In July this year, Sally Pike of Afro Ant became the first person in South Africa to complete the APM’s Introductory Certificate. This innovative qualification, accredited by the Association for Project Management, is aimed at all those people who are involved in and around projects – who want to understand ‘project-speak’ and support the successful delivery of projects.
Sally is currently a Communications Manager in Media24. We asked her to share her experience of studying and taking the APM Introductory Certificate exam here in South Africa.
“I found it such a valuable process – more than I had expected”, Sally commented right at the start of our meeting. She studied for the APM exam using CITI’s online Introductory Certificate preparation course. It took her just three weeks before she felt ready to take the one-hour multiple choice online exam.
In week one, she read through the study guide provided with the course. “As somebody relatively new to projects – the thing I found really helpful were the case studies. Some of the concepts – where and how they should be applied – were unfamiliar to me and the case studies allowed me to see how the techniques are applied in practice. This also meant I found it easier to retain and understand the material”.
In weeks two to three Sally studied approximately 1-2 hours each day making sure she had sufficient understanding of the concepts to be able to answer the types of multiple choice questions found in the APM exam. The online course provides plenty of example questions to try out before the final exam.
“There is a lot of jargon in project management”, Sally commented. “Understanding this has really helped me orientate my role in projects and also speak with other members of the project team with confidence. You know you’re not a project manager just by doing this exam, but I definitely felt empowered to contribute within the project space more successfully.”
And taking the exam? “That was so easy to organise. I did it at home online using an approach called proctoring.” Proctoring is increasingly used to allow people to take invigilated exams anywhere at any time. You just sign on to the APM site and register when you want to write the exam. When you sign on for the exam a chat box comes up and within minutes you are connected to a support person. The exam invigilator has remote access to your computer screen and a real time view of your activities. .
Sally continued, “In addition I was asked to show them my room, desk etc , (which was-slightly weird via the vidcam) to illustrate that I had no notes or books around me. Then I was ready to start the exam. The exam interface was excellent – it was just like walking into an exam room”
Sixty multiple questions in just one hour is quite tight timing. – you really would not have time to look at books anyway! The great thing is that you get your result almost immediately with the official results being sent via email within a few weeks.”
Sally was genuinely excited and pleased about taking the APM exam. “I think this is a fantastic foundational course for those new to project management and for students coming out of varsity who will find that project management is such an important part of the business environments they work in.
For further information about the APM IC contact our sister company, CITI or visit their website. www.citi.co.uk