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PMI-SP vs APM vs Guild of Project Controls vs Bachelors Degree vs Masters Degree -Which do you rate?

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Gary Whitehead
User offline. Last seen 37 weeks 6 days ago. Offline

I'm particularly interested in the opinions of those who commission planning work and/or recruit planners.


How much importance do you place on a planner having a qualificatation? Which of those listed do you rate and the most attractive, and why? Would you be willing to pay more for a planner who had such a qualification, or is it just a nice to have?


My firm is looking at what qualifications to support for our planners. We're involved with the GPC, but progress has been slow in getting it off the ground, so now we're looking at other options, at least in the interim.



Appreciate your thoughts,



Dr. Paul D Giammalvo
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Joined: 14 Feb 2011
Posts: 68

Folks, since 2010, I have been benchmarking some 40 globally recognized credentials against the US Professional Engineer (PE) license which is without question a highly respected and well known credential as well as Malcolm Gladwell's "10,000 hour" rule.   Unique to this scoring model is it INCLUDES the various degrees including Bachelor, Masters and PhD degrees in the scoring matrix, HOWEVER it is still very heavily weighted towards EXPERIENCE.

For those interested in the 2015 upsRW you can read it HERE

Why have I undertaken this research?  rThere are three reasons:

The FIRST is to try to provide some way for practitioners to be able to "cut through" the marketing hype and in some cases downright FRAUDULENT claims being made by some professional organizations as to what their credentials do and do NOT validate. (PMI being perhaps the most egregious but certainly not the ONLY professional organization do do so.) 


The SECOND reason is to try to provide a way to measure "equivalency" between any two or more credentials.  By using "Level of Effort Hours", we have zero point and the same units of measure, giving us a true RATIO scale.  Meaning we can say that one credential is half as challenging or 10% more challenging than another credential. For instance the Guild of Project Controls "Expert" level with a 4 year bachelors degree, has a PSCOR of 21,761 level of effort hours to earn.  This makes the GPC PS Expert 38% more challenging to qualify for and earn than the Professional Engineer license from an ABET accredited university, which has a PSCOR of 15,735 level of effort hours. (21,761/15,735 = 138%) and 10% (21,761/19,735= 110%) more difficult or challenging than getting a Professional Engineer license if you graduated from a NON-ABET accredited university.

The THIRD reason which is how the Guild of Project Controls used this research is to use it as the basis to develop a COMPETENCY BASED credentialing program around the PE licensing process.  Not only did the Guild of Project Controls adopt this approach when designing our competency credentialling program but PMI has also used it for their PgMP and PfMP certifications as has the International Institute of Business Analysts and the Green Project Management Organizations. What this means is that as of right now, the Guild of Project Controls credentialing program is one of the top ranked certification programs IN THE WORLD in terms of project management related credentials.

Specifically addressing the original question, below is a screen shot showing the rank ordering for PLANNING and SCHEDULING certitications:


As you can see, the top ranked planning and scheduling credentials are those from the Guild of Project Controls and AcostE, both of which EXCEED the requirements to earn the Professional Engineer (PE) license (BLUE Vertical Line)   Those falling between the BLUE vertical line and the RED vertical line EXCEED Gladwell's "10,000 hour" rule but do NOT meet the level of effort required to become a PE.  Those falling to the right of the RED vertical line to the YELLOW vertical line meet the ENTRY LEVEL requirements to become a PE ("Engineer in Training" or EIT) but do NOT meet Gladwell's "10,000 hour rule and lastly, those certifications which fall to the right of the YELLOW vertical line do not even meet the entry level requirements to become a Professional Engineer as an "Engineer in Training" or EIT.

For those wanting to benchmark other credentials you can download the Excel based scoring model HERE , line item #32.

I plan on publishing a 2016 update in December of 2016.

Dr. PDG, Jakarta, Indonesia


Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 2 hours 58 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4852
  • I always found AACEi references very poor, in particular their Recommended Practice No. 29R-03 Forensic Schedule Analysis where there is little or no attention to the resource issues as if projects do not require consideration of resources.
  • Apportionment of delay responsibility may be inaccurate unless resource allocation practice is considered in the analysis.
  • Anyway even if we disrregard resources their publications have been the subject of much controversy.
  • I do not see much difference in their PSP Certification Study Guide.
  • From the table of contents:
  • 1.2 Considerations and Constraints ....................................... 31 
  • 1.2.1 Identification of Resources  ....................................... 33 
  • 1.2.2 Value Engineering .................................................. 37 
  • As usual AACEi in an effor to make is simpler avoids in depth discussion of how to account for resource constraints. a mere four pages.  Perhaps 10 times what they discuss about resources on their Recommended Practice No. 29R-03 Forensic Schedule Analysis, neither publications are good enough by abysmal margin. 
  • I would look elsewhere. 
  • Best Regards,
  • Rafael Davila
Patrick Weaver
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Joined: 18 Jan 2001
Posts: 275
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There are two international certifications for planners in existence:

AACEi PSP – a heavyweight certification primarily aimed at heavy construction/engineering planners with a bias towards claims and ‘expert witness’ work. Anyone who holds this certification knows their stuff!

PMI-SP – a planning manager certification, the scop covers the knowledge needed to manage a PMO or work as a senior planning manager. The technical scheduling requirements are fairly low. We offer this course see:  PMI will be updating the certification requirements and changing the examination mid 2013, at this point I’m not sure of the new requirements (some Christmas reading…)

Both of the above are aimed at planners with 5 to 8 years experience.

The exciting news is the CIOB (UK) will be announcing today a practical entry level certification for planners. The PTMC – Project Time Management Certificate.  I will be updating out web site at: within the next 24 hours to detail the exam, the requirements and the value!!!  

PTMC is focused on the job of planning and scheduling projects so it should be far more practical……  as they say in the movies ‘watch this space’.

Mike Testro
User offline. Last seen 2 days 5 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4399

Hi Gary

As you know there is no formal accreditation for planners / schedulers in the UK.

Bachelor / Masters courses barely touch on it and the PEO since its resurrection is not helpful.

At a seminar yesterday the speaker touched on the CIOB accreditation which is being rolled out next year which will award broad classification ending at "Specialist" which gives CIOB entry level at ICIOB.

This looks promising and - like you - I am frustrated by the real lack of progress from the Guild.

At present prospective employers have to rely on references and practical tests.

Best regards

Mike Testro