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What is Prince2 ?

1. Prince2 Overview    
2. Why use Prince2?    
3. Benefits of Prince2    
4. How does Prince2 work?
5. Prince2 Qualifications
6. Prince2 Training Courses
7. Prince2 Course Syllabus
8. Typical Course Timetable
    9. UK Course Locations
    10. Accreditation

1.    An Overview of Prince 2

Prince 2 (Projects in Controlled Environments) is the world’s most popular project management methodology.

Prince2 uses structured project management methodology, which means managing a project in a logical and organised way, following clearly defined steps and well-understood roles and responsibilities.

Prince2 dictates that a project should have:

•    An organised and well-planned start;
•    An organised and controlled middle, with continual measurement;
•    An organised and controlled end, with all loose ends tied up;
•    A series of processes which cover all activities needed on a project from starting up to closing down.

Prince 2 equips users with a set of processes to work through, explains what information should be gathered and implemented and provides the skills and knowledge to help projects deliver clear, successful outcomes.

2. Why Use Prince 2?

Prince2 takes all the simple and obvious lessons learned and presents them in a checklist for project managers and their teams.

There are clear reasons why Prince2 has become the world’s leading project management method:
•    It delivers the best-practice approach for the management of all types of projects;
•    Around 800 people per week take the examinations, making it the number one project management qualification;
•    All training is carried out by accredited training organisations;
•    It is widely used and popular in both public and private sectors;
•    It can easily be tailored to all varieties of projects in many different markets and businesses.

3. Benefits of Prince 2

Projects that use Prince2 methods are designed to be completed within budget, on time and to the required quality – delivering outcomes that have been agreed by business leaders.

As it uses a standard approach to the management of projects, with established best-practice which is widely recognised and understood, businesses can expect their projects to have:

•    A controlled and organised start, middle and end;
•    Regular reviews of progress against plan and against the Business Case;
•    Flexible decision points;
•    Automatic management control of any deviations from the plan;
•    The involvement of management and stakeholders at the right time and place during the project;
•    Good communication channels between the project, project management, and the rest of the organisation.

4. How does Prince2 work?

Prince2 uses the building blocks of project management to create a project framework that identifies what is trying to be achieved; who needs to be involved; what resources are required; how long it will take; how much it will cost; and how reporting and measuring will take place.

Prince2 has clear cornerstones, which define that a successfully-managed project should be:

•    Planned. Prince2 has a series of processes which cover all the activities needed on a project from starting up to closing down. This process-based approach for project management provides an easily tailored and scaleable method for the management of all types of projects. Each process is defined with its key inputs and outputs together with the specific objectives to be achieved and activities to be carried out;

•    Controlled. The Prince2 method divides a project into manageable stages, enabling efficient control of resources and regular progress monitoring throughout the project. The various roles and responsibilities for managing a project are fully described and are adaptable to suit the size and complexity of the project, and the skills of the organisation.

•    Results-driven. Project planning using Prince2 is product-based which means the project plans are actually focused on delivering results and are not simply about planning when the various activities on the project will be done.

•    Measured. Any project using Prince2 is driven by the Business Case - which describes the organisation’s justification, commitment and rationale for the deliverables or outcome. The business case is regularly reviewed during the project to ensure the business objectives, which often change during the lifecycle of the project, are still being met.

Prince2 understands that there are different groups of people involved in projects: the customer; one or more suppliers; and of course the user. It therefore provides a common language across all the interested parties involved in a project.

Bringing customers and suppliers together typically involves contracts and contract management, while these aspects are outside the scope of Prince2, the method provides the necessary controls and breakpoints to work successfully within a contractual framework.

5. Prince2 Qualifications

There are two qualification levels in Prince2.

Foundation Certificate
•    The Foundation Certificate course teaches the structure and terminology of the Prince2 process.

Practitioner Certificate
•    This level measures whether a candidate can apply Prince2 in detail to the running and managing of a project within an environment supporting Prince2.

6. Training Courses

Foundation Certificate

Duration – 3 days
Locations - Available in most UK cities, Belfast and Dublin
Price - £900 -£1200, depending on provider and location, including exam and Prince2 manual
Typical Pass Rate - The overall pass rate for Foundation examinations is 99%. For exams taken independently the figure is 98%.
Pre-Work – Please note that this is an intensive course, with evening work and pre-course reading a key element. Delegates will receive their pre-course pack shortly before their course

Combined Foundation and Practitioner Certificates

Duration – 5 days – Either continuous Monday to Friday or split over 2 weeks. Weekend courses also available (Currently London only)
Locations - Available in most UK cities, Belfast and Dublin
Price - £1250-£1650, depending on provider and location, including exams and Prince2 manual
Typical Pass Rate - 75-85%.
Pre-Work – Please note that this is an intensive course, with evening work and pre-course reading a key element. Delegates will receive their pre-course pack shortly before their course

Practitioner Conversion Course

This course is available for people who have successfully completed Foundation level and want to take the Practitioner exam.
Duration – 2 or 3 days  
Locations - Available in most UK cities, Belfast and Dublin
Price - £1250-£1650, depending on provider and location, including exams and Prince2 manual
7. Prince2 Foundation Certificate - Syllabus

The Foundation is the first of the two Prince2 Examinations required to become a Prince2 Practitioner.

