Frequently asked questions

Our FAQs answer commonly asked questions about project management training and certifications. Find out more about credit for prior learning, assessments, online study, partnerships and more.

About project management

What is project management?

The art of getting things done.

Why project management?

Project management is a powerful tool for addressing the complex needs of today’s organizations.

  • Unlike narrowly focused fields – such as HR, marketing, finance or IT – project management brings together an array of skill sets spanning creative and critical thinking, leadership, risk, change and stakeholder management.
  • Simply put, project management provides a structured yet flexible framework for tackling a diverse range of initiatives faster, better and in a cost-efficient manner.
  • That is why project management is the most in-demand occupation in the world today.

Which project management methodology is best? What do you teach?

We do not advocate the use of one specific methodology, as our experience in a wide range of global industries shows us that organizations inevitably develop and employ their own unique framework.

  • ‘Paper PMs’ are good at the rote memorization of obscure formulas and highly complex process maps that bear only a passing resemblance to how projects are delivered in the real world.
  • Using the proven good practices of PMBOK, PRINCE2, PM2, Agile, and other methods, we encourage our practitioners to think critically about what is ‘best’ practice for their own projects and operating environment.

What is ‘OPEN’?

OPEN is the Center for Project Innovation’s proprietary Online Project EducatioN platform.

  • OPEN’s instructional design intentionally leverages the new digital paradigm of microlearning. Microlearning refers to a connected series of short, focused learning nuggets – often 3-5 mins in duration – that each point at a specific learning outcome. By reducing the cognitive load on learners, it ensures that knowledge can be easily accessed (and re¬-accessed), quickly assimilated and readily applied.
  • Following a lifecycle approach, the 12 online units in OPEN – each with 10 featured topics with 2-5 microlessons – address all aspects of contemporary project management.
  • OPEN is an active learning repository, regularly reviewed and updated by our industry and academic advisory groups. Each topic is also supported by a dynamically responsive quiz. The 700+ quiz questions engage learners through multiple choice, drag-and-drop, hotspot and open math’s problems.
  • With customized feedback statements, the quizzes assist learners to link knowledge to meaning and develop higher-order thinking. Learners can therefore attempt the quizzes an unlimited number of times.
  • Learners who successfully complete all the online quizzes with a passing grade of 80% are eligible to be admitted to the Center for Project Innovation as a Certified Project Officer (CPO). This Certification is a foundation level project management Certification that can be articulated into higher skills and experience-based Certifications.
  • Those exceptional learners who attain an overall grade of 100% in the OPEN quizzes are also entered into the Center for Project Innovation’s Order of Merit.
  • OPEN is also mapped to a number of well-known and highly regarded project management methodologies, including:
    • PMBOK
    • PRINCE2
    • Agile / Scrum / Lean / Kanban
    • ISO 21500
    • PM2
    • Extreme programming (XP)
    • Design thinking
    • TQM/Six Sigma
    • Waterfall
  • OPEN nevertheless rejects didactic methodological arguments in favor of educating practitioners on good practice approaches to optimizing their own project performance. In other words, OPEN graduates are not just good at passing tests, they are independent project decision makers capable of critical thinking and taking charge of their own professional self-development.
  • OPEN is made available as a free, self-paced learning resource that can be studied via a traditional, linear progression. It takes the average learner 30-40 hours to progress through OPEN in this way.
  • Alternately, it can be accessed referentially on a needs basis, independently of a course of study; in fact, many learners continue to use OPEN as a guide long after they have been Certified.
  • OPEN also acts as the underlying multi-media resource, grounding our instructor led face-to- face and online (webinar) training, and all content can be downloaded or printed for offline viewing.
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What are the minimum browser and computer requirements for OPEN?

If you can read and access this page, you can read and access OPEN or any of our learning resources.

What is ARC?

The Advanced Recognition and Certification (ARC) workshop series is a wholly interactive experience in which participants initiate, plan, deliver and close an actual project.

