Title / definition
IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB)

Certification scheme

The IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB) and related certification scheme is owned by the International Project Management Association. The International Project Management Association (IPMA) was founded in Europe in 1967 as a federation of several national project management associations. IPMA actively promotes competence in project management to businesses, organizations and government agencies around the World.

Brief history and description
IPMA published the first official version of the ICB (version 2.0) in 1999, with a small modification in 2001. Version 3 was published in 2007.
A central concept is the ‘eye of competence’ (see figure), which represents the integration of all competencies of project management as seen through the eye of the project manager when evaluating a specific situation. The eye also represents clarity and vision. After processing the information received, the competent and responsible professional in project management takes appropriate action.


The IPMA ‘eye of competence’

The ICB defines 46 competence elements covering the technical competence for project management (twenty elements), the professional behavior of project management personnel (fifteen elements) and the relationships with the context of the projects, programs and portfolios (eleven elements). Each competence element consists of a title, a description of the content, a list of possible process steps and experience criteria required for each IPMA level.

IPMA developed the ICB from National Competence Baselines and then enhanced it in a continuous improvement process. A key benefit for clients is that the basis for the competences is not specific to particular companies, organizations, disciplines, sectors of the economy or countries. The cultural aspects of a country can be included in a National Competence Baseline (NCB).

Target Audience
Project management personnel, management of organizations interested in delivering and receiving good project management services and in personnel development, certification assessors, universities, schools and trainers.

User communities and groups
There are four types of IPMA membership:

  • IPMA Member Associations
  • Individual
  • Corporate
  • Honorary Fellows

Official publisher

The International Project Management Association (IPMA).

Accreditations and qualifications
The Education and Training Board (E&T Board) addresses the complex relationships between education, training and employment in professional project management. Although the E&T Board does not offer training courses, it assists in the development of resources for use by students and professionals.

The goal of IPMA Education and Training is to support use of ICB®, its Competence Baseline framework for relevant learning, to assist its Member Associations and their stakeholders, to improve project and program learning, and thereby to improve organization results.

IPMA offers the  IPMA Four Level Certification (4-L-C) based on the IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB):

  • IPMA Level-A® (Certified Projects Director),
  • IPMA Level-B® (Certified Program Manager or Certified Senior Project Manager)
  • IPMA Level-C® (Certified Project Manager)
  • IPMA Level-D® (Certified Project Management)



Official Sites IPMA home page
User groups and communities IPMA membership page
Publications IPMA publications page
Accreditations and Qualifications IPMA certification page
Tooling n/a
Other useful links IBPI home page
FREE IBPI documents Whitepapers