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PRINCE2® Qualifications (Levels Explained)

16th Apr, 2024
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    PRINCE2® Qualifications (Levels Explained)

    Competition brings out the best in us; we strive to become the best and outperform our peers and fellow colleagues and prove that we are better than them. This drive and need to excel is a good trait to have, especially in this competitive corporate world where standards keep getting higher and quality and excellence are rewarded. So, what is it that will distinguish you from the countless others? What is that X factor that will push your resume to the top of the heap? Experience is one thing, but a major factor is the qualifications you possess.

    With several project management methods, tools and techniques being introduced in the market for streamlining businesses, a qualification that reflects your knowledge of these methods and tools is what endears you to employers. Because at the end of the day, businesses thrive on these methodologies.

    A qualification also shows your knowledge, skills, and dedication towards the profession. It suggests that you have more refined experience in the profession, making you an optimal choice for recruiters.

    What is PRINCE2®? What qualifications does it provide?

    PRINCE2® is a structured project management methodology, recognized as the common standard for project management across the world. It's an acronym for - (Projects IN Controlled Environment). It is a flexible and user-friendly project management methodology that eases out the process of selecting optimal resources and minimizes the risks involved while handling a project. Its versatility makes it easier to apply in various projects from different sectors, such as engineering, construction, IT, business and even finance. While it was initially designed for IT projects, its scope has now expanded to other sectors.

    PRINCE2® facilitates three qualifications, these qualifications are:

    • PRINCE2® Foundation
    • PRINCE2® Practitioner
    • PRINCE2® Agile

    Both the PRINCE2® Foundation and PRINCE2® Practitioner are process-driven approaches that generally emphasize on fragmenting projects into manageable and controllable stages and portions. This fragmentation of the project does not depend on the type or size of the project.

    PRINCE2® Agile focuses on teaching the fundamentals and the purpose of combining PRINCE2® with the agile methodology which is another form of project management.

    Benefits of PRINCE2®
    Benefits of PRINCE2

    Acquiring a qualification is a tedious and costly process, and you must ensure that the qualification you are investing in is beneficial and caters to your needs. The qualification you hope to achieve should also be relevant to the demands of current times. An individual spends a great sum of money and time on qualifications, that include tuition, resource materials, questionnaires, and examinations, thus a qualification is not a joke and requires serious research and investment. Hence, you must be aware of the benefits offered by the PRINCE2® methodology before deciding upon pursuing it. Here are some benefits offered by PRINCE2®:

    • It is very flexible and versatile and can be applied in various kinds of projects irrespective of their sizes.
    • It is the most used and identified project management methodology across the globe.
    • It offers segregation of projects and efficiently fragments the work thus further improving the process by simplifying it.
    • PRINCE2® is known for providing customer satisfaction, as the practitioners are well-versed and skillful because of the training provided during the course and they are also kept informed and up to date regarding the improvements and progress made in their respective fields.

    The benefits mentioned above shows that the PRINCE2® methodology provides the best project management techniques that are globally recognized. Hence, PRINCE2® has become a prominent certification recruiters look for while hiring a professional for managing a project.

    The PRINCE2® Certification or Qualification Explained

    So, you have finally decided that the PRINCE2® methodology is great and it could be really useful to you. You have decided to expand your field of expertise and want to pave the way for several lucrative job opportunities by opting for the PRINCE2® qualifications. But there are certain prerequisites that are required before taking up this qualification.

    As mentioned above PRINCE2® Certification is offered in three different levels:

    Three Levels of PRINCE2® Qualification or Certification

    Three Levels of PRINCE2® Qualification or Certification

    PRINCE2® Foundation

    It is the basic level of certification. It is the first of the two PRINCE2® qualifications that are required to successfully become a Registered PRINCE2® Practitioner. The PRINCE2® Foundation certification or qualification is designed to teach you the must-know PRINCE2® principles, themes and terminology/jargon. It is developed in a way to make sure that once qualified you will be able to act as a well-informed member of a project management team that is operating within an environment based on the foundation of the PRINCE2® methodology. PRINCE2® Foundation is a training program that can be studied on its own or as a prerequisite for the upcoming PRINCE2® Practitioner course.


    This qualification aims at developing the candidate as a well-informed member of the project management team in a PRINCE2® environment. To obtain this goal, the candidate should be able to understand the principles and terminology of this methodology. Especially, the candidate must be capable of:

    • Describing the purpose and major content of all the roles, the seven principles, the seven themes and finally the seven processes.
    • Stating which management products would be an input to, output from the seven processes.
    • Explaining the major purpose, and the key contents of the major management products.
    • Describing the relationships between processes, deliverables, roles and the management dimensions associated with a project.  


    • This qualification is suitable for both new and experienced project staff.
    • It is also good for Consultants / Contract staff that is operating under a PRINCE2® environment.
    • Project Managers
    • Programme Managers
    • Support Staff and Team Managers associated with PRINCE2® based projects.
    • For staff that will have a defined role within a project team responsible for operating under a PRINCE2® environment.


    The candidate should have some understanding of Project Management, other than that there is no such formal pre-requisite for the Foundation Certification or Qualification.


