PRINCE2® Training and Qualifications

Foundation, Practitioner, Conversion, Re-registration, Agile, Online, Virtual Class, ATOs, Affiliates, Exam Institutes, Remote Proctoring and Axelos. PRINCE2 qualifications are very simple but sometimes it can feel quite the opposite. We provide a no nonsense summary of PRINCE2 qualifications, the options you have when it comes to training delivery, and the “watch-outs” when choosing your provider.

PRINCE2 Qualifications Overview

PRINCE2 qualifications are extremely popular and have become a pre-requisite for many project manager jobs. The qualifications are developed and accredited by Axelos in conjunction with a number of Examination Institutes.



PRINCE2 Foundation
Introduction to PRINCE2 terminology for those who work in a project environment or who wish to go on to study for higher level qualifications

PRINCE2 Practitioner
Provides a comprehensive understanding of PRINCE2 for project managers applying the methodology to realistic scenarios

PRINCE2 Re-Registration
To retain Registered Practitioner status beyond 5 years after first certification; this exam will validate that PRINCE2 knowledge is up to date

PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner
The new extension to PRINCE2 explains when and how to combine it with Agile and Scrum to reap the benefits of both a structured project process and an iterative project lifecycle

PRINCE2 Professional
This qualification distinguishes PRINCE2 Practitioners who have proven their ability to apply PRINCE2 in the real world. Recognition and take-up is low

PRINCE2 Training Courses – Summary

With the exception of “Professional” which is experience based, each PRINCE2 certificate is associated with a corresponding training course and exam.

The knowledge required is embodied in an official manual (either “Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2″, or “PRINCE2 Agile”).

Training is delivered by organisations and trainers which have been accredited by Axelos and its Examination Institutes.

A wide range of delivery formats are now available including:

  • Classroom – delegates attend a tutor led classroom course
  • Virtual – remote classroom where delegates attend a live class over the internet
  • Online – a comprehensive set of online materials for self paced learning
  • In-House – closed classes arranged at an company’s own premises

There is corresponding flexibility when it comes to exams:

  • For physical classroom courses exams are normally taken as part of the training event
  • For Virtual and Online courses it is increasingly common for exams to be taken online with a remote proctor to assure integrity of the process

Some Exam Institutes such as APM Group also arrange periodic public exams


PRINCE2 Training Courses – Detail

PRINCE2 Foundation
Most people studying for the Foundation Certificate choose to attend an accredited classroom training course lasting 2 or 3 days – including the exam on the final afternoon of the event. It is an intensive course and pre-reading is usually expected.

As an alternative there is an accredited online learning package which enables you to study at a time and pace which suits you (the exam can also be taken online)

There is a multiple choice, closed book exam which lasts 1 hour. The pass mark is 35 correct questions out of 70. Pass rates for those taking the exam as part of an accredited course (classroom or online learning) are typically in excess of 95%.

PRINCE2 Practitioner
In order to obtain the Practitioner certificate you must first have passed the Foundation exam.
The most popular route to Practitioner certification is a 5 day course which combines training for both Foundation and Practitioner elements – and which includes both exams.

Alternatively, there are 2 or 3 day conversion courses for those who have previously passed the Foundation exam. These will include the Practitioner exam.

Accredited online learning is also available.

The Exam is a “complex” multiple choice format where the marks for each question are graduated according to the answer chosen. The PRINCE2 manual is the only book allowed and the exam lasts 2.5 hours. There are 8 scenario based questions with 10 marks available per question. The pass mark is 44 correct questions out of 80.

PRINCE2 Practitioner Re-Registration
Most re-registration candidates choose to take a short course in order to refresh their knowledge of PRINCE2, to upgrade knowledge to the latest version (if applicable) and for exam practice. The most popular options are 2 or 3 day classroom courses, or an online course.

The one hour exam is to a similar standard as the Practitioner exam but is shorter. There are 3 questions per paper with 10 marks available per question. The pass mark is 17 correct questions out of 30.


The 3 day course covers both the agile philosophy and specific approaches. You must already be a registered PRINCE2 Practitioner.

The 2½ hour, open book exam is taken during the afternoon of the third day.


Choosing a PRINCE2 Course – Top Tips

There is a lot of choice when it comes to choosing your PRINCE2 courses. FOCUS on TRAINING partners with most of the more reliable accredited training organisations and is always happy to provide individual advice and guidance.

  1. Choose an accredited course delivered by experienced tutors in classes of no more than 16 delegates
  2. Beware of Academies which list weekly courses in a large number of locations. These are “aspirational” courses which are unlikely to run and are presented purely as a marketing device
  3. Don’t over pay. High price is not a reliable indicator of high quality! For instance you can find many excellent 5 day Foundation and Practitioner events for under £900+vat
  4. Pass Guarantees. Many of these are nothing of the sort and most require that you pay the repeat exam fee. The PRINCE2 Premium option from Focus is by far the most comprehensive currently available
  5. Check that everything is included. Manuals are essential for Practitioner and are usually provided for Foundation. The exams cost over £350 so would be an expensive omission
  6. Low cost Groupon deals are almost always too good to be true!
  7. Don’t underestimate the work involved. You will be expected to have undertaken pre-reading (or online study) and will need to undertake further work during evenings
  8. Check for local courses. Some trainers will steer you towards a course convenient for them. There are many regional courses which will be less disruptive and save on travel. Check the Focus schedule to find courses from Exeter to Aberdeen
  9. If travel or work commitments preclude classroom attendance consider a “virtual classroom” or a high quality online learning option