IPMA’s 4-Level Certification

The internationally recognized IPMA® certifications give employees in any sector as well as self-employed entrepreneurs the opportunity to demonstrate their competence in project, program and portfolio management. The certification makes it easier for companies and organizations to recruit successful, trustworthy personnel for the management of projects, programs and portfolios. Towards customers, the certification can be used to attest the corresponding competence of employees.

This is a unique certification for project, program or portfolio management practitioners. It has personal assessment of your competences by assessors. It has four different certification role-based levels according to your existing competences. This globally recognized certificate is conducted in English language and is independent of any training or education.


Benefits to a certified person
  • Proof of your competences on the basis of the IPMA Individual Competence Baseline
  • Objective, neutral confirmation of your knowledge and experience in project, program or portfolio management
  • International recognition of your competences in project, program or portfolio management with the appropriate title
  • Better chances on the increasingly demanding job market and better career opportunities in your company
  • Securing your workplace
Benefits for your organization
  • Demonstrate competence in project, program and portfolio management to your customers, suppliers and partners
  • Securing a competitive advantage over your competitors
  • Establishment of a comparable qualification standard for your staff in project, program and portfolio management
  • Career path for project, program and portfolio management in your company
Benefits for your customers
  • Allows your customer to assess the competence of your staff before the project starts
  • Increases the security of a successful completion of the project as well as when awarding contracts
  • Demonstrates the many years of experience of your staff in project, program and portfolio management
Benefits for international organizations
  • Communication and cooperation in interdepartmental and transnational projects are accelerated and gain a high degree of compatibility
  • International comparisons of project, program and portfolio management become possible
Benefits to society
  • Promotes innovation and social change
  • Serves the efficient and sustainable use of resources

The Standard for 4 Level Certification

The IPMA Individual Competence Baseline (IPMA ICB®) is the worldwide standard for individual competences in project, program and portfolio management. The ICB supports personal development by describing a complete inventory of competences for managing and participating in projects, programs and portfolios.

The IPMA ICB® competence standard supports the development of each individual and thus of entire organizations in order to be able to survive in the face of increasing competition. The IPMA standard for individuals describes a comprehensive inventory of competences. Each individual must possess these competences or, if necessary, develop them in order to successfully master the work expected in projects, programs, or portfolios.

The ICB comprises three areas of competence, which together form the Eye of Competence®:

Contextual competences (Perspective): This competence area encompasses the entire context of a project, program or portfolio. This is because each project, program and portfolio must be embedded in a specific framework that will motivate people, organizations and societies to initiate and implement projects.

Competences related to People: These consist of the personal attributes and the competences that an individual needs in order to successfully participate in or lead projects, programs and portfolios.

Competences related to Practice: This competence area covers the specific methods, tools and techniques used in projects, programs and portfolios in order to implement them successfully.


Competence is a collection of knowledge, personal attributes, skills and relevant experience needed for successful completion of projects. Project manager facilitates multiple activities for achieving the ultimate objectives conforming to socio, political, economic & legal environment and execution within the stipulated time and budget.

The certification process for each level is segmented into the following steps:

  • Application
  • Admission
  • (online) certification briefing
  • Report
  • Certification day
  • Overall assessment

A comprehensive assessment includes preparing report, computer-based and/or oral exams, as well as simulated workshop and/or interview depending on the level of certification sought. To pass, candidates must demonstrate mastery of at least 80% of the Competence Elements of the ICB4® for project management. In an interview, knowledge about your past behavior in a certain situation makes it possible to assess your future behavior in a later, comparable situation with the highest probability. It is necessary to know the framework of your past actions and their results. For this reason, each example of your past behavior or past performance must provide information on the three aspects listed below:

  • Situation as the starting point for your actions
  • Procedure, i.e. your concrete actions or measures
  • Results or changes brought about by this procedure


As a candidate, you are required to conduct a self–assessment of your knowledge (and application) of PM Competence Elements in three competence areas (Perspective, People, and Practice) based on ICB4® on a six-stage taxonomy (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation). Your self–assessment of competences should be assessed based on these descriptions. It is a must for all IPMA certifications. It needs to be carried out conscientiously and truthfully and therefore, requires some time.


The more competent you are as a project, program or portfolio professional, the more complex your responsibilities will probably become. Complexity is also of key value when you want to assess your current competence level. For this reason, self-assessment of project, program, or portfolio complexity is part of the application for certification of Level C and higher. So, how do we assess complexity?

There are ten factors that define complexity of initiatives (projects, programs, portfolios).

Capability perspectives:

  • Input related complexity
  • Process related complexity
  • Output related complexity
  • Risk related complexity

Context perspectives:

  • Strategy related complexity
  • Organization related complexity
  • Socio-cultural related complexity

Management/Leadership perspectives:

  • Team-related complexity
  • Innovation-related complexity
  • Autonomy-related complexity


To prepare for certification you should study the IPMA Individual Competence Baseline (IPMA ICB®), the latest pm baseline & supplementary literature.

Visit here for certification reference materials and write to certification@pman.org.np for fees, payment, and other details applicable to Nepali candidates.