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Is it Worth Joining Professional Bodies?

Is it Worth Joining Professional Bodies?

In this economic climate it is worth doing anything possible to improve how the CV looks and to differentiate yourself to look more professional than the next contractor to get a contract…

Many of my colleagues have been out of contract for some time and getting an APM or PMP member status is a quick and cheap way of improving the CV, that doesn’t require the time and cash and study that a new qualification would require.

The added bonus of joining a Project Management professional body is to increase your network to increase chances of getting a contract. In a difficult market, what contracts do exisit, go to those contractors who have worked with the hiring manager or team members before and then to those recommended via a network as opposed to “random” applications via Jobserve etc..

Below I have written all the info. I know regarding the Project Management professional bodies – this may help you understand the costs and admin. required to join. Enjoy:

Professional Bodies

There are two professional bodies for Project Managers and also other relevant professional bodies many Project Managers may be part of. The advantage of joining a professional body is:

* It looks good on the CV

* Discounts on training and exams

* Networking with other Project Managers

* “Free” seminars and talks

* “Free” Newsletters and publications

* Advice and back up from the “voice” of the profession when required

The Professional Contractors Group (PCG)

Before I mention more specific Project Management professional groups it may be worth mentioning the PCG. Joining this organisation shows you are professional contractor and is a source of advice and tools on many contractor issues, such as IR35 information, professional indemnity insurance etc.

Joining the PCG was peace of mind for me, I know as a member I can pick up the phone and ask advice on anything, also there are online forums, free legal and tax help lines and contract examples and templates as well as benefits, such as dispute insurance, PAYE audit cover, Jury service insurance and discounts on products.


This is the European specific project management professional body. Membership of APM provides the support and resources of a large, well-known professional body, as well as a clear professional qualification path, training and four levels of membership:

* Student

* Associate (less than five years experience)

* Full member (MAPM) (five years plus)

* Fellow (FAPM) (five years + contributions to the profession)

The APM offers support and focus of knowledge and training for the Project Management profession, as well as events, such as the APM Conference and talks on topics, such as Risk Management, Business Case, Scheduling, etc. As well as offering comprehensive PM qualifications (see previous pages for APM qualifications). Membership costs are as follows:

Membership type, Registration fee, Annual subscription

Fellow, £90, £140

Full member, £90, £125

Associate, £90, £100

Student, Free, £15


The PMI is a worldwide professional body. Although US biased in my opinion, membership to this professional body is recognised throughout the world and shows a commitment to the Project Management Profession.

Benefits to membership, as well as being recognised as being part of this famous organisation, include; Knowledge sharing and networking opportunities through PMI communities (you can join a local chapter where there are meetings and events). PMI also offers certification, famously the CAPM, PMP and PgMP.

Membership costs $129.00 (approximately £75.00) per year.


Any Project Manager who deals with IT or manages IT projects may want to join the BCS. The BCS is the professional body for all things IT.

BCS membership provides industry recognition of IT skills and experience and is the pathway to Chartered IT Professional Status (CITP), this is useful as an IT professional (I have obtained this) and is recognised worldwide, apparently especially helping if moving to Australia to work in IT!

The BCS have a Project Management group called PROMS-G – the Project Management Specialist Group, which provides a forum to enable the exchange of information, skills, techniques and methods, which will enhance the professional status of project management within IT and related industries. PROMS-G also creates and distributes the publication “Project Manager Today” on a monthly basis, which is a good publication. The BCS has membership grades, based on experience:


Fellow (FBCS)/ Chartered Fellow (FBCS CITP), 164.00

Chartered IT Professional (MBCS CITP), 130.00

Member (MBCS), 92.00

Associate Member (AMBCS), 50.00

Affiliate, 35.00

Student (full or part-time – to cover one year of your current course), 25.0


The International Institute of Business Analysis – is a worthwhile organisation for Business Analysis skills.

Normally outside of the scope of Project Managers, however, I am wary that BA skills are prevalent in PM roles and many Project Management roles are split BA/PM roles, as were many of mine.

Therefore I thought this organisation was at least worth a mention here.