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January 10, 2017

PRINCE2® has undergone a major update, its first since 2009. Long recognized globally for delivering successful projects, PRINCE2 is the method of choice for over a million certified practitioners worldwide. The updated guidance, due for release in mid-2017, will place a strong emphasis on the scalability and flexibility of the method and on how best to tailor it to the complexity and specific requirements of a project.

In fact, the philosophy and practice of tailoring permeates the entire PRINCE2 2017 update As a result, the method will respond reliably to the demands of today’s project management environment and its imperatives for versatility and agility. Now anyone with a project to manage, even if he or she is not a full-time Project Manager, will find PRINCE2 even easier to adapt to the needs of any organization and the project in hand.

The updated PRINCE2 guidance, Managing Successful Projects, will initially be available in English, with other languages to follow in due course. It has been developed in close consultation with over 100 project management professionals from the widest possible range of sectors and cultures, including PRINCE2 Practitioners, academics and organizations from across the world. The update has been shaped by their real-life experience of successfully applying the method, and of rising to professional challenges as technology changes the game, the expectations of customers and stakeholders grow, and it becomes imperative to achieve more with less financial outlay.

Peter Hepworth, Chief Executive Officer of Axelos said:

“Time and again we hear that the only constant in the world is change, and PRINCE2 is evolving to respond to changes in business practice. At the same time, the key elements of PRINCE2 remain a constant: rooted in the realities of working life and as relevant as they ever were. The method’s strength, derives from decades of best practice in project management across diverse organizations and industries.

“As always, this latest evolution of PRINCE2 consolidates a wealth of real-life experience gained by the worldwide Axelos-accredited community. This means that it can be trusted to provide practical, authoritative and relevant guidance, which enables anyone with a project to manage to get the best out of PRINCE2 and to achieve success for themselves and their organization.”

PRINCE2: meeting the changing demands of project management

The update has been prompted by evolutions in business practice over the last decade. It reaffirms the validity of PRINCE2’s approach while responding to the shifting demands of today’s environment; half (50%) of organizations globally, and 80% of PRINCE2-certified Practitioners, acknowledge the value of working in an agile way.1

In a survey of 2,400 professionals, 88% of PRINCE2 practitioners said that the certification had aided their career progression and was valuable in their current role (85%). The survey also found that a wide variety of professionals were applying the method, from full-time project managers (32%), IT (18%) and management consultants (15%), to a growing number of C-suite directors (6%)1 The survey shows that project management skills are becoming essential to any professional’s armoury, and this is recognized in the updated PRINCE2 guidance. Flexibility has always been a key factor in the success of PRINCE2, and the updated method now gives further guidance which can be applied by anyone who has a project to manage, regardless of their job title.

Updated PRINCE2 Guidance and examinations

Business professionals familiar with PRINCE2 will notice that the update is characterized by an enhanced emphasis on:

  • tailoring PRINCE2 to the needs of organizations and project environments
  • the principles that underpin the PRINCE2 method
  • clarifying the link between the themes and principles
  • the restructuring of the themes guidance to accommodate specific examples of tailoring
  • the practical application of guidance, with updated diagrams, examples, hints and tips.

Updated PRINCE2 in English

The English version of the updated guidance, Managing Successful Projects will be available in mid-2017, closely followed by the new versions of the Foundation and Practitioner exams in English.

From the launch of the updated exams, and until the end of 2017, candidates may take either the existing or updated English version of any PRINCE2 examination. From January 2018, all Foundation and Practitioner exams in English will be based on the updated version of PRINCE2.

Updated PRINCE2 in additional languages

The roll-out schedule for the book/exams in other languages will be announced in late 2017. The versions currently in preparation are: Dutch, German, Polish, French, Danish, Norwegian and Italian.

For holders of current certification

Current PRINCE2 Practitioner certificates will remain valid until the end of their five-year period and Practitioners will remain eligible to join Axelos’ PRINCE2 Membership programme.


  1. Online survey of 2,400 business professionals, conducted by Axelos between 22 February and 7 March 2016.