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Establish and optimize a delivery support office.

Aligned to PRINCE2®, MSP®, and M_o_R® - P3O brings together in one place a set of principles, processes and techniques to facilitate effective portfolio, programme and project management through enablement, challenge and support structures.

Certify your ability to:

  • Ensure consistent delivery of projects and programmes and meet business objectives through effect use of resources.
  • Develop capability, capacity and risk models to suit the organizational maturity culture.
  • Help identify potential opportunities to be realized, exploited or enhanced as part of risk analysis.
  • Ensure that the strategies and performance requirements of your organization are realized via projects, programmes and operational business units.
  • Improve organizational accountability, decision making, transparency and visibility.

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What is P3O?

A P3O model provides a decision enabling/delivery support structure for all change within an organization. This may be provided through a single permanent office which may exist under several different names e.g. Portfolio Office, Centre of Excellence, Enterprise or Corporate Programme Office. It may otherwise be provided through a linked set of offices (portfolio office, programme offices, project offices), both permanent (enabling/supporting business objectives and consistency of delivery) and temporary (enabling/supporting specific programmes and projects), providing a mix of central and localized services.
AXELOS' PRINCE2, Managing Successful Programmes, and Management of Risk all touch on the need to provide adequate support structures for these best practices. However, currently there is no single source of this information that either organizations or individuals can go to find guidance or advice on setting up or running an effective delivery support office in alignment with other Best Practice guidance.
This guidance - aligned to PRINCE2, MSP, and M_o_R - will bring together in one place a set of principles, processes and techniques to facilitate effective portfolio, programme and project management through enablement, challenge and support structures. These structures also bridge the gap between the strategy/policy makers and the delivery arm of the organization.
The purpose of the Portfolio, Programme and Project Office (P3O) guidance is to provide universally applicable guidance that will enable individuals and organizations to successfully establish, develop and maintain appropriate business support structures that will allow:
Informed senior management decision making on strategic alignment, prioritization, risk management, optimization of resource etc to successfully deliver their business objectives (portfolio management)
Identification and realization of business outcomes and benefits via Programmes
Successful delivery of project outputs that enable benefits within time, cost and quality restraints.
The guidance will provide:
An Introduction to P3O - Discussing why, when and how to use P3O models including the difference between portfolio, programmes and project environments and their different requirements
Value - What value P3O can bring to the organization including a business case, funding models and performance measures
Model - An overview of the different P3O models with examples
Functions and Techniques - Details on the functions/services and techniques/tools used by units of a P3O model.

How can I train for the P3O examinations?

"Training for P3O is available from the network of Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs) who are assessed and certified by APMG-International. The full list of P3O ATOs can be found here. Only these organizations and registered partners/affiliates are authorized to deliver P3O training.

Do I have to receive training to sit the exam?

No, however this is recommended. In addition to receiving accredited training, individuals also have the option of self-study to prepare for the examinations. APMG-International administer public exam sessions around the world to accommodate those who self study.

How do I sit the exams?

The vast majority of P3O accredited training organizations include the examinations as part of the associated training course. Alternatively, and for individuals that have self-studied, APMG-International administer public exam sessions around the world. Sessions are run at certain APMG-International offices. There are four dedicated centres in the UK for public examinations, and in the United States we utilize the public library network to facilitate sessions.

How much does it cost to sit the P3O examinations?

If you are sitting the examinations through an accredited training organization, the costs of the exams are generally included in the course fee. APMG-International use a global pricing structure, so for those sitting exams at a public exam centre, the cost is dependent on where the exams are being sat. To find out the cost in your region, please contact the APMG-International Service Desk on +44 (0)1494 452450 or at:

Are there any pre-requisites for the P3O examinations?

"There are no pre-requisites for the foundation examination. Candidates must achieve a pass at foundation level before completing the practitioner examination. 

Candidates will also need to agree to the Terms and Conditions prior to sitting their examination. Please click here to see a copy of these:

What are the main publications for P3O and where can I purchase them?

"P3O has one main manual, published by The Stationery Office, called Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices. This can be purchased from APMG-Business Books website

Most P3O accredited training organizations include the P3O manual as part of the course fee."

Which languages are P3O examinations available in?

P3O examinations are currently available in English, Chinese, Dutch, German and Polish.

Which languages is the P3O guide available in?

The P3O guide is currently available in English only.

How long will it take to learn the P3O material?

"As experience, ability and learning styles differ between individuals it is very difficult to provide a timescale. We suggest you buy the manual and have a look through for yourself before deciding how long you need to spend studying.

For those studying with an accredited training organization, Foundation courses are generally delivered over 3 days, while combined Foundation and Practitioner courses are generally delivered over 5 days. We recommend investigating with individual providers as many will offer tailored, distance (computer-based) and blended learning solutions."

How long are the P3O qualifications valid for?

"The Foundation examination is not valid for a defined period and will not expire.

Candidates who pass the Practitioner exam are recognized as a “P3O Registered Practitioner”. Individuals will remain registered for a period of 5 years. To maintain registered status, practitioners must complete and pass an P3O Re-registration examination 3-5 years following their initial/previous practitioner certification."

When can I expect the results of my P3O Examinations?

"Foundation examinations can be marked on location after the exam, but this is down to the discretion of the invigilator at the time. Official confirmation will follow from your ATO (or directly from APMG if you self-studied).

Your result will be sent to your ATO approximately 7-10 days after your exam date. Your ATO should notify you of your results so please contact them for further details.

If you did not take your exam through an ATO, your results will be sent directly to you via APMG approximately 7-10 days after the date of your exam."

When will I receive my certificate?

"A foundation certificate will be dispatched to you approximately 2 weeks after we have received your exam paper back into our offices, if you only took the foundation exam. 

If you sat a practitioner or both exams, a practitioner certificate will be dispatched 2 weeks after the practitioner results have been released. 

Please note that if you have taken your examinations via an ATO, certificates will be dispatched based on the preferences that the ATO selected when booking the exam. The ATO can select either an e-certificate or hard copy and whether this type is sent to the ATO or directly to the candidate. 

If you have not received your certificate shortly after the above time frames please contact our Customer Interaction Team at

What are the pass marks for the P3O examinations?

"Pass marks for the P3O examinations are as follows:

Foundation: You will need to score 35/70 (50%) to pass the exam.

Practitioner: You will need to score 44/80 (55%) to pass the exam."

What is required to be eligible to become a P3O trainer?

To be eligible to apply to become an approved P3O trainer, individuals must hold P3O practitioner certification.

How can I advertise myself as P3O qualified on my business card?

Candidates who have passed the P3O Practitioner examination can put "P3O Practitioner" on their business cards.

Can I use the P3O logo?

Only organizations licensed to do so are allowed to use the P3O logo. Such organizations include P3O ATOs (Accredited Training Organizations) accredited by APMG-International. The P3O logo is a registered trademark of AXELOS Ltd and must not be used without their permission or appropriate licence. For more information please click here.

How do I become a P3O approved trainer?

"All P3O trainers must be ""sponsored"" by a P3O Accredited Training Organization (ATO).  

A trainer application must be submitted by sponsoring ATO to their relevant APMG-International office."

How does my organization become a P3O Accredited Training Organization?

An organization wishing to become a P3O ATO must first submit an application form to either the APMG-International Service Desk at or the relevant APMG-International office. Where appropriate, an invoice will be raised and the organization will then be subject to APMG-International's ATO assessment process.