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International Project Management Association

The IPMA (International Project Management Association) is a leading global organization in the field of project management and sets standards for competencies and certifications of project managers. With its member associations in more than 70 countries, the IPMA supports the development of project management know-how and promotes the exchange of experiences and best practices. For professionals, the IPMA offers various certification levels based on the IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB).

IPMA Member Associations

The IPMA consists of national project management associations that, as members of the IPMA, are responsible for implementing standards and certifications in their respective countries. In Germany, the German Project Management Association (GPM) is in charge, in Switzerland the Swiss Society for Project Management (spm), and in Austria Project Management Austria (pma). These associations offer local events, training, and networking opportunities for project management professionals.

IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB)

The IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB) is a global framework for assessing project management competencies and forms the basis for IPMA certifications. The ICB is divided into three areas of competence:

  1. Technical competencies: Skills and knowledge required for planning, executing, and controlling projects.
  3. Behavioral competencies: Personal and social skills a project manager needs to effectively communicate and collaborate with stakeholders and team members.
  5. Contextual competencies: Understanding of external factors that influence a project, such as organizational, political, economic, legal, and cultural aspects.

IPMA Certifications

The IPMA offers four levels of certification that cater to professionals with different levels of experience and competence:

  1. IPMA Level D: Certified Project Management Associate - For beginners and project team members who want to demonstrate basic project management knowledge.
  3. IPMA Level C: Certified Project Manager - For experienced project managers who can independently lead and successfully complete projects.
  5. IPMA Level B: Certified Senior Project Manager - For project managers with extensive experience in leading complex projects who can demonstrate a high level of leadership and management competence.
  7. IPMA Level A: Certified Projects Director - For experts responsible for leading project portfolios or programs and making strategic decisions for the entire organization.

IPMA Certification Process

The IPMA certification process consists of several steps that can vary depending on the level of certification:

  1. Registration and verification of eligibility requirements
  3. Filling out a self-assessment form to evaluate one's competencies compared to the ICB
  5. Preparation of a project report or project portfolio documentation, depending on the level of certification
  7. Participation in a written examination
  9. For higher levels of certification: Participation in an oral examination or an assessment center

Continuing Education Opportunities from IPMA

In addition to certifications, the IPMA also offers a variety of continuing education opportunities for project management professionals. These include:

  • IPMA webinars and online courses
  • IPMA conferences and events
  • IPMA Awards, to recognize outstanding projects and project managers
  • IPMA research activities, to advance the development of project management knowledge

IPMA and Other Project Management Organizations

In addition to the IPMA, there are other international organizations that deal with project management, such as the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the International Association for Agile and Lean Software Development (IALSD). Each organization has its own certifications and standards, which may differ in requirements and focus. Comparing the different certifications and frameworks can be helpful in finding the right qualification for personal and professional needs.


The IPMA is an important organization for project management professionals who want to demonstrate and further develop their competencies. With IPMA certifications and continuing education offerings, professionals can improve their career opportunities and contribute to the professionalization of project management. Collaboration with national member associations and other international organizations enables a global exchange of knowledge and best practices in project management.