What are the courses in Prince2? If you are planning on taking a Prince2 course, your first step is to understand the different Prince2 courses on offer. Therefore, in this post, let us do a deep dive into the Prince2 course and why it is critical for acing your Prince2 certification.
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What are the Prince2 courses?
Did you know that from January 1st, 2018, each Prince2 course follows the updated 2017 format? While you can still take the older 2009 Prince2 exam in other languages, if English, your only option is the 2017 updated version. Therefore, when you are choosing a Prince2 course, checking for the updated content aligned with 2017 version is important.
What is new in the Prince2 course and exam in 2017 version?
The changes in 2017 format are related to the modification of Prince2 Guidance and Foundation & Practitioner exams based on that. Now, your next question is- why was this done? This change was done to strengthen the position of Prince2’s unparalleled reputation as the best practice in Project Management Industry.
8 Modifications in 2017 version
- Improved, updated PRINCE2 Guidance
- While the same 7 principles, themes and processes are present in the 2017 version too, more stress on the methods approach in managing projects
- Highlights the need for customizing the Prince2 for each organizational and environmental need rather than saying one size fits all
- Points to the interrelation between themes and principles
- Since customization/tailoring is key, ‘Themes’ was redesigned to include relevant and specific examples that help in tailoring
- 2017 manual is, even more, a ready reference for you to seek clarification, help when managing projects. You can look at the added examples of practical application of methods and guidance for efficient project management
- This is an all-in-one for managing projects, the bible of project management so to say!
- Stresses on Membership for Practitioners and Foundation level certification holders. The idea behind this is to ensure the credential holders are kept abreast of current best practices. The membership also helps to renew their certification and maintain the validity of their credential.
Because of these changes in 2017 manual, the course you choose should help you gear up for the changes as well. While some providers may retitle it or repackage it and market as the new Prince2 training, therefore, it is for you to assess its alignment with the updated version.
What are the levels of Prince2 course and exam?
Prince2 course and certification have two levels. Foundation and Practitioner. Practitioner level is again split into two courses. There is a course for Practitioner level and a course for Agile Practitioner certifications. Let us learn about each of them in detail.
Prince2 Course at Foundation level
The course at Foundation level will give you an introduction to the Prince2 method. This Prince2 course aims to ensure that you have a comprehension of the Prince2 method such that you are able to work effectively with or as a member of a project management team following using the Prince2 method. This Foundation Prince2 course is a prerequisite for the more advanced Practitioner level Prince2.
Prince2 Course at Practitioner level
The Prince2 course for Practitioners is for individuals who are managing projects as a part of their role. This could be a formal, full-fledged project management function. or a role which may benefit from efficient and effective management of a project. The objective of the Practitioner level course is to state that you have a deep understanding of the Prince2 method and knowledge and help you to apply it to a multitude of different scheme environments and scenarios.
Prince2 Agile Practitioner Course
The Prince2 course on Agile Practitioner is meant for Prince2 certified project managers who require a higher level of understanding of the Prince2 method and its applications, especially in an agile environment. The Prince2 course for Agile Practitioner is meant to bring out the best of agile project management principles in perfect tandem with the Prince2 method. While this is done, there is the inherent flexibility and responsiveness of agile concepts such as Scrum and Kanban intact in the Prince2 course fo the Agile practitioner. Therefore, as you can gauge, this certification is explicitly crafted for people and companies that are into project, product and program delivery and support.
Hence, when you are choosing a Prince2 course, be clear as to which one you want to go for. But, before you decide which one, you also need to be aware of which Prince2 course and certification you can opt for based on the prerequisites.
What are the Prince2 certification requirements?
For you to choose the Prince2 course, you should first be aware of the eligibility criteria for each certification. So, let us look at the Prince2 certification requirements.
What are Prince2 Certification Requirements for Foundation level?
