RPP to strengthen Shell’s project management capability

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Dayner Proudfoot is PR and Marketing Manager at the Association for Project Management (APM), the largest professional body of its kind in Europe. Dayner has over 8 years of marketing experience and is responsible for the external communications of APM.

APM created a new pan-sector standard last March to raise the bar of project professionalism to a whole new level. APM Registered Project Professional (RPP) looks to recognise the value that competent and capable project professionals can offer. This is something that Shell sees as vitally important.

The global group of energy and petrochemical companies has been developing its project management capability for 100 years and continues to build a global community of project professionals. The Shell Project Academy (SPA) is at the heart of this drive, providing a world-class competence development scheme strongly aligned to APM’s Five Dimensions of Professionalism. To ensure staff are developed to their full potential Shell has mapped RPP, along with the APMP qualification, to two of the four levels of their competence ladder.

Having a clearly defined competence ladder linked to APMP and up to RPP allows all project staff to see where they are in terms of experience and professional development, and what is required to progress their career. This way Shell can be certain to develop a competent project management community capable of delivering highly complex projects in challenging locations across the globe.

Shell and RPPIt is apparent that those behind SPA are practising what they preach with two of their senior members both achieving the designation of RPP. Head of SPA Dick Wynberg (pictured left) and senior learning advisor Geoff Smethills (pictured right) were presented with their RPP certificates by APM chief executive Andrew Bragg recently.

Dick Wynberg believes that having RPP aligned to Shell’s own professional development programme gives it that vital external recognition while providing the next generation of senior project managers a goal to aim for. He said: “Having an external RPP standard that aligns with our internal professional assessment process provides legitimacy and credibility to competence development for project managers in Shell. Furthermore, RPP will provide a level and role model to aim toward for our younger project engineers.”

Dick added that RPP will give Shell a competitive advantage: “We have already had responses from the business that this clear demonstration of externally recognised professional competence will set us apart in the market. We will aim to get our senior cadre of project leaders accredited through RPP.”

Chartered Engineer Geoff feels it is crucial to have been externally assessed as competent and have a proven dedication to his own continuing development. He said: “With the introduction of the RPP standard by APM I finally saw the opportunity to be recognised by a respected external professional association for the level of competence required to deliver mega projects in the oil and gas world.

“By achieving RPP status I not only feel personal satisfaction, but also a validation of the project management competency assessment and development programme within Shell. I am convinced this link will continue to challenge and strengthen Shell’s project management capability.”

It is RPP’s robust assessment of the APM Five Dimensions of Professionalism that sets project professionals apart. Successful candidates who have met the standard are able to demonstrate their competence to users of project management services thereby enhancing their professional status and recognition.

It is this competence assessment and development of its project professionals that Shell has a very strong commitment to. Geoff added: “For the past couple of years it’s been my privilege to be at the centre of this activity as senior learning advisor in the Shell Project Academy.”

Shell is also looking to raise the standard of health and safety in the profession by sponsoring the brand new HSSE (health, safety, security and environment) category at this year’s APM Awards. Find out more about the HSSE Award and the three finalists on page 30 of the October issue of Project.


Watch RPP – The Professionals’ Perspective (above) where four project and programme management professionals give their perspective on APM Registered Project Professional including valuable insight about the process and how important the pan-sector standard is to the profession.

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