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Decades of Dedication: John Atkinson’s Impact on International Project Management Standards

05 Feb 2024
Decades of Dedication: John Atkinson’s Impact on International Project Management Standards

John has been actively involved with the IPMA (International Project Management Association) for the last twenty-odd years. During that time, he travelled the globe to work with other project managers as a volunteer to help develop certification standards.

He is presently an active voluntary member of CVMB, the Certification and Validation Management Board in IPMA. This board is charged with maintaining IPMA standards for certification across the seventy participating members around the world. A certificate issued in any member country of IPMA is recognised by another member of IPMA. CVMB plays a critical role in maintaining this.

As well as being a CVMB member, John has worked on standards development, in the validation of countries' certification schemes, and as an International advisor to help certification bodies establish their certification schemes.

At present, he is leading a work group intent on producing a marketing handbook to find candidates interested in IPMA certification. He also holds and manages the IPMA question database for exams at all levels.

He is an Irish and international certification assessor and has assessed candidates for certification from multiple countries, including Ireland, Denmark, France, Australia, Austria, Indonesia, South Africa, South Korea, and Spain, to mention a few.

When asked about the benefits of certification, he said:

"Certification can be life-changing for people in terms of proving technical competence but also, and more importantly, in terms of self-confidence."

He is particularly proud of IPMA’s emphasis on the corporate context of project management and the skillset of project managers promoted in their baseline.

Looking forward, he believes that the future of Project Management is bright. With AI now becoming a factor in helping with technical matters, project managers can concentrate more on leading and managing teams to deliver organisation and personal needs.

Having spent most of his life managing projects in construction, change management, and corporate strategy, he is moving away from project management, is an active author, and has recently published his first novel.

On reflection, he says:

"Project management has been extraordinarily good to me in terms of financial wealth and personal fulfilmentI wish the same on all involved in the discipline. It’s been an amazing twenty years, and it flew by, so I must have been having fun!"

John can be found at, on LinkedIn and on Facebook.