PRINCE2 vs PMP

July 25, 2020
Fahad Usmani
prince2 vs pmp

PRINCE2 is a certification for project professionals, like the PMP certification. Both certifications are valued and well known, and having either or both will help your career grow.

I have written blog posts on PRINCE2 and PMP certifications, and here we will discuss the difference between the two.

PMP stands for “Project Management Professional,” this certification is awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI), USA.

The PRINCE2 stands for “PRojects IN Controlled Environments” and is awarded by training institutes that are affiliated with examined institutes certified by AXELOS.

The Differences between PRINCE2 and the PMP

The objective of both the PMP and PRINCE2 is to make you better a project manager; although their approach differs.

Fundamental Difference

The PRINCE2 provides you with a methodology; it guides you through the completion of the project. It provides you with templates to use according to your requirements.

The PMP provides you with a framework. It educates you about the tools and techniques used in project management and leaves the decision to you.

Acceptance

Both certifications are reputable and globally accepted.

PRINCE2 is well-known in the UK, Australia, and Europe. For some government projects, PRINCE2 is a requirement in the UK.

The PMP certification is famous in the US, Canada, the Middle East, and Asia.

Eligibility Requirements

The eligibility requirements for PMP and PRINCE2 are different.

PRINCE2 has three qualification levels with different eligibility requirements. These three levels are:

  1. PRINCE2 Foundation
  2. PRINCE2 Practitioner
  3. PRINCE2 Re-Registration

Anyone can go for PRINCE2 Foundation because no experience or education is required.

The second level is the PRINCE2 Practitioner. To apply for it, you must have other project management credentials approved by AXELOS. A few approved certifications are the PRINCE2 Foundation, CAPM, PMP, etc.

If you are a PRINCE2 Practitioner, you must pass the Re-Registration exam within 3 to 5 years of passing the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam to renew your qualification.

Applicability

The PRINCE certification was originally for IT professionals but was later updated to make its principles universal, thus PRINCE2.

Therefore, you can apply for this certification regardless of the industry and the size of the projects you work with.

Likewise, the PMP framework applies to all industries and any project size.

Qualification Level

As mentioned above, PRINCE2 has three qualification levels:

  1. PRINCE2 Foundation
  2. PRINCE2 Practitioner
  3. PRINCE2 Re-Registration

PRINCE2 Foundation

This is the basic level qualification from PRINCE2. Here, you learn the basics of the PRINCE2 methodology and terminology.

You have to pass a closed book exam to get this certification. It has 75 multiple-choice questions. The duration is 60 minutes, and 50% is the passing mark.

This qualification does not expire; it is valid forever.

PRINCE2 Practitioner

If you are an experienced project manager using a PRINCE2 environment, you can apply for the PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification.

This qualification will give you an in-depth understanding of the relationships between the PRINCE2 elements, principles, themes, and more.

You must have any of the listed certifications to apply for the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam:

  • PRINCE2 Foundation
  • CAPM
  • PMP
  • IPMA Level A
  • IPMA Level B
  • IPMA Level C
  • IPMA Level D

This is an open book exam, and you can use the official PRINCE2 manual. The exam has 80 multiple-choice questions. The duration of the exam is two-and-a-half hours, and 55% is the passing mark.

This qualification is valid for five years. You will have to pass the PRINCE2 Re-Registration Exam within 3 to 5 years to renew your qualification.

PRINCE2 Re-Registration

This level is for PRINCE2 Practitioners. They have to pass this exam within 3-5 years to renew their qualification.

Failing to do so will withdraw your Practitioner status.

The PRINCE2 Re-Registration exam is an open book exam and you can use the official PRINCE2 manual. It has 30 questions. The duration is one hour, and you must get 17 questions correct, or 55%, to pass the exam.

Now, the PMP certification.

There are no qualification levels in the PMP exam, although there are upper-level certifications like PgMP and PfMP. These certifications are for program managers and portfolio managers. 

Eligibility

I have discussed the PRINCE2 eligibility requirements above.

The PMP certification has three eligibility requirements:

  1. Education
  2. Experience
  3. Training

Education: You should be a bachelor’s degree holder (or global equivalent) or a secondary degree holder (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent).

Experience: You should have at least 4,500 hours (about three years) of experience leading and directing projects if you are a degree holder, and 7,500 hours (about five years) of experience if you are a diploma holder.

Training: You must attend 35 contact hours of formal project management training. You can get this training from either a PMI Registered Education Provider (REP) or non REPs.

Examination

The PRINCE2 exam is conducted by training centers affiliated with any Examinee Institute.

The PMI itself conducts the PMP exam with help from Pearson VUE. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, and the duration is four hours. The passing mark for the PMP exam is unknown, though it is believed to be around 70%.

