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P6 Users

Certification for Project Planners

Training Certification – What is the best Certification for Primavera P6 Users?


I have done training courses that focus on Primavera P6 software and courses that focus on the broader role of project planning. In my experience, courses that focus on the wider role of project planning give you the best bang for your buck.

The software is relatively easy to learn by installing Primavera P6 on your own computer and using the learning resources that I mention here.

I have found that while employers want you to be able to use the software, they care more about your knowledge of project management within the design and construction process.

If you do want to get credentialed in project planning, you money is best spent in getting a credential that covers the engineering and construction part of the project management process. You will demonstrate that you can use P6 within the constraints of the engineering / construction industry.


The most recognized body is the AACE, the American Association of Cost Engineers. The AACE have the advantage of being the most recognized, have excellent training material and they often have a local chapter in your area. This allows you to use the opportunity to network with people working in your area.

I am a member of the AACE. The main reason I joined was to get access to the collection of recommended practice collection that is available to members. Though the years, I have used this information to develop schedule basis documents, layout project control plans and develop earned value measurement systems.

These are two certifications suitable to project planners.

Certified Scheduling Technician (CST)

If your want to get into project planning and don’t have a lot of experience you can do a certified scheduling technician course. This requires approximately four years of relevant education and experience.

Planning & Scheduling Professional (PSP)

If you have more than four years of relevant education and four years of relevant experience you can become a certified planning and scheduling professional.


Membership of the AACE is approx 185 USD a year and the exam fee is about 500 USD.

The Project Control Guild

The Project Control Guild is a group of project control practitioners who have set up a training and accreditation website. Here

The group is based at planningplanet.com which is one of the most active project control forum based websites. The project control guild’s certification program is based around the content collected from over 600 practicing project controls professionals.

The main features of the site are:

  • The Guild of Project Controls Compendium and Reference. This is an exhaustive reference guide that covers the whole project controls process. This is one of the best practitioner based reference on the internet.
  • The role descriptor and self assessment section. This a detailed analysis of the roles with in the project controls discipline. The section covers the key skill sets that are required for each role as well as the skills that employers are looking for. The self assessment section allows you to identify your skill set and describe your skills in a language that future employers will understand.
  • Finally there is the accreditation section where you must take a test and pass a live interview conducted by a practicing project controls practitioner. The accreditation will place in a competency hierarchy that allows you to work towards the next step in the project controls career.

The accreditation levels for project planners are as follows:

  • Preparatory Level in Planning & Scheduling (PPS)
    • 1 year of relevant work experience.
    • A relevant 4 year Degree will reduce this by 1,500 hours, or 2 year Degree by 1,000 hours.
  • Competent Level in Planning & Scheduling (CPS)
    • 5 years of relevant work experience.
    • A relevant Masters will reduce this by 3,000 hours, a 4 year Degree by 2,000, or 2 year Degree by 1,000 hours.
  • Advanced Level in Planning & Scheduling (APS)
    • 8 years of relevant work experience.
    • A relevant PhD will reduce this by 6,000 hours, Masters by 3,000 hours, 4 year Degree by 2,000 hours, or 2 year Degree by 1,000 hours.
  • Expert Level in Planning & Scheduling (EPS)
    • 8 years of relevant work experience with a minimum of 2 years  in a supervisory or managerial position.
    • A relevant PhD will reduce this by 6,000 hours, Masters by 3,000 hours, 4 year Degree by 2,000 hours, or 2 year Degree by 1,000 hours.
  • Fellow Level in Planning & Scheduling (FPS)
    • 15 years of relevant work experience and a minimum of 7 years in a managerial, leadership or academic position.
    • A relevant PhD will reduce this by 10,000 hours, Masters by 6,000 hours, 4 year Degree by 2,000 hours, or 2 year Degree by 1,000 hours.


The certification fee to do the exams ranges from 1200 to 1600 USD depending of the level of experience.



The PMI is the most recognized project management credential in the world.

This is the broadest training available and allows you to do a range of courses. If people in your organisation / industry circles are trained in PMP then it can be a great credential to get.

Just bare in mind that you will want to learn how to apply the principles with in the practical constraints of your local construction and engineering industry.


One thing to think about as you do training, is what do the people in my country or geographic location usually do in terms of training. This allows you to meet other people who have the same credential, boosting networking opportunities.


The cost to sit the exam is approximately $650 USD. There are also additional costs such as buying books and training material.

Oracle Based Training

This is an oracle based training program. The material is based online and delivered through a global network of trainer. This is by far the most common form of training and the same material is available though the global network of Primavera P6 distributors. In my opinion, this training is best suited for someone on a very process driven environment where Primavera P6 is extensively used and the training is paid for.

There is Oracle University



These courses generally run for two or three days and cost $1000 – $1500 USD.

Relevant MOOC Courses.

Take a look at some of the established MOOC courses as well, they offer significant value and credential potential for motivated participants.

Remember that most people never finish MOOCs. Be realistic with yourself about your ability to finish the course. The only MOOC I finished was one that I did with a college. Having a partner can really help with finishing the course.

This is a construction management specialization course. The content focuses on the project management process in the context of the construction industry. There is a particular focus on the project controls part of the process that makes the course particularly valuable.


This courses is a project management course with a focus on engineering. The three courses that make up the specialization count towards the educational requirement for the PMP credential. If you are interested in getting the PMP credential, this is a great way to start the process.


This course is by the Delft University of Technology and it focuses on project management and project financing that are suitable for large engineering projects.



In order to get credentialed in a MOOC and take part in the assessment process you must pay the provider. The cost is usually a subscription of $50 USD a month.

2 responses to “Certification for Project Planners

  1. Dear Mr Mannix Carney
    Thanks for the sharing you knowledge, and really I so excited to continue reading your articles in planning. I graduated from civil engineering collage 2013 and PMP certified eight months ago, I am going to sit SP exam this soon. I decided to be a professional planer in construction field. I hope your advice.

  2. Hello,

    Please, what is the cost of providing both the foundation & practitioner for Project Planning & Control training and when is your next training/Location.



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