Project Management vs PRINCE2 – Which Course is Right for You?
People always ask what the difference is between a Project Management course and a PRINCE2 course. (And to be honest, some of the other accreditations too, like Agile, SCRUM etc) They also question why we offer general management skills and PRINCE2. Should people not just go for the PRINCE2 to get certified? The simple answer is that it comes down to what you need and what your goal is.

PRINCE2 is a process-based approach to projects and how they should be managed. It is designed to be scalable so that as the size of your project increases, you should still be able to control the larger project just as easily by focusing on the same processes. In order to be PRINCE2 certified, you do have to pass a couple of written exams whilst displaying competency throughout.

Written Exam

As the de-facto standard for managing projects in the UK, there are some situations where you are going to need to have PRINCE2 certification. If you are looking to work as a civil servant in the Project Management environment, more often than not you need to be certified.

Working at companies that obtain governments contracts will often also require you to be certified because part of the contract for the job will stipulate that project managers are certified. So, if your goal is to work in either of these two environments, you are probably going to need to get your PRINCE2 certifications.

And unfortunately, because PRINCE2 is now the de-facto standard within the UK, if you are applying for positions and are up against other candidates, having a PRINCE2 certification may almost be considered a requirement. It provides you with parity with the other delegates (in the past, it may have given you the edge), but now, it's your other accreditations, skills and experience that will win you the role.

But!!! What if you are outside of that environment and you run your own construction company? What about if you want to fix up your own home? What happens if your company needs to investigate something new and puts you in charge of a team to do this?

There are almost an infinite number of possibilities about what a project might be needed for and each one is different. Do you still need PRINCE2 certification? Very often, the answer is a resounding ‘NO’.

No

What you would be looking for is a course that is going to teach you the fundamentals about projects, how to set them up and how they should be run. Do you want to pay to write an exam? If all you want is the knowledge and ability to run a project on your own, there are courses that will give you just that. You'll save on costs (a significant portion of the cost of PRINCE2 and other accreditations are for the exams, not the training), and also on time (if you do a combined PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner course over a week, the time for the tests is at least a day in total).

So, by choosing to do a general project management course, rather than an accreditation, you can then get away without having to pay the extra expense and lose the additional time required to pass PRINCE2 exams. Why not look at something like Project Management Fast Track because, chances are, it will do just what you need it to.

If your company grows and you want to start trying to get government contracts, there is nothing to stop you doing the PRINCE2 exam later. If you decide that you enjoyed running that team and want a career in Project Management, you can do it at a time which is convenient to you. The course that you have now already done, along with the experience you gathered, will give you a much better shot at passing those PRINCE2 exams first time.