What’s the Difference Between AIPMO Practitioner and P3O Practitioner?

The AIPMO IPMO-Practitioner level PMO certification and the P3O Practitioner certification are both aimed at PMO Managers. In this article, we answer the question – what is the difference between the two of them?

P3O Practitioner

Let’s start with the P3O Practitioner. This is the two-day course that you can only do if you’re already got the P3O Foundation.

If you’re unfamiliar with the P3O Foundation and what’s included in that, this post [The Difference Between AIPMO-Foundation and P3O Foundation] will help you with that.

The P3O Practitioner is aimed at people who are looking to set up a PMO:

“The Practitioner course covers the design, implementation and management of a P3O model. You will gain an overall understanding of the elements, roles, functions and tools and techniques deployed in a generalised P3O model.”

It’s a two-day course with an exam on the second day in the afternoon so you can see that there is a stress on the word understanding.

It goes well with everything you’ve learnt on the Foundation course and that’s why many people opt to do both the Foundation and Practitioner levels in the same week.

AIPMO IPMO-Practitioner

The AIPMO IPMO-Practitioner is a 5-day course and really gets into the detail of managing a PMO. Its focus is specifically on managing project, programme or portfolio PMOs and is for the PMO Manager who has responsibility for one PMO rather than an enterprise level role where you’re responsible for multiple PMOs across the business (that’s the Expert level)

The breadth of the learning in this course is unlike any other PMO management course, including the P3O Practitioner.

Here’s some of what you’ll be learning:


  • Extending your understanding of project, programme and portfolio management in the context of PMOs
  • Understand how to design, build, run and transform a successful PMO, based on the PMO Lifecycle Framework
  • Understand PMO success factors and KPIs
  • Become confident and motivated to mentor others in getting most out of PMOs.

You don’t need to do the AIPMO-Foundation level course (that gets into the detail about the services the PMO offers and how PMO Analysts can provide and improve on these services) but PMO Managers do still opt to do just that.

Which one should I opt for?

If you’re looking for a quick overview of setting up a PMO according to the P3O model – P3O Practitioner is a good addition to complement your P3O Foundation.

If you’re wanting to really learn your craft as a PMO Manager, the longer, more detailed AIPMO IPMO-Practitioner course is the one for you. Regardless of whether you’re just starting out in PMO management or being doing it for a while, you’ll be guaranteed to walk away with the latest thinking on PMOs; heaps of practical knowledge to apply – models, frameworks, tools, processes and so on.

Still unsure? Pick up the phone or contact us, we’re happy to help anyone make the right decision for themselves and for their business.


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