Question (Q): How do I find answers to my questions?
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For Project, Program, Portfolio Management and Australian training and assessment information see our Links page.
Q. What if I have never had any formal training do I have to do a course to get the qualification?
A. No you do not need to do a course to receive your qualification. The assessment recognises all forms of prior learning including experience gained “on the job”. As long as you can provide the necessary evidence in the form of workplace outputs (eg project management plan, status report etc) that your have developed you can (potentially) meet the required standards.
A: BSB41515 Certificate IV in Project Management - Project Management Basics
A: Several AGS Consulting & Training courses have been endorsed by the Australian Institute of Project Management; qualification courses are delivered via Agreement with Pro Leaders Academy (RTO 45024).
For more information regarding AIPM AGS Endorsements see letters and Certificates.
A: AQF 4 = Certificate IV, AQF 5 = Diploma and AQF 6 = Advanced Diploma. AQF = Australian Qualifications Framework.
Qualifications are awarded after evidence has been submitted, assessed against and meets requirements of Standards applicable to the course – see our course brochures. Check course inclusions and exclusions - some prices include assessments for qualifications, others do not.
There are two options:
• Qualification only ie Certificate IV, Diploma (AQF 5) or Advanced Diploma (AQF 6)
• Qualification and RegPM (CPPM, CPSPM or CPPD)
For the Certificate IV, Diploma & Advanced Diploma, much of the evidence is generated during the four-day course. On completion of the course (last day) or sometime later (candidate’s choice) candidates submit an Assessment Record Book (to finish the process). Course attendees seeking a Qualification & RegPM would need to bring project evidence to the course for assessment (during the 4 days or submit it after the course). They would need to complete an AIPM Assessment Record Book, not the Diploma version. Candidates meeting CPPM would largely have met Diploma requirements (some additional evidence is required to satisfy Diploma Units not included in CPPM). Where more evidence is needed / where the AIPM ARB has not been completed during the course, this could be emailed to AGS after the course.
For course attendees/candidates who are not practicing project managers but seeking RegPM, they would need to satisfy CPPP & course Diploma requirements. Regardless of what is sought, requirements need to be satisfied before qualifications & RegPM certification can be awarded.
On completing the AGS Diploma delegates are eligible to apply for AIPM’s RegPM Certification at ‘’Certified Practicing Project Practitioner’’ (CPPP) level when applying for Associate Membership.
Q: Upon completion of a three or four day course, am I guaranteed a qualification (Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma) and AIPM RegPM Certification (CPPM or CPPD)?
A: No. Any organisation/trainer/assessor that guarantees a success RegPM and/or qualification prior to assessing candidate evidence is acting outside the bounds of Government requirements. However we can say that the vast majority of ‘serious’ candidates are successful in obtaining RegPM and/or qualification. To achieve this, it’s necessary to submit evidence which must meet ‘Standards’.
Qualifications (Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma) are ‘academic’ qualifications whereas AIPM RegPM Certification (CPPP, CPPM, CPSPM, CPPD, CPPE) is industry recognition.
To achieve CPPM, CPSPM, CPPD or CPPE you need to be a PRACTICING Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, Project Director / Program Manager or Portfolio Manager (respectively) with a range of ‘relevant’ experience. AGS fully support candidates in their quest to achieve desired levels. We're as flexible as the ‘rules’ permit. Ultimately, candidates need to ‘prove’ that they have the appropriate knowledge, understanding, skills & attitudes.
A: Yes, please check our Booking Form / Registration Form or contact us
A: We have over 30 years’ experience in public, private and non-profit organisations. We've worked in most industries. Our courses cover a balance of theory and practice. Tools & techniques are sourced from many disciplines including project management, program management, management and consulting. Our project management courses have a very practical focus in following the project life-cycle rather than the more common'' approach of 9 or 12 Units to suit the qualification structure. All Units are covered within the course framework (mapping available upon request). AGS Consulting & Training/our personnel have delivered 100's of courses, over a 30 year period to 1,000's of delegates at all levels.
A: Diploma is project manager level; Cert IV is team member level. Candidates need to provide evidence (20-25 key deliverables) from 1, 2 or more projects (depending upon available evidence) - can be real or case studies. Questions also need to be answered (for AGS to assess knowledge & understanding).
Q: What is the difference between the Diploma and the Advanced Diploma
A: A Diploma is aimed at Project Manager (operational) level; Advanced Diploma) at Project Director/Program Manager (strategic) level. For Advanced Diploma we recommend that people have worked as a Project Manager/Senior Project Manager for several years.
