Recent update (2023)
Since 2012 when I first started to compile statistics for the number of PRINCE2 examinations sat across the world the total number of exams had just reached 1 million exams.
Since then, the annual release of examination statistics has not been forthcoming from the accreditation body. Therefore, if we assume that the same number of exams each year since remained at the 2012 level of 145,000, then over 1 million further PRINCE2 exams have been sat since 2012.
So, by the middle of 2023 we estimate that well over 2,000,000 exams taken worldwide since 1996. The rest of this article remains unchanged since it was first published in 2012.
Original article (2012)
In 2012 (the last year when annual figures were released by the PRINCE2 accreditation body) showed the number of PRINCE2 examinations taken globally rose 5% compared with 2011. The figures show more than 144,000 people sat PRINCE2 examinations in 2012 compared with 136,000 the previous year. By the end of 2012, more than 1 million candidates had taken PRINCE2 exams since 1996.
In fact, the total number of exams taken in 2012 was the highest on record, beating the previous record (in 2011) by more than 8,000. 2012 also saw record numbers of candidates take both Foundation and Practitioner examinations.
Growth outside UK
The growth of PRINCE2 exams occurred in all regions except in the UK which suffered a fall in exams of 6%. The fastest growing regions during 2012 were Central Asia with a 148% increase in exams compared with the previous year, Scandinavia with a growth of 61%, Eastern Europe with 23%, North America with 16%, Africa and East Asia with 11%, Australasia with 9% and Western Europe (excluding the UK) with a 1% increase.
The general increase in exams across regions was also matched in individual countries where statistics are available, although the rate of increase was uneven. Again, the UK was the exception to the general rule along with the Netherlands and Italy. Although the UK remained the largest market, 2012 showed a 6% year on year fall in exams. The Netherlands suffered an even larger 13% fall in the number of examinations. These figures probably reflect the fact that both countries have the most mature market for PRINCE2, and the market has reached saturation point in both countries. Italy showed a fall in the number of exams of 8%.
On a positive note however, India proved to be the fastest growing country in 2012 with a total increase in exams of 168%. After India, the next fastest growing countries were Denmark (52%), France (42%). China (26%), Poland and South Africa (both 20%), Czech Republic (15%), Germany (14%) and Australia (4%).The phenomenal growth of PRINCE2 is expected to continue and has already passed the 1 million mark in September 2012. Only 10 years ago, only 35,000 PRINCE2 exams were sat, compared with the 144,000 in 2012. This is a 400% increase over 10 years.
Taking exams online
Interestingly, since 2012 the number of candidates taking PRINCE2 exams online was also experiencing rapid growth as more students study using a PRINCE2 course online.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, all paper-based exams were stopped, and only digital online exams were available through PeopleCert.