PMP Vs PRINCE2 – The Clash of Certifications

It is very common for IT professionals coming into Catch-22 situation, especially while choosing one among the most famous project management certifications – the PMP or PRINCE2. The question – then, the next question arises – Which certification will help me to get the desired success in my career? and Which one helps me to increase my knowledge base in terms of project management? Will PMP or PRINCE2 certification help me in managing my projects?

There are many such questions which come to your mind, isn’t it? Don’t worry! We will help you to solve this biggest dilemma.

You can choose the right one that’s suited to your profile. Not only that, we will also tell you the pros and cons of both the certifications and the benefits you will gain after obtaining one of these certifications.

So, let’s start with some basic features and processes about these certifications which can help you to make a clear decision.

The PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification

The PMP certification is one of the most sought after certifications among project managers around the world. It is the project management standard that is governed by the Project Management Institute (PMI), Texas, USA.

For many project managers working in various industries, the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) is like a Bible which must be followed to manage the projects.

Let’s see some of its incredible features of PMP that makes it so popular across the industries.

  • The PMP standards are being referred as the encyclopedia of project management. It tells you the proven tools and techniques, and the best practices which can be applied to your projects for achieving the desired success.
  • The best thing about PMP is that, it is not specific to any particular industry. The PMP standards can be applied and practiced in various industries, be it a manufacturing hub or a construction project.
  • The PMP focuses on execution techniques and problem-solving process, which can be applied by project managers to smoothly manage their projects.
  • It covers all the stages of project management from initiation to close. There are 5 process groups and 10 technology areas that describes each phase of a project.

Project IN Controlled Environment (Prince2) Certification

PRINCE2 is another popular certification program for project management. It is a methodology, a detailed guide to run your project with many process models and templates.

Earlier, PRINCE2 certification program was governed by the UK government’s Cabinet Office, but currently, it is running under the AXELOS Global Best Practice, a new joint venture company in the UK which also provides other certification courses such as ITIL (IT Service Management) and RESILIA (Cyber Resilience).

There are three stages of PRINCE2 certification, they are:

  • PRINCE2 Foundation (Level – Basic)
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner (Level – Moderate)
  • PRINCE2 Professional (Level – Expert)

Though, both the PMP and PRINCE2 programs have the same objective that is to manage the projects effectively, but there are some key differences in their execution.

PMP Vs PRINCE2 – Let’s Weigh The Both

Let’s check out some of the key differences between the PMP and PRINCE2.

  • PMP talks about the project management standard, whereas PRINCE2 is a set of various methodologies to carry out the project management activities.
  • PRINCE2 has defined various roles involved in project management. It uses the terms like project board, project manager, and some other optional characters. But, PMP only focuses on Project Manager Role.
  • PMP defines the overall end to end concepts to manage the projects. While PRINCE2 provides step by step guidance to carry out the project management activities by the various stakeholders.
  • PRINCE2 doesn’t focus on interpersonal skills, whereas PMP covers details on interpersonal skills and also describes the detailed process of requirements gathering.
  • According to PMP, the success or failure of a project lies solely on the project manager’s shoulder. The Project Manager carries the overall responsibilities of a project.
  • While in PRINCE2, the Project Manager is a part of the team but not the sole owner. The responsibilities are segregated between various roles such as Project Board Executive, Senior Users, Senior Suppliers, Project Assurance, Project Manager, Team Manager and the Team.
  • In the case of project’s failure, according to PMP, the Project Manager is to blame. Whereas, according to PRINCE2 the Project Board Executive is accountable.

The PMP has a global active body to help you in advancing your project management career. As a PMI member, you will get the access to their online knowledge centers where you will get tons of useful resources like templates, plans, articles and other resources. PRINCE2 doesn’t have such global body.

The Market Demands

This can be a controversial discussion, as there are differences in people opinions. Some say PMP and some backs PRINCE2 certification. But, if we think about the exam’s difficulties level, then the PMP needs more dedicated study hours as compare to PRINCE2 for passing the certifications.

And if we will talk about its acceptability in different countries, then the PMP may win the race. That’s because the PMP is widely accepted and recognized certification programs in the USA, Canada, Middle East, Asia and other countries. While the PRINCE2 certification is in demand mostly by the people living in the UK and Europe.

You can find much more PMP certified professional than the PRINCE2 certified worldwide. Currently, there are around 700000 active PMP certified professional across 200 countries, proving its popularity and acceptability.

Which One to Choose

Here comes the big question, which certifications you will choose? Are you going to choose the PMP certification or the PRINCE2? The answer is very simple.

Let’s find out which one you will choose, but before that, you need to assess your needs considering the below pointers.

  • What is your target location? In which country you are targeting to work? The answer to our big question lies there only. Yes, if you are going to work in a country like India, USA or the Middle East regions then just go for PMP certification. But if you would like to work in the UK or European countries then PRINCE2 certification will provide you an edge over your competitors.
  • Secondly, if you are an experienced project manager and continue to work on the same area then the PMP certification will not only enhance your knowledge base but also helps you to step up in your career. But, if you are working as a project coordinator, project lead or some other positions having less experience in project management, then go for PRINCE2 certification to get hold of the step by step guidance on project management.


Finally, both the certifications have their own advantages, knowing both of them can surely enhance your project management skills. So, there is no harm if someone acquires both the certifications. But, when it require choosing one of them, then assess your needs in terms of your target location and level of experience, and then choose the best one which suits to your profile.

karthikeya Boyini
karthikeya Boyini

I love programming (: That's all I know

Updated on: 23-Jan-2020


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