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P3's importance with the American Academy of Project Management (AAPM)

Updated: May 16, 2019

Standardization is important. Seeking those that qualify for your Public Private Partnership (P3) needs is an important selection. Individuals that governments vet need to have the following: 1) Error's & Omission Insurance, 2) References, 3) Knowledge of their legislation, 4) advanced certifications (not entry level) and 5) problem solve their budget constraints.

The American Academy of Project Management (AAPM) is an international organization that awards certifications based on education, experience and knowledge of project management philosophies. A full list of what the AAPM is recognized with is listed here.

The function of the AAPM is practical. You need to qualify for Error's & Omission (E&O) Insurance. Coverage is only available to individuals that carry professional designations. Professional designations need to be awarded by third parties.

The most globally recognized principal level project management certification is Master Project Manager (MPM). Other designations include the OG-PM - Certified Oil and Gas Project Manager, the Project Manager E-Business (PME), and the Certified International Project Manager (CIPM). A lesser known principal level project management certification is called the Project Management Professional (PMP). The PMP is administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The PMP is a good starter certification (entry level). In order to qualify for large contracts certifications must be at least ISO 9001. The PMP has ISO 9001 international recognition. Both the PMP and MPM carry recognition within the United States. Both can be used when starting out to qualify for E&O. PMPs are generally known to have college degrees and the level of hours verified are usually entry level work only. The PMI is an organization that teaches basic principles and techniques; whereas the AAPM international Board of Standards is considered a certification body focused on "high level" principal certifications. The difference between AAPM and PMI can be compared to "Owner/Principal Certification" versus "Employee Certification".

In our interactions with P3 structures AAPM certifications are more valued than PMI certifications for principals. If you are starting your own project management practice we encourage AAPM certifications in lieu of only PMI certifications. AAPM or PMI certifications can suffice employee requirements.

Remember governmental departments are looking for depth, experience, and "mastery" of craft. It is important to align yourself with a certification that focuses more on "practicality" versus "theory". In our experience the PMI's PMP is similar to qualifying for a Series License. All the certification represents is passage of an exam. Similar to an attorney passing a bar. The determination of your career's success will be the J.D. you obtain along with proper certification of civil procedure / criminal procedure (the actual job). The MPM gives you recognition of the latter.

Both are important. Theory is the basis of real world activities. Real world activities often change the application of theory. The AAPM looks to verify theory through internationally accredited universities (something the PMI is not) - with a heavy focus on experience. Governmental agencies are key at recognizing non regulatory authorities (PMI) versus certifications that require legislatively recognized authorities (such as the US Department of Education).

Both require an in depth understanding of: 1) Initiation, 2) Planning, 3) Execution, 4) Monitoring & Controls, & 5) Closing. Both certifying bodies require knowledge of project management theories, the process groups and Gannt Chart knowledge. With the release of ISO 21500:2012, Guidance on Project Management, which is an international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO starting in 2007 and released in 2012 the prestige of the PMI was impacted.

The PMI and AAPM accomplish the same goals. Both will cover you under E&O. The only item to consider is are you an "employee" or a "principal". If you are a "principals" we recommend the AAPM. If you are an "employee" either will suffice.

Take careful consideration to which path you choose. The MPM will accomplish the same for both employee and principal. The PMP will limit you if you desire to grow one day into a principal / owner.

#AAPM #ISO21500 #PMI #MasterProjectManager #MPM


Knight Advisory & Planning (KAP) is the only company to primarily focus on Public Private Partnerships (P3) since 2006. KAP operations are spread across countries of the world to serve this need. KAP Network consists of core partners surrounded by interlocking networks of consultants and affiliates in key trading countries and disciplines. We maintain Master Project Manager (MPM) who are American Academy of Project Management (AAPM) certified and are experienced in the following industries: construction, development, finance, technology, FinTech, biotechnology, production, R&D, and manufacturing. With over twenty (20) years of experience let us guide you through the P3 process.

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