A: With the competency-based system in Australia, there are two main ways of obtaining qualifications:
1. Attend a course & undergo an assessment either during and/or after the course
2. Undergo an assessment only
In either case, a candidate’s evidence is required to satisfy qualification requirements.
It takes anything from ten to 250 hours to complete post-workshop activities (ie templates and ARB as outlined above) hours depending upon several factors including experience, work pace, tasks completed in the workshop, use of workplace evidence etc.
For less experienced candidates, we recommend & provide some pre-course material.
If a candidate can not satisfy all qualification requirements in the course, they will need to present further evidence after the course. Providing requirements are then met, the Diploma will be awarded.
- Undertaking workshop activities which include filling out templates (eg for a project or program from start to finish) - AGS provides templates, examples, checklists. Templates are filled-in during workshop activities and completed post-workshop. Delegates may work on case studies or real workplace projects, in teams or on their own. Workplace templates/ deliverables, wherever available, are required/encouraged.
- Completion of an Assessment Record Book (ARB), primarily answering knowledge and understanding questions (no exam!). This is typically completed post workshop.
As an assessor, I (Alan Schwartz) can never guarantee a successful outcome but can say that the vast majority of serious candidates are successful….. some do take longer than others.
An alternative, where Diploma requirements are not satisfied, is for a Certificate IV award.
Alan Schwartz has trained & assessed 1,000’s of people for qualifications & AIPM RegPM (professional certification).
Q: Will I receive my qualification at the end of a three or four day course?
A: After all requirements are met by end of course ie completion of activities / deliverables including an Assessment Record Book. However, the qualification (Certificate IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma Certificate) is typically issued within about one week of submitting evidence. It takes anything from ten to 250 hours to complete post-workshop activities (ie templates and ARB as outlined above) hours depending upon several factors including experience, work pace, tasks completed in the workshop, use of workplace evidence etc.
I have come across others like Prince2 but I am in the dark as there seem to be many offering some course or another.
A: There are advantages & disadvantages (comparing our courses & qualifications with PMP & Prince 2). Prince 2 is used in some industries, not others…. There are those who ‘love it’ & others who ‘hate it’. PMP is a global PMI certification. Diploma\Certificate IV are only recognised in Australia. I’m (Alan Schwartz) is also an AIPM Registered RegPM Assessor (recognised in Australia). This is similar to PMP.
I recommend Diploma\Certificate IV & RegPM but ultimately it’s your decision.
A: After satisfying requirements, a qualification is awarded by
Pro Leaders Academy (RTO 45024) or
Australia Institute of Business and Technology (RTO 41138)
(Registered Training Organisation). In addition, a Statement of Attendance is issued if requested.
Q: Do I need to bring any supporting documentation to the four day course?
A: Preferably yes – please contact us if none is available. For RegPM, evidence should either be brought to the course or submitted after completion. You're welcome to bring project documents to the course for use in activities.
A: Here are few common ones:
AIPM = Australian Institute of Project Management
RegPM = Australian Institute of Project Management certification program
CPPM = Certified Practicing Project Manager certification (it’s a post nominal) - AIPM RegPM level
ARB = Assessment Record Book
BSBPMG, BSB51413, BSBPMG517 = Sample code numbers for qualifications/units
AQF = Australian Qualification Framework (AQF4 = Certificate IV, AQF5=Diploma, AQF 6=Advanced Diploma)
AGS = AGS Consulting & Training
RPL = Recognition of Prior Learning
Q: Is practical experience as a Project Manager a pre-requisite to doing a course?.
A: No – our courses are designed to prepare people for becoming (more) competent practitioners. We recommend that delegates have some experience of working in project environments for the Diploma level course.
Q: Who will issue the qualification?
A: The awarding body for qualifications is Pro Leaders Academy (RTO 45024) Registered Training Organisation
A: The key difference between our distance and online courses is the format of courseware (material) delivery.
1. Online = electronic courseware (mostly PDF files – you can search & print) forwarded via email after receipt of initial payment. Templates are in Word & ‘editable’.
2. Distance = hardcopy materials posted to you (there is an additional charge to cover printing & postage)
Most people prefer the online (electronic) version.
A: Anytime that suits your needs and commitments. The courses are self-paced.
A: Yes. An initial payment of 60% or $1,500 initial payment is required at the start. Thereafter payments can be made to suit your cashflow / rate of submitting evidence for assessment.
