PRINCE2 2009 – Everything you need to know

Why is PRINCE2 being updated?


Since the launch of the 2005 update to the PRINCE2 manual, as with any method based on best practice, the approach has evolved. With PRINCE2 2009 the OGC has sought to address the issues raised about the previous manual and make improvements based upon the practical application of the method.

So what has changed exactly?


The 2009 update of the PRINCE2 method has seen the emergence of two manuals from the previous one. We now have ‘Managing Projects Using PRINCE2’ and ‘Directing Projects Using PRINCE2’, which neatly separates the Project Board level processes and activities from the Project Manager activities. The PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner exams are to be based on the ‘Managing Projects Using PRINCE2’ manual.

Whilst this does not represent a major rewrite of the manual, the opportunity has been taken to clarify the workings of the method and the underlying rationale of using a structured method.

There is now a greater emphasis on the 7 Principles of PRINCE2 and the reworking of the 2005 concept of ‘Components’ into 7 major ‘Themes’. The 2005-style numbering of sub-processes has been removed to avoid the danger of these dictating a false sequence of project management actions – these are now renamed ‘Activities’ and allow a more natural use of the method in real-world projects. The Management Products of PRINCE2 2005 have also been tidied up. There is now ONE ‘Plan’ product description to cover all types of plan, and there has been some renaming and clarification of others. PRINCE2 2009 also now references Agile Project Management and DSDM Atern.

All in all, the changes are to be welcomed by PRINCE2 professionals in allowing a more straightforward usage of the method.

When does the change come into effect?

The new PRINCE2 2009 exams will be available from July with the official launch in mid-June. All re-registration exams will be based on the new version and not previous versions. All TCC PRINCE2 training courses will be updated to the 2009 version and running from July 2009.

Should I wait until after the refresh to take my PRINCE2 Foundation or Practitioner exam?

In a statement on the APM Group website, Emma Jones, Chief Examiner for PRINCE2 Qualifications, says candidates who want to take PRINCE2 should not wait for the new scheme to be released – “Although the new PRINCE2 manual will simplify the presentation of the method, the fundamental content hasn’t changed. If your organisation is using PRINCE2 then it’s far better to gain understanding of that as soon as you need to. There will be no difference between the current qualifications and the 2009 qualifications.”

I am already PRINCE2 qualified – how does all this affect me?

If you already have a PRINCE2 certificate at either Foundation or Practitioner level taken on the earlier edition of the method, then this will remain valid. You do not need to take any further exams outside of the normal re-registration cycle (for Practitioner certificates only). You can find the registration period of your qualification on your PRINCE2 certificate.

We have heavily invested in PRINCE2 2005 – what are the implications of PRINCE2 2009?

Investment in PRINCE2 training based on previous versions will not be lost as it is still a valid and productive methodology for the management of projects. The refresh of the manual updates and improves the method but it is not a major re-write.

There is a lot of confusion in my organisation about these changes. Where can I find out more about PRINCE2 2009?

TCC will be running a PRINCE2 2009 Free Briefing focusing on the key changes from the 2005 to 2009 version of PRINCE2. This is ideal for those looking for a hassle-free update on the method, with advice on how to manage the changeover within their organisation.

article_listRegister your interest in the PRINCE2 2009 Free Briefing – please complete the contact form with your details and we will notify you when the briefing date is announced.

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