The cost of the PRINCE2 exam is not fixed; it varies according to the institute and the country. The fee for the PMP exam is fixed because everyone has to pay one certification authority.

Validity and Renewal

The PRINCE2 Practitioner certification is valid for five years, and to renew it you have to pass the PRINCE2 Re-Registration within 3 to 5 years.

The PMP certification is valid for three years and renewal requires you to earn 60 PDUs.

Which Certification Should You Select?

If you live in the UK, Europe, or Australia, you can choose PRINCE2 as it is better known in these countries.

If you live in Asia or America, you can choose the PMP as it is more valued.

However, I recommend you go for both. If you are planning to get the PMP certification, after passing it, you should at least try the PRINCE2 Foundation course.

And if you are going for PRINCE2, try to get PMP certified after attaining your PRINCE2 certification.

There is no harm in having both; it will increase your skills, and you will perform more efficiently. Also, this will make you more employable in your profession.

The PMI recommended PRINCE2 in the PMBOK Guide, 5th edition: “This standard is a guide rather than a specific methodology. One can use different methodologies and tools (e.g., Agile, Waterfall, PRINCE2) to implement the project management framework.”

They have removed this statement from the 6th edition of the PMBOK Guide. However, if you look at the contributors who helped develop the PMBOK Guide 6th Edition, you will find many PRINCE2 credential holders.

PRINCE2 also endorses the PMP certification. You can see that the CAPM and the PMP certifications are among the pre-requisites for the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam.

This shows that these two certifications complement each other rather than compete.

Conclusion

Although the PMP and PRINCE2 follow different paths, their objectives are the same: to complete projects successfully. Choosing a certification is personal and depends on where you work. If you are interested in the PMP certification, you can go for the PRINCE2 Foundation. If you are interested in PRINCE2, study the PMBOK Guide after passing the PRINCE2.

Which certification you are planning to apply for? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

PMP Question Bank

This is the most popular Question Bank for the PMP Exam. To date, this PMP Question Bank has helped over 10,000 PMP aspirants pass the PMP exam. 

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PMP Formula Guide

This is the most popular Formula Guide for the PMP Exam. If you face difficulty with attempting mathematical questions for the PMP exam.

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Speak Your Mind

  • Hi Myself Aditya,

    can you please guide me , for which certification should i go .

    i have total 9 years of experience as a Qa Lead. i dont want to do automation because i am less interested in scripting and coding .

    if i choose PMP certification then it will be helpful to me ?

    • QA experience is not enough, you must have project management experience in all domains to apply for the PMP exam.

      Though, you can go for the CAPM exam.

  • Many thanks Fahad for your superb notes that clear my many concepts also your latest “PMP questions bank version 3.0” that helps me in passing my PMP exam in first attempt yesterday.

    I would like to seek you guidance on what is next after PMP to have further growth in my carrier, as per my limited knowledge i see some options like

    1. PRINCE2 CERTIFICATION
    2. PMI Risk Management
    3 PMI ACP
    4. Any other

    I am working in embedded systems in Automotive domain.

    Could you please guide me , your guidance will be very much valuable for me.

    • Congratulations Manish on passing the PMP exam.

      PRINCE2 is good and similar to the PMP and you can go for it to further enhance your project management skills.

      Regarding the other certifications, discuss it with your peers and decide it as per your future career growth planning.

  • Hello fahad..i am Delhi based engineer having 8+ yrs of exp in IT industry With 3+ years of experience in testing/QA.
    Could you please suggest me that i should go for which certification out of these 3— PMP, Prince2 or ITIL.

  • I recently cleared my PMP in Nov 2016 in first attempt. I want to thank you for clearing some of tricky concepts explained so easily in your blog.

    Please keep on the good work.

  • Hi fahad..im in chennai. Im havng 9yrs exp java side. Im interested todo pmp or prince2. Plz suggest which one i can take it up.

    • I believe PMP is more valued in India. I suggest you discuss it with your peers and research on various job portals to go ahead with it.

  • Hi Fahad, thanks for another good post. Being a PMP certified, what advantages are there to prepare for another project management certification exam like Prince2? What is your take on scrum in general and which scrum certification path has or will have more industry recognition (CSM or PSM?)

    Regards,

    Narendra

  • After obtaining my PMP, I am still confused which certificate to hold next: prince2 or CSM.
    As you know prince 2 is a uk standard but CSM focus more on agile environment, so what do yu think?

  • Hi Fahad ,

    This is the best comparison that i’ve read about PMP and PRINCE2 , now i can make difference between both . So like i am PMP i will go to PRINCE2 in order to see how their methodolgy is .

    Regards ,
    Morel Cornnery

  • I have the PMP certification and will definitely look into PRINCE2, but I’ll keep in mind that I need my PDUs as well before time is tight!

    Thanks for the information!

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