  • Over 12 collaborative sessions, our expert facilitators leverage your latent project experience, connecting a common frame of reference, common purpose and common-sense approach to the cohesive delivery and oversight of professional and personal projects.
  • In contextualizing this course for corporate clients, we can also integrate your project assets, templates and tools into the curriculum for a seamless and relevant workplace experience.
Download the brochure

About our certifications

What is a certification?

A certification is an industry award that recognizes a person’s competence in a field at a certain point in time.

  • A certifying body conducts standardized assessment against criteria that are defined by the profession, and some (such as the Center for Project Innovation) offer instructional resources as optional aid to candidates (OPEN is also free!).
  • Although some require re-certification (re-assessment) every few years, many certifications are awarded without conditions. A motor vehicle driver’s license, for example, is a certification that needs occasional renewal, but rarely requires a complete re-assessment.
  • The Center for Project Innovation is internationally accredited by the US government and its treaty partners as the official assessor and issuing authority for the Certified Project Officer, Professional, Master and Director certifications.
Learn more

Why certify with CPI?

Center for Project Innovation Certifications validate contemporary best practices in the discipline of project management.

  • They equally respect both people and process, and do not preference any one standard, method or industry approach.
  • Instead, our Certifications evidence a highly rigorous and transferable baseline of knowledge, skills and experience that can be applied in any project context.
  • CPI Certification holders are creative and critical thinkers; they are the project leaders, problem solvers and innovators of the 21st century.

How do CPI certifications compare to others?

The Center for Project Innovation’s Certifications are unique in that candidates must:

    • evidence contemporary and transferable project management knowledgewithout rote memorizing a rigid methodology
    • provide verifiable evidence of their project experience, and
    • demonstrate their skill at the appropriate level via a range of project media.

How much does certification cost?

You can see the current price list for certification here.

  • If you are eligible to be entered into the Center’s Order of Merit, there is no additional charge.
  • All fees are inclusive of lifetime certification – there is nothing more to pay.
  • You can either pay online when you complete the application form, or request an invoice (if, for example, you would like your employer to pay on your behalf).
  • Scholarships and bursaries may also be available to candidates experiencing hardship or disadvantage.

What is the Order of Merit?

The Order of Merit recognizes excellence in project management knowledge.

  • Those certification holders who attain an overall grade of 100% in the OPEN quizzes will be automatically entered into the Center for Project Innovation’s Order of Merit.

Can I use my certification in my title?

The Order of Merit recognizes excellence in project management knowledge.

  • The Center for Project Innovation is internationally accredited by the US and Australian governments and their treaty partners as the official assessor and issuing authority for Certified Project Officer, Professional, Master, and Director certifications.
  • Admission to the Center for Project Innovation as a Certified Project Officer allows you to post-nominally use the letters CPO in all formal and official correspondence (for example, Jane Smith CPO).

What countries recognize CPI certifications?  

All of them.

How do I know someone is genuinely certified? 

You can look-up our awardees via our public directory of certification holders.

  • To protect the privacy of all certification holders, you can only search by certificate number. Note, too, that some certification holders may have opted to hide their details from the directory.
  • Many awardees also include their certification on their LinkedIn profile.
  • To test the verification process, enter the sample Certificate number: 34F8F98-34F1A09-7B668
  • Institute of Project Management certifications can also be verified this way
Verify certification

Do I have to complete CPO before higher level certification?

The knowledge standards for Certified Project Officer (CPO) are the same for Certified Project Officer (CPP) and Certified Project Master (CPM) – an examination of 25 hours of project management education.

  • If you have the requisite experience and skills, you should consider skipping CPO and going straight to the higher-level Certification.
  • Not only will you save yourself the CPO assessment fee; you will be retrospectively awarded CPO upon being admitted to the Center as a CPP or CPM.

Will you recognize my prior study?

Your prior study in project management theory will be recognized by our certification program, provided it meets certain criteria.

