APM PPQ or APM PQ?

The APM now has two project management capability qualifications - the Project Professional Qualification (PPQ) and the Practitioner Qualification (PQ).  But which one is suitable for you?

Project managers looking to develop and obtain recognition of their capability, have a choice as to which APM qualification is pursued. 

However, only one of these two qualifications is ever likely to be pursued by an individual and so it is important to make the correct choice.

Before considering the differences let's first identify the similarities in these two  APM qualifications.

The similarities between APM PPQ and APM PQ

Both are 'capability' qualifications in project management in that they examine the capability to apply knowledge to a case study situation.  Having project management knowledge is a pre-requisite but regurgitating knowledge only will not lead to success of either.

Both are roughly the same  'level'.  While the APM PQ is officially an IPMA (International Project Management Association) Level C qualification, the APM PPQ is designed to be at an equivalent level.

Both are assessed against a comprehensive set of a project management assessment criteria.

The differences between APM PPQ and APM PQ

The structure of the qualifications are very different.  The PPQ comprises taking four from six separate modules, each examined with a 3 hour written exam, and might typically take a couple years to complete.  On the other hand, the PQ comprises written, group working and interview exercises in a 48 hour assessment centre.

The PPQ examines only the written capability of a project person while the PQ examines their wider skills (e.g. ability to lead a group or to present information compellingly).

While experience working on projects is helpful for both qualifications, experience is more important for the PQ, particularly in the inter-personal skill areas.

Which is right for you?

The PPQ is right for you if you are academically confident, hold the APM PMQ or equivalent and are prepared to achieve a recognised qualification of your project management capability over a considerable period of time.

The PQ is right for you if you are experienced, have good inter-personal skills and want to achieve a recognised project management capability qualification quickly.