Project Management for Affordable Housing Development – Course Review

I found this course to be hugely beneficial. It has helped me gain an in-depth knowledge of the project management process and in turn has enabled me to improve as a project manager. The course demonstrates best practice/ ideal world methodologies and considerations and although this sometimes isn’t possible, it has meant I have been able to evaluate the processes I have in place and change them. For example I now realise fully what should be done in terms of quality management/ stakeholder engagement and the importance of taking time to do a project management plan.

It has also given me more confidence at site meetings to ask questions relating to critical paths and risk as I have a better understanding of how they work and should be managed. The section on leadership and teamwork was useful. The theories were insightful and it has allowed me to understand the different roles people play which I think has contributed to better working relationships.

Andrew and Dave were really helpful and encouraging and always had time to answer questions.

This was definitely one of the most challenging courses I have done in terms of time and volume. Advice for any future participants: Read all of the course material well in advance of the course, possibly twice(!) and ensure you do the homework and submit questions for marking in the ‘off weeks’.

Claire Coxsell

Development Manager, Clarion Housing group on the 2016 PM4AHD course

Having just completed this course and successfully passing, it helps to crystallise the day to day role in development and subsequently build on our existing processes to make our roles a lot easier over the term of a project.

Having fairly limited experience in project management/development, if you can apply yourself right, commit time over the two months and acknowledge what is advised in terms reading course content prior to the course and practising exam questions, then the tutors will get you through to passing – with their vast experience and knowledge of the PM role in practice and the syllabus theory of APM and how the two relate.

Good luck all.

Micheal Bull

Development Officer, Golding Homes, on the 2016 PM4AHD course

PM4AHD is a very intensive yet enjoyable course which links key principles of APM project management and tailors them to affordable housing development. The course itself took place over 9 days across a 5 week period and was split into 3 x 3 day sessions. Of these there were 8 full days of course training, concluding with the exam on the last day. Having the course split up like this was really helpful as it meant not having to be out the office for 9 days in a row, but also gave time in between sessions to allow for reflection on what had been studied. This really helped with the learning process.

I would certainly recommend taking the PM4AHD as a course to study for the APMP as it is really tailored to ‘how we work’ in development. David’s industry and BoK knowledge was invaluable to gaining an understanding of APM principles and coupled with Andrew’s understanding and background in the RP sector it helped us to see how each of the course topics tied into how they work back at the ranch! Having now studied both the Introductory Certificate and the APMP I have been able to put in place several tools and techniques to help both myself and the rest of our development team work more efficiently!

The course itself is intense and you cover a lot of ground in a relatively short space of time. However, one of the key things to help you pass the exam is the training that’s also provided on exam techniques which is invaluable advice to helping understand how to answer questions accurately. Plenty of opportunities were also given on each session to practice exam questions on the different topics. Again this was really helpful so that we were familiar with what sort of questions might come up on the exam.

Students need to plan their day job well while they are off, get to grips with all the course reading and be prepared to doing some homework. But if you can commit to this then it’s well worth the effort! This course is perfect for anyone wishing to take their development skills and knowledge to the next level.

Dan Cornelius

Development Manager, Saxon Weald, on the 2013 PM4AHD course

The course was over 10 days split into 3 x 3 day sessions over a couple of months I felt that this made it easier to carry out my day job, compared with taking 2 weeks back to back and missing 2 weeks of work.

We also had private study to do which consisted of practice questions, which were then marked by David. This was essential….and we got better over time!

Every morning we would have a group recap/brainstorm on what we had learnt the day/week before, all with a focus on a what sort of exam question would come up.

There was a group of 5 of us which made it quite intimate and 1-1 tutoring, but I think that it could just as easily have accommodated more, probably up to 10/12 people.

I was thinking about taking the standard APMP but when this came up, I thought it was excellent as it promised us the grounding in the development process. David wasn’t familiar at first with the “ development way of doing things” but this is why Andrew’s involvement was so helpful. However, David was very knowledge about the APM BoK and saw very quickly what we might do in our jobs to adapt to the APM standard.

At the end of the day, even though it had the grounding in development, we had to concentrate on using the APM vocabulary which was constantly reinforced throughout the course. Being Project Managers and managing projects already, most of us knew the answers already but David and Andrew managed to tease this out of us and put a APM BoK definition to it.

I have never been taught “exam technique” before, but David went through how many questions we would need to answer to get the right points to pass the exam, what we could afford to miss (we all have topics we prefer). For example, the Explain question meant we had to think about who, what, when, where, why, how…. This was so helpful, and wish I’d been taught this years ago!

I certainly have a lot more tools to help me day to day. My manager has noticed a change and that I’m now thinking more like a project manager rather than thinking I have to be an expert in ALL the legal, technical aspects etc.

I would definitely recommend the course, but it is not for the faint hearted… It is a very intense couple of months! Students must plan their day job and plan when they are going to do their homework!

Samantha Phelps

Development Project Manager, Guinness, reflecting in August 2013 on the 2012 PM4AHD course