the ICB is applied in the certification process. The IPMA regulations and guidelines and the regulations and guidelines of the certification bodies will be developed after the publication of the ICB this volume which will itself be further developed. The regulations and guidelines of IPMA and the certifica- tion bodies of the Member Associations, that are in force at the time of the certification process concerned, are applied.
The eye of competence is an appropriate symbol for the ICB, as it relates to the human being, who is the most important part in any assessment of competence in project management. The ICB defines forty-six competence elements, complemented by the key relations between them and described in three ranges grouping technical, behavioural and contextual competences. 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 ele- ments are listed at the end of each element for comprehensive reading. Instead, the subject areas, methods for determining tasks and, where they illustrate the latter well, some exam- ples of methods are described.
Methods and tools may be defined by the organisation. The project manager should choose the appropriate methods and tools for a particular project situation. To take on this responsibility an advanced level of knowledge and experience would be required. Sub-projects are normal, i. The levels are not restricted to hierarchical thinking.
A project management specialist on the level D may be, apart from his good general knowledge in project management, a highly qualified, ex- perienced and recognised expert in a specialised field. For example, he may have an additional qualification in cost management. On each level project management involves carrying out a range of tasks and making decisions, in a local, regional, national or international context.
The levels provide a suitable framework for developing career paths and organisational maturity models as well as for personnel development programmes of individuals, companies and other or- ganisations.
For each competence element, the knowledge and the experience are assessed, using a scale where values from 0 no competence through 10 absolute maximum are used. The values in between these extremes are defined in Chapter 3. Knowledge does not mean just correctly reproducing facts, but also understanding relationships, knowing how to apply project management in practical situations and interpreting methods. He should apply the knowledge in real and different situations e.
As a matter of course the candidates need education and training in project management to be successful in the certification process. However, no specific kind of education or training is required for the certification. In relation to the second example, it should be noted that education and training cannot replace the individual having an adequate level of experience that is necessary for passing the certification of IPMA Levels C to A.
One assessor comes from the sector of the economy to which the report of the candidate is related, the other is from a different sector. The assessor has to be certified at least to the level at which he certifies candidates. In addition to evidence submitted in writing, the candi- dates present themselves in person for interview with the assessor.
The individual interview is the most important part of the assessment. This is carried out by self- assessment. The assessors do not train or coach the candidates.
They mark written exams; perform workshops; ask questions of the candidates; evaluate their reports, answers, actions and presentations; make a proposal on the outcome pass or fail and provide the main reasons for a negative decision.
The certification body makes the final decision. IPMA has been in existence since Its vision is to generate and promote professionalism in project management. This major undertaking would not be possible without the IPMA member as- sociations, of which there are approximately forty spread throughout the world. The IPMA family works together to develop and maintain a universal standard of project management competence.
Most of the member associations signed an agreement with IPMA on the validation of their quali- fication and competence programmes, and are operating a multi-level certification programme in project management.
ICB (IPMA Competence Baseline)
Or perhaps you aspire to be one or looking what it takes to be a good one? But how do you know you are a professional and what makes a good professional really? How do you know what to develop? The ICB4 is the international standard on competence for project, programme and portfolio managers. The competence needed for each of these domains is defined in the following competence areas:.
Handy formats of IPMA ICB, PEB and OCB now available in IPMA e-shop!