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 – this will take the form of a 2,500 word (minimum) written report aimed at recommending improvements for the organisation
  • 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 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.

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 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 CPM candidates to additionally demonstrate the practical application of project knowledge in their existing workplace.

This means that the organisation learns alongside the candidate as they break down silos to critically review project performance and identify opportunities to improve the delivery of future projects and programs 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 CPM certification is the most durable and cost-effective option for experienced project managers looking to independently assure their value to their employer.

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 CPM.

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.

I am already a CPO / CPP - do I need to do another 30 hours of project education?

No – the 30 hours of project education is a baseline standard that is co-requisite to the CPO, CPP and CPM certifications.

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).

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!