Are there international certifications for calculators

IAPM and IPMA - why four identical letters result in different content

09/05/2014 - The chairman of the board of the GPM Deutsche Gesellschaft für Projektmanagement, Mr. Reinhard Wagner, recently wrote an article in the GPM blog with the title "IPMA or IAPM - Original or Imitator" (read here: oder-iapm-original-oder-imitator /), on which we would like to comment. Continue reading "
09/05/2014 - Recently the chairman of the board of the GPM German Society for Project Management, Mr. Reinhard Wagner, wrote an article in the GPM blog with the title “IPMA oder IAPM - Original or imitator ”(read here:, on which we would like to comment.

In his contribution, Mr. Wagner more or less directly assumes that IAPM International Association of Project Managers would have chosen a combination of letters as the name for their organization, which could easily be confused with the IPMA International Project Management Association. He concludes that IAPM would like to "tap" project managers who actually want to be certified by the IPMA and accidentally sign up for IAPM get lost. We would like to reject that and say the following:

The IPMA has only existed in its current form since the Council of Delegates in Oslo in 1994. The IAPM in turn, a small group of project managers came together a few years later, in 1997. The aim was to establish an organization in the long term that would really be geared towards the needs of modern project managers. At that time, IPMA was not a widespread term, so that deliberate imitation of the name would have made no sense, as the degree of familiarity was not given. The IPMA only registered its name in 2010, the same year in which the IAPM has had her name protected. Subsequent attempts by the IPMA that IAPM suing for omission failed and was averted.

It is true that the registered names are similar, but in no way the expiry of the certifications. The certification exam will take place at the IAPM Filed online, at the IPMA an attendance test takes place. Those who do not feel adequately prepared for the exam can take part in training from IAPM-certified trainers and take a self-test online beforehand, which shows them possible weaknesses. The “Cert. Agile Project Manager (IAPM) "and" Cert. International Project Manager (IAPM) ”is only available from IAPM.

Also, another sore point, demands that IAPM no re-certification to maintain the validity of the certificates. Our position here is clear: once certified, always certified. We are of the opinion that a certification for a project manager must be just as permanent as a high school diploma or a university degree.

Project managers who are involved in day-to-day project work have to undergo further training in their field, just as every other person has to do in their job through further training. Regardless of this, no other degree does not have to be taken, for example, a re-state examination. The IPMA certification basis, the ICB, has not changed in terms of content over the past few years. That means that here too there is no basis that would justify recertification. In our opinion, the only benefit of re-certification is for the certification organization - in the monetary area.

It should also be mentioned that the IPMA uses the ICB as a template, which has been or is still being transferred by the country organizations to National Competence Baselines (NCB). The country-specific certification procedure is then based on these NCBs. The procedures for certification of the various levels and the national organizations are therefore all different - only the certification qualification acquired with the addition of Levels D to A is uniform IAPM on the other hand, it offers the same certification principles everywhere around the world, regardless of whether it is in Brazil, the USA or Germany. Every test item has the same requirements worldwide, so that a IAPM-Certificate has the same value in every country because the same has been tested. The IAPM offers a consistent certification system for conventional, agile and international project management, standardized worldwide and in English and German.

The IAPM as an organization does not charge membership fees. Interested parties, not just certifiers, can usually take part in network meetings free of charge and thus get involved in the IAPM bring in. Here, too, there is a clear difference to GPM / IPMA. Those who like to be active in the IAPM- would like to participate in association activities, e.g. IAPM Become an official and take part in annual meetings, personally contact the employees of IAPM and get involved in the community of our project managers. The IAPM is therefore not an association of which every certifier has to become a member or pay a contribution if he wants to be active.

So much for the obvious differences between IAPM and IPMA - there can be no question of imitation here.

Mr Wagner also writes that the GPM / IPMA certifications are certified according to DIN EN ISO / IEC 17024: 2012 and the GPM itself is accredited by the German accreditation body DAkkS according to DIN EN ISO / IEC 1702 and certified by TÜV NORD according to ISO 9001: 2008 and would be validated by the IPMA and thus internationally recognized. However, the certifications listed by Mr. Wagner are only presented by the GPM. All other country organizations of the IPMA either do not have a certification body or, if they do, they only have a validation by the IPMA and, in a few exceptions, a certification of the QM system according to ISO 9000, but there is no further certification, e.g. evidence ISO / IEC 17024 another accreditation by an organization that is equivalent to the German accreditation body DAkkS. In addition, all tests in the IPMA country organizations are different. Even within the German-speaking area there is no uniform test, unlike, as already mentioned, with the IAPM.

Mr Wagner goes on to say that the GPM / IPMA tests not only knowledge, but also experience, which in this context makes it appear as if this were the case IAPM not the case. The IAPM divides its certifications into basic certifications and senior grades. For the senior grades, experience is a prerequisite for certification and this is supported by the IAPM also checked. The GPM awards about 90% the certificate for the project management specialist (Level D), for which NO experience is requested. With this level of certification, only pure knowledge counts, just like in the IAPM-Basic certifications. A difference in quality between the certifications of the GPM / IPMA and the IAPM therefore there can be no question.

Mr. Wagner's blog post is just one more of many attempts by both the GPM and the IPMA that IAPM To put stones in the way wherever possible. As early as 2010 there was a trademark law procedure aimed at by the IPMA at the European Harmonization Office with the aim of registering the trademark "IAPM International Association of Project Managers" to prohibit. In 2013, the GPM issued a warning with the claim that IAPM would not only imitate the name but also the range of services offered by GPM and thus violate the law against unfair competition. Finally, in early 2014, a lawsuit was announced in the event that the IAPM do not immediately change their brand names or the names of their certificates. All attempts at torpedoing were unsuccessful, and the IPMA or GPM were not able to prevail on a single point.

All in all, one can see that between the IAPM and the GPM / IPMA the similarities are very weak, the differences clearly outweigh the differences. This applies to the trademark situation, the degree of certification, the structure of the organizations and the philosophy they represent.

The IAPM offers project managers real added value and is an organization made by people for people, in which the project manager and his needs are the focus and not the association. That is why we stand by our online certification, the waiver of re-certification and instead rely on new certification options and service offers as soon as new trends make it necessary and possible.

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