A: Our online course is delivered as follows:
1. You enrol
2. We invoice you (or you pay online via PayPal
3. After payment of the invoice you will be emailed course material
4. There’s an option to chat via phone or online using Skype eg to advise you, agree timing etc
5. You can start at any time & proceed at your own pace
6. Submit evidence via email for assessment
7. You will receive feedback on your submission
7. Assuming all requirements are met you will be awarded with a Qualification
A: This depends on your prior knowledge & experience, how much time you have available, other commitments as well as ability to produce required evidence. As a guide the range is typically one - 12 months. In terms of hours, it ranges (for different people) from 25 to 450 (hours).
Q: How much time do I have to complete the course?
A: You can take up to 24 months to complete (this is subject to there beiung no change in Government/qualification requirements). AGS recommend completion within 3 - 12 months.
A: AGS provide up to two hours support (included in course cost) via email for online & distance students. We encourage the submission of draft evidence via email, for feedback (particularly in the early stage of the process). Additional support is available for a fee to suit circumstances.
Q: What can I expect in terms of assessment and coaching activities (re: online courses)?
A: Assessment – candidates submit workplace evidence / fill-in templates (provided by us; courseware includes examples) to cover the project or program life-cycle & an Assessment Record Book (primarily to answer knowledge & understanding questions). Coaching – Courseware includes extensive step-by-step guidance. we answer questions via email in the first instance (phone or skype if email not effective), provide feedback (as required) on drafts. Typically most support is needed at the start.
Q: What software is used for the assessment/s?
A: We do not use software for assessments – they are done manually.
You need to supply hard or soft copy evidence. You’d need to complete forms & answer questions in MSWord. Feedback is via email. If preferred, we can offer online assessments (of knowledge) via an associated Company. You’d still need to submit evidence of skills (plans, reports etc).
Q: What is assessment?
A: The process of gathering and judging evidence in order to decide whether a person has achieved a standard. Candidates are required to submit evidence to demonstrate their competency. Evidence includes outputs from projects/programs (eg briefs, business cases, project/program management plan, status reports, post completion review) and the completion of an Assessment Record Book (which includes candidate answers to questions). See also competency-based assessment.
A: RegPM is the Australian Institute of Project Management industry Certification scheme. There are currently four levels of RegPM certification:
- CPPP: Certified Practising Project Practitioner (project team member)
- CPPM: Certified Practising Project Manager (project manager)
- CPSPM: Certified Practising Senior Project Manager
- CPPD: Certified Practising Project Director (project director / program manager)
- CPPE: Certified Practising Portfolio Executive
A: RegPM is the Australian Institute of Project Management industry Certification scheme. Candidates must be 'current practitioners' to achieve a RegPM award. Qualifications are 'academic awards' issued by Registered Training Organisations (RTO). RegPM is awarded for 3 years, thereafter renewal is required. Qualifications are awarded 'for life'.
If, for example, a candidate satisfies RegPM CPPM requirements, they will also have satisfied most of the Diploma requirements (available for a fee). However, the reverse does not necessarily apply. A candidate may satisfy Diploma or Advanced Diploma requirements without necessarily satisfying CPPM or CPPD requirements respectively.
A: There are three steps overall.
1. A briefing included with online/distance courseware and face-to-face courses
2. Collection/development of evidence by the candidate (email AGS questions if advice is required)
3. Assessment of candidate evidence by an approved assessor
A: The steps are summarised as follows:
3. Participate in a briefing session (options - during a course, via email & phone or face-to-face)
4. Collect evidence ie about 15-20 key project, program or portfolio deliverables (in total) through the lifecycle (as required by the AIPM Standards), from 2 or more projects, one programs in the case of CPPD & one portfolio in the case of CPPE.
5. Complete an AIPM Assessment Record Book including answer questions
6. Complete & email the RegPM Candidate Information sheet with program-project descriptions (MS Word not PDF)
7. Submit your CV
Do advise AGS if you have any special needs (eg privacy, confidentiality, security etc).
We/AIPM cannot guarantee a successful outcome. However, we can advise that all ‘serious’ candidates successfully complete the process.
If evidence does not satisfy requirements, We’ll advise you & guide you as necessary. AIPM does have an appeals process where candidates disagree with a ‘not yet competent’ assessment result.
Once CPPM, CPPD and CPPE candidates register with AIPM they have 6 months to finish the process. If you wish, feel free to send AGS some initial evidence/partly completed ARB for feedback.
A: Yes. Although desirable to meet face-to-face (where possible/practical) , the assessment process can be carried out via phone & email (from anywhere in the world).
A: This depends upon the level of qualification or RegPM certification. Evidence needs to cover initiating, planning, executing, controlling & closing projects / programs. This may be generated through the entire 'lifecycle' or during a 'phase'. Requirements are 'defined' in the relevant Standards & Assessment Record Books.
