The IPMA Individual Competence Baseline (IPMA ICB)

IPMA's Individual Competence Baseline, 4th Edition, is our foundation for personal development as well as for basic and advanced Project, Program, and Portfolio Management certifications. ICB4 is the result of a five-year effort completed in late 2015 by a global team of IPMA Member Associations. IPMA-USA members were major contributors to this effort. 

ICB4 is an excellent foundation for learning and development that moves beyond short-term knowledge collection. Knowledge-based standards, while useful for learning the basics, do not provide the rich background needed to develop the broad competences that enhance performance. Savvy P3M educators and trainers are adopting ICB4 as the learning framework for their workshops and classes. Educators, trainers, and resource managers are also using IPMA-USA's PM-SAT: a Project Management Self Assessment Tool that is aligned with ICB4.

Highlight: ICB4 supports the USA's only multi-level, role-specific, competence-based certifications of Project Managers, Program Managers, and Portfolio Managers. 

icb4Get ICB4 Now!
Follow the link at the end of this paragraph to the IPMA website. For control purposes and to prevent access by robots, you will be asked to enter your name, email address, and organization before being directed to the link to download ICB4 (pdf, 2.5mb).  Get ICB4 Now!

From the ICB4 Introduction
"The profession of project management is changing rapidly. Organizations have evolved their ability to define and implement new areas of work, with more integration across projects and more focus on the long term benefits. Project management, then, is established as the preeminent method for making change in the world, and project, program, and portfolio managers are leading the way. The professionals of tomorrow will work in distributed environments with overlapping and often conflicting stakeholder interests; will be shaped by realtime data and performance management tools; will be challenged by too much information and not enough communication; and will be judged by their ability to deliver products and services that deliver real benefits. It is to help address these demanding challenges that the IPMA Individual Competence Baseline, fourth edition (ICB4) is introduced.

"The ICB4 is a global standard that defines the competences required by individuals working in the fields of project, program, and portfolio management. The ICB4 builds upon the prior editions of the ICB and presents new insights and directions for a wider range of purposes. It serves a broad range of audiences, including educators, trainers, practitioners, HR professionals, and assessors. Within the IPMA Four-Level-Certification (4-L-C) System, the ICB4 serves as the baseline for competence assessment.

"The ICB4 represents a major advancement for successful, modern project, program, and portfolio management. This version describes three domains of expertise extant in business today -- project management, program management, and portfolio management. The ICB4 describes individuals who work in these domains, while avoiding role-specific terminology, because although a role name may change, the underlying concept remains valid."

ICB4 and IPMA-USA Certification
We are now using ICB4 as the Basis for Assessment for eight certifications across three domains:

  • Certified Project Director (IPMA Level A®)
  • Certified Program Director (IPMA Level A®)
  • Certified Portfolio Director (IPMA Level A®)
  • Certified Senior Project Manager (IPMA Level B®)
  • Certified Senior Program Manager (IPMA Level B®)
  • Certified Senior Portfolio Manager (IPMA Level B®)
  • Certified Project Manager (IPMA Level C®)
  • Certified Project Management Associate (IPMA Level D®)

We welcome both individual and group applications. To find out more, please go to our Certification Section or Contact Bill Duncan, Director of Certification.