Frequently Asked Questions Why was the Project Management Competence Assessment Tool (CAT) created? In June 2008 the PPM Leaders group identified a need for a straightforward competence assessment tool having agreed the APM Competence Framework as the industry standard. Please refer to the PPM Profession web pages on the OGC Website What is the CAT based on? The competence assessment tool is based on the APM Competency Framework which in turn is based on the APM Body of Knowledge that is regularly reviewed to ensure its currency. What is the APM? The APM is the Association of Project Management. You can find out more about the APM on their website. What are the four APM levels of competence? Level D - You are able to apply project management knowledge when you work in a project in any capacity although common knowledge is not sufficient to perform at a satisfactory level of competence as a project manager Level C - You are able to lead a project with limited complexity which signifies that you have demonstrated the corresponding level of experience in addition to the ability to apply project management knowledge Level B - You are able to manage a complex projects. Sub-projects are normal, i.e., the project manager is managing by sub-project managers rather than leading the project team directly. Level A - You are able to direct an important portfolio or programme with the corresponding resources, methodologies and tools that is the subject of the certification rather than the management of a single project. To take on this responsibility an advanced level of knowledge and experience would be required. Can this tool be used for anybody? This tool is for use by project managers and those working in a project management environment. Programme management competences will be included at a later date. Why do some organisations have this tool while others do not? Some organisations already have large sophisticated competence assessment tools. Other organisations are either not large or mature enough. This tool is considered to be a stepping stone. Can any organisations use this tool? Use of the tool is limited to Central Government Departments, its Agencies and arms length bodies and devolved administrations that are Corporate Members. Use of the tool is restricted to these organisations who are corporate members of the APM. You can find out more about the APM on their website. What is a CoE? A CoE is an abbreviation for your organisation’s Centre of Excellence or programme or project support office. CoEs are often responsible for project assurance and OGC Gateway reviews. Your reporting manager will be able to advise you if you are unsure. What is a business unit? This is the name of the division you are working in. Please contact your reporting manager or CoE for details if you are unsure. There are three levels of assessment on the contents page, how do I know which level of assessment I should complete? Your Centre of Excellence or Programme/Project Support Office will advise you which level of assessment you should complete. Why are there three levels of assessment? Each level represents increasing level of detail. Level one covers a minimum set of competences and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Lever three has the greatest level of detail across the whole range of competences and will take significantly longer to complete. Who do I send my completed self-assessment to? Send your completed assessment to your Reporting Manger. Who is my reporting manager? Your reporting manager is the person who manages your work on a day to day basis. As a project team is often drawn from different parts of an organisation, your reporting manager may not be your line manager, but they will be aware of your strengths and development needs. Any discussion about your performance and continued professional development should include your line manager and reporting manager. What if my reporting manager does not agree with my scorings? Your reporting manager will review your assessment as there will be occasions when you may under or over assesses your competence. Your reporting manager will not be ‘marking’ your assessment but will indicate whether or not they agree with your rating. A meeting should be arranged to review the output of your assessment. This may be part of the usual annual development planning processes. If agreement is not reached, it is advised that a trilateral meeting with your CoE is arranged. Does this assessment impact on my appraisal? Not directly. Initially this assessment is to enable you to identify your strengths and development needs and help you plan your career and decide your next steps. You may find it helpful to complete this assessment prior to agreeing your objectives as part of your annual appraisal process. Will this automatically link to L&D opportunities? This version does not link to learning and development solutions but a 2nd generation tool may. This will be identified when we review the user specification. How do I navigate around each worksheet? Use the arrow keys on the keyboard, horizontal and vertical scroll bars or use your mouse. How do I get back to the Contents page? At the top of each page on the left, there is a Back to Contents page hyperlink. Click this and it will return you to the Contents page What do the codes on the left hand side of the table on levels 2 and 3 mean? These are the codes of the competences in the APM Competency Framework. The letters refer to Technical Competency (TC), Behavioural Competency (BC) or a Contextual Competency (CC) and the numbers refer to the number of competencies in each of those groups. Why is the assessment form divided into green and brown sections? The green section is for you and the brown section is for your reporting manager to complete. Will the CAT be available online? This version of the CAT will not be available on line. However this version of the CAT will be reviewed 12 months following implementation and next steps considered. How will the CoE use my assessment? The data contained in your completed self-assessment will be aggregated with the rest of your organisation’s project managers' self-assessments. The purpose for collecting everyone’s data is in order to identify organisational skills gaps, see where any specialist skills may be and help the organisation match people to posts. This data will also help your CoE measure the growth and effectiveness of the PPM profession in your organisation. Can I see the Departmental aggregated output? You would need to refer to you CoE. What is the future? The Government PPM Profession now has a clear definition of the PPM professional community and this assessment tool is the first in a suite of ‘product’ that will support the ongoing personal development of the individual and the improvement of corporate capability. The next products to come on line are role profiles for a range of PPM professionals, potential career paths and qualifications routes. Who do I contact for help? You should contact either your reporting manager or Centre of Excellence if you have any queries about the tool or its application.