Examples of CPPP, CPPM and CPPD evidence (usually about 20 documents, which may have different names to those listed below):
* Project Brief
* Business Case
* Project Initiation Document
* Gate Review
* Project Management Plan (Program Management Plan in the case of CPPD)
* Schedule (timeline)
* Tender Evaluation Report
* Change Request
* Status Report
* Post Completion Review
* Lessons Learned Log
A: Yes. Evidence requirements are similar but not identical. For RegPM you need to be currently practicing (or done so in the 'recent' past) at the appropriate level. Contact Alan Schwartz for further information.
Q: What's the difference between AIPM CPPM & CPPD RegPM levels?
A: For CPPM, candidates need evidence of managing two projects including a team of 'specialists' (usually cross-functional 'subject matter experts'). For CPPD, candidates need evidence of two ‘instances’ of directing projects/project managers and/or managing a program ie managing several projects as a coordinated program, with projects managed by project managers reporting to the candidate. Evidence needs to satisfy the AIPM CPPM/CPPD Standard (& ARB). Contact us for a document titled 'Differentiation between CPPM & CPPD'.
Q: If I received a diploma, what am I actually qualified to do, and what employers insist on this qualification to manage a project? ie who would employee me because of this qualification. Ie why would I want to study a diploma rather than try and get some on-the-job training?
A: It’s ‘impossible’ to give a definitive answer that apply to all industries & all employers.
Increasingly employers expect prospective employees to have experience/a ‘track-record’, qualifications & in many cases certification (RegPM).
Being ‘competency based’, assuming you meet Diploma requirements, it’s recognition that you have knowledge, understanding & skills required to manage projects. Employers will typically look at a CV to determine depth & breadth of experience but also dependent upon the job sought.
Getting Diploma & on-the-job training/skills application are not mutually exclusive ie to get the Diploma you need to show application of skills to projects. A Diploma is a ‘stepping-stone’ (or milestone) along the path to becoming a ‘professional project manager’.
A: Timing is up to you, the candidate. You could finish a short timeframe (one week is achievable for some)… providing you can produce the necessary evidence.
Q: How quickly can I complete RegPM?
A: If you’re ‘well organised’ & have quick access to your documents, you could complete the process in about 10-15 hours.
As a guide, if you have quick access to all your evidence, you’d need about:
- 1-3 hours to select items (plans, reports etc)
- 3-10 hours to fill in the Assessment Record Book
- 30 minutes to complete a ‘Form’ re: your contact info. & project overviews
- 1.5 hours for the assessment meeting (face-to-face or online)
Some candidates take anywhere from 20-75 hours.
- select evidence that is not ‘sensitive’
- use documents from your current job
- source evidence from internal projects
- sanitise evidence (remove sensitive words, figures etc)
- provide extracts from documents (not full documents)
- use only the cover page & table of contents (and signature page if possible/appropriate)
- use witness testimony (eg statement from manager confirming that some evidence is too sensitive to use).
- discuss concerns with AGS, to find another solution
- AGS / Alan Schwartz has a Non-Disclosure / Confidentiality Agreement with some organisations; we’re happy to sign Agreements as required by Clients
A: Visit AIPM website - recertification. Candidates are required to log CPD points with AIPM. If you do not have enough points, you will need to undergo an assessment.
A: You’d need to ‘be able to readily display workplace evidence from a minimum of two recent projects for CPPM (at least one of the two projects to have been delivered no longer than two years prior to the assessment date and the other no more than 3 years) as evidence of current competency, practical skill and underpinning knowledge’. Feel free to Contact us
Q: Where/how should I source my evidence?
A: There are a range of sources/considerations:
- evidence may be sourced from multiple projects or programs (ie does not need to cover a project or program from start to finish)
- there's no minimum project or program size, as long as evidence satisfies requirements of the Standard (elements & performance criteria)
- evidence from a single phase (eg implementation) could be sufficient, providing it includes initiating, planning, executing, controlling & closing processes
- evidence can be sourced from past jobs/organisations
- evidence needs to addresses all Elements in the relevant Standard
- you may source some evidence from non-project work eg managing people in an 'business as usual' situation
- you may source evidence from future' work eg fill some gaps by work you undertake next week, next month etc
- some evidence can take the form of 'explanation' (eg what was done & how) ie not necessarily a 'project deliverable'
- Candidates may not necessarily have produced all project/program deliverables. Roles/functions may range from 'doing', to managing, to reviewing etc.
- you may also 'fill some gaps' using a case study
A: No. It's desirable that your name / signature will appear on many items. It's recognised that in some cases, documents prepared by a candidate only show their managers name. In most cases, it is necessary to obtain a managers/referees/client confirmation/report.