What are the prerequisites for the Prince2 Foundation level certification exam? Do you need to have any specific educational background or experience? Let us explore:
- In terms of perquisites, there are none. That is, there are no minimum education or experience or training defined for the Foundation level certification
- While this is in terms of eligibility, Axelos mentions that in Prince2 Certification Requirements, an understanding of terms and methods in managing projects would be advantageous. Therefore, a Prince2 training would be a plus for you since it will prepare you for the Foundation level certification in a much better way familiarizing you with methods, terms, and concepts.
What are Prince2 Certification Requirements for Practitioner level?
The advanced level after the Foundation is the Practitioner. Let us also review the Prince2 Certification Requirements for the Practitioner Level certification exam and which Prince2 course would help you pass the exam. This will help you decide the best Prince2 course provider and get your coveted Prince2 Practitioner level certification. Here are the prerequisites for Prince2 Practitioner Level Certification exam:
- If you have already cleared the Prince2 Foundation exam, this is a natural next level for you
- Axelos also allows those who already have a Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certificate. These are the project management credentials offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Hence, if you have done say CAPM and now want to understand the approach by Axelos Prince2, you are still allowed to prepare and appear for the Practitioner level exam.
- If you possess any certificate from the International Project Management Association (IPMA), you will be eligible for appearing for the Practitioner level. Therefore, whether you have Level A/B/C/D corresponding to Certified Projects Director, Certified Senior Project Manager, Certified Project Manager, and Certified Project Management Associate, you will be qualified to sit for the Practitioner level exam.
Though you have undergone these exams, you may still have to realign yourself to the Prince2 2017 manual to know how it differs from the rest and you should get a grip on the methods, themes, and principles of Prince2. Therefore, choosing a suitable Prince2 course becomes imperative for you to be called a Prince2 practitioner.
Why should you go for the Prince2 course?
Before we jump into why you should go for a Prince2 course, let us understand what goes into Prince2 course.
Prince2 course composition
What is your expectation from a Prince2 course? Let me guess:
- Prince2 course should prepare you for the exam in terms of content that is specified for the exam
- The Prince2 course you choose should be cost-effective and give you value for money
- Since you are a professional with tight work schedules, you may also look for flexibility in learning which you want from the Prince 2 course
- Prince2 course should cover the syllabus specified for the exam
- On top of these, you would want the Prince2 course to have some practice tests which will help you ease into the actual exam with more confidence
- If the Prince2 course can also provide you with some handy tools like flash cards, cheat sheets, examples, why not? Makes your preparation much more interesting and easy
Now that there are certain expectations from the Prince2 course, let us understand what the content of the exam is so that you can verify if your Prince2 course provider has included all that is needed.
Let us start with the basics- i.e., what the Prince2 foundation certification course should cover:
The syllabus is defined in terms of learning outcomes expected from you. There are 4 learning outcomes with many sub-outcomes and points which we will not go into in this post.
The Prince2 course foundation level exam outcomes:
|Outcome No.||Learning Outcome|
|1||Basic concepts of projects and Prince2|
|2||How the principles of Prince2 help the implementation of Prince 2 method|
|3||The themes underlying the Prince2 and how they help in managing projects|
|4||Know about the various processes in Prince2 and how they are implemented in projects|
The reference to the section in the Prince2 2017 manual and the Blooms level and marks against each outcome is specified in the syllabus given by Axelos. Therefore, when reviewing a Prince2 course, make sure they give due weightage to each of the subsections keeping the marks in view.
Prince2 course syllabus for the Practitioner level should include:
There are 3 learning outcomes at the Practitioner level in Prince2. They are:
- Understanding how the principles of Prince2 are applied to projects
- The various themes in Prince2 and how to customize and use it for various circumstances of the project environment.
- The final outcome measures your knowledge of the processes in Prince2 for various environments.
While the content more or less is same, the Blooms level changes and you are expected to have a deeper understanding of the principles, processes, and themes. Moreover, you should also be aware of the scenarios where it is applied and how it needs to be tailored.
