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Has anyone done APM/APMP quals?

13 replies

ElizaPancakes · 03/06/2019 23:29

I'm a project manager, but with no quals, just came up through the company.

For various reasons I'd really like to move somewhere else in the next couple of years, but I'm hugely aware that without some sort of quals to back up my experience (5 years, 11 years with the company overall) I'm unlikely to get anything that isn't very junior. I'm currently on base salary of £38k and couldn't afford a paycut tbh.

I'm considering doing an APM PMQ but there are so many sites advertising the course, I just don't know where to look! Has anyone done this and can a) recommend a decent place to get the course (pref. distance learning) and b) tell me if it has translated into new roles or better pay?

Thanks in advance if anyone reads this!

OP posts:
ElizaPancakes · 03/06/2019 23:33

I have found the official site but there are so many offering the course. I feel a bit overwhelmed.

OP posts:
ElizaPancakes · 04/06/2019 09:30

Bump for the morning crowd!

OP posts:
ThisNameIsDifferentFromTheLast · 04/06/2019 09:39


I've done both the Foundation and Practitioner qualifications via on site courses by QA.

Definitely start with the Foundation first, it will give you an idea of the style of the questions, although the exams differ significantly due to complexity, amount of writing etc.

If you go straight into the Practitioner, make sure you put the effort into the reading and exam practice.

They do not care about your own personal PM experience, rather how well you know their syllabus. I've known many experienced PMs fail the exams due to thinking they know it all.

I'd also say if you aren't a big user of Microsoft Project at the moment it may be worth doing a course to refresh yourself in this area.

ElizaPancakes · 04/06/2019 09:58

Brilliant thank you. There’s actually some practice papers on the website which I’m going to try but I agree it’s best to start with the basics.

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le1la · 04/06/2019 10:03

Hey OP - I've done the APMP course but not at distance. I did a 5 day intensive at a training centre in Leeds.
I'm not really sure whether it's considered to be any different to a PRINCE2 qualification by employers, but PRINCE2 has an open book exam at the end, whereas APMP is closed book.
I don't work as a project manager but do manage projects day-to-day. To be honest, I haven't found it particularly useful and current/previous employers couldn't have cared less; however, that may be different if your role is purely project management.
Happy to answer any questions you have - I have the textbooks somewhere so can dig them out for you if you want to know anything specifically :)

VelociraptorRex · 04/06/2019 10:08

I've done both OP, and they're worth doing, there should be a local centre offering them if you can't do it via your current company (it's worth asking if they'll help you do this). As a PP said, it really is worth putting in. The effort and doing the reading, I did the distance learning rather than the intensive 5 days and it was quite hard fitting everything in around the study. I was the only person out of 11 at the company where I was working that passed - the experienced PMs failed because they didn't follow the syllabus, as @ThisNameIsDifferentFromTheLast says.

sackrifice · 04/06/2019 10:10

My OH and a range of other project managers at his workplace did this recently, and he was the only one who passed his APM.

Every single other person failed.

He spent ages reading before, during and after the course, and was meticulous in his revision.

ElizaPancakes · 04/06/2019 10:20

I’m really heartened to hear this. I was leaning towards the distance learning course but actually I think classroom would be better for me. Just scraping the funds together I suppose!

I have asked my company and they’ve said no. They barely fund their own projects tbh Hmm

@le1la thanks that’s a really kind offer - nothing I can think of right now though!

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ThisNameIsDifferentFromTheLast · 04/06/2019 15:59

Prince2 is a slightly different beast than the APMP qualifications, hence the difference in open / closed book.

It provides a complete framework on how to manage projects and programmes, derived from the military if I remember correctly, and is widely used by Banking and Insurance. You can pretty much guarantee that any large financial company will have a project methodology based on Prince2. They will have just had it tailored and branded to their requirements.

APMP has always felt more of a toolset and best practice approach, and a little more business user friendly.

The very large Bank / Insurance company that I worked for favoured APMP for its business PMs and Prince2 for its technical PMs.

ThisNameIsDifferentFromTheLast · 04/06/2019 16:02

Whilst I'm thinking of it, it would be worth while familiarising yourself with Agile and SDLC Methodologies if you are IT focused.

Although I wouldn't suggest doing qualifications in them.

ElizaPancakes · 04/06/2019 18:09

@ThisNameIsDifferentFromTheLast I actually work for a high street bank, not in IT though. They only care about outside qualifications if hiring from outside which they don’t tend to do.

I would like to do Prince2 but it’s quite a bit pricier from what I remember.

OP posts:
ThisNameIsDifferentFromTheLast · 04/06/2019 20:45

I'd say you are well versed in the principles of Prince2 in that case, so if it ever crops up in interviews you can name drop all the right terminology, ToR, gateways etc.

I did 11 years as a perm before going contracting, and I always thank the Bank I worked for due to the great grounding it gave me in project methodology.

Good luck with the exams and with the career move.

ElizaPancakes · 04/06/2019 23:10

Thank you Smile

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