Certifications to Up Your PM Game

John F. Gravel

Founded in 1956, AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering) is a leading, non-profit professional society. Their certifications have not only become recognized by industry as a mark of distinction, but more and more are becoming a requirement for employment in project management. AACE spans over 100 countries, and is committed to education and technical guidance. AACE’s 7,000 plus members have a variety of disciplines, including megaproject management.

There are often questions in project management surrounding what kinds of classes and certifications are helpful to project management and getting to the next level of skill and pay. These AACE certifications are a great way to tell employers that one is serious about improving and taking the next step.

Technician Level Certification

The AACE offers entry-level certifications on two of the most crucial components of project management, costing, and scheduling.

Certified Cost Technician (CCT)

Suited for early-career professionals who do not yet possess the experience required to obtain a Certified Cost Professional (CCP) certificate, or anyone looking to up their cost engineering skills. By providing the complete scope of estimating, planning, and cost control, the CCT certification course will have you demonstrating proficiency in the necessary knowledge and skills of total cost management and sets you on a path of becoming a successful project manager.

The Certified Cost Technician (CCT) requires four years of industry-related experience or a four-year industry-related degree.

Certified Scheduling Technician (CST)

A first-level certification suited to entry-level professionals looking to propel their careers, or mid-level professionals seeking to deepen their knowledge in this critical area that is vital to project success. CST is a general knowledge and skills course that covers the scheduling processes within the AACE International Total Cost Management framework.

The Certified Cost Technician (CCT) requires four years of industry-related experience or a four-year industry-related degree.

Professional Level Certifications

AACE provides three distinct professional level certifications perfect for mid-level professionals. If you’re looking to level up your PM game, this is how you do it.

Certified Cost Professional (CCP)

One of the most highly recognized certificates offered by AACE covering cost and project controls. The CCP provides you with advanced technical expertise and knowledge to apply the best practices and principles of Total Cost Management (TCM) in project execution and planning. You will also gain the ability to communicate all aspects of Total Cost Management (TCM) to internal and external project stakeholders.

The Certified Cost Professional (CCP) certification was established in 1976 and is independently accredited by the Council of Engineering & Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) since 2000.

Certified Estimating Professional (CEP)

Gain the knowledge and skills to impact the bottom line. A valued credential for those in the estimating field, a Certified Estimating Professional certification, supports the development of project resource requirements, value engineering, and budgets by contributing their knowledge and expertise to the economic evaluation of projects.

Both certificates require eight years of industry-related experience or four years of industry-related experience plus a four-year industry-related college degree. The Certified Cost Professional program also requires a 2,500 minimum word technical paper.

Earned Value Professional (EVP)

Gain the ability to control projects at a global level with an in-depth understanding of earned value management concepts and processes. Become highly proficient at monitoring project progress, master the nuances of contract language as it relates to Earned Value application, learn to manage change to the scope of work and throughout the project life-cycle, generate, understand and analyze relevant reports and provide clear, coherent communication to all project stakeholders.

Planning & Scheduling Professional (PSP)

This course provides you with an in-depth background on the concepts of project scheduling and planning within the Total Cost Management framework, including developing, monitoring, updating, and forecasting project schedules.

All professional level certifications require eight years of industry-related experience or four years of industry-related experience plus a four-year industry-related college degree.

Expertise Level Certifications

Certified Forensic Claims Consultant (CFCC)

From AACE, A CFCC is an experienced claims professional and testifying expert working in the construction dispute resolution and litigation support arenas. With emphasis on claims arising from design and construction projects in countries with common law or mixed law, where common law is part of mixed law, the CFCC represents practitioners and specialists who meet a demanding set of claims preparation and dispute resolution criteria comprising of experience, education, and compliance with industry-accepted ethical requirements.

Eligibility requirements

Decision & Risk Management Professional (DRMP)

Uncertainties are inherent to big business. The DRMP program affords a strong emphasis on evaluating the impacts of these uncertainties, managing risk, and exploiting potential up-sides. The Decision and Risk Management Professional course teaches optimal decision making that creates value and optimizes returns on financial and human resources. Topics covered include cost risk and uncertainty analysis, schedule risk analysis, and decision analysis.

Eligibility requirements

AACE International certifications will broaden your knowledge base, enhance your skillset, and increase your bench strength. Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned veteran, the right certification will help you up your PM game. Find out more about AACE’s digital publications, continuing education models, online courses, and interactive learning.