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Why should I take the MSP Foundation and Practitioner course?

The MSP Foundation and Practitioner course will give you the skills and knowledge for leadership roles in major change programs. As a certified MSP Practitioner, you will be ready to apply the MSP themes, principles and transformational flow to different types of program. You will be able to tailor MSP to different types of program and analyze program situations to make appropriate decisions. As a qualified MSP Practitioner, you will be able to align multiple projects with strategic requirements and co-ordinate product delivery to ensure real benefits for your organization

Who should attend this class?

Typical job roles include:

  • Program Sponsor, Director or Senior Responsible Owner responsible for delivering the program

  • Program Managers responsible for the set up, management and delivery of a program

  • Portfolio / Program Office staff who provide information and standards to the program management team

  • Business Change Managers or Change Agents who work with the program to embed new products into business as usual and realize benefits

  • Project Managers who manage projects in the program or want to advance their career to the program level

What is included?

The course includes:

  • 5-days classroom training from a MSP Approved Trainer

  • Official MSP manual: "Managing Successful Programmes"

  • Accredited course material including sample exam questions

  • MSP Foundation and Practitioner exams + Certificate

  • 50 PDUs if you are a PMP

What will I learn?

By the end of the course you will be ready to:

  • Create value by ensuring that program investment is aligned with strategic needs

  • Lead change by managing complex tasks and multiple stakeholders

  • Plan and control programs using the MSP transformational flow

  • Deliver measurable improvements with the tools in MSP's benefits management theme

  • Manage multiple projects to deliver new capabilities

  • Reduce uncertainty and aggregate risks and issues at the program level

  • Identify and communicate the better future which will be delivered by your program

  • Take and pass the MSP Foundation and Practitioner exams

What are the course prerequisites?

You should be working in or have a good knowledge of program management. You need to complete about 10-20 hours of study before the course. We'll provide all the reading materials you need so you will be well prepared before you come to class.

What are the course contents?

This is the official MSP Foundation and Practitioner course approved by Peoplecert. The course covers the complete MSP syllabus to Practitioner level and includes examination practice.

Key Learning Points

An introduction to MSP

  • What is program management

  • Why use program management

  • Types of program: vision led, emergent or compliance

  • Program impacts - specification led, business transformation or political & societal change

  • When to use MSP

MSP principles

  • Remaining aligned with corporate strategy

  • Leading change

  • Envisioning and communicating a better future

  • Focusing on the benefits and threats to them

  • Adding value

  • Designing and delivering a coherent capability

  • Learning from experience

MSP Governance themes

  • Program organization

  • Vision

  • Leadership and stakeholder engagement

  • Benefits management

  • Blueprint design and delivery

  • Planning and control

  • The Business Case

  • Risk and issue management

  • Quality and assurance management

The MSP transformational flow

  • Identifying a program

  • Defining a program

  • Managing the tranches

  • Delivering the capability

  • Realizing the benefits

  • Closing a program

Adopting MSP

Program office

Program Health checks

MSP Practitioner Exam Preparation

  • Sample Practitioner Exam Paper

  • Exam Tips and Technique

MSP Foundation & Practitioner Exams


Which exams are included in this course?

This course includes the MSP Foundation and Practitioner exams.

MSP Foundation exam

This is your first MSP exam designed to test your knowledge and understanding of MSP

  • 75 multiple choice questions with 1 mark for each question

  • Closed book exam

  • 1 hour duration

  • 50% needed to pass

  • 5 questions are trial questions so a score of 35 / 70 is required to pass

MSP Practitioner Exam

Your second MSP exam tests your ability to apply the MSP framework to a standard program situation. You will be required to adapt MSP to the circumstances of a specific program and apply the framework appropriately. A Foundation exam pass is required before you can take the MSP Practitioner exam

  • 8 Objective Testing style questions with 10 points per question

  • Questions are in different formats including classic multiple choice, matching, sequencing and assertion / reason

  • Open book exam, but only the official MSP manual can be used

  • 2.5 hours duration

  • 50% needed to pass

  • There are no trial questions so the Practitioner pass mark is 40 / 80

When are the exams taken?

Your Foundation exam is taken on Wednesday afternoon. Your Practitioner exam is taken on Friday.

How does the course prepare me for the MSP Foundation and Practitioner exams?

