Project Management Credentials Compared – A Preliminary Analysis


By Paul Giammalvo

Jakarta, Indonesia

Editor’s note: This paper is being republished at the request of the author, as an update to this paper will be published in the near future.  This will allow readers to compare the results of new research  with the information presented in this paper, originally published in 2010.


Have you ever wondered what professional level credentials are available for project/program managers to choose from, and how these various project management certifications compare against one another?

This was the subject that evolved from a lengthy and sometimes heated debate on one of the Linked In discussion pages relating to Project Management. While the original topic was “PMP: Does it assure you a job?” the debate quickly got off topic and centered around the relative value of the various credentials.

What became clear is that while everyone THINKS (or at least would like to believe) the credential they hold is the most valid and appropriate measure of project management knowledge, skills and competency, a quick on line review of published literature showed little or no peer reviewed research on this topic to provide any guidance or insight.

Another problem in making any comparison is while nearly all of the major professional organizations offer multiple levels of credentials, one cannot tell from the names of those credentials exactly what they represent vis-à-vis one another. (i.e. does holding the Project Management Professional (PMP) from PMI really mean that the holder is a professional project manager?)  Or what is a “Certified Cost Engineer” and how does that relate to project or program management?

This lack of any meaningful comparison was the driving force behind this exploratory research effort.


To read entire paper (click here)

Editor’s note:  Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English. Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented in the February 2010 edition of PM World Today.  It is republished here with the author’s permission.

About the Author

paul-giammaivoflag-usa-indonesiaDr. Paul D. Giammalvo

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, CCE (#1240), MScPM, MRICS, is Senior Technical Advisor (Project Management) to PT Mitratata Citragraha. (PTMC), Jakarta, Indonesia. www.build-project-management-competency.com. He is also an adjunct professor, Project and Program Management, at the Center for Advanced Studies in Project, Program and Portfolio Management (www.casr3pm.edu.sn) and develops and teaches graduate level curricula in Asset and Project Management for Western Australia University, Perth. www.blendedlearning.ecm.uwa.edu.au  For 17+ years, he has been providing Project Management training and consulting throughout South and Eastern Asia, the Middle East and Europe.  He is also active in the Global Project Management Community, serving as an Advocate for and on behalf of the global practitioner. He does so by playing an active professional role in the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International, (AACE); Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and the Construction Management Association of America, (CMAA). He also sat on the Board of Directors of the Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards (GAPPS), www.globalpmstandards.org, Sydney, Australia and is active as a regional leader in the International Guild of Project Controls. http://www.planningplanet.com/guild  He has spent 18 of the last 35 years working on large, highly technical international projects, including such prestigious projects as the Alyeska Pipeline and the Distant Early Warning Site (DEW Line) upgrades in Alaska.  Most recently, he worked as a Senior Project Cost and Scheduling Consultant for Caltex Minas Field in Sumatra and Project Manager for the Taman Rasuna Apartment Complex for Bakrie Brothers in Jakarta.  His current client list includes AT&T, Ericsson, Nokia, Lucent, General Motors, Siemens, Chevron, Conoco-Philips, Unocal, BP, Dames and Moore, SNC Lavalin, Freeport McMoran, Petronas, Pertamina, UN Projects Office, World Bank Institute and many other multi-national companies and NGO organizations.  Dr. Giammalvo holds an undergraduate degree in Construction Management, his Master of Science in Project Management through the George Washington University and was awarded his PhD in Project and Program Management through the Institute Superieur De Gestion Industrielle (ISGI) and Ecole Superieure De Commerce De Lille (ESC-Lille- now SKEMA School of Management) under the supervision of Dr. Christophe Bredillet, CCE, IPMA A Level.  Paul can be contacted at [email protected].