IPMA Level-D: Certified Project Management Associate (CPMA)

Certified Project Management Associate (CPMA) is a knowledge-based qualification matching IPMA Level-D. Successful candidates are able to participate in managing projects of various sizes. This qualification is recognized both nationally and internationally as demonstrating that candidates can apply their project management knowledge in various project environments, between companies, and across industries.

The CPMA is intended for project managers and aspiring project managers who wish to demonstrate their knowledge of project management at a foundation level. CPMA covers competence elements from the Canadian Project Management National Competence Baseline (CPMNCB). Knowledge of each of these elements is considered fundamental to the professional management of projects.

A candidate who successfully completes the CPMA exam earns the right to use the letters CPMA (or IPMA-D) after his or her name plus can use the image to the left on their business card or online bio. The candidate is eligible to use these post nominals for as long as their certification remains current. If it expires and is not renewed, candidates are no longer eligible to use these post nominals.



The Exam

The CPMA exam involves two separately-timed exam modules:

  1. Multiple Choice Questions - (100 questions, 3 options each, choose a single most correct answer) - 100 minutes
  2. Essay Questions - (13 Questions. Answer in sentences/paragraphs. No fixed length required. Your answer will be marked on content, not spelling and grammar; however, the responses must be understandable to the assessors.) - 100 minutes. Typical questions look for more detailed responses such as "Describe the situations in which you would use the xxxx process" or "What are the factors influencing yyyy and why are they critical to project success" or "Strategically, what are the various ways to discuss zzzz with the project sponsor and the circumstances that would help you decide the best approach."

The exam is offered in proctored, written format as well as a self-scheduled online option. While the online option may be taken at any time, the paper-based exam is only offered on certain dates and locations -- please see our events calendar for the latest listings.

The CPMA assesses the candidate’s breadth of knowledge in all areas of project management, from strategic and commercial implications, to the technical, organizational, and people management skills required to participate effectively within a project team.

Examination Fee

The regular fee for writing the CPMA examination is $350. This includes the cost of the examination and the resulting certificate, if the candidate passes the exam.

Preparing for the Exam

To prepare for the CPMA exam, candidates should first read the Canadian Project Management National Competence Baseline (CPMNCB) as this document describes all of the topics to be covered in the exam.

Candidates for the CPMA exam can also complete the self-assessment tool measuring themselves against these competence elements to see where they may want to focus their study efforts.

Finally, candidates may want to take a course designed to help candidates pass the CPMA exam. The PMAC-AGCP accredits courses that have passed a rigorous review.

Whether or not candidates take a preparation course, the PMAC recommends the following books as a good study aid for the CPMA (Level-D) exam:


Project Manager's Portable Handbook (3rd edition) by David I. Cleland and Lewis R. Ireland. Published by McGraw-Hill, 2011. ISBN: 9780071741057.
Management Teams: Why They Succeed or Fail (2nd edition) by R. Meredith Belbin. Published by Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2005.


To apply to write the examination, please download and print out either the CPMA Paper Exam Application Form or CPMA Online Exam Application Form. This form must be completed by the candidate (and a guarantor for online exams). The guarantor is a person from an authorized group of people who can authenticate the identity of the candidate, similar to when Canadians apply for passports. The guarantor will also need to sign the form attesting that the person signing the form is the individual named on the form and that the person is known to them for a period of at least two (2) years. Guarantors are not required for print exam applications, only for online exam applications.

The application form also contains an oath to be signed by the candidate and witnessed by the guarantor that the candidate will not cheat during the writing of the exam, whether paper-based or online.

Once the application has been completed and signed by both parties, it should be submitted to the PMAC-AGPC in one of two ways:

  1. For paper-based exams, the CPMA Paper Exam Application Form should be mailed in to the association with a cheque drawn on a Canadian bank in Canadian funds for the full examination fee (see above). In addition, applicants should include the completed self-assessment form.  Forms should be mailed to PMAC-AGPC, Box 58043, Rosslynn RPO, Oshawa, ON, Canada, L1J 8L6.
  2. For online exams, the CPMA Online Exam Application Form, a resume, and the completed self-assessment form should be faxed to the association at +1 (905) 986-5777 or scanned and emailed to certification@pmac-agpc.ca. Payment should then be made via credit card or PayPal using the CPMA Online Exam Payment Form.

Whichever payment method is chosen, once the association receives both the application form and the payment, candidates will be notified via email within 2 business days. For paper-based exam applicants, the form indicates the date/time/location of the examination requested; specific logistical details will be emailed to the candidate closer to the examination date. For online exam applicants, the form indicates the day on which the applicant would like to write the exam; the applicant will be emailed a login information to the examination system on that day.

The Fine Print

Please read the CPMA (IPMA Level-D) Certification Regulations for further details on this certification programme.


General Address

Project Management Association of Canada

2-140, boulevard Gréber
Gatineau, Québec
Canada, J8T 6H5

Phone: (819) 410-0427

PMAC Certification Body

Project Management Association of Canada

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

Fax: (416) 986-5777

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