There’s some good news in the offing for those interested in APMP accreditation, as a refresh of the certification scheme is about to take place. We’re particularly pleased to see this: we recognise the strengths of the existing scheme and the hard work that’s gone into making it the definitive qualification for bid and proposal staff worldwide. Yet the syllabus and testing process as they stand feel increasingly creaky – very much a “version 1” – and we’ve been lobbying for some time for it to be revised. It’s a tribute to Rick Harris, APMP’s new executive director, that change is finally on the way so soon after he’s taken up office.
“Pink teams” reviewing “wall-mounted storyboards”? ‘Capture’ management? Bid budgets for each deal? A requirement at Practitioner level for experience on ‘complex’ bids? There are too many things that simply aren’t appropriate for a scheme that has to appeal to all proposal staff around the world. And there are gaps, too: there’s far too little on leading and motivating the proposal team – or, perhaps, on problem-solving. There’s nothing on the content development process – or on writing great content!
And even once the competencies have been refined, the way in which they’re tested needs real work. There are numerous questions at Foundation level that are ‘controversial’, to say the least. The “PPAQ” form at Practitioner is in dire need of an overhaul – a personal opinion that would tend to be validated by the relatively low number of people who’ve attained this second tier of accreditation. And the language used throughout needs to be less impenetrable, especially for candidates who are not native English speakers: put bluntly, the next iteration of the scheme needs to be far better written.
I’m very much looking forward to feeding in my views to whichever research organisation APMP selects to canvass opinion from proposal teams worldwide. After all, I think I’m right in saying that I’ve delivered APMP Foundation training in more countries around the world than anyone else – sixteen nations across four continents in the past eighteen months alone! I’m willing to providing whatever time it takes to comment in detail on the current competencies, questions or forms – and to contribute (as a member of the APMP steering committee for accreditation, and as an Approved Trainer) to the peer review of any new materials.
We’ll share anything here that we’re able to – including, if we can, anything we learn about how you can contribute your views to the research exercise. In the meantime, we’d welcome your comments on the changes that you’d like to see to the scheme, and we’ll make sure that your input’s drawn to the attention of the relevant folks.