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PRINCE2 2017… What’s new?

Lately, I have been receiving many enquiries about the new PRINCE2 update. I thought I will list some of the questions and their answers, so people who already hold PRINCE2 Foundation and/or Practitioner and others who are considering PRINCE2 certificates can get a clear idea on what they need to know about the new update.

Why update PRINCE2?

AXELOS have been continuously monitoring PRINCE2 through feedback received from the vast variety of project management professionals in the global community. The core elements of PRINCE2 remain unchanged; they are the strengths of PRINCE2 derived from decades of best practice in project management across diverse industries.

Following a review of the expert feedback from PRINCE2 practitioners and extensive consultation across the global PRINCE2 community, it was evident that the PRINCE2 guidance and exams could be enhanced to provide more authoritative and practical guidance to project managers in today’s environment.

Has the method changed?

  • The themes have been restructured to enhance readability and flow and to accommodate new important guidance on how to tailor projects.

  • More emphasis on the tailoring part, especially for simple projects, project within corporate program or customer, agile projects and customer/supplier projects.

  • Expanded the information about the seven PRINCE2 principles.

  • Greater clarity on the link between the themes and the principles.

  • Examples of tailoring the themes.

  • More hints and tips.

Have they added or removed principles or themes?

No, the core elements of PRINCE2 remain unchanged.

How about the tailoring?

The tailoring method of PRINCE2 remain as valid as ever. However, the practice and philosophy of tailoring is a thread that now runs throughout the guidance. That enhanced PRINCE2’s value to a wide range of organisations and job roles. PRINCE2 2017 provides guidance on identifying the minimum requirement for PRINCE2 project and on making selective, but optimum use of PRINCE2’s elements to suit the scale of the project.

How the exams will be affected?

Foundation Exam:

AXELOS has taken steps to make the exam more efficient with increased clarity on the core of PRINCE2. The major changes include:

  • Elements of the exam that are not part of the core have been removed (such as configuration management, which is now not described within the method)

  • Assessment criteria around tailoring have been added (such as what must be applied from each theme in order to be adopting PRINCE2 in a project environment) –

  • The emphasis on different parts of the syllabus has been readjusted, for example the principles feature more prominently, and there is a more equal weighting amongst the seven themes

  • Improvements to the exam design have been made, such removing negative questions and reducing the number of missing word and list questions. The number of questions on a paper has been reduced from 75 to 60 and trial questions have also been removed.

  • The time allowed for the exam is 60 minutes (this is the same as the 2009/current version) – The pass mark has been increased to 55% (from 50% in the current 2009/current version). Therefore, to pass candidates require 33 marks out of 60.

Practitioner exam:

There is renewed focus on ensuring candidates have the ability to apply PRINCE2 practically in a given project environment and increase the value gained from using the method. The major changes include:

  • The Practitioner exam will now test candidates on all parts of the PRINCE2 method

  • The emphasis on different parts of the syllabus has been readjusted, for example there are questions specifically around the principles, and the number of questions about management products has been reduced

  • The candidate is tested on their ability to apply the core of each theme and process (at Bloom’s level 3), and also on their practical ability to assess, in a particular context, whether a particular approach to project management is effective and fit for purpose (at Bloom’s level 4)

  • Improvements to the exam design have been made, such as reducing the amount of ‘additional information’ needed to answer the questions and removing complex question styles, such as ‘assertion-reason’. The number of marks on a paper has been reduced to 68. – The time allowed for the exam is 2 hours and 30 minutes (this is the same as the 2009/current version)

  • The pass mark for the exam is 38 marks out of 68 (approximately 55%).