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Complexity Certification

Can project practitioners gain a competitive advantage through certification?

The International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM) is testing the feasibility of establishing a Competency Based Certification Scheme for Complex Project Managers (CPM).  Complex projects have been characterised as ‘embodying uncertainty, ambiguity, volatility, dynamic interfaces and significant political or external influences.[1]  Delivering successful outcomes in the presence of these characteristics provide extensive challenges to many traditional project professionals who do not have the skills, experience, understanding or necessary education to navigate this challenging terrain.

Many professions use an industry certification as a way for practitioners to demonstrate competency based performance, however, there is currently no certification that addresses the competencies required to deliver capability through programs and projects in complex environments.  Consequently, there appears to be a gap in the Traditional Project Management (TPM) certification context.

“Complex Project Managers require additional skills, knowledge and experience in order to operate effectively in complex environments”
AVM (Rtd) Chris Deeble [2]


Complexity management is complementary to contemporary project management methods.  A CPM should first be a competent TPM, and then must hold a diverse set of skills and apply a distinct mode of thinking necessary to identify and work in complex environments.  To achieve this outcome a new certification regime is required to complement existing schemes.  

You are invited to participate in a range of activities that will firstly seek to address the need for a certification program and your views on what one may look like; secondly, your engagement on the necessary updates to the Competency Standards for Complex Project Managers, and thirdly most importantly we seek your support for the establishment of a certification scheme.

What: Workshops, online forums, online survey, individual and corporate submissions and interviews etc.

When: After registering your interest, you will receive information relating to engagement opportunities.

Who: practitioners, academics, executives, contractors, educators, pm associations and members with an interest in progressing the professionalisation of project management.

Read the Position Paper

Take the survey

Participate in a Canberra Workshop at the ICCPM Knowledge Sharing Forum on 18 May

To discuss your participation please contact Mr Ian Biggs 0427 150 460. 

[1] Global Systems Dynamic and Policy, cited in ‘Complex Project Management Global Perspectives and the Strategic Agenda to 2025 – The Task Force Report’, ICCPM 2011

[2] Air Vice Marshall (Rtd) Chris Deeble AM CSC


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