  • If you have completed at least 25 hours of study and undergone assessment in project management theory, your coursework will be considered sufficient to satisfy our knowledge requirements for certification.
  • We accept coursework from various sources, including certification preparation centers, colleges, universities, and private providers.
  • To submit your evidence of prior study, please follow the instructions provided in the guide below.

How long does certification take once I submit my application?

If you have completed OPEN, Certified Project Officer (CPO) certification occurs instantly upon receipt of your application and payment.

  • CPO certification based upon recognition of your previous project management studies can take up to one week, as it depends upon verification of your status with your course provider.
  • Admission to the Center for Project Innovation as a Certified Project Professional (CPP) or higher typically takes one week from application.
  • This time is spent reviewing and verifying your application, scheduling and conducting your assessment interview.
  • If you are eligible for Order of Merit, this will be additionally awarded at no cost at the point of certification.

What if I ‘fail’ my assessment interview?

If you have the requisite knowledge, experience and references, and are adequately prepared for your assessment interview, the process should be fairly straightforward.

  • That said, nerves or just the fact you are not at your best on the day may result in you not interviewing to the standard you know you are capable of.
  • If you are unsuccessful in your first interview attempt, we will make some recommendations as to how you might do better next time and give you an opportunity to be reassessed at no cost.
  • If you are not yet proficient after a second interview, your assessor will admit you to the Center for Project Innovation as a Certified Project Officer or at another appropriate level.

How do you treat confidential information I might need to share?

Although all the information you share with us is managed in accordance with our Privacy Policy, when conducting your interview, please take every care to withhold confidential stakeholder or organizational information.

  • If you have concerns about the impact this may have on your ability to demonstrate your competence, please raise this with your assessor at the earliest opportunity.

Can I complete my assessment in a language other than English?

We can conduct certification assessments in languages other than English (LOTE) upon request.

  • Please feel free to reach out to us for more information and to make the necessary arrangements.
Contact us

What is lifetime certification?

Lifetime certification means you do not need to pay an annual membership or subscription fee to maintain your Certification – it also means you never need to re-sit or retake an examination at this level.

  • All certification holders are encouraged to continue their professional development through practice and be progressively assessed at higher levels as they develop the requisite skills and experience.

Will you endorse my project management skill on LinkedIn?

Certification holders are encouraged to connect with their assessor(s) on LinkedIn.

  • At your request, they will endorse your project management skill on your profile.

What does the digital certificate look like?

You can view a sample of the high-resolution, print-ready digital certificate here.

View sample

Can I purchase a hard copy of my certificate?

Your high-resolution, print-ready digital Certification is available for download at any time from your account profile.

  • In the interests of environmental sustainability, we no longer issue printed copies of our certificates.

About the Center for Project Innovation

Why should I choose the Center for Project Innovation?

We are an organization dedicated to project management. No plumbing, hairdressing, or general management courses here!

  • Our team knows you by name, not by number. They are friendly, approachable and available at any time to provide expert advice and mentor support.
  • We are proud of the high graduation and employment rate of our alumni – over 90%
  • We are trusted and respected by industry – employers request our Certification holders.
  • Our programs are authored by our global network of CPTs – no generic, off-the-shelf content writers here!
  • We listen and respond to you – being face-to-face and in the field with the world’s leading project experts, we are abreast of and leading the latest professional thinking and trends.

How do I migrate my account from the Institute of Project Management?

  • In December 2023, the Institute of Project Management became the Center for Project Innovation.
  • Your OPEN progress and certifications from IPM can be migrated to the Center for Project Innovation by following the instructions below.
  • Please contact us if you have any questions.
View instructions

What is the Center’s approach to learning?

Learning by doing

  • Learners are introduced to and expected to use authentic project management tools and practices in converting their knowledge into skill.

Emotional learning

  • We endeavor to understand each learner’s cognitive and non-cognitive mindset, identifying and responding to distractions, frustrations and other barriers to learning.

