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Senior Project Managers at The Home Office have recently taken a new qualification: Programme and Project Sponsorship. Sir David Normington, Permanent Secretary, The Home Office, presented the first graduates of the qualification with their certificates.

The qualification certifies that senior level staff involved with Programme and Projects – known as Sponsors or Senior Responsible Owners (SROs) - are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to lead successful delivery of a policy or initiative.

Sir Normington said: “I want to congratulate everyone who has been awarded the new Programme and Project Sponsorship qualification which has been developed by the APM Group, based on the Home Office approach to training our Senior Responsible Owners. It is very important that senior managers understand their sponsor role and are able to adopt an appropriate approach. In the Home Office we currently have many important projects, so it is extremely important that we professionalise the role of Senior Responsible Owner. I recognise the value of effective project management and will be encouraging our project sponsors to take this qualification.”

The first candidates to successfully pass the examination were from the Home Office, UK Borders Agency, the National School for Government and the Atomic Weapons Establishment:

Jonathan Braim – Home Office
Cheryl Drew - UK Borders Agency
Anthony Hargraves – Atomic Weapons Establishment
Michael Romberg – Home Office
Lisa Rose – UK Borders Agency
Tony Smith – UK Borders Agency
Stuart Wilson – National School for Government

Candidate No.1, Jonathan Braim, is a member of the senior management team responsible for delivering accommodation services across the Home Office and for the Ministry of Justice. Receiving his certificate from Sir David he said: “The Home Office recognises the importance of having skilled Senior Responsible Owners (SROs) working on its major programmes and projects. Being an SRO is frequently a very tough and demanding job with a huge amount of responsibility for delivering real change and results. In the past, SRO skills have been learnt vocationally but the new qualification and the training that supports staff to achieve it, reinforces the critical success factors in delivering the role.”

The Chief Examiner, Ian Santry recognised the part played by the first candidates to sit the exam “I’d like to thank the candidates who put themselves forward to test the examination. They have made a major contribution to the development of this qualification which, along with the associated training, represents a significant step towards equipping business managers for the SRO role”

The APMG Programme & Project Sponsorship qualification consists of four modules:
The first covers the more traditional material defining the role of sponsor; the second covers people issues, including leadership and stakeholder engagement; the third deals with project initiation; the final module is concerned with mid-term running and various types of ending.

In order to receive the PPS Qualification, candidates are assessed through a formal exam. The exam poses situational questions based on a given scenario. It is a practical assessment rather than a memory test of a particular methodology.

Howard Joseph, Head of People & Skills in the Home Office Centre of Excellence for PPM who developed the training course on which the qualification is based said, “The Home Office has run the new course for over 18 months and refined it several times in light of feedback from over 40 students who have attended it. The result is a blend of material that is predominantly PPM, set in a leadership context. It cherry-picks from PPM methodologies such as Managing Successful Programmes by telling the sponsor: ‘Here is a technique, this is how it can help you, and this is when you should take an interest in using it’.”

Richard Pharro, CEO, APMG, the awarding body, said, “I’m delighted to congratulate the first seven successful candidates for this new qualification. It takes a lot of courage for senior people to voluntarily submit themselves to peer review but we need people with a strong grasp of project and programme management techniques which are essential for successful delivery in a wide range of public and private sector businesses. This new qualification enables those with the responsibility to lead to do so with confidence and insight.”

The official launch of the PPS Qualification will take place at The Best Practice Showcase on June 24th 2008 in London. The event is free of charge to programme and project managers. To register or for more information visit The Best Practice Showcase


About The APM Group

The APM Group (APMG) is a global business providing accreditation and certification services. Through its international network of Accredited Consultancy and Training Organisations APMG helps end users develop their professional skills and organisations improve their processes through the adoption of worldwide best practice.

APMG is the only organisation offering professional qualifications in Programme and Project management with third party independent accreditation through the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). APMG works closely with the UK Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and TSO (The Stationery Office Ltd), their official publisher in running global accreditation schemes in PRINCE2™, MSP (Managing Successful Programmes), M_o_R® (Management Of Risk) and ITIL® (IT Infrastructure Library).

Other partners include The Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) and the UK's Chartered Management Institute.

For further details about APMG's qualification and accreditation schemes visit: or call + 44 (0)1494 452450.

More Press Information:

Kate Winter
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