When attempting to design their PMO pathway, individuals often find many options for courses outside and within the Wellingtone Academy. One question that frequently arises is, “What is the difference between the PMO Practitioner and the PMO Leader course?” This article will explore the courses individually and what sets the PMO Leader apart from the Practitioner.

What is the APM Accredited PMO Practitioner Course?

The APM Accredited and IPMA Accredited PMO Practitioner is well-established as one of the industry’s leading training courses for PMO Professionals. It is designed to baseline learner knowledge and provide them with practical tools, techniques, and artefacts that they can utilise to create a new PMO or transform their current offering.

The delegates range from those starting in PMOs to those working in the industry for some time. It challenges ‘the way we have always done things’ and provides a new perspective on turning the PMO into a value-adding business partner.

Our case studies demonstrate that our PMO Practitioner course is practical enough that the lessons it provides can quickly impact an organisation.

However, the dark arts of PMO are well-known and feared in the industry. No matter how mature the PMO is, it still causes organisational problems regarding embedding and value realisation.

What are the dark arts of PMO?

  • Benefits Realisation
  • Resource Management
  • Portfolio Selection/Prioritisation
  • Project Categorisation
  • Knowledge Management
  • Building a PMO Culture

Some of these strike fear into the very hearts of PMO professionals. They are each too complex a topic to cover amongst the PMO basics (although some try).

What is the APM Accredited PMO Leader Course?

The APM Accredited PMO Leader course elevates the topics covered in the PMO Practitioner course to the next level, laser-focused on the minutiae of designing, implementing, and embedding the dark arts alongside existing structures.

The structure is not a typical slides-driven course or designed to get delegates to pass an exam. Instead, it is based on collaborative peer-to-peer discussions and Project Based Learning (PBL).

What makes the PMO Leader course unique?

  • Setting the PMO Practitioner course as a pre-requisite
  • Keeping the courses in person and small (maximum of 8 people)
  • Providing two months of mentoring after the course to support learners in the application of the tools and techniques from the course

What happens after the courses?

We are conscious that courses often take place and the knowledge isn’t applied.

The PMO Leader has no exam; instead, it requires the learner to implement a change. To do that, we try to make things as practical as possible. We provide delegates with a toolkit that will enable them to put into practice what they have learned without having to start from scratch. Examples can be found below.

Topic Toolkit Assets
Benefits Realisation Metrics tracker

Financial tracker

Resource Management Resource tracker
Portfolio Selection Project scoring matrix
Project Categorisation Categorisation guidelines
Leadership and Culture Coaching guidelines

Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire

Role Descriptions

Over two months, the learner receives 1-2-1 mentoring to deliver their project. This provides both practical experience safely and return on investment for the organisation.

In addition, learners are invited to join the Wellingtone PMO Community, a space for those on the same PMO journey. This active group is supported by free learning and sharing events and opportunities to be involved in the industry across various vehicles, including the FuturePMO conference.

In summary

In short, the PMO Leader course is the more advanced level, following the PMO Practitioner course. It is NOT for individuals with the word Leader in their role title.

It is designed to follow the PMO Practitioner course so that individuals can continue developing their capability to deliver the best PMO for their organisation.

Further reading:

PMO Academy: Everything You Need to Know

APM Accredited
PMO Practitioner Course

This 2-day course is designed for PMO practitioners of all levels who are setting up, delivering, managing or transforming a PMO. It enables you to bring your best-in-class PMO to the forefront of your organisation.

APM Accredited PMO
Leader Course

This 3-day course is for those leading the PMO. This course pushes the boundaries of PMO training with Project Based Learning supported by regular mentoring sessions with our PMO consultants.

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Monthly Newsletter

By: Emma Arnaz-Pemberton

Emma Arnaz-Pemberton
Consulting Director FAPM, MCMI, MPMI, MIoD PMO-CC, MoR, MSP, PRINCE2

Published: 2 April 2024

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