What Is A PMO Certification? (With List to Pursue)

Updated 21 August 2023

Project Management Office (PMO) certifications demonstrate a PMO manager's expertise in managing projects, resources and strategic alignment within an organisation. With many certifications available, choosing the right one can enhance your career prospects and increase your value to potential employers. Knowing which PMO certifications employers prefer can help you make an informed decision and expand your career prospects. In this article, we define a PMO certification, discuss 13 of them, review their benefits and discover how they can make you a more attractive candidate for a role.

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What Is A PMO Certification?

A PMO certification is a formal recognition of a person's knowledge, skills, and expertise in managing, and leading a PMO. A PMO is a centralised team or department that defines and maintains project management standards, processes and best practices across an organisation. It helps align projects with organisational goals and strategies, streamline project execution and improve overall project performance.

These certifications typically require candidates to undergo training, demonstrate relevant work experience and pass an exam to validate their knowledge, and skills in PMO management. Obtaining a PMO certification can enhance your career by showcasing your expertise in leading a PMO and improving project outcomes in an organisation.

Related: 40 PMO Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

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13 PMO Certifications To Consider

There are various certifications available from different organisations and certification bodies, including:

1. PMO Certified Practitioner (PMO-CP)

The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers the PMO-CP certificate, which validates an individual's proficiency in overseeing, establishing and managing a PMO. By acquiring this certificate, individuals demonstrate their expertise in aligning organisational strategy with project execution, ensuring efficient use of resources and optimising project management practices. The PMO-CP certification enhances career prospects in certain roles, such as PMO manager, PMO analyst or PMO consultant, and helps organisations achieve their project management goals with greater efficiency.

Related: 19 Essential Project Management Skills To Master

2. Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O) certification

Axelos issues the P3O certification at two levels, foundation and practitioner. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the P3O model, which helps organisations establish a decision-making framework for balancing resources, risks and changing initiatives. This certification enables individuals to design, implement and manage a P3O model that they tailor to an organisation's specific needs to ensure the successful delivery of programmes and projects. This certification is suitable for individuals seeking such roles as portfolio analyst, programme office manager or project support officer. The P3O certification can offer enhanced career opportunities and promotes best practices in portfolio, programme and project management.

Related: Different Types Of Portfolio Management (With Advantages)

3. PMO Value Ring Certified Practitioner (PMO-VRCP)

The PMO Global Alliance offers the PMO-VRCP, which focuses on the application of the PMO value ring methodology to create, evaluate and optimise PMOs. This certification enables individuals to use a structured, collaborative approach to assess the value that PMO delivers, identify areas for improvement and ensure alignment with an organisation's strategic objectives. The PMO-VRCP certification is ideal for candidates seeking such roles as PMO manager, PMO analyst or PMO consultant, as it equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary to enhance the effectiveness of project management processes, and increase organisational success.

4. Project Management Professional (PMP)

The PMI offers the PMP certification, a globally recognised credential that validates an individual's expertise in managing and leading projects across various industries. By attaining this certification, you can demonstrate proficiency in project planning, execution, monitoring and control along with risk mitigation, and resource optimisation. The PMP certification enhances career prospects for project managers, project coordinators and team leaders, fostering best practices in project management and ensuring the successful delivery of projects within the constraints of scope, time and budget.

Related: What Is Digital Project Management? (With Skills And Tips)

5. PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)

The PMI-RMP certification demonstrates an individual's proficiency in identifying, assessing and managing project risks. The PMI awards this certificate to recognise individuals with expertise in risk management principles, practices and techniques. To attain the PMI-RMP certification, candidates require meeting specific eligibility requirements, passing a rigorous examination and adhering to the PMI code of ethics and professional conduct. Certified candidates can demonstrate their commitment to excellence in project risk management, enhancing their credibility and employability in the industry.

