ICB/NCB

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ICB/NCB

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ICB® books

1 Title/current version of ICB® books
ICB®(IPMA Competence Baseline) Version 3

2 The basics of ICB® books
The IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB) is a competence
framework for project management, and is not restricted to any
corporate sector.

3 Summary of ICB® books
The International Project Management Association (IPMA)
is a leading worldwide not-for-profit project management
association with 55 member associations. IPMA published the
first official version of the ICB (Version 2.0) in 1999, with a small
modification in 2001. Version 3 was published in 2007.

A central concept is the ‘eye of competence’ (see Figure),
which represents the integration of all competences of project
management as seen through the eye of the project manager
when evaluating a specific situation. The eye also represents
clarity and vision. After processing the information received, the
competent and responsible professional in project management
takes appropriate action.

The ICB defines 46 competence elements covering the technical
competence for project management (twenty elements), the
professional behavior of project management personnel (fifteen
elements) and the relationships with the context of the projects,
programmes and portfolios (eleven elements). Each competence
element consists of a title, a description of the content, a list of
pollible process steps and the experience criteria required for
wach IPMA level. 

ipma

The ICB does not recommend or include specific methodologies,
methods or tools. The subject areas are described together with
methods for determining tasks and, where they illustrate the
latter well, some examples of methods. Methods and tools may be
defined by the organization. The project manager should choose
appropriate methods and tools for a practical project situation.

IPMA offers a Four Level Certification programme based on the
IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB):
• IPMA Level-A® (Certifi ed Projects Director)
• IPMA Level-B® (Certified Programme Manager or Certified
Senior Project Manager)
• IPMA Level-C® (Certifi ed Project Manager)
• IPMA Level-D® (Certifi ed Project Management)

4 ICB® books Target audience
The primary target audience consists of project, programme
and portfolio personnel as well as general managers, who play
a role in directing them in project oriented organizations. The
secondary target audience consists of certification assessors, HR.
managers and trainers.

5 Scope and constraints of ICB® books
The ICB and the four-level certification are not about methods
techniques, but about determining how competent project
managers are. The ICB is a competence baseline. Besides the
basic terms it only names some tasks, practices etc., and does not
describe these tasks, practices, etc. in detail.

The strength of the ICB is that it describes all the competences
together with the behavioral and contextual competences
expected from project managers and their staff. The ICB also
describes the different levels of competences for less and more
experienced project managers. None of the other frameworks
or methods for project management does this. The ICB
framework is therefore most suitable as a reference model for the
development and assessment of individual project managers.

6 Relevant website of ICB® books
www.ipma.ch

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