If global competencies tell us what project managers need to do, what sort of education and training is needed for a competent profession?

Todhunter, Barrie James (2004) If global competencies tell us what project managers need to do, what sort of education and training is needed for a competent profession? In: 2004 PMSA Global Knowledge Conference: Global Knowledge for Project Management Professionals, 10-12 May 2004, Johannesburg, South Africa.

PDF (Accepted Version)

Download (331Kb)


As the profession of project management has evolved, the focus has constantly changed. From what was once a simplistic emphasis on time, cost and quality related to ‘hard’ projects from the defence, engineering and construction disciplines, project management now suggests that it is ‘mature’ enough to deliver organisational objectives in all areas of business and society. How has that maturity been achieved? Caught up in the enthusiasm of the competency movement in the 1980s and 1990s, professional project management accreditation in Australia has focused on competency-based assessment (as in the RegPM process offered through the Australian Institute of Project Management). Indeed, the AIPM and the PMSA are driving forces in the current development of global competencies for project managers. The Project Management Institute in the United States of America has chosen a multiple-choice questionnaire for their Project Management Professional accreditation, while other bodies have a range of options.

How does this fit with the development of an ‘emerging’ (as opposed to ‘accidental’) profession as project managers like to view themselves? What are the attributes of a ‘profession’ and how are they really developed? Will ‘competencies’ as they are currently perceived achieve the professional recognition that we desire? Are current training and educational methodologies at odds with the desire to reach true professional status? If so, how can that alignment be achieved?

The author is carrying out doctoral studies in project management education to research these questions and this paper presents an insight into the issues of appropriate professional education for project management and how universities and training organisations must align their programs to offer holistic development of the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary for project management team members and leaders to be accepted by the community as professionals. The results of preliminary research are provided together with some guidelines on how training and education programs must be aligned across many levels in order to serve all members of the project management community.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 6630
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - Department of Management and Organisational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2010 10:32
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2015 04:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: project management, education, competencies, professional training, higher education research
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130203 Economics, Business and Management Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/6630

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only