Reflective learning

  • Learners are encouraged to challenge their current behavior, critically evaluating their performance through the lens of good practice.

Computational learning

  • Our approach is to break large problems down into smaller ones, drawing on logical reasoning to identify patterns, abstraction and motivating causes.

Crossover learning

  • We create instructor-led and peer-to-peer learning opportunities beyond the classroom, meeting and exchanging knowledge in virtual and informal spaces.

Incidental learning

  • Learners are shown how to apply a project management filter to their world and encouraged to identify learning opportunities as they go.

Adaptive learning

  • Our facilitators and mentors use their acquired knowledge of individual and organizational project capability to personalize learning paths.

What is ‘active mentoring’?

Although anyone can register and access OPEN at no cost, we can also provide active mentoring services to individuals and organizations.

  • Whereas passive service models depend on the learner initiating contact with their training provider, our active approach to mentoring demands that our team is regularly reaching out to their learner cohorts to support their development, as well as extending actionable advice on the projects they are working on through the lens of good-practice.
  • Our mentors can support learners in this way because they are:
    • Proven industry experts with a minimum of 10 years’ practical experience in leading complex projects, programs and portfolios of work
    • Inspiring communicators, creative and critical thinkers
    • Trained educators, facilitators and mentors
  • Importantly, they are not professional lecturers who have only learned project management from text-books and classrooms – they superimpose on the coursework a wealth of project skill and experience from all stakeholder perspectives to bring project management to life. In doing so, they look beyond the curriculum to add value to students and their employers.
  • Over the course of a mentorship, our team will personally engage (not just bulk email) each learner at least fortnightly. In the first conversation, learners are subtly risk profiled across a range of factors known to impact program completion, including:
    • Enthusiasm for the program
    • Prior project management education and experience
    • Previous exposure to self-paced learning
    • Level of workplace support
    • Workload and other time constraints
    • Accessibility issues or special learning needs
  • Learners internally identified as being at risk of successful completion work with their mentor from a toolbox of practical and relevant response strategies, while enjoying a higher level of holistic engagement support.
  • All learners then progress and are held (realistically) accountable to an agreed learning plan that has specific outputs and outcomes attached, such as certification.
  • The one-on-one assignment of mentors to learners also allows a genuine relationship to develop, avoiding a call-center feel to learner engagement. Importantly, contact hours are neither stipulated nor capped, meaning higher risk learners can access appropriate levels of support and self-motivated participants are not held back.
  • The Center for Project Innovation has successfully delivered self-paced learning with active mentor support to a diverse range of global learners in a variety of cultural settings.
  • Our acquittals of government funded contracts in this regard show average completion rates in excess of 80% over the last five years, figures that place us in the top five percent of training providers across all sectors.
  • Rest assured, too, that your dealings with your mentor remain confidential at all times, as per our privacy policy.

How does the Center deliver group training?

Extending OPEN, the Center for Project Innovation’s instructor-led group training builds on our highly interactive philosophy of learner engagement. Our semi-structured approach to delivery ensures workshops are dynamically responsive to the experience, needs and operating environment of the participants.