The course follows the latest current MSP 2011 syllabus. Before attending class, we will provide you with detailed preparation material. Day 4 of the course is dedicated to practice for your Practitioner exam and our MSP trainer will guide you through a series of exercises and discussions to get you ready for the exam itself .

Do I need ID for the MSP exams?

You must bring photographic ID with you. A driver's license or passport is fine. A work ID, with photograph, is also acceptable.

How long does my MSP qualification last?

The MSP Foundation qualification is permanent. The Practitioner qualification must be renewed every 5 years to maintain your status as an MSP Registered Practitioner.

How do I take the MSP Re-Registration exam?

The MSP Re-registration exam is based on a scenario and is set at the same difficulty level as the MSP Practitioner.

  • There are 3 Objective Testing style questions with 10 marks each

  • Like the Practitioner exam, the Re-Registration exam is open book but, again, only the MSP manual can be used

  • 1 hour and 15 minutes duration

  • Pass mark is 50%, so 15 / 30 marks are required

What is the MSP Advanced Practitioner qualification?

MSP is the only Best Management Practice standard to have an Advanced Practitioner qualification. This allows the most experienced and capable program managers to gain an additional level of certification.

The MSP Advanced Practitioner exam is based on a complex program scenario:

  • The exam is a written essay

  • There are 3 questions with 25 marks each

  • You have 3 hours for the MSP Advanced paper

  • Pass mark is 50%, so 38 / 75 marks are required

  • You can use the MSP Manual and other materials such as training course notes and your own examples, case studies or other material

What happens if I don't pass a MSP exam?

If you don't pass the Practitioner exam you will find this out by email a few weeks after taking the class. We'll send you your score and a question by question breakdown of your paper. You can retake the MSP Practitioner exam at the next class or online for an additional fee.

Can I just take the MSP exams with you?

Sorry, no. We are an Accredited Training Organization for MSP so we are not permitted to offer just exams.


Do I need to be a project or program manager to attend this class?

This course is designed for senior management and their colleagues who are responsible for a projects and/or programs. It is helpful if you have some knowledge of project / program management but it is not essential.

Where is the class held?

Our courses are held at quality downtown venues in all major Canadian cities. You will be close to transport links and parking.

What are the class hours?

  • Monday -> Friday: 8.30 AM to 4:30 PM

  • On Friday, the class may finish early after your Practitioner exam.

How do I prepare for MSP training?

Before the MSP course we will send you:

  • MSP official manual: "Managing Successful Programmes"

  • A pre-course reading list

To prepare, you work through a 12-point guide which will familiarize you with the key chapters of MSP. As you read you are directed to important diagrams and cross references are made to Appendices or document templates which are used during an MSP program. Giving you this and "joined up" understanding to MSP helps prepare you for the Practitioner level examination. Total preparation time is about 10-20 hours, depending on your reading speed.

Do I need to pass PRINCE2 before taking the MSP course?

You don't need to pass or have any knowledge of PRINCE2 project management to attend MSP training. If you are a Program Sponsor or Program Manager you are not required to manage the individual projects in your program so PRINCE2 is not essential before attending the MSP course. MSP and PRINCE2 share a common glossary of terms so, if you have taken PRINCE2, you will already know some of the terminology which is used in MSP.

How does MSP distinguish between a project and program?

For MSP, a program is a temporary structure set up to co-ordinate related projects and activities. Although a program is temporary it's life span will probably be several years and the end may not be exactly determined, although the program is always working towards this. The program delivers outcomes and benefits to achieve strategic objectives. In contrast, a project has a well-defined life span and produces clear outputs or products according to a specified business case. The MSP course shows you how to distinguish between a large project and a program and when it would be suitable to apply MSP

Do I need to log program management experience before the course?

No. You are not required to show experience of program management before attending a MSP course or taking exams. The course pre-requisites are to complete the pre-course work which we will provide on registration.

Can I split the MSP Foundation and Practitioner course?

Yes. You have a busy schedule so 5 days out of your program may not be possible. Also, you may prefer to take the Foundation first, apply some of your new knowledge and then come back and upgrade to Practitioner. We don't charge you extra if you book the course as one event, but take it on two different occasions.

How many PDUs do I get for this course?

PMPs can claim 50 PDUs at the PMI for the MSP Foundation and Practitioner course. (25 Technical PDUs, 13 Leadership PDUs, 12 Strategic PDUs)

Find this course in your area.