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Someone reached out to me recently for advice on which project management certification program she should pursue. She wanted to know if she should take the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) Foundation or the PRINCE2 Foundation. She wanted to know if it was possible to take the CAPM and then the PRINCE2 (r) Practitioner. Or are they different standards? Are the Project Management Professional (PMP)(r), and PRINCE2(2)(r) equivalents by UK employers?
These are common questions, and I’ve been asked them many times. These questions are complex, so let’s get to it!
Here’s my opinion on whether PRINCE2(r), or CAPM is the best way forward for an aspiring project manger.

Prerequisites for certification
Training for the certification
Different standards apply
CAPM in the UK
The APM route
Learn about the job market
The certificate decision
Next steps

Prerequisites for certification
The main difference between the Project Management Institute certifications (CAPM/PMP(r)) and the Axelos certifications of PRINCE2(r) Foundation/Practitioner is experience. To be eligible for the PMP exam, you must have experience. For now, however, let’s concentrate on the entry-level certifications. This is the main part of the question. You don’t need to have any prior experience.
CAPMPRINCE2(r) FoundationRequired training23 contact hours of project management educationNone, but most people do a PRINCE2(r) course before they take the examRequired experienceNoneNoneRequirements for taking CAPM vs PRINCE2(r) exams
For CAPM, it is not necessary to have any project management experience. However, you must be able to demonstrate 23 hours of formal training. You don’t need to have any experience in project management to apply for the PRINCE2 (r) exams. However, it will make it easier for you to grasp the concepts if at least you have worked on projects.
Next: 3 ways to become a project manager
It will be easier to pass either exam if your experience with project managers is real. This will give you a good understanding of the concepts and vocabulary that will likely be tested. Even if your background is not in a formal PMI(r), or AXELOS environment you will still get a good idea of the project management process.
Because PMI requires work experience or training, while PRINCE2r doesn’t, I don’t believe they can be considered equivalent.
Training for the certification
The Foundation qualification is required to become a PRINCE2(r), Practitioner. The Foundation exam is usually taken on Wednesday afternoon. It is typically a five-day training program. You can pass the Foundation exam and continue the training course to take the Practitioner exam on Friday.
Most people who are interested in PMI credentials will go for PMP. You don’t have to apply for CAPM before you can. If you are able to wait and feel that you will have the necessary training and experience, you can skip CAPM and apply directly for PMP. CAPM may be the right choice if you want to get a qualification while working up the hours necessary to apply for PMP.
Online Course and ExamPS474: PRINCE2 Practitioner, Online Course and ExamPS474A comprehensive, accredited online course for PRINCE2 Practitioner that includes exam vouchers and access to the simulator.
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One of the problems with project management as a profession, is that we have not yet agreed on a standard jargon. Each project management body around the globe has its own view. While they may not be radically different, they all have enough to indicate that you need to know what to do.