APM Project Fundamentals Qualification vs APM Project Management Qualification

News & Blog

< Back to News home < Back Share

APM Project Fundamentals Qualification vs APM Project Management Qualification

A question we get a lot is, what is the difference between the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification and APM Project Management Qualification? Well, depending on what you want to gain from the qualification and the level of project management experience you have can depend on which course is a better fit for you.

Here we look at the key differences between both qualifications to help you decide which one is better for you.

What is the difference between APM PFQ and PMQ?

The APM PFQ is an entry level/fundamental project management qualification where the learner is not expected to have any prior knowledge. It is a 2-day course and is designed to give people a basic understanding of projects and how they are conducted in organisations. The PFQ learner will leave the course with an understanding of key areas such as what a basic project lifecycle consists of, an understanding of the key roles within a project environment, an understanding of how projects are planned and how stakeholders should be engaged.

The Project Management Qualification (PMQ) will take everything covered during the PFQ and go into further detail, building on each topic area and giving the learner a more in-depth understanding. This is normally a qualification an existing Project Manager would take to build on their skills. We would expect delegates to have some prior knowledge when attending a PMQ course.


What is the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification?

The Project Fundamentals Qualification (PFQ) is ideal for aspiring project managers who are looking to gain the fundamental knowledge of the project profession. This course will introduce you to the APM Body of Knowledge 7 (BoK7) from the Chartered Body, APM, and give you an awareness of the concepts, terms and activities that make up best practice. You may even have a couple of years of experience being part of a project team and looking to further your understanding and knowledge of the key concepts and terminology to progress your career.

No matter what industry you are in, the knowledge and tools learnt from the APM PFQ will be invaluable to your future projects.

The PFQ is a multiple-choice exam consisting of 60 questions which must be completed within an hour. After successful completion you are awarded the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification which is SCQF Level 6 and does not expire.

What roles should consider taking the PFQ?

The APM Project Fundamentals Qualification is ideal for anyone with an active interest in the project management profession - this Includes Project Assistants, PMO Administrators and those liaising with project teams, as well as those actively involved in managing projects.

What is the APM Project Management Qualification?

The Project Management Qualification is aimed at those who want to achieve a broader level of project management knowledge. The course itself digs deeper into areas such as why we do projects, understanding the environment within which we run our projects and it equips you, the delegate, with the knowledge and overview of various techniques on how to do things. This includes areas such as risk management, quality management, roles and responsibilities and planning. Planning goes into detail around how to create good, old-fashioned network diagrams and explains why this is such a useful skill when it comes to planning your projects.

Network diagram

Network diagram by Lucidchart

The PMQ is much more complex from the PFQ exam in that it is a written exam completed over a 3-hour period. You are given a booklet which will contain 16 questions and will need to select 10 questions you feel comfortable answering. For more information about the APM PMQ exam read our previous article on, Tips for Passing the APM PMQ Exam.

After successful completion of the PMQ exam you are awarded the APM Project Management Qualification which is SCQF Level 7. This qualification would need to be renewed after 5 years to keep your knowledge up to date.

What roles should consider taking the PMQ?

The APM PMQ is aimed at those individuals who may have a basic knowledge of Project Management and are looking to further expand this. This could be someone who works in the project office, maybe a Project Officer, Project Analyst, Project Data Analyst . It also attracts Team Managers looking to move from a development role into a management post, and Team Leaders looking to expand their skill set.

We also see Assistant Project Managers, Junior Project Managers and Project Engineers, as well as experienced Project Managers taking the PMQ course. Many are people who have learnt their trade through years of experience and want a formal qualification to recognise all their hard work.

The APM state on their website “Applicants typically have some pre-existing project management knowledge, and it is the ideal next step for anyone holding the APM Project Fundamentals (PFQ) qualification.”

Book a course