For project managers beginning their journey, how to choose between PMP® and PRINCE2® certification is a frequent topic of discussion. The correct answer for each person depends on factors like your industry, your company, and the types of projects you are often involved in or intend to head up.
Both the Project Management Professional® (PMP) and PRINCE2 credentials are well-known project management certifications that demonstrate a professional's knowledge and skills in managing projects.
We share insights on geographical preference, recognition, industry applicability, and more.
A side-by-side PRINCE2 versus PMP comparison
When it comes to working towards a PRINCE2 certification versus a PMP certification, you can determine which one is better for you as a project manager based on a few important criteria.
Recognition and Reputation:
PMP: Recognised especially in the United States and North America.
PRINCE2: Recognised especially in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and New Zealand but also gaining popularity globally.
PMP: More popular in the United States, Canada, and some parts of Asia like the Philippines.
PRINCE2: More popular in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth countries like Australia and New Zealand, and in Europe.
Focus and Approach:
PMP: Focuses on knowledge areas and process groups. Emphasises broader project management methodology and techniques.
PRINCE2: Emphasises a structured framework with defined processes, roles, and responsibilities. Focuses on the business case, organisation and quality management. PeopleCert's release of an updated version of PRINCE2, the 7th Edition, addresses the evolving needs of project managers by incorporating sustainability into a project and making people a central element.
PMP: Widely applicable across various industries and sectors.
PRINCE2: Commonly used in government projects and the public sector. Also used in industries like IT and construction.
Flexibility and Adaptability:
PMP: Offers flexibility in its approach, allowing professionals to adapt project management practices to different project types and sizes.
PRINCE2: Provides a structured and systematic approach, which may be preferred for certain organisations and projects. A standout feature of PRINCE2 Version 7 is its enhanced approach to tailoring. It provides more flexibility to tailor the methodology for specific project needs.
PMP: Can open doors to various project management career prospects across industries.
PRINCE2: Particularly helpful for individuals seeking project management roles in Government and public sector organisations.
Additional background information on PRINCE2 and PMP
Find details on program length, prerequisites, governing bodies and more.
The Projects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2) certification focuses on a process-based project management method offering a step-by-step approach to delivering projects with clear templates.
Governing Body: PeopleCert
Program Length: PRINCE2 training programs involve either accessing self-paced or instructor-led learning. The combined PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner training takes 5 days or can be taken separately. After taking the course or reviewing the material on demand, students take time to prepare for the exam. However, the preparation duration can vary based on individual study schedules.
Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites for PRINCE2 Foundation level. However, for PRINCE2 Practitioner level, candidates must have passed the PRINCE2 Foundation exam.
Exam: There are two main levels of PRINCE2 certification:
PRINCE2 Foundation: A one-hour multiple-choice exam testing the candidate’s understanding of basic PRINCE2 concepts and terminology.
PRINCE2 Practitioner: A 2.5-hour objective testing exam on applying PRINCE2 concepts in real-life project scenarios.
Cost: The cost of PRINCE2 certification varies depending on the training provider and the level of certification you are pursuing.
Renewal: PRINCE2 certifications do not expire, but keeping skills updated through continuous learning is recommended.
Many industries consider the PMP certification a standard requirement for project managers. PMP focuses on the breadth of project management techniques and competencies.
Governing Body: Project Management Institute (PMI)
Program Length: Students typically book and sit a Certification Preparation training course. Lumify Work's 5-day course fulfills the certification prerequisite of 35 hours of project management education. From there, they spend several months reviewing concepts and how they apply to scenarios in their organisation. Once they reach a level of confidence, they book time to take the exam. The exact duration varies based on individual study schedules.
A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or global equivalent), 7,500 hours leading and directing projects, 35 hours of project management education
OR a four-year degree, 4,500 hours leading and directing successful projects, 35 hours of project management education
Exam: The PMP exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and lasts 4 hours. It covers initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing projects.
Cost: The cost of the PMP exam depends on your PMI membership status. PMI members typically receive a discount on the exam fee.
Renewal: PMP certification holders need to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years to maintain their certification.
PRINCE2 certification or PMP? Consult with our team
Considering these criteria based on your career goals, location, and industry can help you choose the project management certification that aligns best with your professional aspirations. But you can also ask our team about whether a PRINCE2 certification or PMP certification is right for you.
Lumify Work (formerly DDLS) is the largest provider of corporate IT and process training in Australasia, with campuses in key cities in Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. We have been delivering Project Management training courses since 1999 for both the IT industry and the top 100 ASX corporations.
We offer a wide range of project management short courses that are built around competencies from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) and PeopleCert. Lumify is endorsed by industry bodies such as the Project Management Institute (PMI®).
Our interactive training and workshops will give you a solid foundation in the concepts, tools and techniques of Project Management. With Lumify Anywhere, students can undertake these studies on-site or online – allowing flexible delivery to suit their personal needs and schedule.
Access our guide to project management frameworks to learn which one can support you as a leader in sustainability.