Certified Project Master (CPM)

A Certified Project Master (CPM) is a project leader and innovator.

They have been independently assessed against a broad range of project management competencies, and can apply a suite of specialised technical and managerial skills to initiate, plan, execute and evaluate their own project work and the work of others.

CPM candidates need to have been assessed on a minimum of 30 hours’ project education, then evidence the full-time equivalent of three (3) years’ complex project leadership experience before proceeding to assessment.

Qualifying projects you have led must meet the minimum standard for complexity specified below, and years of leadership experience may be accumulated non-consecutively (for example, over four calendar years).

The CPM certification requirements are intentionally flexible, and allow you to submit documentation and reviews that you may have previously undertaken as evidence of your competence.

Unfortunately, a detailed Curriculum Vitae or resume – even one with references – is only testimony that you have worked on projects, and not independent evidence that you are competent to the requisite standard!

Unlike in other certification programs, our holistic, human assessment of candidates is not done by robots.

Employers can be assured that Certified Project Masters have undergone the most rigorous interrogation and third-party validation of their knowledge and skills via written, oral and face-to-face interactions.

Online assessment

In order to demonstrate your competence as a Project Professional, you are required to evidence the following:

  • Knowledge: Successfully complete and be assessed on 30 hours of project management education
  • Skills: Identify a complex public or private project that has recently completed and conduct a comprehensive review of its performance
  • Experience: Demonstrate the full-time equivalent of three (3) years’ complex project leadership experience

Evidence of your knowledge, skills and experience are submitted with your application. Once these have been successfully assessed per the defined criteria, you will be contacted for your oral defence.

This 30 minute defence simulates a Board level interrogation of your review conclusions and its recommendations – it is not an oral presentation of your findings (eg PowerPoint).

In order to successfully complete this defence, you will need to be familiar with larger issues, such as project management frameworks, theories and best practice; more importantly, you need to have a deep understanding of the project you have reviewed and the major issues encountered.

Candidates who successfully complete the final interview will be advised immediately and directly admitted to the Institute of Project Management as a Certified Project Master.


Order of Merit

The Order of Merit for Certified Project Masters recognises excellence in the discipline of project management.

Those exceptional students assessed with an overall ranking of Mastered for their written report and interview (with no more than one criteria assessed per instrument as being in the Advanced band) will be entered into the Institute of Project Management’s Order of Merit for Certified Project Masters.

Order of Merit (CPM) recommendations made by an assessor must be signed off by the Executive of the Institute of Project Management, and may take up to four weeks to be ratified.

BSB51415 Diploma of Project Management

Completing the BSB51415 Diploma of Project Management at the appropriate standard will pre-qualify you for CPM certification.

In other words, once you have the requisite three years’ project management experience, you can use your Diploma as evidence of your knowledge and application of skills at the CPM level.

Visit here to learn more.

Institute of Project Management credentials validate contemporary best practices in the discipline of project management. By not slavishly adhering to (or evangelizing) any one standard, methodology or industry approach, our credentials provide a highly rigorous and transferable baseline of skills that can be applied in any project context.

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

An Institute credential therefore opens up a wealth of career opportunities for the project manager. It expands your market reach, enhances your project management skills, displays your ability to handle challenging projects, earns you critical projects, and increases your salary by a huge margin.

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

The CPM certification is the most rigorous knowledge, skills and experience based certification for project managers in the world today.

By taking a 21st century approach to learning and assessment, it also is the most durable and cost-effective option for early-career project managers looking to independently assure their value to current and potential employers.

These are some of the reasons why employers are looking for Institute certifications linked to your name:

  • Comprehensive and independent certification that validates knowledge, skills and experience
  • Candidates demonstrate their practical application of knowledge, as opposed to theory-based assessment
  • 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
  • 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

CPM certification currently costs US$500 to complete online.

If you have completed the BSB51415 Diploma of Project Management with the Institute of Project Management, there is no charge to ‘step up’ to CPP.

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 global community partners.

How much does a project manager earn?

That depends on where you work…

In 2017, the median salary for a project manager in Australia was AU$142,800 per year – in the USA, it was US$112,000.

Interestingly, having even a basic certification or qualification in project management added around 20% to the value of of an individual’s salary.

The best country to work 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 "CPM" after my name?

The Certified Project Master designation is an official certification mark authorised by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and internationally protected by IP Australia.

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

What is the difference between a Certification and a Qualification?

A qualification is an official academic award (such as a degree) granted by an college or University, usually following of a period of instruction.

As an Australian government accredited vocational college, the Institute of Project Management is authorised to deliver the Certificate IV and Diploma qualifications in project management.

Although qualifications may have general pre-requisites to entry (such as minimum schooling or years of work experience), they assume that a person is unskilled in their discipline on commencement.

Qualifications may also include a limited assessment of skills; however, this is often done in a controlled ‘laboratory’ style setting.

A certification, on the other hand, is an industry award that recognises a person’s competence in a field at a certain point in time.

A certifying body conducts standardised assessment against criteria that are defined by the profession; although, some (such as the Institute of Project Management) offer unsupported instructional resources as optional aid to candidates (OPEN is also free!).

Although some require re-certification (re-assessment) every few years, many certifications are awarded without conditions. A motor vehicle driver’s licence, for example, is a certification that needs occasional renewal, but rarely requires a complete re-assessment.

Certification marks (such as the CPM logo and accompanying certification rules) are an internationally regulated and protected form of trademark.

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!