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PRINCE2® 2009 vs 2017

Evolutions in business practice over the past decade have prompted this thorough, but not radical update of PRINCE2. It reflects a wealth of expert feedback from PRINCE2 practitioners - the people who successfully apply the method in today’s dynamic working environment - where new technologies constantly change the game, where customers and stakeholders continually raise their expectations, and where there is ever-growing pressure to achieve more with less financial outlay.

AXELOS has therefore taken the decision to refresh PRINCE2 to further enable anyone managing a project to get the best out of PRINCE2 and to achieve success for their organization.

How is PRINCE2 6th edition different?
PRINCE2 has always had a strong emphasis on flexibility, letting you tailor it for individual projects. The 6th edition eases this process with its focus on:

  • How the user can adapt PRINCE2 projects to the needs of the organisation and project environment
  • The fundamental PRINCE2 principles - the core things to keep when tailoring a project
  • Rewriting the 'Themes' guidance to make it more accommodating towards tailoring
  • Outlining the link between these themes and principles
  • Providing hints and tips on how to tailor projects with this new update

What languages is the update available in?
PRINCE2 6th edition content is currently available in the following languages: English, French, Danish, Dutch, German, Norwegian and Polish.
The new version will be translated also in Italian, Chinese, Czech and Spanish, but issue dates for these translations have not been communicated yet.

Have the difficulty of the exams changed?
The updated Foundation and Practitioner exams are slightly more difficult. However, they also have fewer questions and marks than the 5th version.

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How this affects the older exams?
From January 2018, the 5th edition exam will be gradually phased out and substituted by PRINCE2 6th edition exam.

To maintain 5th edition Foundation and Practitioner certificates, is it mandatory to re-sit new exams?
No, it’s not mandatory. PRINCE2 5th edition Practitioner certificates are valid for the full five years, regardless of the update. However, it is recommended to choose the new version, when possible.

Did anything change about the way new practitioners remain current?
The new PRINCE2 6th edition Practitioner certificate will be valid for 3 years, whereas it is five for 5th edition. To remain qualified, Practitioners will need to re-sit the full Practitioner exam.
However, there is also a new alternative option, becoming AXELOS Member.

PRINCE2 certification renaming
From 1 January 2020, PRINCE2 2017 will be referred to as PRINCE2 6th edition and PRINCE2 2009 will be referred to as PRINCE2 5th edition. The reason behind this renaming is to ensure that the PRINCE2 language is aligned with that used by other frameworks in the industry. Alongside this, the new naming reflects the legacy, heritage and authority of PRINCE2 best practice.