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MSP Programme Management Certification Course

MSP defines programme management as "the action of carrying out the coordinated organisation, direction and implementation of a dossier of ...

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About MSP

Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) is part of a portfolio of best-practice publications aimed at helping organisations manage transformational change through the application of programme management.

MSP defines programme management as "the action of carrying out the coordinated organisation, direction and implementation of a dossier of projects and transformational activities to achieve outcomes and realise benefits of strategic importance to the business".

This course has been designed to meet the needs of programme managers, programme directors, project directors, programme support staff, senior managers, business change managers, project management office staff, and anyone interested in or involved in programme work.

Course contents

The MSP® Foundation course covers the APMG syllabus which includes:

MSP Principles
These reflect the characteristics of successful programmes. If the seven principles are observed when applying the rest of the method, the programme will be more likely to achieve its objectives.

MSP Governance Themes
The Governance Themes provide guidance on concepts that are continual through the life of the programme, most have a cycle of associated activities that enable appropriate controls to be maintained to keep the programme on course, these are:

  • Programme Organisation: Covers the combination of defined roles, clear responsibilities of each of these roles, management structures and reporting arrangements that are needed to deliver the programme’s desired outcomes.
  • Vision: The Vision Statement communicates the outcomes and delivered benefits of the programme, an enabler for the buy-in, motivation and activity alignment of stakeholders.
  • Leadership and Stakeholder Engagement: Focus is on the need for, and nature of, leadership in transformational change. Stakeholders must be actively analysed, understood and engaged with, and not just managed or communicated to.
  • Benefits Management: Maintains the relationship between change and achieving benefits and is very explicit with a focus on the need for active exploitation of project outputs and delivered capability to achieve benefits.
  • Blueprint Design and Delivery: There is guidance on Tranches, Step Change in Capability and Intermediate Blueprints. Emphasises the need for detailed understanding of the current state as a basis for understanding the complexity of the change.

Planning and Control
Helps understand the relationship between programme and project control points. Covers change control processes and has detail on the role of the monitoring and control strategy. While planning and control are both key to the success of any transformation programme, they should be seen as distinctly separate concepts and activities

The Business Case
Provides the vital test of the viability of the programme. It answers the question: ‘Is the investment in this programme still worth it?’ We need to ensure the ongoing viability of the business.

Risk and Issue Management
Based on the Management of Risk (M_o_R®) framework and cycle, you will find reference to risk aggregation, guidance on the use of early warning indicators and further development of need to manage opportunities and threats as risks.

Quality and Assurance Management
Reflects the focus on the role of integrated assurance and setting out a strategy to achieve this. Quality management focuses on two areas, the achievement of the principles and the scope of quality.

The Transformational Flow
Provides a route through the lifecycle of a programme from its conception through to delivering the new capability, transitioning to the desired outcomes, realising the benefits and finally on to the close of the programme. The flow consists of six steps:

  • Identifying a programme
  • Defining a programme
  • Managing the tranches
  • Delivering the capability
  • Realising the benefits
  • Closing the programme

Practical Work
A specially written scenario runs throughout the course from start to finish. A comprehensive set of tasks help provide a practical application of the method. The tasks are designed to help delegates link the integrated elements of MSP.

Sample Exams
We provide 2 sample exam papers for delegates to practice on before sitting the Foundation exam.


The MSP PASSPORT is Alluvion's e-learning software covering the MSP Foundation, Practitioner and Advanced Practitioner course.

Accredited by the APM Group, the official examination institute for MSP, PASSPORT contains lessons tailored tothe three course levels over 12 modules.

Each module contains lessons with a video presentation and interactive exercises as well as online support forums and chat features. It is designed to align with the MSP manual.

Most people complete self-study via MSP in 3-6 months, however candidates are given a 12-month licence for the software to ensure self-study fits in with other lifestyle commitments.


MSP Foundation Qualification

The purpose of the Foundation qualification is to confirm you have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the MSP best practice.

Features of the exam:

  • A closed book exam
  • Multiple-choice
  • 75 questions per paper with 1 mark available per question
  • 1 hour to complete
  • 5 of the questions are trial questions and are not counted in the final score
  • Candidates need to achieve a mark of 35 (50%) or more to pass
  • The Invigilator will mark this paper and provide interim results on the same day,  they will then be confirmed by APMG.


MSP Practitioner Qualification

The purpose of the Practitioner qualification is to confirm you have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the MSP guidance to act as an informed member of a Programme Management team.

  • An open book exam (Manual only)
  • 8  Questions per paper with 80 marks available in total
  • 2½ hours to complete
  • Candidates need to achieve a mark of 40 (50%) or more to pass
  • Papers are sent to APMG for marking, results take 2 – 3 weeks.

Practitioners need to re-register their certification within 5 years, but no earlier than 3 years.


MSP Advanced Practitioner Qualification

The purpose of the Advanced Practitioner qualification is to confirm you could lead a programme of transformational change.

Features of the exam:

  • An open book exam
  • Essay based
  • 2 Questions per paper with 75 marks available in total
  • 3 hours to complete
  • Candidates need to achieve a mark of 38 (50%) or more to pass.

Practitioners need to re-register their certification within 5 years, but no earlier than 3 years.


Entry requirements

The Foundation qualification is an open course with no pre-requisite qualifications, however any experience in projects would be beneficial.

Students are required to pass the Foundation exam prior to taking the Practitioner exam. Students are required to pass the Practitioner exam prior to taking the Advanced Practitioner exam.


MSP® and M_o_R® are registered trademarks of the Cabinet Office.
CoursesNow offers MSP® In Association with Alluvion Consulting Pty Ltd.

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Delivery Methods Online
Finance Option Finance Available
Study Time 5 days

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