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PRINCE2® Methodology

PRINCE2 is a process driven methodology. There are 7 processes from Start-Up to Close and these processes encompass the 7 principles and incorporate the 7 themes.

The 7 principles which are considered universal and self-validating must exist in every project run according to PRINCE2. They are:

  • Continued business justification
  • Learn from Experience
  • Defined Roles and Responsibilities
  • Manage by Stages
  • Management by Exception
  • Focus on products
  • Tailor to suit the project environment.

The PRINCE2® guidance provided in Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 lists the activities required in each of 7 processes covering consideration of a project, its commencement through to its controlled conclusion. The processes are represented in the following diagram indicating where they occur in the project lifedcycle and the level of management responsible.

PRINCE2 Processes

Crown Copyright© 2009. All rights reserved. Material is reproduced  under license from the Cabinet Office

Underlying these processes are the themes presented in the methodology and these amount to best practice in a project environment. They answer questions about what, why, who, when, how, how much and provide clarity. The themes are:

  • Business Case
  • Organization
  • Quality
  • Plans
  • Risk
  • Change
  • Progress

PRINCE2® Refresh

The latest PRINCE2 manual has incorporated feedback from the global project management community, improvements in best practice approaches, and consistency with other methodologies owned by the Cabinet Office. The following table gives a brief summary of the changes made in the latest revision of the PRINCE2 manual.

PRINCE2® :former PRINCE2® :new
 Principles were implicit.  7 principles have been explicitly stated.
 8 Components  7 Themes. The former 8 components have been reduced by including Configuration Management as part of the Change Theme.
 8 Processes   7 Processes.  The former Planning process is dealt with as part of the Plans Theme.
 Scalability sections scattered throughout book.   Tailoring PRINCE2 to the environment has been included as new chapter.
 Audience for book included senior management and program managers Project Board members and Program Managers are advised to readDirecting Successful Projects with PRINCE2, a smaller book focused on the needs of project sponsors.
 Post-project Review Plan completed as part of Closing a Project  Benefits Review Plan created as part of Initiating a Project and updated at end of each stage.  Benefits Reviews may occur at the end of stages as well as after closure.  Concept of dis-benefits introduced.  Senior User role is held to account for the realisation of benefits.
 36 outlines of PRINCE2 management products in Appendix A  26 outlines of PRINCE2 management products in Appendix A with clearer explanations. Some names have changed (eg Project Quality Plan is now the Quality Management Strategy)
 Project Management Team Structure  Change Authority has been included in diagram.
The Configuration Librarian role has been removed.
 Risk Management  Chapter rewritten to align with other guidance. Response types cover opportunities as well as threats. Risk Management Strategy introduced.

Accreditation and Exams

There are three levels of accreditation for PRINCE2® which result in internationally recognised qualification:

The Foundation Certificate show familiarality with the PRINCE2® methodology. It is a qualification that may be useful to project office staff, people working in project teams or new project managers.

The Practitioner Certificate is based on a longer scenario-based exam and tests the ability to apply the PRINCE2® method to particlar situations. It is intended for experienced project managers or those with significant experience of project environments.

The PRINCE2® Professional qualification is the next step for PRINCE2® Practitioners looking to further demonstrate their expertise in the PRINCE2® method. This level will test your ability to manage a non-complex PPRINCE2® project across all aspects of the project lifecycle. The rollout of the new accreditation is currently in progress.

PRINCE2® Foundation Exam Format

  • 1 hour allowed
  • Multiple choice examination
  • There are 75 multiple choice questions with 70 marks available in total.
  • 5 questions are trial ones and not counted in scores (You will not know which are the trial questions.)
  • Closed book exam
  • The pass mark is 35 out of 70 available (50%)
  • 5 of the 70 questions will be select style, 5 of the 70 questions will be negative style and 5 of the 70 questions will be missing word style

PRINCE2® Practitioner Exam Format

  • 2.5 hours allowed (no reading time)
  • Objective testing examination
  • 8 questions per paper with 10 marks available per question – 80 marks available in total
  • Open book exam (manual only)
  • The pass mark is 44 out of 80 available (55%)
  • Pre-requisite: A pass in the Foundation level examination


All PRINCE2 Registered Practitioners have the opportunity to re-register their accreditation within 3-5 years of the original certification date. Re-registering your accreditation demonstrates a commitment to continuous professional development and will keep you updated on any revisions of the methodology.

Please note that your qualification will not expire after 5 years, however you will no longer be a “Registered” Practitioner. To reclaim your Registered Practitioner status you can complete the re-registration exam at any time.

PRINCE2® Practitioner Re-registration Exam Format

  • 1 hour allowed (no reading time)
  • Objective testing examination
  • 3 questions per paper with 10 marks available per question – 30 marks available in total
  • Open book exam (manual only)
  • The pass mark is 17 out of 30 available (55%)

To re-register your PRINCE2® accreditation with Adaptive Frameworks please contact us for more information.