A little detail is necessary to get an understanding of the GPM-IPMA Levels A–D project management certificates. Among the many global project management certifying bodies, the International Project Management Association (IPMA), which owes its origin to the European Project Management Association, is one. It has a German representative, the German Association for Project Management (GPM), whose certifying body, the PM-ZERT, is tasked with issuing project management certificates that are GPM-accredited. A GPM-IPMA Levels A–D project management certificate is issued at four levels, A to D, starting from the entry-level, D, to the highest level, A.
Certification by Levels of Expertise
Based on the level of project management expertise a candidate brings, the GPM issues certifications. Let us explore these levels a bit in the next few paragraphs. The common requirement for levels A to D is that the candidate must demonstrate the competence described for their respective positions as described in the IPMA International Competence Baseline®.
Level D Certification:
As we have just seen, this is the entry-level certification in project management from the GPM-IPMA. This certification is ideal for those wanting to earn the title of Certified Project Management Associate and is aimed at those who are beginning to find their feet in a career in project management, such as prospective project managers, junior project managers, project assistants, and related ones.
The objective of the Level D GPM-IPMA certification is to give project management rookies a minimum validation that can help launch their careers.
To apply for Level D GPM-IPMA certification, the candidate must have verifiable knowledge of the project management-related Competence Elements (CEs). They must have broad project management knowledge and should preferably have worked in a project team. For this level, the GPM does not set out any experience requirements.
$445 for GPM members; $595 for nonmembers.
Level C Certification:
This is for project management professionals with working experience and may be considered apt for the title of Certified Project Manager. Those seeking the Level C GPM-IPMA certification are expected to have worked for many years on simple projects and have passable theoretical and practical knowledge of the tools and concepts of project management.
To qualify for the GPM-IPMA Level C certification, the candidate must have worked in a moderately complex project management role in her organization of the following nature:
At least three years of experience within the last six years as a project manager working on projects of moderate complexity.
At least three years of working in a responsible project management role, at which they should have assisted the project manager in complex projects.
$1,495 for GPM members, and $1,695 for nonmembers.
Level B Certification:
Corresponding to senior positions such as Certified Senior Project Manager, Senior Program Manager, Senior Portfolio Manager, and so on, Level B Certification is for senior project managers with many years of experience, especially in complex projects, at which they must have assumed responsibilities in a senior role.
For taking up the GPM-IPMA Level B certification, the project manager should have worked for a minimum of five years as a project manager within the last eight years of her professional tenure, of which at least three years should have been in a senior position at which she must have managed complex projects.
$1,795 for GPM members, and $1,995 for nonmembers.
Level A Certification:
The highest award for project management by the GPM-IPMA, the Level A certification is a validation that the candidate can qualify for C-level positions in project management, such as Project Director, Program Director, and Portfolio Director.
Project Director: Must have experience of at least 12 years, out of which they must have worked in strategic positions in very complex environments for at least three years
Program Director: Must have experience of at least 12 years, out of which they must have worked in strategic positions in very complex environments for a minimum of five years, or for at least four years as a program manager, and for at least three years as a project manager.
Portfolio Director: Must have experience of at least 12 years, out of which they must have worked in strategic positions in very complex environments for at least five years as a portfolio manager, or four years as a portfolio manager, and a minimum of three years as a project or program manager. In each of the above positions, the candidate must have made a strategic difference to the organization.
$1,995 for GPM members, and $2,195 for nonmembers.