Related: 10 Types Of Risks In Finance And Tips For Mitigating Impact

6. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

The PMI-ACP certification validates a professional's knowledge and experience in Agile principles, practices and methodologies. The PMI-ACP certification shows one's ability to work effectively in Agile environments, covering various Agile approaches, such as Scrum, Kanban, lean and extreme programming (XP). Obtaining the PMI-ACP certification can help individual demonstrate their competence in Agile project management and enhance their career prospects.

Related: Agile Vs Scrum: What Is The Difference? (With FAQs)

7. Organisational Project Management (OPM3) certification

The OPM3 certification provides a comprehensive understanding of the OPM3 model. It is a globally recognised standard for assessing and improving an organisation's project management practices. This certification enables individuals to evaluate an organisation's project management maturity level, identify areas for improvement and implement strategies for enhancing project performance. The OPM3 certification is ideal for those seeking roles including PMO manager, portfolio manager or business analyst, as it equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary to align project management practices with an organisation's strategic objectives, and maximise business value.

8. Certified PMO Professional

The Global Skill Development Council's PMO Professional certification equips individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement formal project management processes, and disciplines within an organisation. It allows you to ensure on-time delivery of work, within budget and at an agreed-upon quality. The certification promotes the adoption of standard procedures and strategies across an organisation, resulting in improved efficiency, speed and cost-effectiveness. As a Certified PMO Professional, you can seamlessly transition between projects. It is applicable to both small-scale and large-scale organisations that have implemented a centralised body responsible for planning, designing and executing standard project management approaches.

9. International Project Management Officers (IPMO) Expert Certification

The Association of International Project Management Officers' (AIPMO's) IPMO Expert Certification recognises an individual's ability to establish, manage and lead PMOs across various industries, and organisations. The certification concentrates on the AIPMO's strategy lifecycle at the strategic level, incorporating aspects of management consulting, PMO topology and organisational design. The course is divided between theory, discussions and a two-day interactive workshop to address organisational design, and additional challenges. The IPMO Expert Certification can help enhance career opportunities in such roles as PMO director, chief project officer or head of project management, contributing to the successful delivery of complex programmes and projects.

Related: 11 Important Aspects Of Project Management (And 5 Stages)

10. PMO Certified Consultant (PMO-CC)

The PMO Global Alliance offers the PMO-CC certification, which signifies an individual's proficiency in advising organisations on establishing, implementing and improving project management office functions. This certification validates a person's ability to align PMO activities with an organisation's strategy, improve project management practices and maximise project performance. By attaining the PMO-CC certification, professionals enhance their career opportunities in such roles as PMO consultant, PMO manager or PMO analyst, contributing to the successful delivery of projects and programmes within organisations worldwide.

Related: Business Consultant Vs Management Consultant (Key Differences)

11. Program Management Professional (PgMP)

The PMI offers the PgMP certification, which identifies an individual's competency in managing complex and multiple projects or programmes. This certification validates a professional's ability to align programmes with organisational objectives, allocate resources and integrate programme components to achieve successful outcomes. By attaining the PgMP certification, one can enhance their career opportunities in roles such as program manager, senior project manager or PMO manager.

Related: What Is A Program Manager? (With Duties, Salary And Skills)

12. Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)

The PMI's PfMP certification demonstrates an individual's ability to manage portfolios that align with an organisation's strategic objectives. This certification signifies proficiency in defining, selecting, prioritising and evaluating projects, and programmes to optimise resource utilisation and maximise business value. By attaining the PfMP certification, one enhances their career prospects in roles such as portfolio manager, portfolio analyst or PMO manager, contributing to successful portfolio management.

Related: What Is Portfolio Management? (With Benefits And Types)

13. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

The Scrum Alliance offers the CSM certification. It validates an individual's proficiency in the Scrum framework, an agile approach to project management that emphasises collaboration, flexibility and continuous improvement. This certification signifies a professional's ability to facilitate Scrum events, manage project backlogs and promote a culture of transparency, and inspection. By attaining the CSM certification, professionals enhance their career opportunities in roles such as Scrum master, Agile coach or project manager, contributing to the successful delivery of projects within dynamic and rapidly changing environments.

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