Bloom’s level refers to the type of thinking you need to answer the questions for this Practitioner level exam. While it is mostly below 3 for Foundation, here it is 3 and 4. At level 3, you need to apply your knowledge to a given scenario. Level 4 is where you analyze the information presented and assess whether the action taken is effective and the right one for the situation.
Since it is tough for you to understand all these level and how to ensure you are equipped with the correct level of understanding, you need to rely on a Pricne2 course that as these aspects built into it.
Therefore, your Prince2 practitioner certification course should cover:
- Project definition, its performance measurement, what makes Prince2, the intertwining of the principles, themes, processes and the environment
- How Prince2 helps and how the supplier and customer are connected in the framework
- Your Prince2 course should also cover the 7 principles, who can customize and how
- Seven principles are:
- Business justification
- Roles and responsibilities
- Learn from experience
- Manage by exceptions
- Manage by stages
- Tailor to suit the environment
- Focus on product
Other aspects you need to ensure in your Prince2 course are:
- How the 7 themes integrate into the project along with processes, principles, etc. There are many sub-categories in this outcome on themes.
- You need to know about the business case and its application, Organizational context, who is responsible for what, roles, and all the 7 themes. Therefore, the Prince2 course you choose should enable you with the knowledge and equip you with the right level of understanding.
- Along with the themes, you also need to know about the 7 processes in Prince2, their goal, and purpose from initiating to closing a project. The Prince2 course should encompass all these plus the applicability in the organizational and environmental context. The 7 processes you should understand are:
Summarizing the content that needs to be covered in a Prince2 course at a high level are:
|Starting up a project||Business Justification||Business case|
|Initialization of a project||Roles and responsibilities||Organization|
|Direction of a Project||Learn from experience||Quality|
|Controlling a stage||Manage by exceptions||Risks|
|Management of product delivery||Manage by stages||Plan|
|Management of stage boundaries||Tailor to suit the environment||Change|
|Closure of a Project||Focus on product||Progress|
Now that we have explored the content that a Prince2 course should cover, let us also analyze other aspects:
- An online Prince2 course would be self-paced, flexible and anytime anywhere which makes it the ideal choice for most
- In addition to being cost-effective, an online Prince2 course would help the professionals revise anytime and also participate in discussions through forums. Prince2 certification cost is also a key driver in the decision.
- Since the questions also test your knowledge on application of the concepts in real life scenarios, ensure that the Prince2 course includes examples and scenario-based practice questions
By now, you must have understood the criticality of a good Prince2 course. Since you know the syllabus, Prince2 certification requirements, your next step is to know the Prince2 exam:
|S.No.||Foundation FAQ||Answer||Practitioner FAQ||Answer|
|1||How much time will be allowed?||1 hour||How much time will be allowed?||2.5 hours|
|2||How many numbers of questions?||60||How many numbers of questions?||68|
|3||What is the Pass percentage?||55||What is the Pass percentage?||55|
|4||Which type of questions would be asked?||Multiple Choice Question||Which type of questions would be asked?||Objective type Question, Scenario, additional information & questions|
|5||What is the Reference Book?||Managing Successful Projects with the PRINCE2 publication, 2017 edition||What is the Reference Book?||Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 publication, 2017 edition|
|6||Open/closed book?||Closed||Open/closed book?||Closed|
Maintain your Prince2 Credential:
Prince2 Practitioner certificate is not a onetime affair for life. Your certificate is valid for 3 years after which it needs renewal.
You may take the exam one more time. If you think that’s tough, you can opt for Membership. But, ensure that within 3 months of becoming a credential holder, you should take membership and continue for the next 3 years. In addition to this, you also need to get 60 CPD points in the 3-year period to maintain your badge.
In short, your choice of the course decides your result as a good Prince2 course either makes or breaks your career prospects. A good course will be like a beacon guiding you in the right direction. The Prince2 training should be the one-point resource which satisfies all your requirements from Prince2 Certification requirements to exam simulation. In addition to this, the course should also guide you in your management of your certification validity. How and when to do this should be answered in the Prince2 course that you are opting for.
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.