If so I believe I may have to "build" from work in a previous life which would mean that it is going to fall into the "small" projects definition as I have had limited exposure to work that could be considered "project" the only work that could fall into this category would be my involvement with an evaluation of a tender and in this case I was not involved in the initial concept, scope, or even the scope of the evaluation team - Because my involvement in the process was limited to the post tender and nothing else, I think it may be difficult for me to use it as an example if we are to follow the letter of the law.
A: Evidence may be sourced from two or more projects. For qualification a single project may be sufficient. For RegPM, two projects/programs are required. Evidence does not need to cover the full lifecycle on the project(s) as long as evidence addresses the elements/criteria in the Standard ie deliverables may be sourced from several projects to cover the lifecycle and functions (scope, time, cost etc). Candidates may not necessarily have produced all project/program deliverables. Roles/functions may range from 'doing', to managing, to reviewing etc.
A. Yes, your qualification is/will be nationally recognised.
Q: What happens if some items of evidence do not satisfy requirements?
A: Anything submitted for review/assessment is ‘without prejudice’ eg if you’re on the ‘’wrong track’’, you’ll be given you feedback accordingly – it does not affect your assessment in any way…. as long as you ultimately provide all the required evidence.
A. As part of the national RTO network any qualification issued by another RTO is recognised. You do not need to redo you qualification.
A. All your previous qualifications will be taken into account by the assessor when determining you knowledge and understanding of formal terms and concepts, however you will still need to provide evidence from your work proving your competence against the relevant Standard.
A. If you are not able to provide evidence for all units of competence you will receive a Statement of Attainment for the units you did ‘’pass’’ (ie deemed competent). You can re-submit the missing units within an agreed timeframe (usually 12 months for a reassessment - there may be a reassessment fee if there is a significant evidence gap). After a further 12 months you will have to re-start the whole programme (unless otherwise agreed).
Q: Due to client confidentiality agreements all reference to the projects and clients will be deleted. Is this OK?
A: No problem – feel free to ‘sanitise’ as necessary but do not send ‘blank templates’. Please provide a brief explanation. In some cases, it may be necessary for the assessor to contact a referee.
Q: Would I have to get approval from past employers to use documents?
A: Whether or not you get approval is up to you. We may need one or more ‘referees reports’ from past managers, clients or peers confirming your role on one or more projects. If required, the assessor will tell you.
Q: As I am unemployed ie not in project management job, am I able to create fictitious projects or do they have to be real?
A: For a qualification you can use a mix of past projects & fictitious projects / case studies – you’ll need evidence against all the ‘elements in the Standard’ from (2 or more) projects.
A: There are several pathways each with pros & cons:
- Uni courses are great especially for broadening horizons (but expensive & take years)
- One can do a short course, assemble evidence & then go through an assessment process for a qualification (eg Diploma) and/or RegPM certification
- If one has sufficient knowledge & experience, one can just go through the assessment process for a qualification (eg Diploma) and/or RegPM certification
We offer short face-to-face & online courses & assessments. Feel free to Contact us.
What’s best? Might be influenced by the industry/organizations within which he wants to work. In some, a degree is important, in others a Diploma/RegPM may be preferred.
Uni & tertiary (eg Diploma) quals are ‘academic’’ RegPM is an industry certification for practitioners (eg Certified Practicing Project Manager).
Q: Do I need to log my AIPM CPD points or do you do this? If it’s me, just let me know what evidence I need to attach
A: You need to log your CPD points.
If you need help please contact the AIPM National Support Office on 02 8288 8700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – they are best placed to advise you.
Q: Does AIPM issue qualifications (Certificate IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma)?
A: No. AIPM endorses courses (AGS has had several of its courses endorsed) but does not issue qualifications. AIPM awards RegPM certification. Qualifications from AGS courses / assessments are awarded by Registered Training Organisation Pro Leaders Academy (RTO 45024) with whom we have an agreement.
Q: Must I sit an exam to get a qualification?
A: No, competency based processes do not require you to sit an exam. It's necessary to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills - we assess your evidence that demonstrates you have met the relevant Standard(s)
Disclaimer: All information is provided for guidance purposes. Given that requirements (eg legal, government & industry bodies) are subject to regular change, AGS Consulting & Training is not liable for incorrect/out-of-date information. We recommend that users of this website obtain current information/requirements from relevant organisations (government, private & non-profit) as appropriate. Feel free to contact us in the first instance.
For more information contact Alan Schwartz GSPL@bigpond.net.au phone 02 9810 6413