project management professionals planning a PRINCE2 project

The Ultimate Guide to the PRINCE2® Foundation Course


This post is for people interested in a Project Management career and those who want to know how the PRINCE2® courses and qualifications can help them build their knowledge and land a job in Project Management. 

PRINCE2® is a Project Management methodology used by project teams for managing the successful delivery of projects.

It can be mastered through Project Management certifications like the PRINCE2® Foundation, a course that teaches the theoretical knowledge of planning, managing, and delivering projects. 

Expect the most up-to-date and relevant information on this Foundation course, including what PRINCE2® is, its themes, processes, and principles. 

You will understand why this course is suited to people new to Project Management and why it is the ideal starting point for professionals looking to validate their Project Management skills and experience and grow further into their careers.

Are you ready to learn more about one of the most widely used Project Management methodologies worldwide? Great, let’s dive in!

What is the PRINCE2® Methodology?

project management professionals planning a project

As a Project Management professional, your ultimate goal is to deliver successful projects on time, within budget, and within the required scope.

PRINCE2® guides project professionals through the entire project lifecycle, providing a structured and standardised approach to managing projects.

This flexible and scalable methodology can be tailored to meet specific project needs and requirements, making it an ideal fit for any project.

This methodology helps streamline the Project Management process and achieve successful project outcomes every time – when applied correctly.

PRINCE2® comprises a Foundation level (PRINCE2® Foundation) and a Practitioner level (PRINCE2® Practitioner).

What is the PRINCE2® Foundation Course in Project Management?

This certification is an entry-level Project Management training programme accredited by  Axelos, part of PeopleCert. It sits one level below the PRINCE2® Practitioner qualification.

Regarding entry-level Project Management certifications, the PRINCE2® Foundation is highly recommended for building knowledge that can serve as an ideal entryway into the sector. 

As a foundation course, it is a comprehensive certification that teaches the PRINCE2® methodology and its fundamental principles, processes, themes, and techniques. 

The course covers a range of concepts, including: 

  • Project Planning
  • Risk Management
  • Quality Management 
  • Change Management and
  • Project Governance.

One of the key benefits of the PRINCE2® methodology is that it offers a systematic approach to Project management, which helps ensure project delivery happens timeously, within budget, and to required quality standards. 

This flexible, adaptable, and scalable framework makes it suitable for use in projects of all sizes and complexity levels.

What is Included in the PRINCE2® Foundation course? ( When you Study With ITonlinelearning)

  1. Unlimited, 3-month access to the PRINCE2® Foundation Course
  1. Official PRINCE2® Foundation Exam
  1. Certified Tutor to provide assistance with course queries
  1. Access to a full Support Team for assistance with the examination, notes, and study queries
  1. A Simulated Project Assignment for additional insight into applying PRINCE2®
  1. A professional, Project Management-oriented CV rewrite
  1. A LinkedIn profile overhaul to maximise your new networking opportunities

Understanding the 7 Processes, Principles, and Themes of PRINCE2®

PRINCE2 certified professionals in an offce
professionals working in an office

What are the 7 PRINCE2® Processes in Project Management?

The 7 processes are structured activities to aid the successful completion of projects. They are comprehensive, clear and act on defined inputs to produce tangible results. 

  1. Starting up a project 

The project team prepares the project brief and appoints the Project Manager. The Project Manager ensures the project is viable and feasible before it begins.

  1. Directing a project

The project team provides the project board with the information it needs to make informed decisions about the project. The committee ensures the project remains aligned with the organisation’s objectives, within budget, and on schedule.

  1. Initiating a project

The project team defines the project’s objectives, scope, timelines, and resources required. The project manager creates the project initiation document, which outlines the project’s goals and expected outcomes.

  1. Controlling a stage

The project team monitors and controls the project’s progress at each stage. The project manager ensures that the project remains on track and within budget.

  1. Managing product delivery

The project team delivers the products and services required by the project. The project manager ensures product and service delivery meet required quality standards within budget.

  1. Managing a stage boundary

The project team reviews the progress and makes necessary adjustments before moving on to the next stage. The project manager ensures that the stage boundary review is completed successfully and that issues and risks are accounted for.

  1. Closing a project 

The project team formally closes the project and ensures all objectives are achieved. The project manager creates the end project report, summarising the project’s achievements and lessons learned.

What are the 7 Principles of PRINCE2® in Project Management?

The 7 principles provide a framework for effective Project management. These principles include:

Principle 1: Continued business justification 

What it means: Ensuring a valid reason for undertaking the project that aligns with the organisation’s objectives and justifies the resources and costs required.

Principle 2: Learn from experience 

What it means: Continuously improving the Project Management process by learning from previous projects and experiences.

Principle 3: Define roles and responsibilities

What it means: Clearly define the project team’s roles and responsibilities so everyone knows what is expected of them and can work efficiently together. 

Principle 4: Manage by stages

What it means: Breaking the project into manageable stages with specific objectives, timelines, and deliverables to ensure that progress is measurable and manageable.

Principle 5: Manage by exception 

What it means: Establishing clear tolerances for each aspect of the project helps the project manager focus on exceptions and deviations outside of those tolerances.

Principle 6: Focus on products

What it means: Defining and delivering the products and services required by the project to meet its objectives.

Principle 7: Tailor to suit the project environment 

What it means: Adapting the Project Management process to match the project environment, size, complexity, and other factors that may impact the project’s success.

What are the 7 Themes of PRINCE2® in Project Management?

The 7 themes provide a structured approach that guides project managers in managing projects effectively. These themes include:

Business case: Ensuring that the project aligns with the organisation’s objectives and provides a return on investment by identifying costs, benefits, and risks associated with the project.

