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PRINCE2® updates in 2017

By Simon Buehring on 12 Jul 2019

What you need to know about PRINCE2 2017 update.

In 2017 AXELOS announced the first major update to PRINCE2 since 2009. Referred to as PRINCE2 2017, this update affects certain parts of the methodology, the exams and how to maintain your registered PRINCE2 Practitioner status.

Whether you want to take a PRINCE2 course for the first time or already have the qualification, read on to discover more about this important update and how it affects you.

Why was PRINCE2 updated?

The institute that owns the PRINCE2 copyright is called AXELOS. They are responsible for accrediting training providers and managing the development of PRINCE2.

During a period of consultation between AXELOS, their partners and expert PRINCE2 users, it was agreed that PRINCE2 needed to change in order to become more practical and more relevant to the modern project management world.

How has the PRINCE2 changed?

The PRINCE2 method is described in detail in the official PRINCE2 manual ‘Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2’. Because of the update this year, the revised manual is now the 2017 edition, and you’ll be pleased to know this edition of the manual is much more user friendly and readable.

There is now a much greater emphasis on tailoring PRINCE2 to suit the organization or project environment. The PRINCE2 themes chapters in particular now have additional information about tailoring with examples included.

The manual also has more clarity concerning the link between the principles and the themes, as well as practical examples of how to apply PRINCE2. Throughout the manual, there are also numerous tips, hints and definitions to enhance your understanding of the method.

Finally, to keep up to date with modern project management trends, the manual also refers a lot to agile methods and there is guidance on how agile and PRINCE2 can be used together.

How have the exams changed?

Both the PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner exams have been changed to reflect the changes to the methodology. The Practitioner exam question style has also changed to be more straightforward, something considered long overdue by many in the PRINCE2 community.

The PRINCE2 Foundation exam now features questions on tailoring and there are also more questions regarding the Principles. The number of questions has also been reduced from 75 to 60 and the pass mark has increased from 50% to 55%. However, it is still a multiple-choice exam for 1 hour.

The PRINCE2 Practitioner exam is still a 2.5-hour multiple-choice exam. However, there are now questions from all parts of the PRINCE2 method, especially the Principles. The ‘assertion-reason’ style questions have now been removed and the number of questions has been reduced from 80 to 68. The pass mark has also increased from 50% to 55%.

Perhaps the most major change, however, is that the PRINCE2 Re-registration exam no longer exists. This is due to the introduction of AXELOS Membership and the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme. Please read the next question for further details.

How do I maintain my PRINCE2 status?

Since the 2017 update, you now have two options for renewing your status after expiry. You can either:

a) Simply take a PRINCE2 Practitioner exam again after 3 years.

b) Join AXELOS Membership and keep your status up to date by accruing 20 CPD points per year over a 3-year period. CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points are gained by logging project management related activities in your Membership account. By gaining 20 CPD points per year, you will not have to take the Practitioner exam again.

Upon successfully passing a PRINCE2 exam, AXELOS will contact you regarding the membership scheme. It is up to you whether you sign up or not, but we recommend that you do. Alongside access to the CPD recording tool, you will also gain access to a host of useful resources.

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