ILX and the Home Office devise new accredited qualification to transform leadership of programmes

ILX and the Home Office devise new accredited qualification to transform leadership of programmes

...World's first scheme to accredit PRINCE2 and Managing Successful Programmes Sponsors...

ILX Group has worked with the Home Office to develop and deliver an accredited qualification for Senior Responsible Owners (SROs) as an industry standard. It will be the World's first comprehensive training course to measure the leadership of Programmes and Projects at Sponsor level. The programme has been accredited by the APM Group and the qualification, APMG Programme & Project Sponsorship (PPS) and will be available from 24 June 2008.

This qualification is based on a series of Executive Briefings developed by ILX Group plc for the Home Office. These briefings equip senior level staff with the practical knowledge and skills needed to lead the successful delivery of complex policies and initiatives. ILX Group plc is the only training provider to support the development of this product from conception through to launch of the qualification, including an active role on the APMG exam panel. To date, over 70 people have attended the briefings and over half of these have now taken the new exam.

Howard Joseph, Head of PPM Skills in the Home Office Centre of Excellence comments,

"The SRO Executive Briefings take a new and practical approach to project leadership by providing sponsors and SROs with the top line information, cherry picked from the key products that are available. For example, when covering Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) or PRINCE2, the course doesn't go into the minutiae of the methodologies themselves; instead it tells the sponsor 'this is the technique, this is how it can help you, and this is when you should take an interest in using it'. Put simply, the focus is to provide practical advice to SROs and other sponsors to do the right thing at the right time and to establish appropriate engagement with their project team."

The Home Office currently has 35 major projects/programmes in progress costing in excess of 40 million pounds and many hundreds of smaller ones. The APMG Programme & Project Sponsorship qualification takes the training a stage further by testing the key components through a formal exam. The exam certifies that sponsors are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to lead successful delivery of a policy or initiative.

On 8th May, Sir David Normington, the Home Office Permanent Secretary presented certificates to the successful candidates from the pilots of the APMG exam said,

"It is very important that senior managers understand their sponsor role and are able to adopt an appropriate approach. In the Home Office we currently have many important projects, so it is extremely important that we professionalise the role of Senior Responsible Owner. I recognise the value of effective project management and will be encouraging our project sponsors to take this qualification."

Eddie Kilkelly, Managing Director, ILX Group plc, says,

"The focus is on equipping senior leaders with practical skills they need to lead successful programmes, the training can support individuals in the public sector and private sector.  A good illustration of this is that the first candidates to pass the examination came from the Home Office, UK Borders Agency, the National School for Government and the Atomic Weapons Establishment."

The two day modular PPS programme which is also available as 4-6 hours of e-learning does not have a course 'book', but instead a ten page syllabus and reading lists for additional information. The syllabus contains four training modules:

  • The role of the sponsor: the more traditional material defining the role of sponsor
  • The sponsor working with people: including leadership and stakeholder engagement
  • Identifying and establishing a programme/project
  • The delivery journey: mid-term running and various types of ending.

The syllabus is methodology independent and uses generic terms as far as possible. Candidates are assessed with a formal objective testing examination (OTE), a practical assessment that poses situational questions based on a given scenario.

The Home Office is the government department responsible for leading the national effort to protect the public from terrorism, crime and anti-social behaviour. As such it is responsible for the police, immigration and passport services and MI5. Furthermore it is responsible for government policy on security-related issues such as drugs, counter-terrorism and ID cards.

Further information and a copy of the syllabus can be found at

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