time management

PRINCE2 Vs PMP – Which to Pick First?

September 1, 2015 by

If you’re looking to get certified in Project Management, you might be wondering which exam to take? There are lots out there but the 2 main contenders would be PRINCE2® (PRojects IN a Controlled Environment, version 2) or PMP® (Project Management Professional).  Before deciding which to pick, it might be worth which one to focus on and get certified in first. Yes first! I’d highly recommend getting certified in both. So, let’s take a look at PRINCE2 Vs PMP.


Research First

Find out first of all which is being used in your organization, industry and/or region. PRINCE2 is used with the majority of UK governments. PMP would be more used more globally, but both are internationally recognized accreditations.

Don’t forget to chat with people that are currently in the role. LinkedIn could be a great resource to connect with people if you don’t know anyone. Also, it’s worth doing some research with job search engines. What are recruiters looking for? Why are they looking for it?


Methodology or Standard?

PRINCE2 is a methodology that would be very process and template driven. It goes into details the roles that each person would play in a successful project and their involvement. It’s based on 7 principles, 7 themes, and 7 processes.

PMP, on the other hand, use the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide as the basis for its examination. It is a standard and focuses on lots of practices and techniques outlined in the PMBOK. It looks at the 5 project management Process Groups and 10 project management Knowledge Areas.


PRINCE2 doesn’t require any previous experience in Project Management. However, it is recommended to have some knowledge. This is a great option if you want to move into PM role and want to improve your own personal training.

PMP is very strict on their requirements and is also dependant on the qualifications that you left school with.

  • A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or the global equivalent)
  • 7,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education


  • Four-year degree
  • 4,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education.


There is also a chance to submit to a pre-exam audit where you might be asked to supply this information.



PRINCE2 practitioners do need to re-sit the exam every 3-5 years.  If you fail to pass or forget to re-sit after 5 years, your PRINCE2 practitioner status will be rejected.

There is more focus on continuous improvement with PMP to maintain your certification. A minimum of 60 PDUs (Professional Development Units) as part of their Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program over 3 years. There are many ways that these can be achieved, each with different weightings, training, education, teaching, content creation, full-time project management and much more.

PMP’s aim here is to make sure that you always stay to up to date and makes it harder to cram last minute when your certification starts to lapse.

These are just some things to consider which option to go with. If you’re looking to start out with project management or move your career in that direction, then PRINCE2 might be the best option to start with working towards PMP certification. One thing for sure there is no harm in having either on your resume. For more information check on their websites.

I wish you luck and would love to know which option you choose in the end and how you get on!



PMP Certification is changing in January 2018 so before then it might be worth looking at when you want to sit the exam and the new structure it will take.


Image credit

Ciara McCarthy
Latest posts by Ciara McCarthy (see all)