Richard Pharro APMG CEOBelow is an interview by APMG CEO Richard Pharro on the role of APMG and how project management qualifications benefit project managers.


Welcome Richard. I was wondering if you could start by telling me about the role of APMG?

APM Group started in 1993 and we started life as the commercial arm of the Association for Project Management (APM). Then in the year 2000 APM brought in an executive director and we decided to go our separate ways. We started off involved in project and programme management with a bit of training and consultancy back in the early 1990s. We then found this product called PRINCE2 around 1995, where under contract with CCTA at the time, now the Cabinet Office, we developed a qualification scheme.

In 2000, we were accredited by UKAS and so became a certification body. Through the 2000s, we focused on programme and project management. Now we like to think of ourselves as a generic certification body working across a whole range of best practices, all focusing on areas to do with management.

I suppose one way of looking at us is as an aggregator, so we work with organizations which have best practice. Predominantly people like the Cabinet Office but also the DSDM Consortium on Agile and the Chartered Management Institute on programme and project management. We bring those together in a series of syllabi and qualifications and now we’re starting to introduce vanilla material. These are then provided to a range of accredited training companies who deliver courses for the benefit of their clients.

We’re very much at the heart of trying to package a product to make it teachable and learnable through a network of accredited training companies.

Could you tell me about the benefits, as you see them, of the project management qualifications to project managers?

The qualifications we offer focus on methodology so for example they’re looking at PRINCE2 as a project management methodology and MSP as a programme management methodology. I do genuinely believe that you can teach a methodology in a week. I think that the qualification offers, or really the training offers, people the opportunity to understand the terminology at a basic or foundation level and then apply that methodology in the workplace. I think it avoids too much repetition and too much time in starting up projects and initiating projects within the workplace.

People can get off to a flying start as everyone should know what to expect within the delivery model.