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Course Description

The International Project Management Officer (IPMO)® certification is the most important industry-recognized series of credentials for project management officers and professionals working in, or associated with, PMO activities and related services.

The foundation-level certification is aimed at PMO team members, project team members, and all stakeholders within the first year or two of their involvement in project environments.

The course explains the foundational knowledge to understand how PMOs add business value to delivery of projects within programs and portfolios.

The knowledge gained in the course will help you build skills from your existing and future workplace experience to become an increasingly competent PMO team member.

By the end of the course, participants will have demonstrated use of the steps and techniques to design, establish, and deliver PMO services. Certified IPMO Foundation members have demonstrated, through a combination of formal training and exam-based knowledge assessment, that they are able to contribute to the successful operation of a PMO in any organization.

The Foundation-level certification course brings the latest in academic research and best practices together into a PMO lifecycle framework. The AIPMO Lifecycle framework describes how to build a service-oriented PMO that delivers capabilities matched to project, program, and portfolio needs; your role(s) in running, monitoring, and controlling a PMO; what exactly PMO success is; and what PMO maturity is and how factors are connected to influence project success.

You will learn to view PMOs in terms of services and the associated supporting capabilities, design and deliver a core set of PMO services, develop personal competencies that enable service delivery, and utilize key tools and techniques that support and extend these competencies.

Insights covered in the course materials are being collated to form AIPMO’s upcoming AIPMO Body of Knowledge. The AIPMO BoK will comprise several books that each address a particular aspect of the elements of a successful PMO. Course graduates will have a head start in understanding and using the framework of capabilities and linked techniques and tools.

To stand out as an excellent PMO professional, you need to know what is of greatest value to each unique project. Capability is gained from experiencing projects firsthand but is hugely accelerated by prior explanation of how the complex factors that exist in all organizations affect the projects, their stakeholders, and project controls.

This course immerses you in the world of PMO service delivery and the worlds of project control over product development lifecycles. By using the course’s case study, you will see and practice the implications of your PMO’s actions on project success, team morale, and business results.

The use of the case study makes this course hands-on. Attendees work on the day-to-day operational aspects of PMOs by meeting the challenges to improve the running, monitoring, and controlling of a PMO using PMO best practices.




PMO Services and Capabilities


This book is for every PMO professional who would like to understand how to define and deliver a PMO service strategy. Big part from the course material is from this book and the questions in the exam as well. It is highly recommended for all of the participants to have the book before the course start.

Buy on Amazon

PMO Services and Capabilities Book


  • Introductions
  • Course outline, guidelines, and training approach
  • AIPMO’s case study approach (client/consultant roles) for effective learning
  • Exam
  • Questions posed by PMO stakeholders
  • Dangers of underestimating uncertainty
  • Project failure – facts
  • Why projects fail – leadership, governance, and management
  • Complexity and its link to project and program failure
  • Comparing the world of projects against other professions
  • PMO’s direct and indirect influence on projects, programs, and portfolio success
  • PMO confusion
  • Case for action
  • Retrospective
  • What is a PMO and what is PMO management
  • Overview of AIPMO's PMO lifecycle framework and PMO services lifecycle framework
  • Exploring the framework's components
  • Understanding the organization’s vision and mission
  • Defining your PMO vision, mission, and principles
  • Alignment, improvement, management, governance, leadership, and stakeholder care
  • The importance of PMO metaphors
  • Group service catalog, PMO service catalog, operations handbook, and staff competences
  • Importance of techniques with tools in the context of the services delivered
  • Case study, exercises, and module's retrospective

  • A strategic view including projects, programs, and portfolios
  • Types of success – Investment vs project delivery
  • Success criteria and success factors helping success
  • Need for control – Causes of failure – Leadership and governance, management
  • Project and product lifecycle basics (waterfall/procedural and iterative/ principle based)
  • Project communication structure choices
  • Authority and the hierarchy view of roles (sponsor to project manager and service manager, coach, team member, product owner, suppliers, assurance, PMO)

  • “Initiative specific PMO versus “Organizational PMOs”
  • Permanent ‘‘organizational PMOs” at various levels (department, enterprise)
  • PMI’s labels for degrees of authority (support, control, direct)
  • Common mistakes
  • Range of PMO charter purposes
  • Case study, exercises, and module's retrospective
  • Steps to consider service identification, design, and pilot
  • Identify and map service stakeholders business needs
  • AIPMO’s book on PMO services and capabilities
  • PMO management plans, service desig,n and service capacity planning/ sizing – PMO Staff sources and training PMO service cost benefits and approval, service pilot and refinement, roll-out, monitoring, reporting PMO service refresh or retirement
  • Case study, exercises, and module's retrospective