    • The exam will be held for an hour.
    • There will be 60 questions.
    • It will be a closed book examination.
    • You would have to correctly answer 33 out of 60 questions to pass (55% is the passing score)

    PRINCE2® Practitioner

    It is the second of the two PRINCE2® examinations you are required to clear to become a registered PRINCE2® Practitioner. The PRINCE2® Practitioner qualification aims at teaching you the basics of applying the PRINCE2® for running and managing a project within the environment supporting PRINCE2®. After the successful completion of this qualification, you will be able to apply and tune PRINCE2® for undertaking the requirements and problems of a specific project scenario. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the PRINCE2® principles, themes, processes, and the PRINCE2® products and will understand these elements in great detail.


    The curriculum designed for the PRINCE2® Practitioner enables the candidate to:

    • Produce in-depth explanations of all the principles, themes, processes and the worked examples of all PRINCE2® products as it is possible to apply them to address the specific circumstances of a given project scenario.
    • Present their understanding of the relationships between principles, themes, processes, and the PRINCE2® products and must be able to apply this understanding.
    • Demonstrate their expertise of the reasons behind the principles, themes, and processes of PRINCE2®, and are also that they understand the principles underpinning these elements of PRINCE2®.
    • Showcase their ability to tune PRINCE2® according to different project circumstances.


    This qualification is suitable for:

    • Project Managers
    • General Managers
    • Programme Managers
    • Team Managers and the Support Staff
    • Staff that have a defined role in a project
    • Project Management Consultants


    You would be required to possess one of the following qualifications before appearing for the PRINCE2® Practitioner exam:

    • PRINCE2® Foundation
    • Project Management Professional (PMP)®
    • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
    • IPMA Level A (Certified Projects Director)
    • IPMA Level B (Certified Senior Project Manager)
    • IPMA Level C (Certified Project Manager)
    • IPMA Level D (Certified Project Management Associate)


    • The examination will be for a duration of 150 minutes.
    • The exam will contain 68 questions.
    • You would be required to correctly answer 38 out of 68 questions (55 % is the passing score)
    • Open book. Only the official printed hard copy of the Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2®2017 Edition is allowed.

    PRINCE2® Agile

    The PRINCE2® Agile qualification consists of Foundation and Practitioner levels. PRINCE2® Agile primarily focuses on teaching you the fundamentals and the purpose of merging PRINCE2® with the Agile methodology. It provides extensibility along with the capability of working together with the corporate management processes.

    PRINCE2® Agile Foundation

    Similar to the PRINCE2® Foundation, this Agile Foundation course and certification can be taken by anyone without any prior qualification. This qualification course introduces PRINCE2® governance and offers a wide range of Agile concepts and techniques. Once you are qualified, you would be able to act as a well-informed member of an Agile project team and understand how the PRINCE2® operates with Agile concepts.

    PRINCE2® Agile Practitioner

    This qualification is focused on teaching the certified Project Managers the method of mixing the structure, governance and control of PRINCE2® with the Agile methodology, techniques and approaches. Additionally, it has the same prerequisites as the PRINCE2® Practitioner, so for appearing in the exam you must possess the following qualifications:

    • PRINCE2® Foundation
    • Project Management Professional (PMP)®
    • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
    • IPMA Level A (Certified Projects Director)
    • IPMA Level B (Certified Senior Project Manager)
    • IPMA Level C (Certified Project Manager)
    • IPMA Level D (Certified Project Management Associate)

    Unleash your potential with our PMP training program and become a project management expert. Join now and elevate your career to new heights!

    Who manages the PRINCE2® Certification or Qualification?

    All the major certifications and qualifications are managed by a sponsor, that develops, manages and operates qualifications. PRINCE2® also has a sponsor. It is owned and managed by AXELOS - AXELOS is a joint venture that was set up in 2014 by the government of the United Kingdom and Capita, it is responsible for developing, managing and operating qualifications in best practices, using the methodologies formerly owned by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). It is Axelos that supervises the entire process of the PRINCE2® Certification or Qualification.

    Importance of PRINCE2® Certification or Qualification

    The PRINCE2® ensures that the candidate has the following capabilities:

    • The PRINCE2® Certification or Qualification primarily aims at ensuring that a candidate has sufficient knowledge and expertise of the PRINCE2® methodology so that the candidate can effectively work with, or as a member of a project management team that is working within an environment that supports PRINCE2®.
    • The PRINCE2® Professional Certification or Qualification is also aimed to test the candidate's capability of managing a non-complex PRINCE2® project across all aspects of the entirety of the project.  

    The PRINCE2® re-registration?

    Like every other certification or qualification, PRINCE2® qualification is also required to be renewed after a certain period of time. Henceforth, any PRINCE2® Practitioner would be required to register within a time period of three to five calendar years based on the original certification. This re-registration includes an hour-long test that the candidate must pass to retain the certification or qualification. The examination is based on similar standards as the original Practitioner examination.


    Kevin D.Davis

    Blog Author

    Kevin D. Davis is a seasoned and results-driven Program/Project Management Professional with a Master's Certificate in Advanced Project Management. With expertise in leading multi-million dollar projects, strategic planning, and sales operations, Kevin excels in maximizing solutions and building business cases. He possesses a deep understanding of methodologies such as PMBOK, Lean Six Sigma, and TQM to achieve business/technology alignment. With over 100 instructional training sessions and extensive experience as a PMP Exam Prep Instructor at KnowledgeHut, Kevin has a proven track record in project management training and consulting. His expertise has helped in driving successful project outcomes and fostering organizational growth.

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