Prince2 Certification Requirements

Prince2 Certification Requirements – Are You Eligible for Prince2 Certification?

13 min. read

What are Prince2 Certification Requirements? If you are planning to get Prince2 Certification, your first step is to understand the Prince2 Certification Requirements. Therefore, in this post, we will delve into what it takes to earn your Prince 2 certification.

Learn more in our Free Prince2 Training.

Free Prince2 Training

What is Prince2 Certification?

Are you pondering on what Prince 2 certification is and where it applies? Here are the answers for you:

PRINCE2 stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments. This is one of the popular project manager certification in the United Kingdom. Prince2 is especially a much sought after certification for projects in Government sector in the UK. PRINCE2® is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited.

The Prince2 has process approach to project management. While it is widely used in UK Government projects, many private and public sectors also abide by this method. Moreover, Prince2 is applicable for small and large organizations as well. Since Prince2 is a flexible and adaptable standard used by a variety of standards, you need to be aware of the Prince2 Certification Requirements to become a certified practitioner.

Check our Prince2 Foundation Training Video

How did Prince2 start?

Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) which is now referred to as Office of Government Commerce (OGC) started the Prince2 in 1989. Prince originally was created by Simpact Systems Ltd in 1975, later adopted by CCTA in 1979 for all the IT projects of UK Government. Prince2 was published in 1996 which is a result of the work of about 150 organizations across Europe.


In 2013, Cabinet Office on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) in the United Kingdom and Capita plc, floated a joint venture company which is Axelos known for managing, developing and improving Global Best practices in various areas including Project Management. Axelos has the vision to become the number one company in developing and providing best practice.

What goes into Prince 2?

Before we explore the Prince2 Certification Requirements, let us understand what Prince2 encompasses:

Prince2 is built upon 7 principles, themes, processes and project environment. The Prince2 method helps you manage projects successfully irrespective of the size and scale. Prince2 has the following:

  • The PRINCE2 manual – Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 2017 Edition
  • A Certification Scheme to help you reach either the ‘Foundation’ level or the ’Practitioner’
  • A Membership subscription facility

prince2 certification requirements

How to get Prince2 certification?

Prince2 has different levels of certification and is applicable to people who manage projects. While we are looking at the Prince2 Certification Requirements, let us understand who can go for Prince2.

Who can go for Prince2?

This certification is useful for people who are into Design, development, and delivery of projects. If you are currently a project manager or you are planning to become one, Prince2 certification is for you. In addition to these, Prince2 certification requirements need to be known if you are in any one of these roles and aspiring for Prince2 certification:

  • Member of a Project Board- Senior Manager
  • Product Delivery Manager
  • Project Assurance Group Member
  • Project Office or a Project Management Office personnel

There are 2 levels of certification in Prince2 and the Prince2 Certification Requirements vary for both. Let us explore them now.

prince2 certification requirements

Prince2 Foundation

What is Prince2 Foundation? Who should go for Prince2? What are the Prince2 Certification Requirements for this level? Prince2 Foundation as the name suggests is an introductory or basic course. What will you know if you complete the Prince2 Foundation level certification?

If you are Prince2 Foundation Level certified, you :

  • Have a depth of understanding of the method to work effectively on projects executed under Prince2 method
  • Understand the basic methodology and terminology of Prince2

If you are a project team member, or a team lead, or a Product manager or someone who want to understand the basics of a structured project management methodology, you can start with the Prince2 Foundation level certification. By completing this, you are equipped with the competent knowledge to be part of a team, have an understanding of the key terms and phrases of Prince2.

Prince2 Certification Requirements for Foundation level

What are Prince2 Certification Requirements for the Foundation level certification exam?

  • There are no specific pre-conditions for the Foundation level certification
  • In terms of Prince2 Certification Requirements, it is preferred to have a basic knowledge of managing projects while not mandatory

Prince2 Practitioner

Are you a senior manager, or a Product manager, or an analyst? If yes, you can aim for the Practitioner level certification. What is the additional knowledge you get when you become a Prince2 Practitioner?

  • You can customize the principles to suit your project requirements
  • As a Practitioner, you are eligible to manage a team using the Prince2 Method

Demonstrate the practical knowledge of implementing projects using the Prince 2 Method

Check our Prince2 Practitioner Training Video

Prince2 Certification Requirements for Practitioner level

Let us explore the Prince2 Certification Requirements for the Practitioner Level. The prerequisites for Prince2 Practitioner Level Certification exam are the proof of passing one of these:

  • Prince2 Foundation
  • PMP – Project Management Professional  or CAPM- Certified Associate in Project Management
  • IPMA Level A/B/C/D

Prince2 Certification Exam

We have explored the Prince2 Certification Requirements so far. Therefore, let us delve into the Prince2 Certification Exam to understand how to crack it.

