For enquiries call:



HomeBlogAgilePRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP Certification: Which One to Choose?

PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP Certification: Which One to Choose?

19th Feb, 2024
view count loader
Read it in
8 Mins
In this article
    PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP Certification: Which One to Choose?

    PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) and PMI-ACP (Project Management Institute - Agile Certified Practitioner) are two extremely popular Project Management certifications. Both are widely recognized and used in different industries and organizations around the world. However, they have different origins, focuses, and approaches to project management. Here is a comparative study of PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP. This comparison will focus on the key difference between PRINCE2 and PMI ACP as well as the similarities between the two methodologies. 

    PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP: Head-to-head Comparison



    Developed in the UK 

    Developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI) 


    Process-based methodologies 

    Follows Agile methodologies 


    PRINCE2 certification is mandatory for some UK government projects 

    PMI-ACP certification is not mandatory for any specific projects 


    PRINCE2 Foundation certification is a prerequisite for the Practitioner certification 

    Secondary degree
    21 contact hours of training in agile practices
    12 months of general project management experience within 5 years.  
    8 months of agile project management experience within the last 3 years. 

    Exam Format 

    PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner exams are multiple-choice 

    PMI-ACP exam is also a multiple-choice based paper 


    Formal training by Axelos is mandatory before taking the exam 

    Formal training by PMI-approved providers is mandatory before taking the exam 


    PRINCE2 certification must be renewed every 5 years 

    PMI-ACP certification must be renewed every 3 years by earning 60 PDUs. 

    Exam mode 

    Paper-based test, computer-based test and Online proctored exam 

    Online proctored exam 

    Difference Between PRINCE2 and PMI-ACP [Detailed Comparison]

    1. PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP: Origin

    PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a project management framework developed in the UK by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in 1989 and later updated by Axelos in 2017. It is widely used by the UK government and in organizations across various industries in the UK and some other countries. 

    PMI-ACP (Project Management Institute Agile Certified Practitioner) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), a US-based non-profit professional organization for project managers. The PMI-ACP certification was first introduced in 2011, and it is based on Agile principles and practices, which are widely used in software development and other industries in the US, Canada, and some other countries. 

    2. PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP: Approach

    PRINCE2 follows a structured, process-driven approach to project management. It is based on seven principles, seven themes, and seven processes. The PRINCE2 methodology is based on seven core principles: maintaining a clear business rationale, learning from previous experiences, assigning specific roles and responsibilities, dividing the project into manageable stages, actively addressing issues as they arise, prioritizing deliverables, and adapting the approach to suit the unique needs of the project. It also provides a detailed project plan and progress reports. 

    PMI-ACP, on the other hand, focuses on the Agile principles of flexibility and adaptability. It is based on the Agile manifesto, which emphasizes individuals and interactions, working software, customer collaboration, and responding to change. PMI-ACP encourages active participation and collaboration with all stakeholders throughout the project and emphasizes minimal documentation and frequent check-ins. 

    3. PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP: Certification

    PRINCE2 certification is offered by Axelos, a joint venture between the UK government and Capita plc. To become PRINCE2 certified, individuals must pass a PRINCE2 Foundation-level exam and a practitioner-level exam, both of which test knowledge of the PRINCE2 framework and its principles, themes, and processes. The foundation exam tests a basic understanding of the framework, and the practitioner exam tests the ability to apply PRINCE2 to the management of a project. 

    PMI-ACP certification is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), which is a US-based non-profit professional organization for project managers. To become PMI-ACP certified, individuals must meet certain education and experience requirements and pass an exam that tests knowledge of Agile principles and practices, such as Scrum, Kanban, and Lean. 

    4. PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP: Prerequisites

    For PRINCE2 certification, there are no specific prerequisites for the foundation level exam, but for the practitioner level exam, it is recommended that individuals have prior experience working on a project and have passed the foundation level exam. Additionally, some organizations may have their own internal requirements for PRINCE2 certification. 

    For PMI-ACP certification, candidates must meet certain education and experience requirements. Specifically, they must have: 

    • 2,000 hours of general project experience within the last 5 years 
    • 1,500 hours of Agile project experience within the last 3 years 
    • 21 contact hours of Agile training. 

    5. PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP: Exam Format

    The PRINCE2 foundation level exam is a multiple-choice exam consisting of 75 questions to be completed in 1 hour. The pass mark is 55%. The practitioner-level exam is also a multiple-choice exam consisting of 68 questions to be completed in 2.5 hours. The pass mark is 50%. 

    The PMI-ACP exam is a multiple-choice exam consisting of 120 questions to be completed in 3 hours. The pass mark is not specified by PMI but typically falls in the range of 61% - 86%. Both exams can be taken in a physical or online format, depending on the availability and preferences of the candidate. 

