What is PRINCE2?

What is PRINCE2?

PRINCE2 is a structured project management method and a certification program. Learn what is it and how to get your PRINCE2 certification here!

PRINCE2 is a primarily process-based method for efficient project management and it gives you the basic skills you need to turn into a successful project manager. It stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments, and is recognized and used all around the world. PRINCE2 is fully scalable and with the latest update to the framework, it can be adapted more easily to every project you have.

What is PRINCE2?

Projects IN Controlled Environments' certification or The PRINCE2 is a primarily process-based project management technique that provides a systematic approach to delivering a prosperous project with clear steps, templates, and processes.

First established in 1989 by the CCTA (Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency), PRINCE2 was originally based on PROMPT, one other acronym that stands for Project Resource Organization Management Planning Technique. It was established in 1975, and used by UK for its information system projects. PRINCE2 is the 2nd edition of the earlier PRINCE method, developed and disseminated by a UK government agency. PRINCE2 has become more and more popular and is now a de-facto standard for project management in lots of United Kingdom government departments and across the United Nations system. PRINCE2 is managed by a company called AXELOS. This company is a joint venture and formed in 2013.

PRINCE2 is a well-known methodology. It is one way to manage a project. Maybe, it won't teach you everything you need to know, but once you have basic project management skills, PRINCE2 will guide you to follow a process and set of principles and procedures that may add value to your practice.

There's an emphasis on dividing the project into manageable and controllable stages, with flexibility. PRINCE2 provides great control over project resources and excels at managing business and project risk more effectively.

Having a project management certification, particularly one like PRINCE2 and, signifies that an individual is aware of and understands the common language of project management. 

PRINCE2 Certification

Project management has multiple certification, and it may be difficult to choose which certification is best for you. PRINCE2 is the most known and most accepted one. There are over 1 million licensed PRINCE2 professionals in over 150 countries, and it's firmly established as the world's most practiced method for project management.

PRINCE2 has a course of study that leads to a certification within the methodology. Once you've fundamental project management skills, this certification will guide you to follow a process and set of rules and procedures that may add rigor to your practice.

Two levels of PRINCE2 certification exist:

PRINCE2 Foundation Level

The Foundation certification aims to confirm that you know and understand the PRINCE2 method well enough to be able to work effectively with, or as a member of, a project management team working within an environment supporting PRINCE2. The Foundation certification can be a prerequisite for the Practitioner certification. It is an entry-level qualification that doesn't require any previous knowledge or expertise. Generally, the examination takes place at the end of the training course, and last for one hour. In the test 33 out of 60 questions have to be answered correctly (55%) to get the certification.

PRINCE2 Practitioner

This is for a project manager who desires to lead projects in their roles. To be eligible to sit the PRINCE2 Practitioner examination, you will need a PRINCE2 Foundation certification. The purpose of this certification is to verify whether you've sufficient understanding of how to apply and implement the method in a range of various project scenarios and environments. In the exam 38 out of 68 questions have to be answered correctly (55%) to get the certification. Exam length is two-and-a-half hours (150 minutes).

There is good news that candidates are allowed to use the official printed hard copy of the Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 2017 Edition during the examination. PRINCE2 Practitioner teaches project management professionals to mix agile strategies with the framework of PRINCE2 in their projects, and handle the needs and issues of a particular project scenario.

Maintaining Your Certification

Upon obtaining your PRINCE2 Practitioner certificate, it remains valid for a period of 3 years. When this period comes to a close, you have two options to maintain your certification status. One possibility is to retake the Practitioner examination, which would renew your certification for another 3 years. Alternatively, you can opt to maintain your certificate through the My PRINCE2 membership program.

It is important to remember that PRINCE2 provides us with a comprehensive method for managing projects within a well-structured framework. This approach is designed to streamline the project management process and help ensure that projects are completed effectively and efficiently. Nevertheless, as experienced project managers are well aware, project management is a multifaceted discipline that often involves navigating complex challenges and unforeseen obstacles.

While utilizing a framework such as PRINCE2 can be an invaluable asset in managing projects, it is by no means a guarantee of success. A successful project depends on several factors, including the skills and expertise of the project team, effective communication, and adaptability in the face of changing circumstances. It is crucial for project managers to recognize the limitations of any particular framework and to employ a combination of best practices, tools, and methodologies to ensure the best possible outcomes for their projects.


This certification is recognized globally for its practice-driven approach to project management. PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner certifications provide the excellent knowledge needed to efficiently manage PRINCE2 tasks. You will be taught sufficient to work as part of a project group delivering within a PRINCE2 environment. It will definitely increase confidence among the whole project team.

