MSP® Programme Management Certifications

  • Certification levels
  • Taking the exams
  • My MSP

MSP Certification: Foundation and Practitioner

AXELOS offers two levels of MSP certification:

The MSP Foundation certification introduces the Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) method and terminology. Foundation certification ensures you understand the MSP guidance well enough to work in a team to deliver or manage a programme. It confirms that you can act as an informed member of a programme office, business change team or project delivery team working within an environment supporting MSP.

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

MSP Foundation: target audience

MSP Foundation is invaluable for individuals who are interested in learning how to manage multiple projects and programmes successfully. It is designed to support programme or project managers, people working in a programme office, business change managers, and programme and project delivery team members who wish to gain a greater understanding of the MSP guidance to work more effectively in large scale project or programme environments.

MSP Foundation: examination format

  • Multiple choice questions
  • 60 questions per paper with one mark available per question
  • 36 marks required to pass (out of 60 marks available) - 60%
  • 60 minutes’ duration
  • Closed book.

MSP Practitioner: target audience

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

MSP Practitioner: examination format

  • Multiple choice questions
  • 58 questions per paper (including 6 matching questions worth 3 marks each), 70 marks available in total
  • 42 marks required to pass - 60%
  • Two-and-a-half hours’ duration
  • Open book exam.
    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.

The MSP Practitioner certification will expire after three years. In order to maintain your qualification and ensure there are no gaps in your Practitioner status, you can either retake the MSP Practitioner Exam before the expiry date or maintain your certification through CPD points and a digital badge. If you choose to follow the CPD route you will need to purchase a subscription to My MSP which costs £50 +VAT per year.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus, from 13 April 2020 to 31 December 2021 individuals are now permitted to print PDFs for exams and use PDFs or official e-books on a second e-device (portable digital devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops) during open book exams.

For more information about the previous version of MSP, see our MSP 4th edition section.

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.

Training costs

AXELOS is not a training organization or examination institute. Prices for training courses and exams are set by our partners.


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

At present the MSP 5th Edition exams are only available in English.

Sample papers

Test your exam readiness with these sample papers.

For more information about the previous version of MSP, see our MSP 4th edition section.

Become a My MSP subscriber and you can access a wide range of content to help you pass your exams, to excel in your role and to advance your career.

Help me excel in my role

Access the latest best practices to help you apply MSP best practices to your programme management and help you excel. Your subscription gives you access to:

  • Best Practice Subscriptions
  • Project Management Software - Project in a Box
  • Project Management Templates.

Help me advance my career

Use our online tools to help you plan and record career development activities as you progress in your career. You can access:

  • Online CPD toolset to plan and record your development
  • Assess and benchmark your skills against PPM job roles
  • Stand out with a digital badge.

Find out more about My MSP.

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