Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O®) Foundation

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Industry expert trainers

14 study hours

Quizzes & workshops

Practice exams

Exam voucher included



Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O®) by AXELOS offers project management office (PMO) practitioners with a set of principles, processes, and techniques that effectively align to PRINCE2®, MSP®, and M_o_R®. By implementing the knowledge and skill imparted by this guidance, professionals can effectively provide a balanced portfolio of change and ensure consistent delivery of projects and programmes.

P3O® Foundation is the first step for practitioners who wish to develop an understanding of the P3O® guidance. In addition to adding to their understanding and skill, this certification equips them with the knowledge they will need to achieve the P3O® Practitioner qualification later on.

Learning Objectives

In addition to preparing you for the P3O Foundation certification exam, this course’s learning objectives as defined in the Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O®) guidance are:

  • Learn the high-level P3O model and its component offices 
  • Understand the difference between Portfolio, Programme and Project Management 
  • Learn the key functions and services of a P3O 
  • Understand the reasons for establishing a P3O model 
  • Understand the difference between types of P3O model and the factors that influence selection of the most appropriate model 
  • Learn the tools and techniques used by a P3O
  • Understand the purpose and major responsibilities of the defined roles

Who Should Attend this Training

  • Members of P3Os 
  • Professionals who work in offices incorporating a P3O model
  • Professionals who wish to understand the terminology and concepts that make up the model
  • Resources who communicate with a Portfolio Office


There are no prerequisites for the P3O Foundation certification. That said, knowledge of project management is preferable.

Examination Format

  • 75 multiple choice questions
  • 70 scorable questions and 5 trial questions
  • Passing criteria is 50%, i.e. 35 marks out of 70
  • 60 minutes duration
  • Closed book

What’s Next?

Upon achieving the P3O Foundation credential, certified professionals can expand their knowledge with the P3O Practitioner certification.

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Training Delivery Options


  • How P3O adds value
  • Maximizing value of P3O
  • Getting investment for the P3O
  • The approach to maximizing the value of a P3O
  • Types of funding models for temporary and permanent offices
  • Typical timescales for implementing a P3O
  • Appropriate cost models for permanent and temporary P3Os

  • Strategic planning / portfolio support functions
  • Delivery support functions
  • Center of excellence functions
  • P3O model design considerations
  • Success factors for P3O offices
  • Independent assurance of P3O
  • Levels of governance within a P3O for three different functions
  • How P3O model types support the delivery of change
  • Sizing of a P3O for a permanent or temporary office
  • P3O structure and reporting lines

  • Implementation lifecycle for a permanent P3O model
    • Identify
    • Design
    • Deliver capabilities & realize benefits
    • Close
  • Implementation lifecycle for a temporary programme or project office
    • The focused set of stakeholders
    • Organizational context
    • Definition and implementation of a temporary programme or project office
    • Running a temporary office through to delivery
    • Treatment of internal resources within a temporary project office
    • Closing down a temporary programme or project office
    • Recycling
  • How PPM maturity will impact on the design, planning and delivery of the P3O Model and the P3O Blueprint
  • Activities to implement or re-energize a permanent P3O.
  • Activities to implement a temporary programme or project office

  • Tool vs. technique
  • Types of tools & techniques and their usage
  • Benefits of using standard tools and techniques
  • Critical success factors when introducing tools and techniques into the P3O
  • Examples of P3O tools & techniques
  • The factors involved in complexity modelling
  • Selecting and developing a tools requirements document for a PPM solution
  • Choosing knowledge management tools and techniques
  • Critical success factors and benefits of using tools and techniques

  • P3O management roles
  • P3O generic roles
  • P3O functional roles
  • The skills and competencies required to fulfill the roles
  • To which functional area or office in a P3O model each role might be allocated

Exam & Certification FAQs

Does the P3O Foundation certification expire?

No, the P3O Foundation certification does not expire.


Is the certification examination available in languages aside from English?

Yes. In addition to English, you can choose to attempt the certification examination in German, Dutch, Polish, and Chinese.


What about the 2008 edition of P3O Foundation?

AXELOS still offers the 2008 edition and lists the examination format on its website. However, the accredited Examination Institute PeopleCert only offers the 2013 edition examination.


Can I attempt both the Foundation and Practitioner exams on the same day?

Yes, you can. However, you will receive only the Practitioner examination certificate.


How quickly will I get my examination results?

Preliminary results for the P3O Foundation exam may be provided to you upon submitting your answers. However, your final results will be sent to you within two business days.

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