Also, PRINCE2 is extremely flexible. You can adapt its rules and processes to handle successful projects at any scale. PRINCE2 is focused primarily on the processes and the framework to execute particular types of projects in managed environments successfully. It allows you to check your knowledge of how to implement your knowledge in real projects.

PRINCE2 is a methodology to handle projects and bring them in on time, within budget, and with a quality deliverable and it is widely used internationally. Today, a lot of project managers use this methodology in many countries in private and public sector projects. Once you understand the fundamentals of project management, this certification can enhance both your confidence and your employment prospects.

Also keep in mind that, qualified PRINCE2 Practitioners who go on to study for the APMP qualification of the APM (Association for Project Management) are exempt from certain topics of the syllabus that are covered in the PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification.

PRINCE2 is usually considered inappropriate for small projects or where necessities are anticipated to change, because of the work required in creating and maintaining documents, logs, and lists. The common response of authors of PRINCE2 to criticism has been to point out that the methodology is scalable and may be tailored to suit the specific necessities and constraints of the project and the environment. This robust emphasis on tailoring has led some customers to complain that PRINCE2 is unfalsifiable.

In conclusion, if you're considering a career in project management or looking to enhance your current skill set, the PRINCE2 methodology is an excellent place to start. By obtaining your PRINCE2 Practitioner certificate, you'll be well-equipped to tackle the complexities of project management and demonstrate your commitment to professional development.

Don't miss this opportunity to invest in your future and boost your career prospects. Register now for our upcoming PRINCE2 Foundation course, where you'll gain a solid understanding of the PRINCE2 principles and best practices. Take the first step towards mastering the PRINCE2 methodology, and set yourself up for success in the world of project management.

Click here to register for the PRINCE2 Foundation course.

Embark on your PRINCE2 journey today, and unlock the potential to lead projects with confidence, efficiency, and expertise.

 Żaneta Chmielewska - Blog Author 
A very experienced HR Manager. Associated with the automation industry and advanced AI algorithms.
She has extensive experience in managing programs and projects with excellent communication skills.
Privately, a lover of music festivals, cooking and skiing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How does PRINCE2 differ from other project management methodologies?
    PRINCE2 differs from other methodologies in its emphasis on clearly defined roles and responsibilities, as well as its adaptability to different project environments. It is designed to be tailored to the specific needs of each project, providing a common language and framework for project teams. PRINCE2 also places a strong focus on continuous improvement and learning from past experiences.
  2. What are the benefits of using PRINCE2 for project management?
    Some of the key benefits of using PRINCE2 include improved communication, increased control over project resources, better risk management, and a clear framework for decision-making. PRINCE2 helps project teams to deliver projects on time, within budget, and with the desired quality, while providing a consistent approach across the organization.
  3. Who can benefit from implementing PRINCE2?
    PRINCE2 is beneficial for organizations of all sizes and across various industries. Project managers, team members, and stakeholders involved in the planning, execution, and delivery of projects can benefit from the structured approach PRINCE2 provides. Additionally, organizations seeking to improve their project management capabilities and achieve better project outcomes will find PRINCE2 useful.
  4. Are there any certifications available for PRINCE2?
    Yes, there are two main PRINCE2 certifications: PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner. The Foundation certification is aimed at individuals new to project management or PRINCE2, while the Practitioner certification is for those with prior project management experience or a Foundation-level understanding of PRINCE2. These certifications help professionals gain recognition for their expertise in PRINCE2 and enhance their career prospects.
  5. What are the key principles of PRINCE2?
    PRINCE2 is built on seven key principles, which guide the project management process and ensure that the methodology is applied effectively. These principles are:
    - Continued business justification: Ensuring that the project remains aligned with business objectives and delivers value throughout its lifecycle.
    - Learn from experience: Applying lessons learned from previous projects to improve project management practices.
    - Defined roles and responsibilities: Establishing a clear structure for the project team, with well-defined roles and responsibilities for each member.
    - Manage by stages: Dividing the project into manageable stages, with regular progress reviews and decision points.
    - Manage by exception: Empowering project teams to make decisions within their authority while escalating issues that exceed predefined tolerances.
    - Focus on products: Concentrating on the delivery of quality products that meet the project's objectives and requirements.
    - Tailor to suit the project environment: Adapting PRINCE2 to the specific needs of each project, considering factors such as size, complexity, and risk.
    By adhering to these principles, project teams can ensure the successful implementation of PRINCE2 and achieve better project outcomes.
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