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Certified Agile Project Manager

The Project Management Association of Canada offers an entry-level certification in agile project management called the “Certified Agile Project Manager.” Those who are awarded this certificate have the right to use the postnomial “Cert.APM” for as long as their certification remains current.

Benefits

This unique specialty project management certification is aimed at primarily IT project managers who are looking for additional credentials beyond basic project management credentials such as the PMP designation from PMI. Having specialty certifications such as PMAC's Cert.APM offers project managers a number of benefits:

  • Differentiation - Basic project management certification has spread throughout the world, with over 336,000 project managers (as of June 2009) having PMI's PMP designation alone. Having one's PMP used to be a differentiator in the marketplace; now, they are so common that project managers need something more to stand out.
  • Development - A project management specialty certification from PMAC is evidence that a project manager is actively engaged in skills growth and career development — a sign of a true professional.
  • Advanced Skills - Having PMAC's Certified Agile Project Manager shows that a candidate has taken specialty training and has passed a rigorous examination on agile project management theory and techniques.

How to Apply

To apply to write the certification exam, a number of requirements must first be met:

  1. Applicants must have completed a PMAC-accredited agile project management course within the 12 months prior to the application. (Extensions may be granted on an exception basis at the discretion of one of the assessors on the Certification Body Operational Committee. Applicants must include evidence of course completion (a certificate or letter from the training provider is adequate evidence) when applying to write the exam. This requirement is waived when the exam is being written on the last day of an accredited training course.
  2. Applicants must have a recognized project management credential or document a minimum of one year of project, portfolio, or programme management experience. Acceptance of credentials is at the discretion of the Certification Body Operational Committee, but accepted credentials currently include:
    • Academic Degrees
      • Undergraduate Degree in Project Management
      • Undergraduate Degree in Engineering Management
      • MBA (with Project Management major)
      • Masters Degree in Project Management
    • Academic Certificates
      • University or College Post-graduate Certificate in Project Management
      • Certificate in Project Management signifying completion of an employer's PM training curriculum (certain employers' programmes pre-approved)
      • Certificate in Project Management signifying completion of a training company's PM curriculum (certain training providers' programmes pre-approved)
    • PM Certifications
      • Certified Associate Project Manager (IPMA Level-D)
      • Certified Project Manager (IPMA Level-C)
      • Certified Senior Project Manager (IPMA Level-B)
      • Certified Projects Director (IPMA Level-A)
      • PMI's Certified Associate Project Manager (CAPM)
      • PMI's Project Management Professional (PMP)
      • PMI's Program Management Professional (PgMP)
      • CompTIA's IT Project Management Plus
      • PRINCE2 Foundation
      • PRINCE2 Practitioner
  3. Applicants must pay an exam fee of $150 to the PMAC. Individual payments may be made via cheque mailed to the association or online via PayPal. Please see our online application and online payment process below. Payment made by training providers for bulk registration of multiple applicants may also be made via the same payment methods. If you are taking the exam bundled with a training course, check with your training provider, as the exam fee may be already included in the training package.
  4. Applicants must complete the Online Cert.APM Application and payment process. For those taking the exam as part of a training package, the application will be provided to you for completion by the exam proctor just prior to the start of the examination. For candidates who do not want to make payment online, they can printout, fill in, and mail the Cert.APM Exam Application Form with a cheque for the full registration amount.

    Upon completion of the items listed above, successful candidates will receive email acknowledgement from the PMAC Certification Body Operational Committee Candidates should print out and bring this email with them to the exam centre on the day of the exam. As mentioned above, if the exam is part of a training bundle, then the form will be provided at the end of the class, prior to the start of the exam.

    About the Exam

    The exam will consist of 40 multiple-choice questions, which applicants will have up to 2 hours to complete. The exam questions will be organized as follows:

    • Agile Theory, Benefits and Risks (10 questions)
      • Agile Philosophy (1)
      • Agile Benefits (2)
      • Lifecycles: Waterfall, Iterative, Incremental, and Agile (3)
      • Iteration Length & Timeboxing (2)
      • Common Agile Methods (1)
      • Retrospectives and Continuous Improvement (1)
    • Agile Requirements Management (10 questions)
      • User Stories (3)
      • Prioritization (3)
      • Backlogs (3)
      • Backlog Maintenance (1)
    • Agile Estimating & Scheduling (10 questions)
      • Story Points vs. Ideal Days (2)
      • The Planning Game (1)
      • Building a Release Schedule/Plan (3)
      • Work Breakdown Structures & Estimating in Hours (2)
      • Building an Iteration Schedule/Plan (2)
    • Agile Tracking & Control (10 questions)
      • Sprint Burndown Charts (5)
      • Velocity (3)
      • Project/Product Burndown Charts (2)

    Exam papers will be collected by the Exam Proctor for marking by a PMAC Certification Assessor who is independent of the training provider, meaning that if an accredited training course is offered by a PMAC Certification Assessor, that Assessor cannot grade the exams of his/her own students; rather, such exams will be marked by another Assessor selected by the Certification Body Operational Committee. Candidates will receive a letter from the Certification Body Operational Committee notifying them of whether they have passed or failed the exam. Successful candidates who have passed will also receive a formal certificate.

    Upcoming Exam Dates

    Candidates may now take the exam online at a time of their convenience. However, many people prefer a paper-based, proctored examination format. For these other candidates, please refer to the "Events" main menu tab on the top of this page, for examination dates that have been scheduled to allow for taking of a paper-based exam.

    Support for this Certification

    Agile Community
    "I applaud your work and your commitment to bringing sanity to the often insane world of project management. History has shown that PMs who act as 'servant leaders' often succeed where others fail. The Agile principles and practices provide a good framework for encouraging that mindset for the PM and the team members. Keep up the good work!"

    Huet Landry, PMP, CSM
    Senior IT Consultant specializing in mentoring of individuals and small groups in UML modeling, requirements elicitation with use cases, and Scrum.

    "Personally, I'm glad to finally see a move towards a respectable approach to certification within the agile PM community. Although I'm not enamored of certification in general, the reality is that within our industry there is a demand by employers that their employees earn certifications. Furthermore, there is an assumption that there is something behind the certification program [...] Anyway, I believe that the PMAC agile certification is clearly a step in the right direction for our community. My hope is that this program can evolve into an international effort, not just a Canadian one, but first things first."

    Scott W. Ambler, Chief Methodologist/Agile, IBM Rational

    "Best wishes with your certification [...] I commend your effort."

    Alistair Cockburn, IT Strategist
    Best known for developing the agile Crystal Methods, for helping craft the Agile Manifesto, and for being the first to define Use Cases.

    Certified Project Managers

    PMAC publishes a list of Certified Agile Project Mangers (Cert.APMs).

    Accredited Prerequisite Courses

    PMAC has a list of accredited courses from 3rd-party independent training providers that meet our quality standards, each of which satisfies the prerequisite educational component prior to writing this exam.

     
    Please check back here for the latest up-to-date information, or send an email to our Director of Professional Development (profdev@pmac-ampc.ca)

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