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Want a 50% Salary Increase?

Move from Project to Programme Manager

Recent data shows that the average salary for a Programme Manager in the UK is £68k
compared to £45k for a Project Manager.
It’s important to understand the difference between the roles – but it is certainly a realistic career
progression for many project managers.

This article provides advice on training courses and certification which may help you on the
journey to become a successful programme manager. The recently refreshed MSP best practice
guidance is proving particularly popular; it sits within the same family of qualifications as

>> Find Full Programme Management & MSP Training Guide

”Programme Manager” – An Increasingly Prominent Role

Programme Management is about delivering strategic change in an organisation. It involves
working across traditional functional boundaries. It has become the preferred management style
used by organisations as they implement major investment projects or drive business change.

Demand for Programme Managers is Growing

Recruitment statistics show strong growth in the number of Programme Management roles and
recent salary surveys confirm the sizeable premiums that well qualified programme managers
can earn – 50% more than a Project Manager.

Data from leading specialist project management recruiter, Wellingtone, shows the following
salary levels:
Project Co-ordinator
Average £24,100
Range £18,000 to £30,000

Project Manager
Average £45,050
Range £34,000 to £58,000

Programme Manager
Average £68,200
Range £52,500 to £90,000

A Programme Manager is not Simply a Manager of Multiple Projects

The skills of the Programme Manager correspond as closely to those of the General Manager as
the Project Manager. The successful Programme Manager not only directs a series of discrete
projects but provides leadership, allocates resources and ensures that project activity is fully
consistent with the day to day requirements of the business.
Training and Certification Options
There are 2 main certification options available. The US based Project Management Institute
(PMI) offers the “Program Management Professional” (PgMP). As yet this has not become
widely known in the UK, but is recognised by many international organisations. In addition to
an exam, candidates must be able to demonstrate several years’ programme management

The most respected qualification structure in the UK is MSP. Based on best practice guidelines
developed over the past 15 years by the OGC, the training is accredited by the APM Group. This
puts it in the same family as PRINCE2.

MSP Managing Successful Programmes

There are 3 levels of MSP certification. The Foundation Certificate establishes basic
understanding of the MSP framework and terminology. Training courses are typically 2 or 3
days duration with a short multiple choice exam.

The Practitioner Certificate requires a comprehensive understanding of the principles together

with the ability to relate it to real life scenarios. Training is often close coupled with the
Foundation so that both certificates can be obtained in 5 days.

The Advanced Practitioner distinguishes those who understand how to apply MSP to practical
business situations.

Further Advice and Resources

Focus on Training offers a free guide to Programme Management Training and MSP. In addition
you can search for most UK training courses and book online

Explore Focus Programme Management Options

Find Courses Now

Best Management Practice is the OGC website provided in association with APMG.

The Project Management Institute site explains the structure of the PgMP qualification.

Author – Steve Twine

Steve Twine is founder and Managing Director of Focus on Training. Focus is a fast growing
training organisation that specialises in Project Management. It networks most of the leading
accredited providers of MSP, PRINCE2, APM and PMI training.

The Focus website aims to provide vendor and accreditation neutral advice – as well as offering
the widest choice of programme and project management courses in the UK.
Steve has led complex and high profile international projects for Ford and other major players
within the motor industry. He is also an accomplished trainer.

0845 450 6120