  • Participants are therefore encouraged to share complex, ‘real life’ examples from their professional experience that can be resolved using the best-practice principles of project leadership and management.
  • In that way, learning is facilitated in as much as it is instructor led. In other words, the peer- to-peer learning experience (through story-telling and analogy) is often as, or more, important than the content of the lecture slides.
  • Our Certified Project Trainers (CPTs) are:
    • Proven industry experts with a minimum of 10 years’ practical experience in leading complex projects, programs and portfolios of work
    • Inspiring communicators, creative and critical thinkers
    • Trained educators, facilitators and mentors
  • Importantly, they are not professional lecturers who have only learned project management from text-books and classrooms – they superimpose on the coursework a wealth of project skill and experience from all stakeholder perspectives to bring project management to life. In doing so, they look beyond the curriculum to add value to students and their employers.
  • Subject matter experts from within your organization or ours – such as senior risk, procurement and stakeholder managers – can also be invited to present as part of the program, which can be easily adjusted to accommodate them on a needs basis. These presentations and the important questions and group interaction that follows can be in-person, pre-recorded or virtual, subject to technology constraints.
  • Therefore, to ensure optimum engagement, we recommended that classes be limited to 15-20 students and maintain a strict 1:25 instructor-to-student ratio ceiling.
  • In the classroom, participants are clustered in groups of 3-5 as they work with their peers through a range of practical, scenario-based problems, leveraging their collective experience and new knowledge of good-practice. These groups are refreshed daily to promote as much lateral, peer-to-peer interaction as possible.
  • We are also happy to share our proprietary templates and learning materials to contextualize the training to your organization’s requirements, or we can assist participants to identify the most appropriate corporate assets and tools to use, and how to use them well.
Learn more

Does the Center place interns or conduct industry tours?

Our professional internship program offers candidates the opportunity to gain professional project management experience and improve career opportunities in a wide range of industries.

  • An internship is a great way to gain exposure into the professional work environment and develop critical project management skills. All placements are non-paid training positions and actively supported by a Center for Project Innovation mentor.
  • Internships are often linked to regional tours of high-profile projects, giving participants a peek behind the curtains at some of the world’s most famous and successful projects.
  • Privileged access together with unparalleled networking opportunities make the Center’s internships and industry tours the most sought-after tickets in the profession today.

What is the Center’s commitment to sustainability?

All our programs are typically delivered without paper, unless specifically requested by a learning cohort.

  • The benefits of a paperless classroom include:
    • Less clutter in the learning space
    • Integration of real world project management apps
    • Consistent resource quality across all global locations
    • Automatic backups and retrieval of learner resources
    • Reduced printing costs
    • Promotion of a culture of environmental awareness and sustainability
  • Students are instead encouraged to bring their own laptop or digital device on which they can make notes against the lecture slides, be introduced to basic project management apps, complete assessment activities and access the supplementary resources, such as tools and templates.
  • All exclusive digital content – including any edits or updates participants make to it – remains permanently available to students after the event via their OPEN account.

What is the Center’s commitment to equity?

Reasonable adjustments can always be made to ensure equity in training people who have special needs. Adjustments may include changes to the pedagogic process or context that meet individual needs, but do not change learning outcomes.

  • When assessing people with special needs, our assessors apply good practice assessment methods with sensitivity and flexibility. Assessors can also provide alternative assessment activities to address specific enterprise requirements.
  • The design of our education resources further reflects the language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) competencies required for the performance of project tasks in the workplace.
  • Students with significant LLN challenges that are likely to prevent them meeting this standard are identified as early as possible and given specific support or referred to specialist providers. They are also given the opportunity to either cancel or defer their enrolment to a later date.
  • Learner, lecturer and client feedback are also systematically collected, reviewed and acted upon as part of our process of continual improvement.

Am I eligible for fee assistance or a scholarship?

Our Student Engagement Officers will be happy to check your eligibility to receive funding or fee assistance. Please get in touch.

Enquire now

How can I partner with the Center?

Our accredited education partners enjoy the reputational value of being associated with one of the most innovative and engaging project education programs in the global market. They also have unrestricted access to our unique and ever-growing body of project management knowledge.

  • In that way, the Center for Project Innovation is empowering schools, colleges, Universities, and private educators by providing them with the resources and accreditation support to deliver our suite of internationally recognized project management Certifications.
  • Under our international auspice program, accredited education partners can:
    • have their own project management curriculum endorsed for Certification
    • deliver Center for Project Innovation workshops, including our prestigious Advanced Recognition and Certification (ARC) program, or
    • co-host industry seminars, forums, conferences and events that advance the project management profession.
  • Contact us to enquire about how we can work together in your sector or space.
Download the prospectus

Still have questions?

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