PRINCE2 Practitioner is the advanced level of certification that confirms sufficient understanding of how to tailor and implement PRINCE2 in a project. In order to get this certification you have to prove that you have the competences needed for the Foundation certification and, moreover, that you are able to apply this knowledge and tailor PRINCE2 to address the issues and needs of a specific project scenario.
A successful candidate should, therefore, be able to apply the PRINCE2 methodology within a real project with proper assistance. Nevertheless, this isn’t to say that he is sufficiently skilled to do so appropriately for all types of projects. In this sense, an important role in the impact of the PRINCE2 Practitioners is played by their individual project management experience, by the complexity of the project at hand, and by the extent to which the environment in which they work provides
The PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification is targeted at Project Managers and aspiring Project Managers. Other categories this qualification is relevant to includes Project Board members (e.g., Senior Responsible Owners), Team managers, Project Assurance, Project Support, and Operational Line Managers and staff.
In order to take the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam you need to have at least one of the following certifications already:
- PRINCE2 Foundation
- Project Management Professional® (PMP®)
- Certified Associate in Project Management® (CAPM®)
- IPMA Level A (Certified Projects Director)
- IPMA Level B (Certified Senior Project Manager)
- IPMA Level C (Certified Project Manager)
- IPMA Level D (Certified Project Management Associate)
- Multiple choice and multiple answer questions based on a scenario
- 80 questions
- 55% passing score
- 150 minutes duration
- Open book (only the Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2)
- Online, computer-based, or paper-based
30 minutes extra time is available when the candidate is not taking the exam in their mother tongue, or the language they use in their business daily.
Exam Delivery Format
There are three formats available:
- Computer-based, with an invigilators in the same location
- Paper-based, with an invigilator in the same location
The common format for classroom courses is the paper-based. Those who self-study, or use eLearning courses, usually take online exams. The online exams are also invigilated, and the candidates should stay in a quite room alone, with the webcam and microphone recording them.
Candidates receive their electronic certificates as soon as their results are finalized (usually takes a few hours to a few days). Hard copy certifications are also available for an extra fee.
Certificates are issued from the Examination Institutes, and therefore, they are different in formatting and presentation. However, all of them are approved by AXELOS.
Candidates can allow the Examination Institutes to publish their information. In that case, their name will be added to AXELOS’ successful candidates register. The Examination Institutes also have their own directories of certified candidates.
Certificate holders have to renew it in 5 years, with another exam called Re-Registration Examination.
The main resource for this exam is the official manual, Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2.
Since the exam is open-book and the official manual is the only resource one can use during the exam, it’s important for candidates to purchase it as soon as possible in their studies and get used to the structure of the information provided there.
Preparation for the Exam
There are three normal choices:
- Taking classroom courses: the standard course is 3 days, with the exam at the end of the last day.
- Taking eLearning courses
The amount of time needed for self-study or completing eLearning courses depends on the experience and prior knowledge of the candidate; usually ranging between 20 and 40 hours.
It’s preferred to take the classroom courses and eLearning courses from an Accredited Training Organization, because their material had been reviewed and approved by the Examination Institutes. ATOs usually mention this in the websites, and one can check it in the ATOs directories of the Examination Institutes.
Many candidates take the so-called combi-courses, which are 5 days long and cover both the PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner.
Paying for and Taking the Exam
In case of classroom training, the exam is usually included and the trainer will take the exam at the end of the course.
Some eLearning courses are also bundled with the exam, and the ATO provides a voucher to the candidate, using which they can take the exam in one of the Examination Institutes website. Others can buy the exam from the ATOs or Examination Institutes separately and have the same process.
Options are also available to take the exam in certain test centers such as Prometric; but it’s not as common as other options.
The Examination Institutes have to pay a certain fee to AXELOS. They can set their own prices for Accredited Training Organizations. Different ATOs have different agreements and prices, and consider different margins. So, at the end, prices really vary for the end users. There are sometimes hidden costs too. Some ATOs may provide low prices on exams, but do not sell them without eLearning courses; usually highly priced ones.
ATOs usually offer the exam between €350 and €450 (including VAT).