Exploring the value of project management certification in selection and recruiting

Ali Dehghanpour Farashah, Janice Thomas, Tomas Blomquist

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


For many years project management has been moving toward professionalization through voluntary certification. Simultaneously, recruiters increasingly use voluntary professional certification as a signal of applicant competencies and likely future performance, to increase the efficiency of the selection process. This practice increases the value of certification to holders and leads to the growth of certification. However, despite significant research into the value of voluntary certification in numerous occupations, results linking certification with performance are tentative at best. We contribute to the growing body of research exploring the performance signaling ability of certification by empirically examining the case of project management professional certification using survey responses from 452 (certified (370), and uncertified (82)) international project managers. Our findings provide some support for this recruitment and selection practice, not through a direct relationship between certification and performance but by showing that self-efficacy mediates the relationship. Certification also relates to higher levels of professionalism. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these findings for recruiters, project management professionals, and professional associations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-26
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan. 2019


  • Performance
  • Professionalism
  • Project management
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Self-efficacy
  • Signaling
  • Voluntary certification


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