Certified Project Director (CPD)

A Certified Project Director (CPD) has the proven ability to lead multiple, complex projects, programs and portfolios of work.

They make high-level autonomous decisions and use initiative and judgement to navigate a diverse range of activities that span functions, organisations, regions and cultures.

CPD candidates need to have completed a minimum of 30 hours’ professional self development over the last 12 months, then evidence the full-time equivalent of three (3) years’ program or portfolio leadership experience before proceeding to assessment.

Qualifying programs must meet the minimum standard for complexity specified in the Assessment Guide, and years of leadership experience may be accumulated non-consecutively (for example, over six calendar years).

The final examination invites you to critically reflect upon one or more of these programs or portfolios of work.

Conducting via virtual video-conference, this examination requires you to:

  • demonstrate the application of situationally appropriate best-practices in leading people, processes and change in complex and dynamic environments; and
  • identify opportunities and contribute to personal, professional and organisational improvement.

Before your examination, you should download and review the adjacent Assessment Guide – feel free to contact us as well if you have any questions about your eligibility and/or the assessment process.

You can apply for Certification via your account profile in OPEN. It is free to register and create an account.

OPEN is a multimedia project management resource hub, available free to all, whether or not you intend applying for Certification.

The 12 online units in OPEN cover all aspects of contemporary project management, including a number of well-known and highly regarded methodologies such as PMBOK, Agile, and PRINCE2.

Successfully completing all the online quizzes that follow each topic will satisfy the knowledge requirements for Certification.

Candidates can attempt these online quizzes an unlimited number of times before they formally apply for Certification. This guarantees you never pay to fail!

The Order of Merit recognises excellence in project management knowledge.

Those Certification holders who attain an overall grade of 100% in the OPEN quizzes will be automatically entered into the Institute of Project Management’s Order of Merit.

Institute of Project Management Certifications validate contemporary best practices in the discipline of project management.

They equally respect both people and process, and do not preference any one standard, methodology or industry approach.

Instead, our Certifications evidence a highly rigorous and transferable baseline of knowledge, skills and experience that can be applied in any project context.

Institute Certification holders are ultimately critical thinkers; they are the project leaders, problem solvers and innovators of the 21st century.

Now is the time to unlock your true career potential by proving your ability to handle challenging projects and increasing your value to employers.

So why should I certify my project management knowledge and skills with the Institute of Project Management?

  • Access our free, OPEN, online knowledge library – don’t pay for expensive preparation courses
  • Consider alternative assessment options, including the recognition of your prior project management learning
  • Receive lifetime certification – no membership, subscription or ongoing fees are required
  • Guaranteed global recognition – your project management passport!
  • Access direct pathways to higher certification and/or qualifications
  • Exponentially increase your career potential and rewards

Employers today are frustrated with “Paper PMs” – project managers who are certified on the basis of completing a theoretical, methodology-specific quiz.

Such quizzes invariably demand rote memorisation of obscure formulas and highly complex process maps that bear only a passing resemblance to how projects are delivered in the real world.

By contrast, the Institute of Project Management goes beyond theory or case-study based assessment, requiring CPD candidates to demonstrate the practical application of program and portfolio knowledge in their existing workplace.

This means that the organisation learns alongside the candidate as they critically reflect upon their own performance and identify opportunities to improve the delivery of future programs and portfolios of work.

In fact, employers prefer and invest in Institute certifications for their staff for a whole range of reasons:

  • Comprehensive assessment conducted by human experts that validates knowledge, skills and experience
  • The Institute assesses people, not CVs – we personally interview, challenge and reference check all candidates at the CPP level and higher
  • Instant, online validation of certification authenticity is available via Linkedin and OPEN
  • The Institute’s certification marks and post-nominals are accredited to explicitly defined and regularly audited international standards
  • Candidates are bound to the Institute’s Code of Ethics for Project Professionals
  • Organisations employing Institute certified candidates immediately observe improved project performance

By taking a 21st century approach to competency-based assessment, the CPD certification is the most durable and cost-effective option for executive project managers looking to independently assure their value to their employer.

