With the introduction of the new ICB, a number of things in the IPMA examinations and assessments will change. On this page you will find a list of the most significant changes per level of certification. Below you will find a schedule indicating how the various changes were implemented.


What is ICB4?

ICB means Individual Competence Baseline. It is an internationally fixed set of competencies that documents what project-, programme- and portfolio managers need to know per IPMA level.

The current examinations of IPMA Certificering are based on the current ICB (version 3). Therefore, our examinations will change in order to complement the new competencies. However, the ICB4 is more than a need-to-know list for applicants. It is a set of best practices based on competencies that might help improve project-, programme- and portfolio managers.


What will change?

Besides the technical competencies, there will be more focus on context and behaviour. Furthermore, the number of competence elements will decrease. The number will be reduced from 46 to 27, which makes the new directive more accessible.

The final terminology (the basis for the theoretical exams) will be adjusted to current standards. With this adjustment, IPMA will be even more relevant in the current professional domain. Every model and theory will be inspected, whether or not they are still relevant. Material that is not relevant anymore will not be featured in the examination. Besides project management, there will be certification for programme management and portfolio management. When signing up for certification, applicants indicate if they would like to do ICB3 or ICB4. Below on this page you can read the introduction to every change.


IPMA level D

The IPMA level D test will be adjusted to the competence elements of the ICB4. Because of this adjustment, the theory will resonate even better with these times. The basis of the examination questions can be found in the Final Terminology ICB4. Subsequently, there will be a new, shorter IPMA level D document (called Self assessment) that has been adapted to the new criteria with regard to experience and complexity.


IPMA level C

IPMA level C theory

The IPMA level C theoretical exam according to the ICB 4 consists only of open questions and short cases. The multiple choice questions will be cancelled. The validity of the (course credit) certificate will remain two years. The link to the level C assessment will not create a problem. Applicants holding a level C theoretical certificate according to the ICB3 will still be able to take an IPMA level C-assessment ICB 4.


IPMA level C assessment

The most important change for IPMA level C will be the cancellation of the project report. Instead, applicants will have to write an Executive Summary Report. In this report, applicants need to describe their organisation and make a resumé of each project and flow chart. A template and entry instruction will appear on our website shortly.  The Reference document will be adapted to the new experience- and complexity criteria. The components will remain the same for the most part. To take part in an IPMA level C-assessment, applicants need to be in possession of a valid IPMA level C-theoretical certificate. This certificate may be based on the ICB 3 or ICB 4.


IPMA level B

A theoretical examination will be part of the IPMA level B course. This examination consists of open questions and takes 3 hours. Applicants will be able to take the exam after the Reference document has been approved. If the theoretical exam has been passed successfully, applicants are allowed to proceed with the course. In contrast to the IPMA level C level, the theoretical exam does not present a separate course and applicants will not receive a separate certificate. The expenses of this course have to be paid in their entirety in advance.

Currently, we offer applicants the choice between IPMA level B Project management and Programme management. IPMA level B Portfolio management will be added to the ICB 4. These three courses will have the same structure and components.


IPMA level A

Certification at IPMA level A level will be possible for project managers, programme managers and portfolio managers. Introduction will take place in the beginning of 2017.



IPMA PMO will not see any changes. Nevertheless ,the examinations (and exam training) will be adapted to the new competence-elements and attainment targets on the basis of the ICB4 during 2016. IPMA PMO examination is only available in Dutch.



All IPMA certificates remain valid for five years (with the exception of the course credit C theoretical). Recertification will remain possible regardless of whether the initial certification has been done according to ICB3 or ICB4. From the 1st of April 2017 on, recertification is only possible on the basis of the ICB4.


Attainment targets

To determine the new attainment targets we established a large area of support. The targets were determined in conjunction with a number of universities, colleges, relations and quality labelled educators. The attainment targets are available on request. Please send your request to: info@ipmacertificeren.nl.



Expenses for ICB4 courses will differ from other courses. You can find them on the Tariffs ICB4 page.



The chart below specifies on which date you will be able to register and take an ICB4 exam, and until when you are still able to sign up and take an exam according to ICB3. Please check this page regularly for any changes.


1 January 2017 Signing up for exams/assessment ICB3 no longer possible
1 April 2017
Exam/assessment according to ICB3 no longer possible
1 December 2017 Exam/assessment according to ICB4 programme- and portfolio management (A + B) possible
1 December 2017 Recertification of ICB4 begins, ICB3 document can be submitted until 31 March 2018


Would you like to know more?

Do you have any questions or do you want to receive exercise examinations ICB4? Please contact us.
Would you like to know more about the ICB4? Download the ICB4

Besides the ICB4, a (common version) of the ICR4 was also published. ICR means International Certification Regulations. It offers an overview of the IPMA certification process. A digital version of the ICR4 can be requested at IPMA International.