The Registered Project Professional (RPP) standard was launched in 2011 to allow senior project professionals to demonstrate leadership and ability in a complex project environment and gain an independent recognition of their proven project capabilities. Since its initial launch in 2011 there are currently 1,075 project managers who have been successful in gaining RPP status and entered on the APM register project professionals.
From May 2018, project managers are now able to apply for Chartered Project Professional (ChPP) – a benchmark that also demonstrates attainment of a defined level of technical competence and professionalism, through an equally rigorous assessment.
Whilst it was considered that ChPP accreditation may replace Registered Project Professional (RPP) as the ultimate symbols of competence, knowledge and ethical behaviour, there is no clear indication from APM that this will happen any time soon. Indeed, two major blue-chip companies that Provek is currently working with, are encouraging their senior project managers to gain both designations and whilst one is encouraging them to work towards RPP to fast track to ChPP, the other is encouraging them to work towards to ChPP and later to RPP.
Below: image showing how experience and career progression aligns to APM designations (and typical routes to each designation).
ChPP versus RPP
For those considering which accreditation is right for them, the tables below compare similarities and differences between the ChPP and RPP assessment processes and eligibility criteria.
On balance ChPP and RPP assessments offer the same level of challenge – but in different ways. For example, from an application form viewpoint, ChPP is easier and quicker than RPP as there are less questions and less word count required. However, from an interview viewpoint, ChPP is up to 2 hours whereas RPP is up to 1 hour, hence ChPP has a prolonged interview. For those that are more comfortable talking and prefer less writing then ChPP may be the preferred choice and vice versa.
For those wishing to gain both accreditations: Achieving RPP first, enables a very short ChPP route with only a 30-minute telephone interview with one assessor required for ChPP, compared to a 2-hour face to face interview with two assessors if you do ChPP without gaining RPP first.
Hence from a candidate process viewpoint, if a candidate does not like the idea of a 2-hour interview required for ChPP then they might consider RPP first, and then ChPP afterwards to avoid a huge 2-hour interview. There is no compelling benefits from doing ChPP first and then RPP, both on time and cost.
Worth noting, having APM PPQ also shortens the ChPP interview process from 2 hours to 1 hour.
Provek has a ChPP expert (one of APM’s trained ChPP and RPP assessors) if you wish to discuss any aspects of ChPP and/or RPP. See Provek support options later in this article.
Provek support options for those looking to achieve ChPP and/or RPP
Readiness checker tool (free to use)
Provek’s ChPP and RPP readiness checkers take approximately 60-90 minutes to complete and are free to use. They can be accessed here:
Upon completion a personal report is provided immediately offline. It can provide confidence of your readiness for ChPP or RPP and filters out those not ready, avoiding disappointment and wasted hours. Provek will provide you with advice and guidance should your score be borderline.
Should you wish to go ahead with ChPP or RPP, Provek provide support packages designed to suit your specific requirements:
- Briefing and coaching on your application form, interview and expert review/feedback of your written submission, by a Provek consultant who is a current APM ChPP/RPP assessor.
- On-demand video resources on the award winning The PM Channel covering the whole ChPP/RPP process.
- Anytime telephone and email queries or advice from Provek assessor team.
The table below provides a summary of support options. For completeness, Provek’s learning options for PFQ, PMQ and PPQ have also been included.
Whilst chartered status is generally considered a pinnacle achievement in a particular profession, for project managers there is still significant vested interest in gaining one or both accreditations.
There is very little difference in terms of what ChPP and RPP say about the individual who achieves either – both represent a “Gold standard” in terms of proven project professional competence and should be considered to represent a similar level of achievement.
In many respects, RPP was intended to be ChPP in all but name, when started over 8 years ago.
RPP is now a proven assessment process and a standard that is established. Conversely ChPP is new, although it has taken learning from the RPP process. With a strong history of coaching support available with proven results, RPP could be considered a safer bet in the short term, however it is also safe to assume that if APM remove one in the future, it will only ever be RPP that is removed.
In conclusion, it is undeniable that a chartered accreditation clearly stands out and there are many individuals and employers that may not understand or know of RPP. Chartered status is an industry-wide recognised benchmark of achievement and mark of professional excellence and we would expect this to be the main “Gold standard” for project managers in the UK for many years to come and to outstrip RPP, perhaps even within a couple of years or less.