Professional Development

PMI and the professional project manager

As the number of projects swell, the pool of credentialed talent is not keeping pace. Of the 20 million people believed to be participating in projects worldwide, just one million have recognized formal training. One thing becomes clear: the demand for skilled project managers is critical.

For nearly 40 years, PMI has advocated the advantages of communicating with one common language, no matter the industry or geography, whether it be for projects, programs, or portfolios. This common language steers organisations towards achieving repeatable, predictable results – which is critical when a projected $12 trillion will be invested in infrastructure and capital projects worldwide over the next year.

Professional Development means more than credentials

Sections of the site under ‘Professional Development’ i.e.

  • professional qualifications (often termed ‘credentials’ in PMI);
  • the award of Professional Development Units (PDUs);
  • PMI’s Global Standards and
  • Education and Training Providers (REPs)

All of the aforementioned refer to the knowledge gained and the qualifications acquired through PMI’s credentialing programmes. These are augmented by other PMI resources including Seminars World and PM Learn.

The UK Chapter hosts regular meetings throughout the UK, where members may catch up with other professionals and share knowledge of news and new developments. These are also opportunities for members to meet, to make new acquaintances and learn more about the project community in the UK, in different industries and across the world.

Professional Development – The Big Picture

The big picture

An important PMI standard useful for gaining a more complete understanding of professional development is PMI’s

Project Management Competency Development Framework (PMCDF)

This is available as a book and as a pdf to members on the PMI website (

This diagram from the Standard depicts five factors of professional development. The standard provides a full competency framework for the three that are highlighted:

  • Knowledge Competence – what a project manager knows about the application of processes, tools and techniques for project activities
  • Performance Competence – how the project manager behaves when performing activities within the project environment; their attitudes and core personality characteristics
  • Personal Competence– how a project manager applies project management knowledge to meet project requirements

Industry Specific Competence and Organisational competence are not developed in this way in the PMCDF. The former refers to the abilities required of a project manager working in a particular enterprise and sector, while the latter – organisational competence refers to a project manager’s ability to understand organisational structures, culture and behaviour and to be equipped to ensure that the necessary social engagement and collaboration occurs.

Chapter 4 of the PMCDF offers advice, methods, and formats for use in the development of project managers – both for individuals and for corporate programmes.