IPMA Level-C: Certified Project Manager

IPMA Level C: Certified Project Manager

An IPMA certification at Level C requires that the candidate has acted in a project management role within a moderately complex project environment within an organisation.

Eligibility criteria: within the last six years the candidate needs to have a minimum of three years’ experience as a project manager within projects of moderate complexity, or a minimum of three years’ experience in a responsible project management role assisting the project manager in complex projects. The evidence timescale can be extended by four years to ten years with justification.


Complexity of projects

Project complexity is evaluated based on the requirements of eligibility for each certification level, and candidates use suitable examples of evidence for their application to meet the complexity criteria. The evaluation of complexity of each project:

    Capability-based indicators

  • Objectives and assessment of results (output-related complexity): this indicator describes the complexity originating from vague, exacting and mutually conflicting goals, objectives, requirements and expectations.
  • Processes, methods, tools and techniques (process-related complexity): this indicator describes the complexity related to the number of tasks, assumptions and constraints and their interdependence; the processes and process quality requirements; the team and communication structure; and the availability of supporting methods, tools and techniques.
  • Resources including finance (input-related complexity): this indicator describes complexities relating to acquiring and funding the necessary budgets (possibly from several sources); the diversity or lack of availability of resources (both human and other); and the processes and activities needed to manage the financial and resource aspects, including procurement.
  • Risk and opportunities (risk-related complexity): this indicator describes complexity related to the risk profile(s) and uncertainty levels of the project and dependent initiatives.

    Context-based indicators

  • Stakeholders and integration (strategy-related complexity): this indicator describes the influence of formal strategy from the sponsoring organisation(s), and the standards, regulations, informal strategies and politics which may influence the project. Other factors may include the importance of outcomes for the organisation; the measure of agreement between stakeholders; the informal power, interests and resistance surrounding the project; and any legal or regulatory requirements.
  • Relations with permanent organisations (organisation-related complexity): this indicator describes the amount and interrelatedness of the interfaces of the project with the organisation’s systems, structures, reporting and decision-making processes.
  • Cultural and social context (socio-cultural complexity): this indicator describes complexity resulting from socio-cultural dynamics. These may include interfaces with participants, stakeholders or organisations from different socio-cultural backgrounds or having to deal with distributed teams.

    Management and leadership based complexity indicators

  • Leadership, teamwork and decisions (team-related complexity): this indicator describes the management/leadership requirements from within the project. This indicator focuses on the complexity originating from the relationship with the team(s) and their maturity and hence the vision, guidance and steering the team requires to deliver.
  • Degree of innovation and general conditions (innovation-related complexity): this indicator describes the complexity originating from the degree of technical innovation of the project. This indicator may focus on the learning and associated resourcefulness required to innovate and/or work with unfamiliar outcomes, approaches, processes, tools and/or methods.
  • Demand for coordination (autonomy-related complexity): this indicator describes the amount of autonomy and responsibility that the project manager/leader has been given or has taken/shown. This indicator focuses on coordinating, communicating, promoting and defending the project interests with others.

Complexity is measured against that of similar projects for the level applied for in its profile environment and each complexity indicator is scored. When more than one project is provided by the candidate, each is independently assessed by the assessors who only accept competence evidence from projects that meet the minimum complexity requirements for the level at which the candidate has applied.


Competence baseline for assessment

The frame of reference during the assessment process is the IPMA ICB and its component CEs. It is the IPMA standard for certification and is used for the assessment of candidates by each CB. The IPMA ICB has a number of CEs, each of which has a number of Key Competence Indicators (KCIs). The assessment of a candidate is undertaken at the CE level using the KCIs to support the assessment. The IPMA ICB definition of individual competence is the ‘application of knowledge, skills and abilities in order to achieve the desired results in a work environment’. The assessment  of a C-level candidate  is based on the demonstration  of the CE applied in a project environment of moderate complexity;

Exam questions, interview questions and simulation case studies used for level C (where appropriate) are formulated such that they allow candidates to demonstrate the application  of knowledge, skills and abilities across the various assessment  methods used.

To achieve Level C, candidates must demonstrate sufficient evidence of 80% of the domain CEs defined in the IPMA ICB, in a moderately complex environment. To demonstrate sufficient evidence against a specific CE, candidates need to demonstrate a minimum of 50% of the KCIs.


Progress payments for the certification fees may be made using our Level-C Certification Online Payment Form (Members) and Level C Certification Online Payment Form (Non-Members)


General Address

Project Management Association of Canada

455 boulevard de la Gappe, Suite 201
Gatineau, Québec
Canada, J8T 0E1

Phone: (819) 410-0427

PMAC Certification Body

Project Management Association of Canada

Box 58043, Rosslynn RPO
Oshawa, Ontario
Canada L1J 8L6

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