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Project management and sustainable tourism: this combination forms the basis of PM4SD - the international qualification for managing tourism projects.

This certification is seen as an important benchmark for the competitiveness and growth of the tourism industry.

PM4SD was developed in partnership with FEST, the Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism, an organization dedicated to supporting governments, academies and organisations in planning, delivering and managing tourism programs and projects with sustainability.

Certify your ability to:

  • Understand and learn how to design and implement tourism projects in line with sustainable tourism policies and practices.
  • Utilize a range of tools and techniques to be used for managing projects and workloads with sustainability.
  • Increase international opportunities.
  • Manage your team effectively.
  • Apply knowledge related to sustainable tourism.
  • Use sustainable tourism indicators and criteria internationally recognized by organizations which are committed to sustainable tourism.
  • Use specialist skills such as planning and implementation by adding best practices.
  • To design innovative tourism projects.

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What is PM4SD?

"PM4SD stands for Project Management for Sustainable Development and is a specialised scheme for those working in the tourism sector. The certification aims to support the process of making tourism more sustainable and responsible by addressing the need to use a project management approach that can be applied specifically to the tourism sector and can be used as a tool for the implementation of sustainability principles. The scheme follows best practice in project management and includes a number of components specific to sustainable tourism policies and practices.

The certification has both a Foundation and Practitioner level, which are based on the manual ‘Project Management for Sustainable Development’.

APMG-International worked in conjunction with FEST (Foundation for Sustainable Tourism) to develop the PM4SD certification scheme. FEST is a not-for-profit organisation, aiming to support governments, organisations and academies to plan, deliver and manage tourism projects and programmes with sustainability. Further information on FEST can be found at the following llink

How can I train for the PM4SD examinations?

Training for PM4SD is available from the network of Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs) who are assessed and certified by APMG-International. 

Only these organizations and registered partners/affiliates are authorized to deliver PM4SD 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 administers public exam sessions around the world to accommodate those who self-study.

How do I sit the exams?

The vast majority of PM4SD accredited training organizations include the examinations as part of the associated training course. Alternatively, and for individuals that have self-studied, APMG-International administers public exam sessions around the world. Sessions are run at certain APMG-International offices. There are four dedicated centers in the UK for public examinations, and in the United States we utilize the public library network to facilitate sessions.

Are there any pre-requisites for the PM4SD examinations?

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

What are the main publications for PM4SD and where can I purchase them?

"PM4SD is based on the manual ‘Project Management for Sustainable Development’ published by TSO. This can be purchased from APMG Business Books.

Most PM4SD accredited training organizations include this publication with the course materials.

A set of project management templates are also part of the examinable material. These will be supplied to you by your ATO if you receive accredited training. If you decide to self-study, on booking your PM4SD exam you will be sent a link to the templates at no additional cost."

How long will it take to learn the PM4SD material?

"For individuals self-studying it is almost impossible to say. As all candidates have different experience and amount of time available for study, it varies from person to person. We suggest you buy the manual and have a look through for yourself before deciding how long you need to spend learning. 

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. It is well worth investigating with individual providers, as many will offer tailored and blended learning solutions."

When can I expect the results of my PM4SD examinations?

"PM4SD foundation examinations can be marked on location after the exam, but this is down to the discretion of the invigilator at the time. Practitioner answer sheets are marked at APMG-International offices and results released soon after.

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 the relevant APMG-International office approximately 7-10 days after the date of your exam."

What are the pass marks for the PM4SD examinations?

Pass marks for the PM4SD examinations are as follows:
Foundation: You will need to score 25/50 to pass the foundation exam.
Practitioner: You will need to score 40/80 to pass the practitioner exam.

What pass mark is required to be eligible to become a PM4SD trainer?

"To be eligible to apply to become a PM4SD trainer, individuals must achieve a score of 66% (53/80) in the practitioner exam.

To find out if you scored enough to be eligible as a trainer, please email noting your interest. A representative of the Service Desk will be able to advise."

How can I advertise myself as PM4SD qualified on my business card?

Candidates who have passed the PM4SD Practitioner examination can put "PM4SD Practitioner" on their business cards.

Can I use the PM4SD logo?

"Only accredited training organizations and their registered partners are allowed to use the PM4SD logo.

Due to data protection laws, we are unable to quote organizations that use PM4SD without prior consent from them. The method is applicable to any organizations, regardless of industry and sector. Requests for permission should be sent to:"

How long are the PM4SD certifications valid for?

PM4SD certification is not valid for a defined period and will not expire.


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 –"

How much does it cost to sit the PM4SD 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 costs in your region, please contact the APMG-International Service Desk on +44 (0)1494 452450 or at:

Which languages are PM4SD examinations available in?

PM4SD foundation and practitioner exams are currently available in English only.

Which languages is the ‘Project Management for Sustainable Development’ publication available in?

The Project Management for Sustainable Development book is currently available in English. A French and Spanish translation is underway.

How do I become a PM4SD approved trainer?

"All PM4SD trainers must be ‘sponsored’ by a PM4SD Accredited Training Organization (ATO)

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

How does my organization become a PM4SD Accredited Training Organization (ATO)?

An organization wishing to become an ACO must first submit an application form to either the APMG-International Service Desk or the relevant APMG-International office. The organization will then be subject to APMG-International’s ACO assessment process.