Updated June 12, 2023
MPM vs CPM – Project management is an ever evolving field, with a number of tremendous advancements and changes taking place at regular intervals. With the years passing by and the projects encountered, the methodologies used are getting even more sophisticated and the deployments, ever more efficient. With a number of opportunities rising up for project management professionals, there seems to be a wave and constant influx of project managers, all skilled to the level of bringing about great and dramatic changes to businesses across the globe. These project managers aren’t simply individuals who mark their territory and dictate work to be conducted on projects but are the epitome of leadership and command to steer the projects into the realms of success and to have the employees and team members gloat with a feeling of accomplishment.
Over the years, project managers have brought in changes that are readily accepted around the world, and these methodologies and processes are further taken up by global project management organizations, with a view to setting a global standard in everything that is being done with regard to projects. Whether it is in the field of IT and software development or way into the world of medicine and finance, project managers are on the lookout to encompass such education and knowledge so as to boost the chances of efficient work in the projects they themselves undertake.
In this article, you will explore a little into project management certifications, which are the extensions of all the learning you’ll need as a project manager. These certifications are not only catalysts to good project management but in fact, the key trigger to awesome project management tools and techniques, and methodologies. This article will elaborate on and differentiate two very diverse certifications within project management: MPM and CPM.
Understanding Project Management
If you’ve arrived at this page, there’s a good chance that you know a lot about project management and/or have already touched upon the basics of project management so as to know about their different certifications. In this section, I’ll be addressing the general views that all levels of project managers have on the field of project management, and from there, we’ll pick up the pace into specificity.
- Project management is the amalgamation of knowledge of various tools, techniques, and methodologies to be able to execute a business’ set objective in a successful and systematic manner.
- Project management assumes taking care of all aspects pertaining to a project, whether it’s scope management, resources management, quality management, procurement management, cost management, schedule management, risk/issue management, or team/people management. Project managers have to be able to manage all these aspects in a detailed, elaborate manner; this way, it becomes easier for the project to achieve its set goal and contribute effectively to what the organization is aiming at.
- Project management also involves careful delegation of tasks and activities to be conducted in a life cycle of a project. Project managers need to have a certain caliber to be able to pull off something as complicated and complex as a business project.
- Project management includes the services of a skilled project manager during the 5 phases of a project: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.
- Project management is more seemingly a collaborative effort than a one-member show. Teamwork and team understanding is very much the crux of project management, and project managers must be able to understand this fact in order to conduct and execute a successful project.
- Being able to counter risks and failures to any situation is key in project management and shows, and exhibits the true caliber of a project manager. Even recovering situations can be a great situation for project managers to be able to resurrect the business.
Understanding Project Management Certifications
With a load of responsibilities and work to be carried out by a project manager and the innumerable changes taking place in and out of the paradigm of project management, project management bodies all over the world have taken a step to be able to belt out certifications to project managers, with a view to standardizing the efforts put in by these managers.
Certifications provide a great added attribute to project managers seeking education to be continually and constantly upgrading. There is a myriad of project management certifications available for different levels of project management aspirants. These certifications are belted out by different project management bodies. Some are globally recognized for their education quality and have a lot of crowd following. But what does a project management certification do for you?
These certifications have gained tremendous recognition and value as it encompasses wholesome training and guidance with a view to efficiently and effectively managing projects. Also, to add to all the education and credentials earned, these professional bodies for project management make for a great platform to get acquainted with individuals pursuing the same ideologies and knowledge, thus, enhancing networking.
These bodies are taking project management to the very next step and have a very vocal attribute to the credentials belted out at the end of the training for certification. The credential appended to the name of the project manager has proved to be quite efficient when looking for project and job opportunities within the field.
The success rate also seems to be staggering at this point in time and has had a lasting effect on those pursuing these certifications. With renewal schemes for these certifications, professional bodies are urging project managers to keep the learning sequence on and build healthy, competitive environments for companies to grow in.
Relevant and prevalent bodies for project management include the following institutes:
- PMI (Project Management Institute)
- APM (Association for Project Management)
- AAPM (American Academy of Project Management)
- IAPPM (International Association of Project and Program Management)
- IPMA (International Professional Managers Association)
- BCS (British Computer Society, The Chartered Institute for IT)
What is MPM?
MPM, or Master Project Manager, is a distinctive entry-level graduate certification offered to project managers dealing with business and technical areas. As compared to the PMP certification offered by PMI, MPM is not solely concentrated in the professional space of project managers but has a relaxed criteria structure to get in candidates who possess the zeal to make it big in the project management scene.
An accreditation offered by the American Academy of Project Management (AAPM), MPM is one certification that earns brownie points for its concentration on IT professionals who are within the project management teams of their organizations. It provides a great training environment for professionals with a technical background by correlating the principles of engineering with management.
MPM offers its training at a considerably lower cost than its counterparts, but the validity as well is short-lived and requires re-examinations and a fee to be paid every 2 years to maintain the credential.
As we know that the certification isn’t solely aimed at professional project managers, the threshold maintained for entry into the program is considerably less and comes to the following criteria:
- You are eligible with less than 3 years experience in project management
- Professionals with more than 3 years experience and/or those who possess a master’s degree or equivalent education can avail of an executive waiver
The examinations are conducted online and consist of the following parameters:
- 20 questions
- 55 minutes
- No cost
The application, certification, and review take up a fee of $300 and should be paid at the commencement of the program. Study material and approved training can be sought at
The benefits that you will receive from this certification can be listed as follows:
- Project management experience
- Ability to take calculated risks and manage all such risks efficiently
- Enhancement in terms of technical prowess
- Effective communication
- Enhanced team management skills
- Ability to focus on the big picture and align all work and tasks
- Ability to provide coaching, mentoring, and guidance to team members
What is CPM?
CPM, or Certified Project Manager, is a mid-level certification issued by IAPPM. This certification concentrates on individuals who are working towards enhanced development in areas such as:
- Business analysis
- Project/program management
- Portfolio management
A level higher than the MPM certification in terms of the experience required and the training level, CPM doesn’t trump PMP (issued by PMI). In addition to all the necessary prerequisites, CPM needs the candidate to hold the CPP certification as an essential prerequisite for entry into the CPM program.
This certification is termed by the IAPPM as the “complementary” certification to the PMI’s PMP certification. The examination aims at enhancing the already present skills of the project manager, such as:
- Effective communication
- HR management
- Risk/issue management
- Quality management
- Marketing management
- IT and finance
- Systems and process integrations
This certification, though it forms a formidable component to other mainstream certifications, is mostly and best known around the Pacific-edged area and not so much globally. The re-certification needs to take place every 3 years.
This certification program rests on the following criteria:
- Bachelor’s degree or CPP
- 4 years or more experience in project management
- 36 contact hours involved in CPM training
- 3-hour successful CPM examination
- Mentoring by way of the grandfathering option
Unlike MPM, CPM has an extensive fee structure. This is as follows:
- Fee for certification – $550
- Annual fees – $100
- Annual renewal fees – $100
With this, we have successfully gone through the various aspects and requirements needed for both MPM and CPM certifications. With both elaborated in front of you, you can now pick and choose and make an informed decision regarding what you need to be undertaking in the future.
Both the certifications serve the purposes for which they were built, and professionals and project management aspirants are seeking these certifications for enhanced job satisfaction and great employability for the different job opportunities within multinationals.
Employers are looking specifically for these certified individuals as they hold a great commitment and promise. These certifications and the institutes belting them out offer quality education and a high level of training for various business scenarios across industries, thus, powering project managers to undertake various projects and programs within different kinds of organizations.