Certification Levels

The IPMA four-level certification program is designed as an ongoing competence development process.

IPMA certification levels

Eligibility requirements for all IPMA levels

IPMA Level A® Certified Projects Director
At least five years’ experience in portfolio management, and/or program management with strategic relevance within the last 8 years. A least three of these years were in a responsible leadership function in the management of complex portfolios or programs. In addition has two years of experience in managing projects. The time span of years can be extended up to 12 years with justification. Entry requirements
Shall be able to manage complex portfolios or programmes Core competence
The main criteria for the complexity of a portfolio or program are:

  • Number, importance, variety and complexity of active projects in the program or portfolio and number of project managers directed.
  • Proposals to the overseeing body for decision and own decisions.
  • Selection and development of project management requirements, processes, methods, techniques, tool, regulations and guidelines in the organisation.
  • Influence on the selection, training and employment of project managers.
  • Coordination of all projects of their portfolios or programs and ensuring compliance to strategy.
Complexity of portfolio/program
IPMA Level B® Certified Senior Project Manager
In the last eight years, has at least five years of project management experience, of which three years were in a responsible leadership function of complex projects. The time span of 8 years can be extended up to 12 years with justification. Entry requirements
Shall be able to manage complex projects. Core competence
The main project complexity criteria are the following:

  • Objectives, assessment of results
  • Interested parties, integration
  • Cultural and social context
  • Degree of innovation, general conditions
  • Project structure, demand for coordination
  • Project organisation
  • Leadership, teamwork, decisions
  • Resources, including finance
  • Risks and opportunities
  • Project management methods, tools and techniques
Complexity of project
IPMA Level C® Certified Project Manager
Has in the last six years, at least three years of project management experience in a responsible leadership role of projects with limited complexity. The time span of 6 years can be extended up to 9 years with justification. Entry requirements
Shall be able to manage projects with limited complexity and/or to assist the manager of a complex project in all competence elements of project management. Core competence
The project should be complex enough to require the application of a considerable number of competence elements. At least 12 elements should be technical competences, 5 behavioural competences and 4 contextual competences. Complexity of project
IPMA Level D® Certified Project Management Associate
Experience in project management competence elements is not compulsory at this level; but it is an advantage if the candidates have previously applied their project management knowledge to some extent. Entry requirements
Shall have project management knowledge in all competence elements Core competence

Please refer to The Candidate Guide to IPMA Certification and Recertification for a more detailed description of the IPMA Certification levels.