The GAPPS framework explicitly recognises that there are many different approaches to the management of projects, that there are many different ways to achieve satisfactory results, that there are many different techniques for assessing competence, and that there are many different paths for project managers to follow to develop their competence.
4.1 Use in Assessment
This section provides an overview of the use of the GAPPS framework in assessment. Appendix D provides more detail.
When used for assessment, the GAPPS framework is intended to help an assessor infer whether an experienced, practising project manager is likely to be able to perform competently on future projects. The assessment should include direct contact between the candidate and the assessor as well as examination of evidence supplied by the candidate and by other sources such as clients, supervisors, and team members. Assessment may also include direct observation of the candidate in a workplace environment.
The assessor and the candidate must agree that the projects to be used as evidence meet the criteria for the level being assessed as defined by the CIFTER. Additional evidence criteria such as currency and authenticity are described in Appendix D.
As with most other performance based competency standards, GAPPS assumes that 100% of the Performance Criteria must be satisfied for a candidate to be assessed as competent in the role. As a result, Performance Criteria have generally not been repeated in different Units. For example, since stakeholder communications are monitored in PM01, there is no reference to monitoring them in PM03. This interdependent nature of the Performance Criteria requires that assessment be done using a holistic approach.
A candidate that does not meet all of the performance criteria should be assessed as “not yet competent.” To the extent possible, the assessment process should provide input to both successful and unsuccessful candidates about opportunities for improvement and professional growth.
The Units, Elements, and Performance Criteria are not linear or sequential: there is no requirement that the work be done in any particular sequence or that the Performance Criteria be satisfied in any particular order. In addition, some Performance Criteria can be satisfied with relatively little effort while others will require a substantial commitment from the project manager over the full length of the project.
4.2 Relationship to Existing Standards
This document is intended to complement existing competency standards, not to replace them. For example:
- Organisations that have performance based competency standards (e.g., the Services Sector Education and Training Authority in South Africa) may map their existing standards to the GAPPS framework in order to facilitate comparisons with other systems.
- Organisations that use attribute based competency assessments (e.g., IPMA, the International Project Management Association) may choose to supplement their assessments with performance based criteria.
In similar fashion, this document is not intended to replace knowledge guides such as the APM Body of Knowledge (UK Association of Project Management), A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (USA Project Management Institute, Inc.), Project and Program Management (P2M) (Japan, Project Management Association of Japan), and others. Knowledge guides, as well as the numerous books about project management, serve to develop the underpinning knowledge and understanding that helps project managers learn how to produce the results from which competence is inferred.
4.3 Adoption as a Standard
GAPPS encourages other organisations to adopt this framework as their own. For example:
- Professional associations that do not currently have assessment standards can use it to expedite their ability to serve their members.
- Standards and qualifications bodies can use it to facilitate transferability and mutual recognition of qualifications.
- Public and private organisations can use it to facilitate staff development programs and to help ensure better project results.
Any entity that adopts the GAPPS framework should use all of the Units, Elements, and Performance Criteria in order to help ensure consistency of application and reciprocity. Additions and modifications can be made as appropriate (and in accordance with the GAPPS “copyleft” license) to suit local and regulatory requirements. For example:
- A professional association may wish to include a specific knowledge guide as the basis for developing knowledge and understanding.
- A standards or qualification body may need to modify the structure or terminology to conform to its own conventions or to local culture.
- A private sector organisation may decide to add Elements or Performance Criteria, or to provide further detail in the Range Statements, in order to reflect aspects of performance specific to that organisation or its project management methodology.
- Any of the above entities may translate these materials to make them more accessible.
Any entity that adopts the GAPPS framework may apply it to one or both levels. However, the use of the CIFTER to assess the level at which the project manager is operating is an integral part of the framework.