What is the International Project Management Association?

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  • 0:00 The Project Manager
  • 1:11 The IPMA
  • 2:23 IPMA's Initiatives
  • 2:57 IPMA's Certifications
  • 4:03 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Susan Fenner

Susan has an MBA in Management from the University of North Alabama. She teaches online and campus-based Business courses.

Project managers who want to enhance their careers and distinguish themselves may obtain certification through one of the recognized professional associations. This lesson take a closer look at one of the major players, the Swiss-based International Project Management Association.

The Project Manager

Joe was a little nervous as he approached the big oak doors of the conference room. For weeks now there had been rumors of big changes coming to the organization, and everyone was on edge. Now it was time to find out what the restructuring meant for him and his job.

Joe knocked on the door, then entered and took a seat at the table. He looked at the three executives sitting across from him and he tried to read their expressions.

'Joe, I'm going to get right to the point,' said the CEO. 'We've reviewed your file, and we like what we see. You've been an exemplary line manager for three years now, and we want to promote you to Project Manager. You'll need to be certified, of course, but the company will pay for your training and testing. Are you familiar with the International Project Management Association?'

'No, Sir. I'm afraid I'm not,' Joe replied.

'Well, here's where we'll start. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the organization over the weekend. There's a lot of good information available on the Web. Jot down any questions you might have, and we'll meet back here on Monday.'

The CEO stood up and extended his hand. Joe shook his hand and said, 'Thank you for this opportunity. I'm looking forward to learning more about it.'


Joe's research led him to discover that the International Project Management Association (IPMA) is a prestigious, Swiss-based organization dedicated to promoting project management on a global scale. It's comprised of over 60 national member associations of project management, and has more than 250,000 certified members worldwide.

IPMA was founded in Vienna in 1965 as the world's first project management association. Their original name was the International Management Systems Association (IMSA). The organization then became known as INTERNET (International Network) in 1967, and finally the name was changed to the current International Project Management Association in the early 1970s.

Joe was pleased to see that IPMA offers a wide variety of services in order to help him learn the basics and then develop his potential to excel in the field of project management. IPMA is member-driven and staffed by experienced, dedicated volunteers, ensuring top-notch service at every step of his journey. He was also excited to learn that he would be able to obtain his IPMA certification in the comfort of his own home through web-based services.

IPMA's Initiatives

Joe discovered that IPMA's stated goals are to increase competence in project management in order to boost effectiveness and recognition for the profession. Some of the ways they accomplish these goals include:

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