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MSP® Practitioner Practice Exam

MSP® Practitioner Practice Exam


About MSP® Practitioner Exam

The MSP Practitioner certification exam is suitable for project managers, business change managers (BCMs), and people working within a Programme Office (PO) or in a specialist or governance position. The exam demonstrates your ability to understand and apply the MSP principles, governance themes, and transformational flow processes when managing a programme.


MSP Practitioner Target audience

The MSP Practitioner has been designed for project, programme and business change managers who want to apply the MSP framework to real-life scenarios. The MSP Practitioner is suitable for both project and programme management professionals who need to deliver organizational value for their employers and to boost their careers.


The MSP Practitioner examination is intended to assess whether the candidate can demonstrate sufficient ability to apply and tailor the MSP programme management framework (as described in the syllabus below) to be awarded the MSP Practitioner qualification. A successful Practitioner candidate should, with a suitable direction, be able to start applying the framework to a real programme but may not be sufficiently skilled to do this appropriately for all situations. Their individual programme management expertise, the complexity of the programme, and the support provided for the use of MSP in their work environment will all be factors that impact what the Practitioner can achieve.


MSP Practitioner Exam format

  • Types of Questions: Multiple-choice questions
  • Total Questions: 58 questions per paper (including 6 matching questions worth 3 marks each), 70 marks available in total
  • Passing Score: 42 marks required to pass - 60%
  • Exam Duration: Two-and-a-half hours
  • Exam Type: Open book exam.


MSP Practitioner Exam Preparation

Candidates may only use the official printed hard copy of the Managing Successful Programmes 5th Edition Guide. The manual may be annotated and tabulated but no sticky notes or loose-leaf papers containing additional notes will be allowed.

There are two ways to gain your MSP certification:

  • Attend a training course with an accredited training organization, which will include the exam as part of the course
  • Self-study using the core manual, then book an exam directly with PeopleCert, our examination institute partner.


Exam Prerequisites

  • Before sitting the Practitioner exam, you must first pass MSP 5th Edition Foundation. There is no prerequisite for the MSP 5th Edition Foundation examination.


MSP Practitioner Course Outline

The MSP Practitioner exam outline covers the following topics - 

1. Understand how to apply the MSP principles in context

1.1 Analyse the application of MSP principles in context

a) Lead with purpose (2.1)

b) Collaborate across boundaries (2.2)

c) Deal with ambiguity (2.3)

d) Align with priorities (2.4)

e) Deploy diverse skills (2.5)

f) Realize measurable benefits (2.6)

g) Bring pace and value (2.7)


2. Understand how to apply and tailor relevant aspects of the MSP themes in context

2.1 Assess:

a) The component parts of the programme strategy (3.4, tab 4.3, tab 5.4, tab 6.3, tab 7.3, tab 8.2, tab 9.4, tab 10.3)

b) The component parts of the programme plans (3.5, tab 4.3, tab 6.3, tab 7.3, tab 9.4)

c) How to apply the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle (3.3)

2.2 Organization theme (chapter 4)

2.2.1 Apply the MSP requirements for the ‘organization’ theme, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The key documents required to support the ‘organization’ theme:

• Programme strategy: governance approach (including organization structure) (4.3, 4.5, 4.6, tab 4.3)

• Programme strategy: stakeholder engagement approach (4.11, tab 4.3)

• Stakeholder engagement and communications plan (4.12, tab 4.3)

b) The areas of focus for key roles associated with the ‘organization’ theme (tab 4.4)

c) The recommended programme management team structure (4.5, 4.5.1-3, 4.6.1- 3)

2.2.2 Analyse whether an approach to applying the ‘organization’ theme is effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the programme’s environment, the MSP principles, and the purpose and requirements of the theme (chapter 4, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5)

2.3 Design theme (chapter 5)

2.3.1 Apply the MSP requirements for the ‘design’ theme, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The key documents required to support the ‘design’ theme:

• Programme strategy: design approach (5.3, tab 5.4)

• Vision statement (5.4, tab 5.4)

• Benefits map (5.5.2, tab 5.4)

• Benefit profile (5.5.4, tab 5.4)

• Risk register (5.6, tab 5.4)

• Target operating model (5.7, 5.7.1, fig 5.8, tab 5.4)

b) The areas of focus for key roles associated with the ‘design’ theme (tab 5.5)

c) The recommended approach to:

