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Submarine project managers hit the charter mark

L-R: Lisa Penfold, Andrew Stone, Glyn Cragg, Gordon Warnock (Project Management Director), Matthew Bayley, Darren Platt and Steve Bryce. Not pictured but also gaining Chartered status are Mark Johnson, Steve McKinnell and Suzanne Cooper.

The first group of project managers employed by BAE Systems Submarines to gain Chartered status from the Association for Project Management (APM) are celebrating their success.

The group of nine have spent time undergoing a gruelling assessment which examines technical knowledge and professional practice.

The prestigious qualification means they have now gained a professional qualification recognised widely across industry.

Among those to qualify is Barrow-based Head of Project Controls Lisa Penfold: “For me, applying for Chartership was an opportunity to validate my years of practice and confirm that I was operating at an industry recognised standard. It did take time to prepare a written submission so you can clearly articulate your professional experience and technical knowledge of project management.”

She added: “Completing my Chartership application required me to reflect on the practical experience I’d gained over my career and it was surprising when I gathered it all together what a range of skills I’d accumulated.

“I’ve been fortunate in the roles I’ve undertaken within BAE Systems in that they’ve all involved complex project situations; it’s this type of practical experience that the APM are seeking in their Chartered Project Professionals.

“Finding out that I’d been successful in gaining Chartership was a fantastic feeling and gave a real boost to my confidence.”

Among those also qualifying are Surrey-based colleagues Steve Bryce from Frimley and Suzanne Cooper from Ash Vale.

Steve, who had already previously gained technical APM qualifications, said: “Achieving Chartered status demonstrates that we have been independently recognised as reaching a defined level of technical knowledge, professional practice and ethical behaviour. I was keen to apply for Chartered status as the next logical step in my professional development.”

Suzanne, unlike Steve, did not have the pre-requisite qualification for technical knowledge, but found that the competencies she had gained in delivering complex projects over the last five years within BAE Systems met the criteria to be part of Submarines’ first cohort.

“For me, gaining Chartered status means that my level of professional expertise and experience has been acknowledged against an internationally recognised standard,” she said.

The successful completion of the first cohort means more may now be encouraged to take part in the next wave of study.

Tony Kaighan

Faculty Development Manager Tony Kaighan paid tribute to those who gained Chartership: “My role as PM Faculty Development Manager is to encourage professionalism for our discipline. Working with the training provider (QA) and the delegates throughout the year I now understand how difficult it is to gain this qualification.

He added: “A number of the newly qualified group have agreed to support future candidates on the Chartership programme. This is something that I think will help significantly as we strive to increase the numbers of Chartered project professionals and drive professionalism.

Having Chartered project professionals is a vital part of professionalism and our ongoing strategy to ensure we have people that have demonstrated ability to delivery complex projects, programmes and Portfolios.”

Nine have so far gained Chartered status but this is expected to increase to 50 by the end of next year.

“I have worked in Project Management across BAE Systems for 25 years and I am hugely enthusiastic about the work that has been done over the years to ensure that Project Management can now be considered to be a true Profession,” Paul Fisher, BAE Systems’ Head of Project Management People Capability and Faculty, said. “The new designation of Chartered Project Professional (ChPP) is the highest Project Management accolade and confirms an individual’s experience, knowledge and capability and should be considered as the equal to, for example, becoming a Chartered Engineer.”

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