Masters of management
The Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) is the longest-running organisation for the management of specialist projects in Australia. AIPM was incorporated in 1978 from the Project Managers’ Forum and has been instrumental in advancing the profession of project management in Australia over the last 35 years. With around 10,500 members, it also stands as the sole largest national membership organisation for project management throughout Australia.
Recognised by Australian business, industry, and government, AIPM is universally accepted as the key promoter, developer, and leader in National project management professionalism. Internationally, AIPM is the second largest member of the International Project Management Association (IPMA). IPMA represents a federation of over 50 national project management associations from around the world.
AIPM’s Project Management Standards have a high level of alignment with International Associations such as IPMA, with several AIPM Standards having an equivalent IPMA Certification Level. Several high-level members of AIPM are currently involved with the development of international Standards with their IPMA counterparts.
AIPM is also the Secretariat of the Asia Pacific Federation of Project Management – an organisation initiated by the AIPM in early 2010, comprised of 12 Asia Pacific national project management associations. These links provide the AIPM and its members with a significant voice in the global project management community.
“AIPM has several highly regarded certification programs that are based on National Standards. Their Project Managed Organisation (PMO) Certification, for example, recognises the project management maturity of organisations. It is accredited to companies who have embarked on a process to continually improve their project management capabilities on an organisation-wide basis” says Margie O’Tarpey, the CEO of AIPM.
Registered Project Manager (RegPM) is AIPM’s Certification Program. Anybody who is an AIPM Member can get involved in the RegPM Program. RegPM’s are required to undergo an initial assessment and must continue to log continuous professional development (CPD) points, in or to maintain current competency in the marketplace.
AIPM’s Registered Project Manager (RegPM) Certification Program is highly respected within the industry. It has been developed through AIPM’s own competency standard, which have been recognised by industry as a best practice model for project, program and portfolio management in both the private and public sectors.
“We also support professional development through monthly events through our Chapters, where we have keynote speakers and learning development programs,” Margie adds. “We also have a monthly eNewslettter called PM Matters and a bi-monthly magazine where we keep people up-to-date with good practice in project management. And we provide support for career development through our Women in Project Management Group and Young and Emerging Professionals Group.”
“Ultimately, joining AIPM is about recognition,” she says. “We believe that being qualified and certified gives you better career opportunities and standing in the project management sector, and that’s what we help people to achieve.”
For the members, by the members
The Australian Institute of Project Management is structured as a not-for-profit company, which operates in accordance with its Constitution. It is registered as a company limited by guarantee with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, and is led by a board of twelve Directors comprising a National President (the Chair of the Board), three National Directors, and eight Chapter Presidents. All Directors are elected entirely by members of the Institute for a term of two years.
Elections are held each year – for the National President and three National Directors one year, and for the eight Chapter Presidents the next. The elections are about leadership of the Institute and continuity of services to members.
The National Office is based in Sydney that consists of the Chief Executive Officer, National Managers and auxiliary support staff who are responsible for the day-to-day management and administration of the organisation. The National Board consists of the National President, three National Directors and eight Chapter Presidents. AIPM has various Councils and Committees that consist of Members who volunteer to give their time to the Institute. Each chapter has approximately ten chapter councillors in addition to the Chapter President, as well as a paid Chapter Coordinator.
In order to provide advice to the Board on significant issues relating to the operation of AIPM, there are a number of Councils and Committees convened on a regular basis. The operation of each Council – along with some of the Committees – is further governed by a Charter, which is approved by the Board. The AIPM’s activities are structured according to the Charter into Programme Areas, which provide a framework for all of the Institute’s key activities, allowing it to provide many of its valuable services.
A major goal of the AIPM is to recognise, honour, and promote the efforts of industry leaders in the realms of program and project management. They aim to shine a spotlight on outstanding achievements that happen all the time, on a variety of project types and in a variety of ways. To that end, the organisation has established the Project Management Achievement Awards (PMAA).
“The PMAA’s recognize excellence in a wide range of different categories, at the State, Territory, and National level,” says Margie. “The process is that a number of members apply for the award, and then we hold award nights for the state and territory level. The winners of those in turn move on to be part of the National award program.”
As Secretariat and Member of the Asia-Pacific Federation of Project Management (APFPM), winners from the PMAA become eligible to compete internationally at the APFPM Awards in New Delhi on 2 December 2013. In addition, any projects having an affiliation with an IPMA Member Association are eligible to enter the IPMA Awards.
“We also have awards for teams to recognise how they work together,” she continues. “There are also different category awards for particular projects, such as redeveloping a healthcare hospital camp or an all-around change to a management system. Projects don’t have to be physical infrastructure. They can be around a process, an organisational change, accommodations, or an IT network redevelopment – to name only a few examples.”
According to Margie, those awards are highly valued within the industry, and will be valued even more as time goes on. Project management is still a young and emerging profession, and the AIPM’s membership is still growing. As more companies sign up and immerse themselves in the community – and as employers and government start to take more notice – the PMAA awards will only gain in prestige and importance.
Moving forward, the AIPM will continue to strive for that attention. They will continue to promote the cause that project management is an important profession, and that practitioners need to have identified competencies and certifications in order to do their job effectively.
“Our future is clearly based around the importance of representation and advocacy for project managers and their sectors,” says Margie. “We firmly believe arguing the critical importance of professional standards and professionalism is priority number one.”
“We furthermore want to ensure the improvement of competency and the renewal of professional Standards,” she concludes. “We are currently developing a senior project management standard to this end, which will be instrumental for maintaining a professional credentialed competency and standard professional practice for the future.”
For more information, please visit their website at: Australian Institute of Project Management