PRINCE2 2009 refresh spookily familiar to ITIL users

PRINCE2 gets a new version this year. For those who went through ITIL V3 Refresh, it is deja vu all over again.

Listen to the APMG annnouncement regarding the new qualification:

Candidates are advised that there will not be a major difference between the 2005 and 2009 versions of PRINCE2. The APM Group therefore recommends candidates not to delay their training or exams. Furthermore, all candidates who have taken their examination on the earlier edition of the method will find their qualification remains valid until they need to re-register.

PRINCE2 Registered Practitioners need to take the re-registration exam within 5 years of their certification date as shown on their certificate. All certificates are valid for the registration period shown on them and exams do not have to be retaken outside of the normal re-registration cycle.

When the 2009 exams are released the re-registration exams will be based on this version and not previous versions. Candidates will be able to attend either a short course from an Accredited Training Organization (ATO) or simply read the new manual. Both the Foundation and Practitioner Examinations will be based on the new 'Managing Projects' manual and will not include material from the new 'Directing Projects' book. Depending on demand an examination based on the Directing manual will be developed and launched towards the end of 2009.

The 2009 examinations will come into practice once the official manual has been published and they are dependant on this publication. It is expected that both the publication and examinations will be available during Q2 2009.

There will be a cross over period for exams – for a minimum of three months after the launch of 2009 - where exams will be issued on either the 2005 or 2009 version of the manual. After this, exams will be based on 2009 manual only. Dates during which either examination version can be taken will be confirmed when the launch date is finalized, as will the date for the withdrawal of PRINCE2:2005 examinations.

Investment in training on previous PRINCE2 versions will not be lost as it is still a valid and productive methodology for the management of projects. The refresh of the manual updates and improves the method but it is not a major re-write. Users of the 2005 version are under no obligation to update to the 2009 version, though of course may do so if they wish to. If the system is working well for an individual or organization at the moment they are under no pressure to change this.

We heard all that with ITIL V3. It's just a refresh. No major changes. No need to wait for the next version to do the exams (that advice is of course given in the best interests of the candidates). Old qualifications will still be recognised. And they think they will kill off PRINCE2:2005 exams within three months.

The only difference is that the qualifications are promised for the same quarter as the new manual.

[See also the comments below for more information...]


Prince2:2009 out now

The first half of Prince2:2009, Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2™, is available now, ahead of the official June 16th release. Yours for only seventy five quid.

APMG's idea of "not a major difference"

So "there will not be a major difference between the 2005 and 2009 versions of PRINCE2" huh?

Check out the excellent FAQ over at





7 Principles


8 Components

7 Key Themes


8 Processes

7 Processes


45 sub-processes



3 techniques

Cross-references to other Bodys of knowledge including ‘soft’ aspects

Management Products

36 products

27 products

The Project Environment


Content rich

Trouble shooting

Hints & Tips

Hints & Tips in FAQ style

The "Planning" Process has disappeared, Product based planning has been removed as a chapter.
the language in PRINCE2 is changing. This means that if your company is already training people in PRINCE2 (2005 version) then it might be a good idea to train your remaining staff in that version to avoid having a mixed language

Strewth, it's not as if APMG haven't just been through all this. Even ITIL V3 didn't attempt to change the existing terminology! "Not a major difference", my donkey!!

PRINCE2:2005 vs. 2009

for my own sanity and as a way of addressing the changes between the two editions I have produced a document which addresses the limitations of 2005 and shows how 2009 overcomes (most) of them. It is available at, where you will find the PRINCE2:2009 article as well as several others looking at PRINCE and project issues.
if you have questions of comments please feel free to send them to me


Poor non-english speakers

Indeed it has a sort of "déjà vu". And....eeeeeh...did anyone ask for this update (aside OCG and APMG)

3 months to 'convert' from old to new is a bit short ;-) And what about translations? ITIL V3 is still not yet translated in all languages that were available in V2
PRINCE2 translations were even slower. THE BOOK (version 2005) has only very recently been translated into French. For sake of non-communication between workers in international companies they decided to even translate the key words in French. We discovered 15 years ago in The Netherlands that this is highly inconvenient.

OK, now we have PRINCE 2-and-a-half (why not PRINCE3 ? ). How long wil this take to be translated info French, German, Spanish, Arab, Japanese etc?

Indeed, OGC and APMG should re-read (or perhaps read ;-) ) the paragraphs in the PRINCE2 (2005) book about "Lessons learned". And....apply what they have learned.


"3 months to 'convert' from old to new is a bit short "

Well PRINCE did used to be PROMPT.



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