  • PMO success
  • PMO success criteria
  • PMO maturity (impact)
  • APMO’s PMO maturity (impact) model
  • Link between PMO maturity (impact) and PMO success
  • What comes next in my career?
  • Introduction
  • Remembering what is like to start a new job in the PMO
  • Making the right impression in the first week – some tips
  • Module study – using Google sheets and PowerPoint
  • Retrospective
  • Revision and exam information
  • Practice exam

Teaching Approach

The training approach includes




Team exercises


Group discussions


Case study


Personal coaching



I found the IPMO-F course very interesting. The instructor was great at delivering the course. I didn't have much knowledge of PMOs before starting this course. Now I have a lot more understanding of technical side of building a PMO. I will surely apply this knowledge to my work.

Julia KIng
Project Support Officer (HR), Marie Curie

I found the IPMO-F course very valuable! Case studies were very helpful. Kudos to the trainer for being such a wonderful instructor and being so approachable. 

Anna Chabloz
PMO, Ferring Pharmaceuticals

The IPMO-F course was a nice mix of theory and discussion! It was easy to ask questions in the class. It was nice to understand how the PMO is developed. Very interesting course indeed!

Holly Messines McDade
Project Support Officer, Marie Curie

I can definitely use the learnings from the IPMO-F course in my current role. I got every thing I needed to learn from this course. I would strongly recommend the course for all PMO professionals.

Ziad Baz
PMO, Nesma United Industries

Who should attend

  • PMO/project/program/portfolio team members 
  • Junior PMO or project managers 
  • Project team members involved in the PMO-related activities 
  • Project/program/portfolio managers with some experience in PMOs 
  • Any project or PMO stakeholder wishing to better understand how to run, monitor, and control services in a high-performing PMO setting

Key takeaways

Understand how PMOs fit into the world of projects, programs, and portfolios

Understand the benefits of viewing PMOs in terms of services; know what are PMO capabilities and how they are constructed in terms of competencies, tools, and techniques

Understand the AIPMO framework and the phases and processes carried out by a PMO team member

Learn about the key PMO tools and techniques, including templates you can take back to your organization before they are published in AIPMO’s upcoming book on tools and techniques

Understand the key documents used to establish, run, monitor, and control PMO and PMO services

Be confident knowing what to do in common organizational PMO configurations


  • Ideally 1 year plus experience in projects and PMO management 
  • Educated at degree level or similar 
  • At least one year of business experience


The online exam is run by AIPMO, and moderated by a proctor from AIPMO at the end of the course.

  • Open book exam, 50 multiple choice questions 
  • Duration: 1 hour

Attendees are notified of their exam results by email.


The AIPMO books are part of the course reference material (included only in the in-class  package.) If you’re attending virtually, please order them on Amazon.

Note: If a book appears as ‘out of stock’ or ‘currently unavailable’ on Amazon, it indicates that, based on your location, you might need to visit your country-specific Amazon in order to make a purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

You Ask, We Answer

Each of the certification categories serve a different purpose. The first category “PMO Core Certifications” shows that you have the competencies to design and build a service-orientated PMO with services that are needed by your project community. At the top-level (Expert) certification, you will have to show that you have the competencies to design and build one or more PMOs (called PMO topologies) within an integrated PMO Services topology. The second category of courses, called “Foundational certifications,” comprise of three certifications that are needed by everyone irrespective of whether you are a PMO or project team member or a PM/O director. The foundational courses are the techniques and tools of a trade, so they are needed by everyone including project professionals. The third category of certifications is called the “Specialist” certifications because they directly relate to the ability to offer PMO services. If a PMO service is planned, then the PMO needs to have the capability to offer them. There are over 20 specialist courses at the time of writing. These courses are also needed by project team members.

These three certifications are part of the PMO core certifications. IPMO-F (Foundation) is for the PMO and project team members and covers topics around working in a PMO, and also working in a project team. It covers the lower part of the AIPMO Strategic Lifecycle framework.

IPMO-P (Practitioner) is for the PMO managers, project managers, and senior PMO and project team members. It covers topics on how to identify the need for a PMO and design, and how to justify and build a PMO and its services.

IPMO-E (Expert) is not for everyone. It is the top-level certification for PMO directors and consultants who are managing, consulting, or designing enterprise PMO topologies and PMO Service topologies.

For now, it is best to ask one of our professionals. You can either call or chat online. They will be able to provide you expert advice to plan and advance your career.

Short answer, yes. There are bundles shown on the website, but you can also call to ask if you can get a special discount. If you join as a group to the course, then this will also be taken into consideration.

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