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At the beginning of 2017, AXELOS announced an update to the PRINCE2 guidance and introduced AXELOS Membership. This article will tell you everything you need to know about AXELOS Membership.

What is AXELOS Membership?

AXELOS Membership is an online membership service designed for anyone in the IT service management, project management and programme management community. The aim of AXELOS Membership is to support individuals in their job role and when undertaking AXELOS qualifications.

After passing one of our AXELOS accredited exams (PRINCE2, MSP or PRINCE2 Agile) you will be contacted by AXELOS regarding membership. The annual membership fee will be £50 +VAT. Getting a second subscription will cost £30 +VAT per year and a third subscription will be £20 +VAT per year.

What does membership provide?

Becoming a member provides access to Best Practice guidance, content, templates, resources and other tools that will support you in your role. You will also gain access to the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) recording tool.

What are CPD points?

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points are points gained by performing activities in your professional life. By logging your activities on your membership portal, you will gain CPD points which go towards maintaining your PRINCE2, MSP, PRINCE2 Agile or ITIL certification. You will also be provided with a digital ‘badge’ to enhance the validity and legitimacy of your qualification.

CPD points can be earned by performing the following activities:

  • Professional experience – for example, applying best practice at work, coaching colleagues or shadowing senior colleagues.
  • Training – this could be gaining AXELOS qualifications or other professional qualifications. This includes courses gained in-house or via eLearning.
  • Community participation – for instance, organizing/attending industry events or contributing to online forums and writing blogs.
  • Self-study – this can be reading books, publications, forums, articles, white papers, blogs or listening to podcasts and webcasts.

Other accreditation bodies have a similar system of collecting points to maintain certification. The accreditor for PMP qualifications, PMI, have Professional Development Units (PDUs) and the Association for Project Management (APM) have CPDs.

What is a digital badge?

Digital badges are icons that can be used online via social media, email, LinkedIn, online CVs or portfolios. They provide proof you have successfully gained a PRINCE2, MSP, PRINCE2 Agile or ITIL® qualification . Digital badges are issued directly by AXELOS and maintained with CPD points.

Your digital badge will be issued once you sign up for membership and your certification has been verified. You will be required to keep your badge up-to-date by logging 20 CPDs every 12 months (a process which also keeps your certification updated).

How does the CPD system affect PRINCE2?

Knowledge Train will start using the new PRINCE2 2017 version for all classroom courses from 10th July 2017. We will introduce PRINCE2 2017 for eLearning in autumn 2017.

With the new PRINCE2 2017 version, the PRINCE2 Re-registration course and exam will cease to exist. PRINCE2 Practitioners will no longer need to re-register their status every 5 years and PRINCE2 Practitioner status will instead expire after 3 years.

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In order to keep your PRINCE2 Practitioner status up-to-date, you now have two options. You can either:

a) Just take another Practitioner exam after the 3 years is up.

b) Sign up for AXELOS Membership and renew your status with CPD points. You will need to log 20 CPD points per year to extend your PRINCE2 Practitioner status by 1 year. If you log 20 CPD points per year over 3 years, then your certification will be renewed automatically. This saves you having to sit the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam again.

If you hold 2009 PRINCE2 Practitioner certification, rest assured that your status is still valid for 5 years. However, when it does expire, you will need to take the 2017 PRINCE2 Practitioner exam.

Similarly, there is nothing wrong with doing a 2009 Foundation exam and a 2017 Practitioner exam. The 2009 exam is still valid and we will prepare you fully for the 2017 version through pre-course study and classroom training.

How does AXELOS Membership benefit me?

As noted previously, both PMI and APM already have successful membership and CPD-style systems in place. AXELOS have obviously seen how beneficial this system is and have decided to introduce it themselves.

Signing up for AXELOS Membership gives you access to a wealth of resources. You will gain Best Practice guidance, exclusive content, templates and other tools to help you when managing projects or programmes at work. As all of these resources come direct from AXELOS, you can be sure you are getting official and correct information.

Another benefit of being an AXELOS member is the CPD system. Having a CPD system in place enables individuals to keep certification up-to-date without the need to spend money on re-registration exams. It is a much cheaper way to maintain certification. The CPD system also adds value to qualifications, which need to be kept updated by recording professional activities.

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Simon Buehring

Simon Buehring is the Founder and Managing Director of Knowledge Train.

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