In today’s competitive world one needs to be well equipped with skills in demand to show expertise and competency to the employer. One such area which has a great scope globally is Project Management. Professionals and experts are hired to manage projects and lead a team to the successful completion of the project. This requires a different and varied skill set that can be acquired through practice. Various courses on Project Management are conducted to impart such skills. Certified Associate in Project Management or CAPM in terse, is a globally recognized certification course on project management prescribed by Project Management Institute. CAPM is for people who wish to have skills related to project management. It is an entry-level certification which means that it is suitable for people who desire to kick start their career in project management or are less experienced in the field of project management. This course focuses on developing the basic skill set to conduct and manage a project in a better and more efficient way. As the skill set in project management is highly in demand nowadays, the CAPM Certification adds weight to one’s resume and makes him stand out of the queue.
The course is structured to train the applicants on the basic five processes which constitute a project. These processes are the initiation of a project, it’s planning, execution, monitoring and controlling of the same. Apart from the processes, the course envisages developing ten knowledge areas: integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communications, risk, procurement, and stakeholder management in a project. One of the major advantages of the course is its high output and that too in a short duration.
Eligibility criteria and recent changes
Though this certification is apt for novices in the field but to pursue this certification course one should fulfill the eligibility criteria. Earlier one must have a secondary degree i.e. high school diploma or its global equivalent supplemented with 1500 hours of professional experience on a project team or 23 hours of project management education completed by the time of the exam. The reason this certification is best suitable for beginners is that experience is not a mandatory requirement. It is also considered as a stepping for those who are not eligible to give PMP (Project Management Professional) exam. One can pursue it by having 23 hours of education on project management.
Recently the requirement of 1500 hours of professional experience on a project team was removed by the Project Management Institute. Now, only 23 hours of formal education on project management with a high school diploma is the eligibility criteria. This requirement of 23 hours of formal education can be satisfied through various courses, training sessions, and workshops offered by:
- Project Management Institute registered education provider.
- Project Management Institute chapters.
- Employer-Sponsored Programs.
- Training companies.
- University’s academic programs.
Application process and examination
The Certified Associate in Project Management exam is a Multiple Choice Question paper that is taken in online mode. CAPM Training can be taken in Prometric centers. Recently the facility of online proctoring was made available for the exam. Online proctoring means that one can choose to give the exam from home or office provided that the computer system to be used to give the exam has the requisite specifications of the system. One must take note of it that if one has opted for an online proctoring CAPM exam and if his computer system doesn’t match the requirements then a refund will not be made to the applicant.
One can apply for the exam on the official website of the Project Management Institute. The application process can be within 90 days once it is started. This allows for fulfilling any requirement if one realizes later that he is not eligible. After the successful submission of the application, one can give the exam thrice within one year.
The fees to be submitted with the application is US$ 225 for PMI member and US$ 300 for non-members. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions that need to be answered in three hours. The first 15 questions are not marked as they are pretest questions and are there in the exam to check the validity of future examination validly and effectively. The exam is primarily conducted in English but it is also conducted in 13 other languages.
One cannot be complacent after obtaining CAPM certification as the certificate needs to be renewed every five years by retaking the exam. This ensures that the quality of skills required for project management does not fade away and any new skills and techniques which might arise in the future can be well equipped by the applicants.