How to select a project management training provider?

See note at the end for a disclaimer

Why This Article

Due to the popularity of project management certification, especially PMP Training, we have seen since 2005 a huge jump in training providers, at least in the region we operate in. There is nothing wrong in an increase in number of providers as long as they are quality providers. Yet, this is not the case! Read more

Issues with Some Training Providers

Here are some observations about the issues with project management training providers. Although this is written from a West Asia perspective, we believe it is common to other regions.

  • Quite a few providers have no courses other than CAPM or PMP training,
  • Quite a few providers have no project management or Project Management Professionals (PMPs) on their staff; in other words, all of their instructors are freelancers,
  • There are many providers who are in the business of English Language or software training (Excel, PowerPoint) and adds a PMP class to their offerings, revenue opportunity,
  • Most will state in their advertisement that they have “expert project managers” with “industry experience” but most will not even give the name, CV, or profile for the instructor … so one has to trust them, or not to …
  • Many freelance instructors do not have “true” or “significant” project management experience – yet they are PMPs … how? Another story …
  • I have personally interviewed many applicants to join our company as “instructors” and most of them fail my “acid test” on basic project management knowledge such as project life cycle, project plan, project management plan
  • Some say they have 5, 10, 15 years experience; but you need to ask doing what? Is this 5, 10, 15 years in project management or something else like developing software … or …
  • I can add more but this enough for now

So What Is the Answer?

In order for project management training not to be a Bazar … we have attached for you a list of points to consider on How to Select a Project Management Training Provider.

You do not have to accept it all but it is for you to consider before selecting where you will take your PMP Training or any other project management learning program.

This is very important for Learning and Development Managers to consider before selecting a provider to do an in-company course.

Download the How to Guide: How to Select a Project Management Training Provider


A Disclaimer: SUKAD, the company hosting this blog is a project management solutions provider, and we do provide project management training as part of our learning and development division. We do believe competition is health and necessary so what we are stating here is not about the concept of competition but quality of service to our professional community. 

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  • “This message was originally posted when we published this post in the past”

    This comment is By: Stuart Brunt, Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 12:11 PM

    There are many good points I agree with in this discussion. I agree that passing the PMP exam does not necessarily make you a good project manager. However, my understanding is that the PMP credential confirms the project management experience you stated in your application form (4000 or 6000 hours). Also, that you successfully managed these projects to benefit the organization. I do not see any grounds to falsify this information and comply with PMI ethics. However, my opinion is that you should be continuously improving these skills. Lastly, I agree with credible REPs who focus on just passing the credential. This serves as a good fast-track (bootcamp) method or as a good refresher for project managers. There are plenty of sources for detailed project management training. Therefore, fast-track and detailed training should co-exist. However, I agree that the course designers/facilitators should be credentialed. But the younger generation will tend to prefer online over live classroom trainnig. Either way, course content must comply with credential requirerments. Stuart

    • “This message was originally posted when we published this post in the past”

      This comment is By Mounir Ajam, Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 2:56 PM

      Dear Stuart
      You can check my response against PMI published information.

      1. The PMP application asks for 4500 hours of project management experience (less than 3-years full time). The application says you should be leading and directing project tasks … but i know far too many PMP who worked on project in technical roles and still became PMPs.

      2. The PMP application does not and cannot verify “success” how could they do that?

      3. We do not mind refresher and fast track training … but you cannot become a PMP just with 5-days of training unless you have extensive project management experience. So the issue is not the 5-days but they way it is posted.

      • “This message was originally posted when we published this post in the past”

        This comment is By Paul Revere, Posted on Friday, April 20, 2012 7:48 AM

        Stuart – you need to read the requirements for PMP more carefully. You need experience in project management, but not as a project manager. You could be a team member and qualify.

        • “This message was originally posted when we published this post in the past”

          This Comment is By Stuart Brunt, Posted on Friday, April 20, 2012 8:52 AM

          Paul, you are very correct. Prior experience can be as project manager, project leader, project coordinator, project team member etc. I should know this, my Son is currently studying for the PMP exam.

          I think I went off on a rant during my February post because of my experience when preparing for the PMP -many good PM training providers but unfortunately, even more poor and misleading sources.

    • “This message was originally posted when we published this post in the past”

      This comment is By Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, Posted on Friday, April 20, 2012 8:51 PM

      Very interesting turn of events over the past week or so. There was a very heated debate in one of the linked in forums on this topic and it appears PMI has CHANGED the requirements in the past week. If you download the latest PMP Handbook, they now require that the applicant log time “leading and directing PROJECTS” and not just “TASKS”.

      If you want to email me privately, I will send you the “before” and “after” versions so you can see for yourself.

  • “This message was originally posted when we published this post in the past”

    This comment is By Dr. PDG, Jakarta, Indonesia,Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 3:28 AM

    Not a bad checklist, Mounir and Luc!!

    The only questions I would add are:
    1) Is the course designed ONLY to pass an exam (“teaching to the exam”) or is it designed to build COMPETENT, capable practitioners?

    2) Have the instructors actually held the position of “project manager” on real projects that have been “successful”?

    Especially in the developing nations, having local people pass the PMP (or any other credential) and then not being able to do the job not only damages the credibility of the credential itself, but hurts the local economy in the process.

    As for the second question, would you want to be trained to be a surgeon by someone who had never really operated on a live person? Or take flying lessons from a “pilot” who had never flown a plane?

    This whole “professional certification” business is, IMPO< becoming not much more than a scam, with PMI leading the pack. (See on their latest web update that they are touting the PMI credentials as "certifying project management expertise"? Who says? By what standard? Many of the training providers are merely emulating the same practices that PMI themselves exemplify and condone.

    • “This message was originally posted when we published this post in the past”

      This comment is By Mounir Ajam, Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 5:47 AM

      Dear Dr. Paul
      We appreciate your comments and with your permission we would like to add the two points you raise to the list with an attribute to your contribution.

      We agree on all of the points you raise.