PMO Certification or Specialist Course?

With as many options as are currently available, determining what training is best for you or your team is a difficult task – to make that choice you need to understand the benefit that each has to offer.

Typically the initial choice is certification vs non-certification.

Certificated courses are generic courses that tend to be linked to a publication e.g. P3O or Managing Successful Portfolios. They are primarily delivered as public virtual or classroom courses, however some training organisations offer eLearning, or even Distance Learning options which can be convenient for those unable to take three full days to complete a course. If you’re unsure of which training method is best for you, we have a helpful blog post here!

Some advantages of taking a certification course are:

  • You know the course materials are based on a published theory
  • The materials and trainers will have been quality assessed by the examination body
  • The qualification will be recognised by external organisations (good for the CV!)

However, there are some great benefits from attending a non-certificated course (assuming you’ve picked the right training provider and trainer):

  • They tend to be shorter and more targeted in a specific subject area
  • The courses may be about new or emerging subject matter
  • There’s more opportunity to talk about real-life work challenges

Adapting the course for your team

One of the benefits of specialist courses is that the course content isn’t tied to a specific syllabus or curriculum.

For in-house certification courses, there may be space to adapt case studies and discussions to your organisation, but the bulk of the content is restricted to what will be covered on the exam. With a specialist course, there is more freedom to tailor the course.

For example if you’re looking for an agile course but your team already know the basics and work within a specific agile framework, then you’ll be able to spend less time on an introduction and prioritise time talking about the relevant parts for your organisation. At PMO Learning, our in-house trainers will invest time with you (and your team if necessary) to help target the specific areas you would like to work on.

If you’re looking to bring any of our training courses in house, why not get in touch?

Certifications give credibility

While most of the PMO people we know are always on the look out for new training opportunities, most practitioners would naturally lean towards a certification course.

Certifications are often more widely recognised, and have the benefit of providing you with a qualification from a recognised examination body. Some job listing may even ask for specific certifications, such as PRINCE2, so it can be helpful to have some PMO specific qualifications in your repertoire.

So how do you decide?

The first question you need to ask is what is the driver behind the decision? Are you looking to address an issue or specific PMO area within your organisation? Are you looking to bring your team up to a defined, widely-recognised standard? Are you looking to train your whole team, or a few members? By having the answers to these questions, we can help navigate you to the right training for you.

For example, if you’re looking to implement an agile concept to your PMO, or are in the process of establishing a PMO within your organisation, specialist courses such as the Lean-Agile PMO, Setting Up a PMO, or Portfolio Management and the PMO might be a great place to start.

If you looking to ensure that there is an established foundation of knowledge across the whole team, an in-house certification option such as the P3O Foundation qualification may be more appropriate.

So, if you’re still unsure whether certified, or specialist PMO courses would be best for you – get in touch! At PMO Learning, we’re passionate at providing the right training for PMO practitioners at every level.

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