Certification
IPMA 4-L-C level definitions

There are four levels in the IPMA 4-L-C System – Levels A, B, C and D. The IPMA level definitions are constructed against the following core criteria: 

• Level A is constructed in terms of the leadership of others in very complex projects  (programmes or portfolios) throughout the life cycle (where applicable) at a strategic level. 

• Level B is constructed in terms of the leadership of others in projects (programmes or portfolios) and includes complexity throughout the life cycle (where applicable). 

• Level C is constructed in terms of the management of others in projects of moderate complexity throughout the life cycle through the application of knowledge/theory across all     relevant competences.

• Level D is constructed in terms of knowledge across all relevant competences only. 


There are three domains in the IPMA 4-L-C System – project, programme and portfolio. In the three domains, projects have four levels (A, B, C and D); programme and portfolio each have two levels (A and B). This creates eight profiles in the IPMA 4-L-C System as shown below:

IPMA profiles and eligibility criteria

IPMA Level D: Certified Project Management Associate.

An IPMA certification at Level D requires that the candidate has knowledge in the CEs related to project management. As such, they usually have broad project management knowledge and may work in a project team.

Eligibility criteria: There is no previous experience required and only knowledgeCEs related to project management are assessed.


IPMA Level C: Certified Project Manager
An IPMA certification at Level C requires that the candidate has acted in a project management role within a moderately complex project environment within an organisation.

Eligibility criteria: within the last six years the candidate needs to have a minimum of three years’ experience as a project manager within projects of moderate complexity, or a minimum of three years’ experience in a responsible project management role assisting the project manager in complex projects. The evidence timescale can be extended by four years to ten years with justification.


 IPMA Level B: Certified Senior Project Manager
An IPMA certification at Level B for project management requires that the candidate has acted in a complex project environment within an organisation.

Eligibility criteria: within the last eight years the candidate needs to have a minimum of five years’ experience as a project manager of which at least three years were in a responsible leadership function managing complex projects. The evidence timescale can be extended by four years to twelve years with justification.


 IPMA Level B: Certified Senior Programme Manager
An IPMA certification at Level B for programme management requires that the candidate has acted in a complex programme environment within an organisation.

Eligibility criteria: within the last eight years the candidate needs to have a minimum of five years’ experience as a programme manager of which at least threeyears were in a responsible leadership function managing complex programmes. The evidence timescale can be extended by four years to twelve years with justification.


 IPMA Level B: Certified Senior Portfolio Manager
An IPMA certification at Level B for portfolio management requires that the candidate has acted in a complex portfolio environment within an organisation.
Eligibility criteria: within the last eight years the candidate needs to have a minimum of five years’ experience as a portfolio manager of which at least threeyears were in a responsible leadership function managing complex portfolios. The evidence timescale can be extended by four years to twelve years with justification.


  IPMA Level A: Certified Project Director

An IPMA certification at Level A for project management requires that the candidate has acted in a very complex project environment that has a strategic impact on the organisation.
Eligibility criteria: within the last 12 years, the candidate needs to have a minimum of five years’ experience as a project manager in a responsible leadership function in very complex projects of which at least three years were at a strategic level. The evidence timescale cannot be extended.


  IPMA Level A: Certified Programme Director

An IPMA certification at Level A for programme management requires that the candidate has acted in a very complex programme environment that has a strategic impact on the organisation.

Eligibility criteria: within the last 12 years, the candidate needs to have a minimum of five years’ experience as a programme manager in a responsible leadership function in very complex programmes at a strategic level, or a minimum of four years’ experience as a programme manager in a responsible leadership function in very complex programmes and a minimum of three years’ experience as a project manager in a responsible leadership function managing very complex projects at a strategic level. The evidence timescale cannot be extended.


 IPMA Level A: Certified Portfolio Director

An IPMA certification at Level A for portfolio management requires that the candidate has acted in a very complex portfolio environment that has a strategic impact on the organisation.
Eligibility criteria: within the last 12 years, the candidate needs to have a minimum of five years’ experience as a portfolio manager in a responsible leadership function in very complex portfolios at a strategic level or a minimum of four years of experience as a portfolio manager in a responsible leadership function in very complex portfolios and a minimum of three years’ experience as a project or programme manager in a responsible leadership function managing very complex projects or programmes at a strategic level. The evidence timescale cannot be extended.

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