CPD certification currently costs US$500.

If you are eligible to be entered into the Institute’s Order of Merit, there is no additional charge.

All fees are inclusive of lifetime certification – there is nothing more to pay.

You can either pay online when you complete the enrolment / application form, or request an invoice (if, for example, you would like your employer to pay on your behalf).

Discounts may be also be available when you use a promotional code provided by one of our community partners.

How much does a program / portfolio manager earn?

Although salaries vary by country, it has been shown that having even a basic certification or qualification in project management adds around 20% to the value of of an individual’s salary.

The best country to work by salary as a project manager is Switzerland (USA is ranked #2, and Australia is #3), while the worst is Egypt. If you want to know what a project manager usually earns in your country, just ask us!

Can I use the letters "CPD" after my name?

The Institute of Project Management is internationally accredited by the Australian government and its treaty partners as the official assessor and issuing authority for Certified Project Officer / Professional / Master / Director certifications.

Admission to the Institute of Project Management as a Certified Project Director allows you to post-nominally use the letters CPD in all formal and official correspondence (eg Jane Smith CPD).

How do I know someone is a genuine CPD?

You can look-up CPDs via our public directory of Certification holders.

To protect the privacy of all Certification holders, your search must include a full given name, full surname or a complete certificate number. Note, too, that some Certification holders may have opted to hide their details from the directory.

Many awardees also include their Certification on their LinkedIn profile. In that instance, a unique hyperlink is provided for verification purposes.

Does military service count toward my project experience?

Most modern militaries are project-oriented, in that they deliver the vast majority of their output via projects.

It therefore stands to reason that the further a service member advances, the more project leadership responsibility they assume.

The Institute of Project Management is the first international project management Certification authority to recognise through mapping the project related military experience of applicants.

To determine your eligibility, please use the add new experience button on your OPEN account profile and choose military service. It is free to register and create an account.

If you have additional project, program or portfolio leadership experience – either in or out of service – you can submit that separately to be considered for admisssion to the Institute at a higher Certification level.

How long does it take to become Certified once I submit my application?

Admission to the Institute of Project Management as a Certified Project Director (CPD) typically takes one week from application.

This time is spent reviewing and verifying your application, contacting your references and receiving their report, and scheduling and conducting your assessment interview.

If you are eligible for Order of Merit, this will be additionally awarded at the point of certification.

What is lifetime certification?

Lifetime certification means you do not need to pay an annual membership or subscription fee to maintain your Certification – it also means you never need to re-sit or retake an examination at this level.

Certified Project Directors are encouraged to continue their professional development through practice in more challenging and complex programs.

Will you endorse my program / portfolio management skill on LinkedIn?

Certified Project Directors are encouraged to connect with their assessors on LinkedIn.

At your request, they will endorse your program / portfolio management skill on your profile.

What does the Certificate look like?

Can I purchase a hard-copy of my Certificate?

Your high-resolution, print-ready digital Certification is available for download at any time from your acoount profile in OPEN.

You can also purchase from there a hard-copy, currency-quality, custom-printed Certificate that has a number of advanced security features, including:

  • Unique, controlled-supply paper with embossed logo and heat reactive spot
  • Institute of Project Management branded holographic overprint
  • Multi-coloured micro-numismatic ultra-violet watermarking
  • Unique anti-alteration technology to prevent illegal copying and counterfeiting

At present, printed Certificates are only available in A4 size.

Delivery is by Registered Post and typically takes 7-10 working days.

How can I become a Certified Project Trainer?

Our Certified Project Trainers are highly experienced project leaders (CPM or CPD) with a minimum of ten (10) years’ proven project leadership and appropriate teaching and mentoring experience.

If this is you – especially if you speak a second language – we would love to hear from you!