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APM Accredited PMO Practitioner Frequently Asked Questions - Wellingtone PPM

APM Accredited PMO Practitioner Course FAQ

Interested in booking on to the course, but what to find out if it’s right for you? Your most frequently asked questions are answered below.

Why do we need a PMO Course? Existing PMO qualifications are founded in knowledge-based assessments only. Given that most PMOs are involved in some sort of advice function, there is the expectation that someone with an appropriate qualification is ensuring that the advice they are given is sound and well founded. Thus, having a competencies-based assessment – similar to what currently happens with IPMA certifications –  provides a more relevant mechanism for assessing the suitability of an individual for a PMO role in line with the above and helps to define the career path for PMOs as well as to strengthen the notion of PMO as a profession.

You can read our research paper on the need for PMO certification HERE.

A certification will not prove that I am capable of running a PMO will it? Just like having a drivers license doesn’t necessarily make you a ‘good’ driver, this course ensures that those in the PMO profession are speaking the same language, working towards the same outcomes, and living the same principles. Those attending, will gain not just from the knowledge base of the course, but also from their peers.

All PMOs are different so how does this course deal with that? This course acknowledges that there is no one answer for a PMO ‘type’, it consolidates the interpretations that are out there, and brings them together in a logical way to give delegates the broadest range of knowledge to be successful in their reality. It gives a wide perspective of the art of the possible with PMOs, and encourages critical thinking, and actionable ideas.

Why Wellingtone? We felt that following the pilot, the course was of a high quality and beneficial to the industry. The process for Professional Course Accreditation has been available through the APM for some time. You can read more about the process and how you can get involved HERE.

Who has this been validated by?  A number of practitioners (from a range of industries through a pilot) and an independent Assessor appointed by the APM.

How does this course support the APM’s Dimensions of Professionalism?

The PMO Practitioner course is designed to support the dimensions of professionalism:

  • By ensuring the PMO practitioners also have a sense of achievement with the support of the APM in what they have chosen as their career – this will help to professionalise the industry within organisations
  • By providing a greater depth of knowledge into the PMO as an industry, its history, and key factors for success
  • By providing a breadth of knowledge across PMO models, and other frameworks that exist and have an impact whether ‘fashionable’ or longer term
  • By ensuring that professionals are accountable for their development and their role – that those moving into PMO understand the role and responsibilities that come with a PMO, as well as helping those that have been in the industry for a while take a step back and review how their PMO currently operates
  • By demonstrating that companies are committed to the PMO – both those delivering this critical course to bring a step change to the industry as well as those that invest in their people to enhance this part of their organisation

Is PMO a Profession? This question came up during our pilot course and generated a lot of discussion! The Oxford Dictionary definition of a profession is “a paid occupation that requires prolonged training, and a formal qualification”. When we add the complexity of the world of PMO, including the need for a specialist skillset, we came to the conclusion that it is in fact a PMO, albeit an emerging one, and up until now had little in terms of formal training.

How will I be assessed? We have developed a one-hour multiple choice assessment that is created from a randomly selected set of questions. These are scored by the training team, and a certificate is issued –
Pass rate: 60%
Distinction: over 80%

Can I claim this as Continuous Development Hours for APM or PMI? The PMI will accept this course as it covers all aspects of the PMI Talent Triangle; Technical, Leadership, and Strategic Skills and is covered under “Courses from other third-party providers”. Note that requirements vary depending on your PMI certification level.

The APM will accept this course also as their CPD programme requires more than one 35 hrs within each 12 months. As long as it is related to the project profession and in line with your role, you can use the opportunity to reflect on your learning when submitting your CPD statement.

The PMO Practitioner course is aligned to both PMI and APM Body of Knowledge publications.

What is the basis for the course given that there is no official standard to follow? The PMO industry is varied and although there is not a ‘professional standard’ at this time, we felt it was important and a relevant gap that through the professional and volunteer experience of the developers, we could help to fill.

Who is this course for? We have designed this course for anyone who has a keen interest in PMOs, practitioners (new and existing) who are delivering, managing, implementing or transforming a PMO.

I’m new to PMOs, would this certification be good for me? Yes, in our pilot we had one person who had changed careers and had been in the role for just three weeks! Her feedback was:

“Thank you so much, I have taken so much away and feel prepared (although anxious) that I will able to create a PMO office. It was such a friendly and constructive atmosphere that I felt comfortable to expose my lack of experience and this allowed me to gain so much from the 2 days.

It was all positive and so well delivered. I was engaged throughout and feel I could contact Wellingtone for further support and advice.

The course has been designed to give those new to the industry both knowledge and confidence that they can go back to their workplace.”

I’ve been in the PMO ‘game’ for a while, would this certification be good for me? Yes, the course includes new and emerging, exciting content that covers not just the operational side of PMOs, but how you can improve your existing models, engagement, and people through an introduction to the Wellingtone PMO Maturity Model, PMO Principles and PMO Competence Framework.

Why bother to get it accredited and not just leave it as a Wellingtone course?  We wanted it to be more than ‘just’ our opinion and the APM Professional Course process fits with that vision as it accredits courses that have a significant element of project management which can be mapped to the APM Body of Knowledge. The benefits of this includes:

  • Increased credibility for course/s by being accredited by APM
  • Recognition that APM accredited professional courses support the APM professional advocacy via the FIVE Dimensions of Professionalism
  • Recognition to end-users of the training providers’ support of APM professional advocacy model
  • Recognition and awareness of training to support improved project delivery capability
  • A reference point for corporate institutions to inform their choice of training courses

You can read more about the process HERE

What does the accreditation process entail? The process for accreditation includes the following steps:

  1. Create the syllabus and learning outcomes for submission to the APM for review
  2. Once approved to proceed, creation of the course material
  3. Alignment of material to the Body of Knowledge (6th Edition)
  4. Wellingtone chose to add a step here and delivered the pilot course for practitioner validation
  5. Appointment of independent Assessor
  6. Review by independent Assessor
  7. Interview with independent Assessor
  8. Accreditation granted if course and material are found to be to the required standards

How practical is the course? How much of it is theory based? The course is supported by theoretical grounds to provide the widest view of the industry possible. However there are practical exercises throughout the two days including simulation, group and individual work, and discussion to ensure we accommodate different learning styles.

What is the difference between the PMO Practitioner course and the PMO Value Ring day that Wellingtone offer? The PMO Value Ring is a methodology that is supported by software. It enables for a relatively quick turnaround of a PMO through coaching and mentoring. The software allows PMO to engage with the Stakeholders, team members, and Customers to get a PMO set up /transformed in the space of just three months. The PMO Practitioner course provides an agnostic look at the industry to give a depth of knowledge that enables practitioners to improve not just their PMO but themselves and their team.

Useful Resources

You can find out more about the course and book on to it HERE

For more information on the content of the PMO Practitioner course, you can download the full syllabus which highlights the alignment with the APM Body of Knowledge.

If you need to get approval from your organisation to attend, this article will help you have the conversation with your Manager.

Curious cat and still want to know more? Our research paper (because we have to get approval too!) that justified the need for this course is available for download.


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