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Difference between PRINCE2 and PMP?

This post was written by Hari Thapliyal

16 August 2016

Before taking up a project management certification, professionals do a lot of research and often get confused with the issue of choosing between the PMP and PRINCE2 certification. Since, both of these are reputed credentials in the field of project management. Hence, professionals find it more difficult to decide for which certification they should go. We have tried to give you an overview of the two certifications in this article. Hope, this will help you in making the right choice.

What is the difference between PRINCE2 and PMP certification?

Though PRINCE2 has a different project management framework than the PMI’s PMP certification, but the goal of both is to improve the performance or success rate of project. The choice of certification depends entirely upon the type of industry you are in, geography you are in, customer demand, organization process and practices, your previous experience of managing project using certain process which may be near to one of these standards and like other factors. Both these certifications are on high demand and are of equal value.

What is PMP certification:

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential offered by Project Management Institute (PMI)® is one of the highly prestigious, internationally recognized and sought-after credentials for project managers across all industries worldwide. In order to earn PMP credential the candidate has to meet the professional requirements and need to pass the exam conducted by PMI. The exam at any point of time is based on the PMI latest Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) 5th edition that describes the core practices and areas of project management including the five process groups, 10 knowledge areas and 47 processes.

What is PRINCE2 certification:

PRINCE2 (an acronym for “Projects IN Controlled Environments”) is the de facto standard in the UK. It was developed for and is used extensively by the UK government, and is widely used in the private sector, in the UK, Europe and common wealth countries. PRINCE2 is in the public domain, offering non-proprietary best-practice guidance on project management. PRINCE2 embodies established and proven project management best practice. It can be applied to any type of project – and can easily be implemented alongside specialist, industry-specific models (‘engineering models’ or ‘development life cycles’).

What are the prerequisites for PMP and PRINCE2 Certifications?

Prerequisites for PMP Certification:

For PMP exam there is a set of prerequisites that one has to fulfil:

10+2+4 years degree holder: Minimum 3 Years/4500 hours of personal project management experience.


10+2 years diploma holder: Minimum 5 Years/7500 hours of personal project management experience.

Contact Hours of Project Management Instruction: Minimum of 35 hours of specific instruction that addresses learning objectives in project management.

Prerequisites for PRINCE2 Certification:

PRINCE2® Foundation: There is no prerequisite for the PRINCE2® Foundation examination, however basic project management knowledge would be advisable.

PRINCE2® Practitioner: Only those can appear for Practitioner who have passed the PRINCE2 Foundation

PMI Salary Survey

  • A summary of salary data from 26,000 project management professionals in 34 countries
  • Data cross-tabulated by eight positions and 15 demographic variables
  • Reported salary increases over the past year
  • Expected salary increases for the next year
  • Information on benefit packages, work environments and project management career paths 

The PMI salary survey result

  • The survey also revealed that the median annual salary for respondents was $81,000 USD.
  • Switzerland: 128,619 Swiss Francs; $130,000 USD
  • Australia: 139,037 Australian Dollars; $108,546 USD
  • United States: $108,200 USD
  • United Kingdom: 60,000 British Pounds; $92,221 USD
  • New Zealand: 120,000 NZ Dollars; $90,442 USD
  • Netherlands: 80,000 European Union Euros; $89,482 USD
  • Germany: 78,000 European Union Euros; $87,245 USD
  • Belgium: 79,000 European Union Euros; $88,364 USD
  • United Arab Emirates: 300,000 United Arab Emirates Dirham; $81,663 USD
  • Qatar: 300,000 Qatari Riyals; $82,314 USD

Detailed report is available here.

Exam Format

PMP Exam:

The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions written against the PMBOK specification, industry agnostic international best practices and the PMP Code of Ethics. This is a closed book exam which lasts for 4 hours. The PMP exam is based on the five performance domains:

  • Initiating the project (13%)
  • Planning the project (24%)
  • Executing the project (31%)
  • Monitoring and controlling the project (25%)
  • Closing the project (7%)

Earned PMP certificate is valid only for 3 years and you need to earn 60 PDUs (Professional Development Units) within three years to maintain your certificate for another 3 years.


The PRINCE2 Foundation exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions which should be completed in 60 minutes. Out of the 75 questions, 5 are trial based questions and not counted during the scoring process. This is a closed book exam. Generally, this exam is taken on the 3rd day evening which is the last day of PRINCE2 Foundation training.
The Practitioner exam is an objective, scenario based paper. There are 8 questions each worth 10 marks, making a total of 80 marks available. The pass mark is 55% (44 marks required to pass out of 80 available). This is an open book exam. Generally, this exam is taken after 1 week of PRINCE 2 Practitioner training.

The PRINCE2 Foundation certificate needs no renewal.

The PRINCE2 Practitioner certificate needs to be renewed every 5 years.

Benefits of PMP Certification:

  • PMP is a globally recognized and respected technical certification
  • The PMP certification demonstrates your expertise in Project Management
  • PMP certification is not limited to any geography and industry. It is recognized by leading companies worldwide.
  • PMP certification helps in getting better career avenues and prepares for greater job responsibilities which eventually leads to better salaries.
  • American government and corporates prefer their project managers and vendor project managers to possess this certificate.
  • Boost your confidence by implementing the best practices for your projects.
  • Based on the PMBOK standards develop the new processes which are required for the project success

Benefits of PRINCE2 Certification:

  • PRINCE2 is a UK, Europe and commonwealth countries recognized and respected technical certification
  • The PRINCE2 certification demonstrates your expertise in applying and tailoring PRINCE2 manual for your project need.
  • PRINCE2 certification is not limited to any geography and industry. It is recognized by leading companies worldwide.
  • PRINCE2 certification helps in getting better career avenues and prepares for greater job responsibilities which eventually leads to better salaries.
  • UK government and big UK corporates prefer their project managers and vendor project managers to possess this certificate.
  • Boost your confidence by implementing the best practices for your projects.
  • Using 26 templates, seven processes, seven themes, seven principles for the project success






The origin of PMP is United States.

The origin of PRINCE2 is United Kingdom.

Based on

Knowledge based approach of project management.

Process, theme, principles based project management methodology.

Standard Name

“The PMBOK® Guide” offers a loose, general approach to integrating the Knowledge Areas.

PRINCE2 2009

Practice vs. Process

A broad collection of ‘good practices’

Integrated set of processes and themes covering the full project lifecycle


PMP is non-prescriptive.

PRINCE2 is prescriptive, but tailored.

Topic coverage

  • Explains the responsibilities of project manager.
  • Discusses project management tools in detail.
  • Discusses Human Resource and Procurement Management in detail.
  • It is a process-based approach that defines the roles for not just the project manager but for the entire team and everyone involved in the project.
  • No tool, no HR, no Procurement management processes.

Countries where these certifications are popular

US, Canada, Australia, India

UK, Australia, Europe, India

PMP training companies in India

PMP trainings are conducted by PMI REPs (Registered Education Provider) and PMP credentials holders who are expert in project management and training domains. PMI REPs give you category “A” certificate and the others give you category “B” certificate after the training. These are 35 prerequisite PDUs required to apply for the exam. Both certificates are equally valid for your PMP exam.

PRINCE2 training companies in India    

PRINCE2 training are conducted by ATOs (Accredited Training Organization) globally. ATOs interns are authorized by either APMG or Peoplecert certification body. ATOs also conduct the proctored exam with the help of either APMG or Peoplecert.

References and Useful links for PMP vs PRINCE2

August 16, 2016

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