After doing the P3O Foundation course all the way back in December 2018, I finally got around to taking the Practitioner level of P3O in late February 2021.
I thought it would be interesting to note my expectations before taking the course and my experiences from the course after leaving such a big gap between the Foundation and Practitioner, as well as offering some advice if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.
Gaining a Deeper Understanding of How to Apply My P3O Knowledge.
After completing the Foundation course I felt like I had a really good base knowledge of P3O. I knew all the
terms, definitions, models and concepts. Going into the Practitioner course I really wanted to expand my knowledge, and learn how to apply it beyond the context of the Foundation course and exam.
This is what the Practitioner course is all about! During my 2 days on the Practitioner course, we were revisiting the same pages in the textbook. However, instead of just memorising the figures, tables, and definitions, we learned how to take what was on the page and apply it to a specific business case.
We also spent time going through a practice exam, which further aided the application of our knowledge. After completing each section we would go away to answer exam questions related to a business case. Once completed we would go through the answers and doing so really helped reinforce our learning.
The Practitioner Level is a Step Up from the Foundation
After doing my Foundation course I was aware of what the Practitioner course entailed and I knew overall it would be a more difficult course.
No surprises here, it is!
As mentioned above understanding and applying the knowledge is a more difficult task than simply just memorising it. In order to pass your Practitioner exam you have to be able to apply the best practice standards to a specific business case and a lot of the time you don’t just need to know the right answer, but the most right answer.
There are often subtleties that lie in the questions that can trip you up. This is where the delivery of P3O Practitioner from PMO Learning was great. The extended focus on the exam questions served as both a learning tool and a great way of getting your head around a difficult exam. At the start of the course, I left the practice questions a bit low on confidence, but by the end, my scores were consistently higher and I had a much better understanding of how to tackle the exam.
Advice Before Taking Your P3O Practitioner
Let’s start with the obvious: make sure you are refreshed on all your knowledge from P3O Foundation. The best way to do this is to do both courses back to back. Of course that won’t be an option for everybody, and so I read through my textbook prior to the course and this really helped, as some of the things that came back to me came up in the course.
If I could give some advice to my past self, I would read through the P3O Manual more thoroughly as there were still things I missed and had to check mid-course. I would also aim test myself on the knowledge if possible rather than just reading through, as this definitely helps with knowledge retention. For example, I still had practice exam papers from my first course, so working through these again really helped.
Secondly, make use of the trainer. Of course, the trainer has to deliver a set amount of content in a limited amount of time, but there are plenty of opportunities throughout the course where you can pick their brain and ask questions. On my course in particular Eileen would stay present during breaks and exam question practices so if I ever needed anything she was there to help. She even answered emails overnight whilst I was doing our assigned homework.
Finally, don’t get stressed out! There is a lot to take in on the course and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. But if you do all the activities and get involved then you will have no problems.
If you would like to book your place onto P3O course you can see our schedule here.
Or alternatively why not look into our E-Learning options here.
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