UK Project Management Round Up


By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK


The Summer in Europe is usually pretty quiet, with little happening except social events – the so-called Silly Season.  There have certainly been many social events in UK in the past month, Glorious Goodwood (second only to Royal Ascot in the flat racing season) and the Commonwealth Games to name but two.  The latter event is a major multi-sport event, second only to the Olympic Games in size and coverage so is a pretty significant event requiring considerable project management skills to bring off successfully.  The Games are winding down as I write but from all reports, the Scots have made a great success of what they call the Friendly Games – I’d say this is another example of great British project management!

However, the project world does not really stop, whatever the season and there are some topics to report; notably in the Defence and transport sectors.  There has also been a development in the long running saga of the Association for Project Management’s (APM) application for a Royal Charter and the wider project world has lost another great leader.


UK based readers (and many others too) will be aware that APM applied to the Privy Council for the grant of a Royal Charter.  Such an award identifies the occupational group as a profession so far as the British Government is concerned.  It has significance beyond the UK borders:  many commonwealth countries understand and support the concept of Royal Charters and given that there are 71 member states in the Commonwealth, a significant worldwide grouping will see Project Management as a profession.  APM set out to achieve Chartered status for the project management profession in 2007.  Support was, and remains, strong with 50 organisations across the public and private sectors supporting the case for raising professional standards in project management.  Project and programme management are vital contributors to the UK’s economy.  The National Audit Office reports that expenditure on the 43 most complex projects in government are worth over £200 billion alone.

Chartered status is seen to offer a number of benefits:

  • It offers assurance to users of project management services through the association’s regulating authority;
  • It acknowledges project professionals as experts in their field, offering a clear differentiator between professionals and others.
  • It provides a framework for improving project performance.
  • It will raise the profile and value of project management.

The road to Royal Charter has been tortuous, and strongly opposed by the Project Management Institute (PMI).  However, in February 2013, The Minister for the Cabinet Office decided to recommend that a Royal Charter should be granted to APM and the application was then considered by a committee of the Privy Council that unanimously reached its recommendation that a Royal Charter should be granted to APM, and that this recommendation would be placed on the list of business for the meeting of the Privy Council to be held in October 2013.  This decision was challenged by PMI who submitted a request for a Judicial Review which was heard in London in early July.  Having reserved judgment at the substantive hearing of the Judicial Review claim held at the High Court in London, the Judge, Mr Justice Mitting, handed down his judgment on 17 July 2014.  The Judge dismissed the PMI claims on all grounds.  Full details of the written judgment can be found at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2014/2438.html .


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About the Author 

pmwj17-dec2013-shepherd-AUTHOR IMAGEMILES SHEPHERD flag-uk

Salisbury, UK 

Miles Shepherd is an executive editorial advisor and international correspondent for PM World in the United Kingdom. He is also managing director for MS Projects Ltd, a consulting company supporting various UK and overseas Government agencies, nuclear industry organisations and other businesses.  Miles has over 30 years’ experience on a variety of projects in UK, Eastern Europe and Russia.  His PM experience includes defence, major IT projects, decommissioning of nuclear reactors, nuclear security, rail and business projects for the UK Government and EU.   Past Chair and Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM), Miles is also past president and chair of the International Project Management Association (IPMA).  He is currently Director of PMI’s Global Accreditation Centre and the Chair of the ISO committee developing new international standards for Project Management and for Program/Portfolio Management.  He was involved in setting up APM’s team developing guidelines for project management oversight and governance.  Miles is based in Salisbury, England and can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Miles Shepherd, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/miles-shepherd/.