Prince2 Foundation Level Certification Exam 2017

What is the makeup of the exam? Which type of questions would be asked? How much time will be allowed? Yes, there are many questions racing through your mind, so let us answer them here.

prince2 certification requirements

  • The Exam duration is 1 hour
  • Number of question: 60
  • Pass percentage: 55 (you need to get at least 33 questions correct out of the total 60 questions)
  • Multiple Choice Question
  • No negative marking
  • Reference Book: Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 publication, 2017 edition (but, you are not allowed to take the book to the exam since it is not an open book exam)
  • Type of Questions: You may be given the regular ‘Classic’ question with 4 answer options, or filling a missing word type or pick the 2 correct statements from a given list of 4 statements.

Prince 2 2009 Foundation Exam

The Prince2 certification requirements for the 2009 Foundation remain the same as 2017 while the exam pattern is as under:

  • The Exam duration is 1 hour
  • Number of question: 75
  • Pass percentage: 50 (you need to get at least 35 questions correct out of the total 70 questions, while 5 questions are trial questions not counted in your score)
  • Multiple Choice Question
  • No negative marking

What is the difference between the 2009 and 2017 Certification? Has the Prince2 certification requirements changed? Or, the content of the Prince 2 exam?

What’s new in Prince2 2017?

  • Revised PRINCE2 Guidance
  • Emphasizes the methods approach in managing projects using the same 7 principles, themes and processes
  • Customizing the Prince2 for the specific organizational and environmental need
  • Focus on the relation between themes and principles
  • ‘Themes’ redrawn to include pertinent and specific examples of tailoring
  • More examples of practical application of methods and guidance to enable you to use for project management
  • Has become even more a ready reckoner and reference for all aspects of managing projects
  • More emphasis on Membership for practitioners and Foundation level certification holders to stay current and have their certification valid

What is the syllabus covered in the Foundation Exam?

As you have seen, the Prince2 certification requirements say that you do not need any prior knowledge but having an understanding of project management helps and a Prince2 training will be an added advantage to clear it in the first try. We will discuss that in this post as well, meanwhile, let us explore the syllabus for the exam.


prince2 certification requirements

What are you expected to know for the Prince2 Foundation exam?

We have gone over the syllabus for the exam but just as you need to know the Prince2 certification requirements, you need to be aware of the aspects that you would be tested upon. And, this is where a good Prince2 foundation certification training would be a great asset.

For the Prince 2 certification exam, you need to:

  • Understand and articulate the content and need for the various roles, 7 principles, 7 themes and the 7 Processes
  • Know the inputs and outputs from the 7 processes
  • Understand and explain the management products of the 7 processes
  • State the interrelation between the processes, deliverables, roles and the management underlying the project framework

While the Prince2 certification requirements do not mandate any training, it is advisable to take a formal training to crack the Prince2 certification exam, either foundation or practitioner. We will discuss why a training on Prince2 helps.

Prince2 Training

Let us discuss the importance of Prince2 certification training and its benefits. If you choose a good Prince2 Training provider, you will be able to get:

  • A conceptual and practical knowledge on managing projects. Make sure there are real-world examples so that you can relate to them and apply to your exam and projects as well
  • Some of the providers give you value added aids for clearing the exam on your first try.
  • Practice tests that are close to the real exam so that you can sail through the exam
  • If you go for an online Prince2 course, you have the added advantage of flexibility, anytime, anywhere provision to learn and prepare for the exam
  • You may get a good deal where the training material includes both Foundation and Practitioner resources. Since the Prince2 certification requirements for the Practitioner is completion of Prince2 Foundation, you can get a good deal by taking these as a common course.

Prince2 Practitioner Level Certification Exam 2009

Let us also explore the Prince2 Practitioner exam requirements:

  • Question Type: Objective testing
  • Number of questions: 8 questions – 10 question items per question, each worth one mark
  • Pass percentage: 55%, i.e., you need to get 44 marks at least out of 80 available
  • Duration: 2.5 hours (150 minutes)
  • Exam Type: Open book exam (official PRINCE2 manual only)

prince2 certification requirements


What if you hold a 2009 certificate?

