I am currently working with a couple of experienced project managers assisting them through an RPL process for the Diploma of Project Management.
Both of these men are in secure jobs but they felt the need to have the Diploma.
Well, that’s what I asked them.
Now before I tell you what they said, let me set the scene. Both these men are experienced in Project Management. One is in commercial property development and runs large, complex Public Private Partnership (PPP) funded projects for multi-million dollar developments as well as lots of smaller re-developments, upgrades and so on. The other works in roads, building, repairing and upgrading major roadwork programs. Significantly both are in their mid to late forties and both work for companies who gain a large percentage of their work by responding to government tenders and large, influential private companies. Both men are busy with current projects, finalising completing projects and overseeing the early planning stages of new projects.
So why then do they need project management qualifications?
The former individual has no qualifications other than his original trade qualifications. A mate started a qualification in Project Management a year or so ago and called him for help and he realised that, what he does on a daily basis is exactly what the course is about. That started him thinking that he could achieve the qualification by RPL as he already knew all the answers and was able to help his mate. Coincidentally, the company he works for was having more success in winning PPP’s but, the standards required in many of these tenders demanded that the responding companies demonstrate their expertise in project management (often as part of their quality control standards) and, while a strong CV helped, for people like him with no real qualifications it was risky. So much so that his company has asked him to gain the qualification so that they can confidently put him forward in tender applications. In fact this request was formalised as part of his most recent performance appraisal.
The latter individual is the opposite of the first guy in that he is an Engineer and holds a number of qualifications as well as PM Certifications including PRINCE2 but no qualification specific to project management. He could see that work was slowing in the business he is in and so had already identified the new company he wanted to move across to but, he felt that the Diploma of Project Management would round off his CV and ensure that he got the job with the company he wanted to work for. He was shoring up his bets to make sure he got what he wanted. In this case the Diploma of PM was the missing qualification on his CV. There was no push from his company to complete it, he already held a number of qualifications, instead it was personal and calculated. He had targeted the company he wanted to work for and, he felt he stood a much better chance of getting the job he wanted with it.
While neither of these guys offered age as a factor to me, I am sure that both had this very firmly in the back of their minds as well. If not for straight out project management then for career advancement and promotion up to project Directors and/or more senior roles in the PMO.
Whatever the reason a Diploma of Project Management is an important qualification for all project managers to have!