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PRINCE2 vs PMP – Project Management Practitioners are in high demand globally; this is because of the changes in our society which brought about more innovative way of thinking and consequently, projects. Organizations are not just searching for project managers to deliver projects, rather, project managers with requisite knowledge and expertise at delivering projects successfully.

PRINCE2 and PMP are two of the most popular project management certifications available globally. Most professionals are, however; confused as to what differentiates these two certifications from each other.

PRINCE2 is an acronym for Projects IN Controlled Environments; it is a methodological approach to managing projects. It is originated from UK Government as a solution to failed public projects and now owned by AXELOS – a joint venture between UK Cabinet Office and Capita. It is widely used in over 150 countries as at today, it is a methodological approach to project management.

PMP certification is centred on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK), and the copyright owner is PMI. It is an examination taken to demonstrate the mastery of project management by professionals; hence it is for experienced project managers and not for greenhorns in project management. The PMBoK guideline is a set of standard that is required to be complied with, for effective project management within the global best practice.

Before we go on to explain the differences between the PMP and PRINCE2, let take a look at some of their similarities.

Similarities between PRINCE2 and PMP

Both cover project management activities or processes.

Both are globally recognized project management qualifications.

Both have starter and practitioner level qualifications. [e.g CAPM & PMP, Foundation & Practitioner].

Both are accepted in Nigeria [this is proven by Job adverts]

What PMP calls “Knowledge Area” is what PRINCE2 calls “Themes”

Both cover the ISO 21500.

The key differences between the two certifications are in the table below:

Differences between PRINCE2 & PMP Certification


Originates from the US
Originates from the UK
coordinated by PMI
coordinated by AXELOS
PMP is like a dictionary
PRINCE2 is more like a recipe book
PMP verifies your experience of the “generally-accepted” best practices and principles of project management
PRINCE2 is a broad, general framework of project management principles, which means it is recommended and can be implemented on just about any type of project.
PMP is standard based
PRINCE2 is Principled based -It deals with step-by-step processes and has a well-laid out and structured approach to project management in terms of directing, management and delivery.
PMP focuses more on what you need to know while
PRINCE2 focuses on how to go about it or how to do it.
PMP does not spell out roles and responsibilities of the team members in details
PRINCE2 spells out the roles and responsibilities of each member of the team tasked with managing the project.
PMP gives the list of documents to be used during the project management process but does not tell us how they should be structured or even give the format/template to be used
PRINCE2 gives the list of documents to be used during the project management process and also explains how the format and template should be like and how to quality check each one of them.
PMP talks about professional ethics
PRINCE2 talks about principles.
PMP deals more on procurement and project management techniques e.g. critical path method and earned value management.
PRINCE2 deals more on Project organizational structure.
PMP deals more on theoretical aspects.
PRINCE2 deals more on the practical aspect


Both qualifications PRINCE2 certification and PMP are not competing rather they complement each other. They are useful for any project manager and provide the required capabilities necessary to deliver successful projects.

Related Trainings:

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