    6. PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP: Training

    For PRINCE2 certification, individuals are required to attend a training course or self-study before attempting the foundation or practitioner-level exams. The training course covers the principles, themes, and processes of the PRINCE2 framework, as well as how to apply them in practice. The training can be done through classroom-based or online learning provided by Axelos-accredited training organizations 

    For PMI-ACP certification, candidates are required to have 21 contact hours of Agile training before attempting the exam. These contact hours can be acquired through classroom-based or online learning, and the training can cover various Agile methodologies such as Scrum, Kanban, and Lean. It is important to note that the training must be provided by PMI-approved providers. 

    7. PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP: Renewal

    For PRINCE2 certification, individuals must renew their certification every 5 years by taking an online "PRINCE2 Re-Registration" exam or attending a one-day "PRINCE2 Practitioner Refresher" course to ensure that the certified individuals are up-to-date with the latest best practices and changes in the PRINCE2 framework. 

    For PMI-ACP certification, individuals must earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) in Agile topics every three years in order to maintain the certification. PDUs can be earned through various activities such as attending Agile-related training, participating in Agile communities, and working on Agile projects. PMI also requires certification holders to submit an application and pay an annual certification fee. 

    PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP: How They are Similar?

    When it comes to PRINCE2 and PMI-ACP similarities, both PRINCE2 and PMI-ACP are widely recognized and respected project management methodologies. Both have a focus on planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling a project. They also both have certification exams that test the candidate's knowledge of the methodology. The emphasis on project delivery shared by PRINCE2 and PMI-ACP is one of their key points of similarity. Both frameworks seek to guarantee that projects are performed on schedule, within budget, and in accordance with the necessary standards of quality. This is accomplished by giving project managers a defined framework and set of rules to adhere to, which helps to reduce risks and raises the likelihood that the project will succeed. 

    Another similarity between the two frameworks is that project managers are required to adhere to a predetermined set of best practices and standards in each of them. While PMI-ACP offers an Agile framework with a list of Agile principles and practices, PRINCE2 has a seven-stage process model. Project managers may use this to handle their projects efficiently since it gives a standard language and set of tools. 

    Finally, both frameworks offer a certification procedure that project managers may use to show their proficiency with the framework. This is a fantastic opportunity for project managers to show potential employers and clients how knowledgeable they are, which may improve their chances of landing a job or securing new business. 

    What Should You Choose Between PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP?

    When it comes to the choice between PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP, it depends on your specific project and your organization. It is best suited for larger, more complex projects and is known for its strong emphasis on governance and control. 

    PMI-ACP (Project Management Institute Agile Certified Practitioner) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) that recognizes an individual's knowledge and skills in Agile project management. It is best suited for projects that require flexibility and adaptability and is widely recognized in the private sector, particularly in the software development industry. 

    If you are working in a government or large organization and are involved in complex projects, PRINCE2 may be the better choice. PMI-ACP may be more relevant if you work in the private sector or the software development industry. 


    It's natural to get confused amongst all the Project Management Certifications out there, each having its pros and cons. What you should choose for your professional career should solely depend on your own constraints, such as time, budget, your company, and so on. Both PRINCE2 and PMI-ACP are highly prestigious certifications and rest assured, you will not be disappointed after securing either one of them. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1Which is better, PMI or PRINCE2?

    There isn’t a “better” choice when it comes to PRINCE2 vs PMI-ACP, as both are built for project management. However, you can research what would serve your purpose, your time constraints, or your job role better, and then make a sound decision on what to choose. 

    2Is PRINCE2 harder than PMP?

    When it comes to the level of difficulty, PMP has more prerequisites and also requires a secondary degree, unlike the PRINCE2 certifications. So, you can term it as a more “complicated” certification. 

    3Is PMI-ACP certification worth it?

    The PMI-ACP certification is worth it if you’re trying to apply for the role of a Scrum Master in a company or are willing to propel your project management skills to the next level. 

    4What is the cost of PMI-ACP and PRINCE2 certification?

    The prices of PMI certifications are ₹21,933.00 for members and ₹30,042.00 for non-members. The standard non-member price to take the exam is $495. The PMI member price for the exam is $435. The cost of a PRINCE2 certification from Axelos would be around ₹25,000 plus the membership cost, but this can change depending on the path or level you choose. On average, the PRINCE2 foundation exam fee is around 700 - 900 USD.


    Lindy Quick

    Blog Author

    Lindy Quick, SPCT, is a dynamic Transformation Architect and Senior Business Agility Consultant with a proven track record of success in driving agile transformations. With expertise in multiple agile frameworks, including SAFe, Scrum, and Kanban, Lindy has led impactful transformations across diverse industries such as manufacturing, defense, insurance/financial, and federal government. Lindy's exceptional communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills have earned her a reputation as a trusted advisor. Currently associated with KnowledgeHut and upGrad, Lindy fosters Lean-Agile principles and mindset through coaching, training, and successful execution of transformations. With a passion for effective value delivery, Lindy is a sought-after expert in the field.

    Share This Article
    Ready to Master the Skills that Drive Your Career?

    Avail your free 1:1 mentorship session.

    Your Message (Optional)

    Upcoming Agile Management Batches & Dates

    NameDateFeeKnow more
    Course advisor icon
    Whatsapp/Chat icon