PMP vs PRINCE2 Overview

prince2 vs pmp


What’s the difference between PMP® and PRINCE2 Certifications? Which one should I choose? What’s best for my career?

Firstly to really understand PMPvs PRINCE2 you need to know PMBOK® Guide is Project Management Book of Knowledge. The PMP® examination is based off material in PMBOK® Guide.

Also you should understand that PMP® and PRINCE2 are not direct competitors and there is no reason you can’t do both!

Difference Simplified

The big difference between PMP vs PRINCE2 is that PMBOK® guide is a prescriptive knowledge while PRINCE2 is a descriptive methodology. In simple terms PMP® answer HOW questions and PRINCE2 answers WHAT, WHEN and WHO questions.

PMP® is a Standard NOT a methodology. It consists of process and techniques of project management. It is a professional certificate from the PMI® (Project Management Institute) setup as a non-profit organization focused on project management.

PRINCE2 is a Methodology NOT a standard. It gives step by step guidance on how plan and execute a project.

Standard vs Methodology

PMI® Standard

Developed and published a number of standards which include….

  • A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).
  • The Standard for Program Management.
  • The Standard for Portfolio Management.
  • Organisational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®).

And also a number of practice standards and frameworks:

  • Practice Standard for Project Risk Management.
  • Practice Standard for Earned Value Management.
  • Practice Standard for Project Configuration Management.
  • Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures.
  • Practice Standard for Scheduling.
  • Project Manager Competency Development Framework.

PRINCE2 Methodology

Created “best practices” family of project management which include…

  • PRINCE2 – project management.
  • MSP – program management.
  • MoP – portfolio management.
  • M_o_R – risk management.
  • MoV – value management.
  • P3O – project, program, and portfolio management offices (PMO).
  • P3M3 – project, program, and portfolio management maturity model.
  • ITIL – IT service management.

Different Certificates

PMI Certificates

  • Project Management Professional (PMP)®
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
  • Program Management Professional (PgMP)®.
  • Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)SM.
  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®
  • PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)®.
  • PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)®
  • OPM3® Professional Certification.

PRINCE2 Certificates

  • PRINCE2 Foundation
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner

When referring to PRINCE2 people are generally referring to foundation and practitioner. When referring to PMP people are generally referring to the Project Management Professional certification.


To qualify for PMP® you require….

At least 3 years of experience in the project management field (5 years if you don’t have a four-year degree)

At least 4,500 hours experience in leading and directing projects (7,500 hours if you don’t have a four-year degree)

At least 35 hours of formal project management education

To qualify for PRINCE2 Foundation there are no requirements.

For PRINCE2 Practitioner you require….

PRINCE2 Foundation


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If you have already decided you want to proceed with the PMP® designation you should check out the next section where we discuss how you can apply for the PMP.

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