Why become an individual member of IPMA’s Member Association?
On new year´s day, I read the following quote by Melody Beattie: “The new year stands before us like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”
I like this thought because it fits well with our idea of a project manager: we are the managers of the professional endeavours we are selected for, but with the project management tools and methods, we can also better master our entire life. Goals and milestones are essential to control if we have achieved our goals or if we need to steer against or even adjust a goal.
The new year is a typical milestone for many of us to reflect on our own goals, both our professional and personal life goals. A new year allows us to add new stories about successes and failures to our book of life. We live to learn. Our personal book is about learning from our experiences in the past for our actions in the future. This process takes decades and many – sometimes quite painful – experiences. In the best case, we can learn from the knowledge of others and not have to repeat their negative experiences. This is what good parents, teachers, friends, supervisors and mentors do. In childhood, societies provide several institutions to help a child to learn and develop, like kindergarten, primary school, gymnasium, university, and sports clubs or music schools. The older we get, the fewer people there are to help us learn and grow as human beings and as project managers in our professional development.
However, there is an institution whose task is to help to close this gap, and this is the professional association.
Let us for a moment think of Mary, a medical family doctor in her mid-forties. Her knowledge from when she studied in the 1990s is more than twenty years old; without further education, her wisdom would be outdated. It would take an enormous effort to educate herself further every evening after her consultation hours on new medical therapies, new insights from research studies, or new accounting procedures. It is the task of Mary´s medical association to educate her on these developments on a regular basis.
And this is also the task of the project management associations: to summarize the developments in the profession for their members as well as to give them the possibility to learn from each other in a protected environment, e.g. in workshop sessions, coaching or mentoring programs.
In this blog, I will look at the benefits of being an individual member of one of the 71 national Member Associations of the IPMA International Project Management Association worldwide. It is essential to know that individuals cannot become direct members of the IPMA, as IPMA is the umbrella association for all national Member Associations.
So, what are the concrete benefits of being an individual member of one of IPMA’s 71 national member associations?
- Access and reduced fees to national, regional and international conferences and events like the IPMA World Congress, the PM-Forum and the IPMA Research Conferences;
- Free access or reduced fees to the many webinars in the national associations;
- Gaining access to the national, regional and global Project Managers network (for example, via my.ipma);
- Receiving regular information like newsletters both from national and international associations;
- Access and possibility to participate in national and international Special Interest Groups (SIGs). SIGs are communities with a shared interest in advancing project management expertise, standards, areas of knowledge, learning and technology in a specific area like Smarter Cities, Megaprojects, Healthcare, Innovation and Change, Smarter Rural, and Smarter Universities;
- In many countries, free access to local or regional groups. For example, there are 34 regional groups of GPM in Germany that physically meet once a month for local community building and networking;
- Access to national and international female networks and regional women´s tables;
- Access to the national Young Crews, the vibrant international global network for young professionals in project management and students up to the age of 35 years. National and international workshops, conferences, competitions, awards and championships offer a range of possibilities for young professionals to learn and enhance their competences and network;
- Access to national and international Coaching and Mentoring Programs;
- Access to the latest research study results like national career and salary surveys, and the possibility to participate in current research studies by the world´s most prestigious project management researchers;
- Free access to the national Project Management journals;
- Free access to about 350 Project Management eBooks by van Haren Publishing;
- Access and reduced fees to the best Project Management Training courses and seminars in your local language;
- Reduced fees for all IPMA Certification products 4LC (4-level certification), IPMA Agile Leadership, IPMA CCT (Coaching, Consulting and Training) and IPMA Delta;
- Free personal CPD (Continuous Professional Development) account on my.ipma platform, for collecting the annual further education credits for the recertification;
- And finally, access to the national and global individual, research and various project and program management awards schemes;
- Upcoming free access to around 200 publications, including preparatory material for the certification examinations of IPMA Ecosystem of products and services (4-level certification, certification for Consultants, Coaches and Trainers). This material will be published by Van Haren Publishing, which signed an agreement with IPMA in late 2022;
- Access the upcoming pamphlets and testimonies of why global majors and players such as Infineon, Renault, Siemens and Alstom (IPMA global customers) certify their Project Managers based on IPMA competence-based certification standards.
The individual fees in the national member associations vary from country to country and can not be generalized. The analysis of the advantages listed above demonstrates that both the professional and the financial benefits for individual members outweigh the annual membership fee cost. I suggest checking your national member association´s website for further information on the local benefits and fees. If there is no national member association in your country, it is possible to become an individual foreign member.
The start of the new year is an excellent opportunity for new resolutions, like more professional networking. The national project management associations help you to achieve this goal. Search for national member associations on the social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. It is possible to visit local or regional events without obligation to get a first impression, to know new people who probably have similar challenges to cope with like you, to exchange experiences, build networks, find a mentor or career coach and even to find new buddies and friends.
All is possible, but you must set the goal and take the first step, as every Project Manager knows well.