• The types of benefits and the path to benefits (5.5.1-2, fig 5.2)

• The types of programme risk and risk prioritization (5.6.1-2)

• The effectiveness of the target operating model and the gap between the current and future states (5.7, 5.7.1-2)


2.3.2 Analyse whether an approach to applying the ‘design’ theme is effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the programme’s environment, the MSP principles, and the purpose and requirements of the theme (chapter 5, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5)


2.4 Justification theme (chapter 6)

2.4.1 Apply the MSP requirements for the ‘justification’ theme, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The key documents required to support the ‘justification’ theme:

• Programme mandate (6.3, tab 6.3)

• Programme strategy: funding approach (6.4, tab 6.3)

• Programme brief (6.5, tab 6.3)

• Business case (6.6, tab 6.3)

• Financial plan (6.7, tab 6.3)

b) The areas of focus for key roles associated with the ‘justification’ theme (tab 6.4)

c) The recommended approach to:

• Financial and non-financial measures of benefits/ disbenefits, including justifying the investment (6.6.1, 6.6.1.1-2)

• Key considerations when validating a business case (6.6.4)

• Combined effects of risks (6.6.2, fig 6.4)

• Financial planning, including budgets and cash flow, tracking and forecasting, management of financial contingency, and reporting on

variances (6.7, 6.7.1-5, 6.6.3)


2.4.2 Analyse whether an approach to applying the ‘justification’ theme is effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the programme’s environment, the MSP principles, and the purpose and requirements of the theme (chapter 6, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5)


2.5 Structure theme (chapter 7)

2.5.1 Apply the MSP requirements for the ‘structure’ theme, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The key documents required to support the ‘structure’ theme:

• Programme strategy: delivery approach (7.3, tab 7.3)

• Delivery plan; including resourcing, dependencies, transition and benefits baseline (7.5, tab 7.3)

• Benefits realization plan (7.8, tab 7.3)

• Programme strategy: resourcing approach (7.9, tab 7.3)

b) The areas of focus for key roles associated with the ‘structure’ theme (tab 7.4)

c) The recommended approach to:

• Establishing the appropriate pace (including balancing capacity and ability, and balancing achievability and affordability) (7.4, 7.4.1-2)

• Delivery planning, including incremental progression, landing points and tranches (7.5)

• Multimodal delivery (7.6)

• Dependencies (7.7)

• Benefits realization planning (7.8)

• Procurement and supply chain management (7.9.1)


2.5.2 Analyse whether an approach to applying the ‘structure’ theme is effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the programme’s environment, the MSP principles, and the purpose and requirements of the theme (chapter 7, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5)


2.6 Knowledge theme (chapter 8)

2.6.1 Apply the MSP requirements for the ‘knowledge’ theme, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The key documents required to support the ‘knowledge’ theme:

• Programme strategy: knowledge and learning approach (8.3, tab 8.2)

• Programme strategy: information approach (8.6, tab 8.2)

b) The areas of focus for key roles associated with the ‘knowledge’ theme (tab 8.3)

c) The recommended approach to:

• Knowledge management (8.4)

• Ensuring lessons are learned (8.5)

• Information management (8.7)

2.6.2 Analyse whether an approach to applying the ‘knowledge’ theme is effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the programme’s environment, the MSP principles, and the purpose and requirements of the theme (chapter 8, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5)


2.7 Assurance theme (chapter 9)

2.7.1 Apply the MSP requirements for the ‘assurance’ theme, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The key documents required to support the ‘assurance’ theme:

• Programme strategy: assurance approach (9.3, tab 9.4)

• Assurance plan (9.5, tab 9.4)

b) The areas of focus for key roles associated with the ‘assurance’ theme (tab 9.5)

c) The recommended approach to:

• Assurance at multiple levels (9.4, 9.4.1-3)

• Assurance planning and activities (9.5, 9.5.1, tab 9.2)

• Timing and resourcing of assurance activity (9.5.2)

• How to plan successful assurance activities (9.5.3, tab 9.3)


2.7.2 Analyse whether an approach to applying the ‘assurance’ theme is effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the programme’s environment, the MSP principles, and the purpose and requirements of the theme (chapter 9, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5)


2.8 Decisions theme (chapter 10)

2.8.1 Apply the MSP requirements for the ‘decisions’ theme, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The key documents required to support the ‘decisions’ theme:

