MSP® – Managing Successful Programmes Certification

LocationMarylebone, Central London
FacultyWestminster Business School

The Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) certification supports you in the successful delivery of transformational change through applying proven programme management practices. It is very flexible and designed to be adapted to meet the needs of local circumstances.

MSP® was developed as a best practice guide on programme management. The guide comprises a set of principles, governance themes and a set of processes for use when managing a business transformation.

About MSP®

The MSP® framework is based on three core concepts:

  • MSP® principles: these are derived from positive and negative lessons learned from programme experiences. They are the common factors that underpin the success of any transformational change.
  • MSP® governance theme: these define an organisation's approach to programme management. They allow an organisation to put in place the right leadership, delivery team, organisation structures and controls, giving the best chance for success.
  • MSP® transformational flow: this provides a route through the lifecycle of a programme from its conception through to the delivery of the new capability, outcomes and benefits.

There are two levels within the course, each examined separately: the Foundation level and the Practitioner level, which can be taken sequentially or at separate times.

The University of Westminster is in the process of application for ATO status for this course. Once accredited, we will advertise the available dates for this autumn. In the meantime, please register your interest and we will be in touch with you once we have finalised course dates.

Register your interest

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This course will be running soon. If you would like to be kept informed please contact us.

Course content

Foundation level

The purpose of the Foundation level is to confirm you have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the MSP® guidance to interact effectively with those involved in the management of a programme or act as an informed member of a programme office team, business change team or project delivery team working within an environment supporting MSP®. The Foundation qualification is also a pre-requisite for the practitioner certification.

The exam has the following format:

  • multiple choice
  • 75 questions per paper with 1 mark available per question
  • 5 questions to be trial and not counted in scores
  • 35 marks required to pass (out of 70 available) – 50%
  • 60 minutes duration
  • closed book

Practitioner level

The purpose of the Practitioner level is to confirm you have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the MSP® guidance to act as an informed member of a programme management team. This level is also required for programme management professionals progressing toward the advanced practitioner certification, and those aspiring to become programme management professionals in the future.

The practitioner course follows on from the Foundation course, where the method, its philosophy and its terminology are introduced. It focuses on the more intricate aspects of the method. Based on a case study, the method is put into practice through a series of challenging questions that mirror the questions of the exam.

The course consists of a series of lectures and seminars. This time the emphasis is on the seminars where the method is put into practice with the help of case studies. The lectures are designed to remind you how the method operates while the seminars take on the principles and apply them to the case study. The comprehensive course handbook, containing all the course’s slides, is used along with the case study, which most students would have met prior to this course. By assuming familiarisation with the method, the course can proceed at a pace that helps the visualisation of the method’s concepts. Each seminar ends with sample multiple choice questions that prepare us for the certificate examination.

The exam has the following format:

  • objective testing
  • 8 questions per paper, each carrying 10 marks
  • 40 marks required to pass (out of 80 available) – 50%
  • two-and-a-half hours duration
  • open-book (only the MSP® guide is allowed)

The content of the course follows the contents of the method’s manual, which is sent out to all delegates prior to the course start. Delegates are required to read the manual before they attend their first teaching session.

For individuals

At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • use best practice in programme management to successfully deliver transformational change
  • carry out the coordinated organisation, direction and implementation of a dossier of projects and transformation activities to achieve outcomes and realise benefits of strategic importance to the business
  • manage the transition of the solutions developed and delivered by projects into the organisation’s operations, while maintaining performance and effectiveness
  • encourage realistic expectations of the organisational capacity and ability to change
  • lead business transformation accommodating high levels of complexity, ambiguity and risk

For organisations

The course will help your organisation to:

  • align corporate strategy, delivery mechanisms for change and the business-as-usual environment
  • continually monitor progress, assess performance and realise benefits, and apply a common framework of understanding for all programmes
  • add value by focusing on benefits
  • encourage feedback to refine future strategies based on evidence from programmes

The course is open to anyone who is managing a number of projects and is interested in programme and project management or in a position where programme management is an important aspect of their role.

Associated careers

Programme, portfolio and project management is a contemporary career that is so generic it is applicable to any business sector. This qualification offers opportunities for a career change or internal advancement in most medium or large, UK or international, government or non-government organisations.

Including MSP® Practitioner in your CV will add a sought-after qualification to your profile which could help increase your earning potential. Adding the MSP® Practitioner qualification to the profile of those who already have the PRINCE2® qualification will distinguish you further in the job market.