This level measures whether a candidate is able act as an informed member of a project management team which uses and supports Prince2 in a project environment.

Successful completion requires candidates to show they understand the principles and terminology of the method.

Specifically, they must be able to:
•    Describe the purpose and major content of all roles, the eight components, the eight processes and the sub-processes, and the techniques;
•    State which management products are input to, and output from, the eight processes;
•    State the main purpose and key contents, of the major management products;
•    State the relationships between processes, deliverables, roles and the management dimensions of a project.

The Foundation exam lasts one-hour and takes the format of 75 multiple choice questions. In order to pass candidates must score at least 50% and, as the papers will be marked immediately, results are revealed before leaving. The qualification is stand-alone and is a pre-requisite to sitting the Practitioner examination.

7. Prince2 Practitioner Certificate - Syllabus

The Practitioner is the second of the two Prince2 Examinations.

This level measures whether a candidate can apply Prince2 to the running and managing of a project within an environment supporting Prince2.

Successful completion requires candidates to exhibit the competence required for the Foundation qualification and show that they can apply and tune Prince2 to address the needs and problems of a specific project scenario.

Specifically, candidates must be able to:

•    Produce detailed explanations of all processes, components and techniques, and worked examples of all Prince2 products as they might be applied to address the particular circumstances of a given project scenario;
•    Show they understand the relationships between processes, components, techniques and Prince2 products and can apply this understanding;
•    Demonstrate that they understand the reasons behind the processes, components and techniques of Prince2, and that they understand the principles underpinning these elements;
•    Demonstrate their ability to tune Prince2 to different project circumstances.

The Practitioner examination is a three-hour written exam comprising a case study and three questions. It is an ‘open-book’ exam, so candidates can take along pre-course work, examples and manuals. The exam is marked by the APM Group and results are usually available six to eight weeks after completing the exam.

9. UK Course Locations

EAST - Basildon, Cambridge, Norwich  
EAST MIDLANDS - Hinckley, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Stevenage
IRELAND - Dublin
WEST MIDLANDS - Birmingham, Coventry, Hinckley, Oxford & Worcester
NORTH EAST - Leeds, Gateshead, Harrogate, Newcastle, York    
NORTH WEST - Bolton, Chester, Manchester, Haydock & Warrington
SCOTLAND - Aberdeen, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness & Peebles
SOUTH EAST - Aldershot, Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Bracknell, Camberley, Epsom, Gatwick, Haslemere, Maidenhead, Poole, Reading, Salisbury, Southampton, Stroud
SOUTH WEST - Bath, Bristol, Newbury, Poole & Torquay
WALES - Swansea, Cardiff

10. Accreditation

Since the launch of Prince2 the APM Group ( has, on behalf of The Office of Government Commerce (, and in partnership with it, developed and managed the accreditation of Prince2, Managing Successful Programmes and the Management of Risk.

11. Prince2 Software

Project in a Box    Project in a Box claim to be the worldwide leaders in PRINCE2™ project management software and methods

The FREE Community Edition of their software will help you to deliver your Prince2 project and can be downloaded from their website

It also includes a Prince2 Guidance Module
•    Over 25,000 words of AUTHENTIC material and the Glossary licensed directly from the PRINCE2™ manual.
•    Arranged into over 70 topics covering all the processes, sub-processes, components and techniques each delivered as an easy to read or print HTML page.
•    A quick links section which takes you to related topics enabling you to quickly browse the material is a Total Solution for the Project and Portfolio environment, merges complete Financial, Planning and Project Process functionality into a user friendly web portal to provide comprehensive project support across any organization

12. Prince2 Books

Passing the PRINCE2 Examinations

This guide gives many hints and tips for making the most
of your PRINCE2 knowledge when preparing for the Examinations and answering the questions in the exam situation.
Passing the PRINCE2 Examinations is an invaluable guide for the prospective candidate for the PRINCE2 Certificate, whether sitting the Examinations at an open centre or with an Accredited Training Provider. This short and clear guide covers: - exam technique - an example of both the Foundation and the Practitioner papers with fully worked answers - an analysis of options the candidate has for approaching the Practitioner Examination questions - an example of the APM Group's question papers and marking scheme.

Tailoring PRINCE2

This guide aims to assist those who already have a working knowledge of PRINCE2 to implement the method in an organisation and/or to scale PRINCE2 in a project.

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PRINCE ®, ITIL ®, IT Infrastructure Library ® and M_o_R ® are Registered Trade Marks and Registered Community Trade Marks of the Office of Government Commerce, and registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. PRINCE2 ™ is a Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce.

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