What does PRINCE2® Practitioner means?
A PRINCE2 Practitioner is someone who has followed the PRINCE2 Practitioner training and taken the exam to obtain the PRINCE2 Practitioner certification.
There are two levels of certification for PRINCE2:
- PRINCE2 Foundation
- PRINCE2 Practitioner
PRINCE2 Foundation certification confirms that the learner has sufficient knowledge and understanding of the PRINCE2 method and would be able to work as a member of a project management team that uses PRINCE2.
PRINCE2 Practitioner confirms the learner has achieved sufficient understanding of how to apply PRINCE2 in a scenario situation and is able to apply PRINCE2 to a real project.
Expectations from PRINCE2 Practitioners
The best way to learn project management is to practice project management, and no certification can give you the experience you need to be a good or great project manager. However, certification is important as it complements your experience, and indeed many companies look for the PRINCE2 Certifications when recruiting project managers.
Here are some of the misguided expectations of people after having achieved the PRINCE2 Practitioner certification: They expect to know how to
- tailor PRINCE2 to the project, and
- apply PRINCE2 in all situations.
This is not the case, and the confusion is mainly due to how PRINCE2 Practitioner is taught. Many training companies are allowed to offer a so called “combi training” of PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner in 5 days, which has the effect of minimizing the value of the PRINCE2 certifications and ensuring the people are only focused on learning how to pass the exam rather than on learning PRINCE2 project management and being able to use it in the future. This is the main reason less than 5% of the people who have a PRINCE2 certification ever use it to run a PRINCE2 project.
The value of PRINCE2 Practitioner certification
The value of the PRINCE2 certification is the following:
- It will be well recognized by recruiters as it is the number 1 project management certification in Europe and indeed the world.
- Some recruiters automatically filter out CVs that do not mention the PRINCE2 Practitioner certification, and HR departments frequently turn to PRINCE2, the de facto standard for project management.
- It will confirm your position as a qualified project manager.
It is important to remember that the PRINCE2 Practitioner certification may get you to the door, but it will be your experience that gets you the job.
Preparing for the PRINCE2 Practitioner certification
The best way to prepare for the PRINCE2 Practitioner certification is to start with gaining an understanding of the exam. The PRINCE2 Practitioner exam is scenario-based, and therefore you’ll get questions like the following one. It is also a good idea to have a good knowledge of PRINCE2 before taking the exam as the cost of repeating the exam is high.
Here are some tips on preparing for the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam:
- Give yourself time to study. Avoid doing the “combi” (5 days) training programs.
- Get familiar with the structure of the manual as this improves your knowledge of PRINCE2.
- Be consistent with your study time (e.g., 60 to 90 mins each day if self-studying).
- Label your manual so it is much easier to find and confirm information.
- Only use the AXELOS sample practitioner exam papers to look at the layout of the exam, as <5% of the questions shown come up in the real exam.
- Find an exam simulator that allows you to practice the questions for each chapter one at a time before moving on to the next chapter.
- Read over the correct section of the manual for the questions you got incorrect, as this will help you remember the logic of the question and the correct answer.
There are several user groups for PRINCE2 on LinkedIn but they are not active and mainly contain adverts. People do not wish to post what they consider basic questions in public for lots of people to see. There are also some PRINCE2 users groups on Facebook but they are bombarded with adverts as these groups are not monitored. The Facebook group PRINCE2 Study Support Group seems to be the most active community for PRINCE2 (moderated by this author). It supports people who are studying and using PRINCE2. This is a private group but you can request to join it.
Other skills that PRINCE2 Practitioners should learn
The PRINCE2 certification is focused on the PRINCE2 method and it cannot cover all the skills that are required to make a good project manager. These are other skills that each PRINCE2 project manager should learn to complement their PRINCE2 certification:
- The ability to facilitate the extraction of requirements from users
- The ability to facilitate a Product Breakdown Structure/Deliverable Map
- The ability to remain proactive and maintain a can-do attitude
- The ability to extract the organizational vision into a project vision
- The ability to communicate information regarding tasks, plans, and schedules to stakeholders
- The ability to adapt the PRINCE2 method to the project at hand and organize it
- The ability to deal with problems/issues and facilitate the necessary meetings
- The ability to encourage and enable people to work together as a team
- The ability to earn the trust of a team
- The ability to say no and to match user expectations
- The ability to keep the project moving toward successful completion
Format of the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam
The format of the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam is as follows:
- Online or paper
- 68 questions
- Scenario-based, multiple-choice questions
- 55% passing score
- 150 minutes duration
- Open book (only the official manual)
If you have other questions on PRINCE2 Practitioner, you can do the following:
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