Government Programme and Project Management Profession

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					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.

				
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