• Programme strategy: decision-making approach (10.3, tab 10.3)

• Programme strategy: issue resolution approach (10.4, tab 10.3)

• Programme strategy: risk response approach (10.5, tab 10.3)

• Decision register (10.3, tab 10.3)

• Issue register (10.4, tab 10.3)

b) The areas of focus for key roles associated with the ‘decisions’ theme (tab 10.4)

c) The recommended approach to:

• Determining appropriate decision points and layers of decision-making (10.3)

• Resolving issues (10.4)

• Responding to risks, including generic responses to threats and opportunities (10.5, 10.5.1, tab 10.2)

• Data-gathering and reporting (10.6, 10.6.1-2)

• Options analysis (10.7)


2.8.2 Analyse whether an approach to applying the ‘decisions’ theme is effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the programme’s environment, the MSP principles, and the purpose and requirements of the theme (chapter 10, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5)


3. Understand how to apply and tailor relevant aspects of the MSP processes in context 

3.1.1 Carry out the ‘identify the programme’ process, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The activities, inputs and outputs (12.3, tab 12.1, 12.4.1-7)

b) The recommended roles and responsibilities within the process (tab 12.2)

c) How the themes may be applied (tab 12.3)


3.1.2 Analyse whether the ‘identify the programme’ process activities, roles and responsibilities are effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the programme’s environment, the MSP principles, the themes, and the purpose and objectives of the process (chapter 12)


3.2.1 Carry out the ‘design the outcomes’ process, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The activities, inputs and outputs (13.3, tab 13.1, 13.4.1-11)

b) The recommended roles and responsibilities within the process (tab 13.2)

c) How the themes may be applied (tab 13.3)


3.2.2 Analyse whether the ‘design the outcomes’ process activities, roles and responsibilities are effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the programme’s environment, the MSP principles, the themes, and the purpose and objectives of the process (chapter 13)


3.3.1 Carry out the ‘plan progressive delivery’ process, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The activities, inputs and outputs (14.3, tab 14.1, 14.4.1-6)

b) The recommended roles and responsibilities within the process (tab 14.2)

c) How the themes may be applied (tab 14.3)


3.3.2 Analyse whether the ‘plan progressive delivery’ process activities, roles and

responsibilities are effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the

programme’s environment, the MSP principles, the themes, and the purpose and

objectives of the process (chapter 14)


3.4.1 Carry out the ‘deliver the capabilities’ process, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The activities, inputs and outputs (15.3, tab 15.1, 15.4.1-7 (including 15.4.2.1- 2))

b) The recommended roles and responsibilities within the process (tab 15.2)

c) How the themes may be applied (tab 15.3)


3.4.2 Analyse whether the ‘deliver the capabilities’ process activities, roles and responsibilities are effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the programme’s environment, the MSP principles, the themes, and the purpose and objectives of the process (chapter 15)


3.5.1 Carry out the ‘embed the outcomes’ process, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The activities, inputs and outputs (16.3, tab 16.1, 16.4.1-6)

b) The recommended roles and responsibilities within the process (tab 16.2)

c) How the themes may be applied (tab 16.3)


3.5.2 Analyse whether the ‘embed the outcomes’ process activities, roles and responsibilities are effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the programme’s environment, the MSP principles, the themes, and the purpose and objectives of the process (chapter 16)


3.6.1 Carry out the ‘evaluate new information’ process, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The activities, inputs and outputs (17.3, tab 17.1, 17.4.1-5)

b) The recommended roles and responsibilities within the process (tab 17.2)

c) How the themes may be applied (tab 17.3)


3.6.2 Analyse whether the ‘evaluate new information’ process activities, roles and responsibilities are effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the programme’s environment, the MSP principles, the themes, and the purpose and objectives of the process (chapter 17)


3.7.1 Carry out the ‘close the programme’ process, demonstrating an understanding of:

a) The activities, inputs and outputs (18.3, tab 18.1, 18.4.1-4)

b) The recommended roles and responsibilities within the process (tab 18.2)

c) How the themes may be applied (tab 18.3)


3.7.2 Analyse whether the ‘close the programme’ process activities, roles and responsibilities are effective and fit for purpose, taking into consideration: the programme’s environment, the MSP principles, the themes, and the purpose and objectives of the process (chapter 18)


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