Organisation: Defining the project team’s structure and responsibilities to ensure efficient Project Management and clearly defining roles for each team member.

Quality: Defining and delivering quality products and services that meet the project’s objectives and requirements through quality planning, assurance, and control.

Plans: Creating and maintaining an overall project plan and detailed stage plans that outline 

objectives, timelines, and resources required to complete the project.

Risk: Identifying, assessing, and managing risks that may affect the project’s success through risk identification, assessment, response planning, and monitoring & control.

Change: Ensuring changes to the project are correctly assessed, authorised, and managed through change control, configuration management, and issue management.

Progress: Monitoring and controlling the project’s progress so it remains on track to meet its objectives by monitoring and reporting on project performance, taking corrective action as needed, and ensuring that the project remains aligned with its goals.

The PRINCE2® Foundation Course: Explained!

project management professionals collaborating
project management professionals collaborating

What is the Purpose of the PRINCE2® Foundation Course?

The Foundation certification is an introductory-level course that teaches the theory of the PRINCE2® methodology. 

The primary objective of this certification is to validate the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the methodology to participate as part of a Project Management team effectively.

In addition to providing a fundamental understanding of the methodology, the Foundation certification also serves as a prerequisite for the PRINCE2® Practitioner certification.

What are the Levels in PRINCE2®?

There are two levels for the PRINCE2® qualification: Foundation and Practitioner.

PRINCE2® Foundation: This level provides an introduction to the methodology and covers the basic concepts, principles, themes, and processes of this framework.

The Foundation course assesses a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the methodology and whether they can apply it in a given project scenario.

The PRINCE2® Foundation exam is a multiple-choice exam with 60 questions that must be answered in 1 hour. The pass mark is 55%, and the exam is a closed book.

PRINCE2® Practitioner: This level is designed for individuals who want to apply the PRINCE2® methodology to real-life projects. 

The Practitioner level builds on the knowledge gained at the Foundation level. It focuses on how to apply this method’s principles, themes, and processes to a project scenario.

The Practitioner exam is an objective-testing exam consisting of 68 questions per paper that must be answered in 2.5 hours. 38 marks or more are required to pass. 

This is an open-book exam, meaning candidates can refer to the official PRINCE2® manual (Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2®) during the exam.

How is the PRINCE2® Foundation Delivered?

We at ITonlinelearning provide an interactive online learning environment to study the PRINCE2® Foundation course.

When you study the PRINCE2® Foundation with us, you gain access to a professional learning portal where your course is delivered via high-quality video content. 

You also get access to PDF content, interactive quizzes, sample exam questions, and practice tests. 

A dedicated Tutor: We assign you your trained Tutor, whose job is to support you in preparing for your exams. They will share tips and strategies for studying and time management during the exam.

Think of them as that knowledgeable friend who is always ready to offer advice and help when you most need it. 

Who Should Consider the PRINCE2® Foundation?

The PRINCE2® certification is designed for people working in a project environment and people interested in pursuing a Project Management career. 

The certification is relevant for project managers and professionals overseeing project design, development, and delivery.

The certification is also valuable for other key staff members who play a critical role in the success of a project. This includes Project Board members and the project steering committee. 

How is the PRINCE2® Foundation Examination Structured?

  • Multiple choice questions
  • 60 questions per paper
  • 33 marks required (out of 60 available) to pass: 55%
  • One hour’s (60 minutes) duration
  • Closed book exam

PRINCE2® Foundation Frequently Asked Questions


Is PRINCE2® a Good Start for Project Management Beginners?

The PRINCE2® Foundation online course is a great place to start for beginners. You will learn the basic principles and the terms project managers and teams use. 

How Long Does the PRINCE2® Foundation Qualification Last Once I’ve Obtained It?

The PRINCE2® Foundation certificate is valid for 3 years, after which must be renewed. 

Can I Study the PRINCE2® Foundation Course Around My Existing Commitments?

Yes. The PRINCE2® Foundation course is specifically designed for those with busy schedules that require the flexibility to study independently.

Who is the PRINCE2® Foundation For?

The PRINCE2® Foundation is the first step on the Project Management career ladder. 

You will gain sufficient knowledge and an understanding of the methodology, giving you the knowledge and confidence to contribute to a Project team.

What is the Difference Between PRINCE2® Foundation and PRINCE2® Practitioner?

The PRINCE2® Foundation qualification is considered an entry-level Project Management course, whereas the PRINCE2® Practitioner qualification is the next step after completing the Foundation.

Can PRINCE2® Foundation Increase My Salary in Project Management?

 Remember that employers want to hire skilled people for Project Management roles. Obtaining this qualification will place you ahead of people who lack accredited certifications; this will, in turn, increase your earning potential.

Can You Put PRINCE2® After Your Name?

It depends! So, you can, for example, put “PRINCE2® Registered professional” on your CV. However, you cannot use the PRINCE2® logo as that is reserved for accredited organisations only. 

Study the PRINCE2® Foundation in Project Management With ITonlinelearning.

planning a PRINCE2 project in an office
planning a project

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The global population is more mobile than ever. You never know where you may end up working one day. Think long-term and obtain the qualifications recognised wherever you are in the world.  

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With us, you get 0% interest finance plans that are fully flexible and range from 6 to 12 months, allowing you to enrol on your course with complete peace of mind. 

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Each of our students has a different path ahead of them. We customise your learning experience to suit your needs.  

Make your next career decision your best one. 

Why not speak to one of our knowledgeable career experts to understand the options and opportunities available to you with this qualification? 

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