Do you need to retake the exam in 2017 format? What do the Prince 2 certification requirements say? If you hold a 2009 credential, you DO NOT need to take the exam again! But, since the update was made to add more best practices or fine tune the existing content, it is good to have an understanding of the revised material. You can do this by:

  • Purchasing the 2017 Prince2 manual
  • Take AXELOS membership
  • Go through the FAQs published on AXELOS website
  • Be a part of the AXELOS community account

Prince2 Practitioner Level Certification Exam 2017

  • Question Type: Objective testing
  • Number of questions: 68 questions
  • Pass percentage: 55%, i.e., you need to get 38 marks at least out of 80 available
  • Duration: 2.5 hours (150 minutes)
  • Exam Type: Open book exam (official PRINCE2 manual only)


prince2 certification requirements

When you become a Practitioner Certificate holder, you demonstrate the ability to tailor methods for the multiple environments and needs of the organization. This is the reason you see the ‘Foundation’ as one of the Prince2 Certification requirements for the practitioner level as that gives you a ‘Foundation’ in project management.

Maintain your badge

What is the validity of the Prince2 certification? Is it lifelong or, do you have to recertify? How do you maintain the validity of your certification? Here you go for answers:

Prince2 Practitioner certificate is valid for 3 years. After this term, you can take the exam to continue your credentials or you have an option to renew through Membership. Here are a few more inputs to help you maintain your badge.

  • You need to become a member in the first 3 months of becoming a credential holder and ensure you continue to be a member for the next 3 years.
  • Moreover, you need to earn and report 20 CPD points every year for the 3-year period to maintain your certificate.

If you satisfy these requirements, you will be issued a certificate that is valid for another 3 years and you do not need to go through the hassle of Prince2 certification requirements, training, exam, etc..

Prince2 2017 Practitioner Training

For the Prince2 Practitioner certification exam, you need to:

  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of principles, themes, and processes and worked examples of all PRINCE2 products
  • Be able to understand and apply the intertwining of principles, themes, and processes and PRINCE2 products for various project environments and scenarios
  • Have Knowledge and application of the underlying principles to different project scenarios

A classroom training would be approximately for about 12 hours while you can also take the online or distance education option.

While there is also a possibility to do a self-study since the Prince2 certification requirements do not specify that you need to undergo a formal training, it is advisable to select a good training provider. We will discuss the reasons here:

  • If you opt for an online Prince2 practitioner certification training, you will have access to recorded lectures which you can refer to anytime
  • Most providers give you more than 100 scenario questions, lectures to help you understand the concept and application as well
  • Since the questions test your application of the methods, principles, themes, etc., you would need help with real-world examples and sample tests
  • You will not be alone in your preparation when you opt for an online training. Support through the provider and online forums are a great asset during your preparation. Immense learning happens through sharing your queries and with lessons learned from others’ experience
  • While the Prince2 manual is available for you to purchase and read, it would be dry and difficult on your own. There are a few sample papers provided by AXELOS but if you want to clear the exam in the first attempt, training becomes a beacon guiding you through the process.
  • In a training, you also get access to a big question bank to practice. On top of that, you can use the cheat sheets to understand the processes, principles, and themes in Prince2.
  • Since there are many benefits of getting a Prince2 certification, it is necessary you invest your time and money for the sizable returns
  • Scenario-based exercises to help you familiarize the application of the Prince2 concepts.

Benefits of Prince2 Certification

  • Career growth: Prince2 certifications whether Foundation or Practitioner give you greater career prospects. If you think you satisfy the Prince2 Certification Requirements, you should make the certification your new year resolution
  • Salary Hike: Since it is a much sought after credential, Prince2 gives you better compensation package as a certified project manager
  • Professional Recognition: Peer recognition and professional recognition is definitely the outcome of  the Prince2 certification
  • Best Practice: You get to know the best way of managing projects and hence can apply them to managing projects successfully in your organization. You become a valuable asset to your company while the certification adds value to you.

Summing up, the Prince2 Certification Requirements are the starting point for understanding what you need to become a Prince2 certification holder. We have seen that though it is not a part of Prince2 Certification Requirements, a good training helps you clear the exam. Therefore, choose a good training provider who will be your guide for the Prince2 certification requirements end to end.

prince2 certification requirements

Author Biography

prince2 certification requirements

Sunanda Gundavajhala, B.Tech, M.B.A, PMP has over 25 years of project management. She is a consultant, trainer on project management for different sectors and is the recipient of “Recognition of Excellence” award from PMI, USA and Woman Volunteer award from Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI. Sunanda has contributed to the “Practice Standard on Scheduling, PMI”. She has worked as the Liaison officer for PMIEF (Education Foundation) for the Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI.