PMI Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC)

Effective Date and Duration: 01 January 2022 to 31 December 2022

Committee Purpose:

(Overall charge, purpose, or focus of this committee in helping the PMI Board to do its job.)

In alignment with PMI Bylaws Article II, Purposes and Limitations of the Institute, Section B., 2. I., the purpose of the GAC, through accreditation of academic programs, is to identify, develop, and maintain accreditation standards and principles to advance excellence in project management education worldwide. The GAC's primary objective in the accreditation process is to ensure that educational programs awarded GAC accreditation adequately prepare students to meet the current and anticipated needs of businesses and government organizations for qualified professionals working in the field of project, program, and portfolio management.

The GAC, governed solely by this charter, is PMI's sole policy-making body in all decisions related to accreditation of academic degree programs in project, program, and portfolio management or related professions in accordance with industry standards. To align with industry standards in the accreditation field in higher education, committee members of the GAC will be referred to as GAC Directors.


(Products the committee is tasked to produce.)

Ongoing Deliverables:

  • Review charter, including the roles and responsibilities section, at first GAC meeting annually.
  • Develop, approve, administer and maintain policies and procedures for accrediting academic programs related to project, program, and portfolio management or related professions that are consistent with nationally and internationally recognized accreditation standards.
  • Make accreditation decisions concerning academic programs seeking GAC accreditation.
  • As requested, support product piloting and engagement efforts as prescribed by PMI strategy.
  • Work with the GAC Staff Liaison to finalize the number of vacancies, evaluation criteria, and weightings and provide to the Board Volunteer Advisory Committee (BVAC) by the deadline established.

One Time Deliverables:

  • Pursue recognition of GAC by external recognition body (e.g. CHEA).
  • Pursue market expansion through accreditation of academic, credit-bearing certificate programs.
  • Support market expansion and business improvement through the exploration of the use of expert volunteers on GAC Director subcommittees and/or additional Directors or staffing to support strategic initiatives and the increased accreditation business.
  • Engage key stakeholders and marketing consultants to develop a business case with targeted value propositions for GAC accreditation for use by faculty and program directors in market expansion.
  • Engage key stakeholders to enhance outreach and recruitment through the regions.
  • Business improvement through implementation of the GAC Director’s decision model.

Every 5-year Deliverable:

  • Review of the GAC Accreditation Standards utilizing current educational theory and practices in project, program, and portfolio management and related professions, revising as necessary. Current review cycle begins 2020.

Administrative and Reporting Requirements:

(Reports to PMI Board through whom, when, and how?)

  1. Uses standard agenda, note-taking and reporting templates.
  2. Written reports submitted to Executive Committee for review at their July meeting. Subsequently, Executive Committee will distribute reports to the Board, via e-Receipt Calendar, in January and October.
  3. Verbal reports to the Board given upon invitation.

Resources and Budget:

(In terms of budget, staff, etc.)

  • The GAC budget is a separately identified account included in the PMI Program Plan and Budget that includes projected expenses of and fees to be collected by the GAC and is approved annually by the PMI Board of Directors. PMI contributes to the GAC operations by providing in-kind resources including staff, overhead and facilities.
  • PMI approves annually and provides direct funding to GAC operations to offset expenses not met by accreditation revenues realized in any given year.
  • Board Communication Point of Contact is the Strategy Oversight Committee (SOC) Chair and he/she should make initial connection with GAC Chair in January.
  • PMI staff assigned by President and CEO.

Committee Composition and Terms:

  • The GAC Directors are a group of 11 volunteers including one chair and one vice-chair. Each director serves a three year term with the option to complete the nomination process for a potential second term.
  • The PMI Board of Directors will appoint 6 GAC Directors using the BVAC process.
  • The GAC will elect 5 Directors, that provide representation from academia and industry and at least one of which will be a public member representing the public-at-large. The public Director shall not be currently or previously employed in the project management field and shall be in good standing in his or her professional community.
  • The process followed for selection is that as each position becomes open the GAC Directors or the PMI Board of Directors alternately makes a selection. The chart below lists the positions becoming available and the number of directors to be appointed by each body.
  • The PMI Manager of Academic Programs shall serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the GAC.
  • Directors will serve staggered three-year terms and may be reappointed for not more than one additional term.
  • PMI leadership and the Board value and strive for inclusive representation of volunteer leaders on our Board Support Committees that reflects our organization, membership, and profession. Our success today and into the future relies on our ability to capitalize on diverse perspectives and points of view resulting from a balance of gender, age, experience, industry, skill set, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and other factors deemed relevant. The evaluation and recommendation process fully appreciates, considers, and is informed by the value derived from diverse representation.

Volunteer Requirements, Experience, and Skills:

  • PMI membership is not a prerequisite.

Required Criteria:

  • Practical, hands-on experience in conducting international regional or professional academic accreditation assessments for recognized accreditation bodies (e.g. GAC, SACS, ABET, AACSB) and meets at least two of the following criteria:
    • Led an academic program through a successful accreditation process
    • Served on an accreditation body
    • Participated on at least 3 GAC On-site Visit teams
  • Cannot be involved in an accreditation process that is currently in deferred, denied or suspended status.
  • Professional experience serving as an academic leader in higher education for a project management related program (e.g., Dean or Director of project management program at a top tier/anchor university).
  • Minimum of 5 years' experience as full-time faculty member teaching project management.
  • Commitment to and knowledge of the role of academic accreditation in project management education.
  • Converse and read English

Desired Criteria:

  • Experience as a project manager in industry with 5 years of experience.
  • Accreditation on-site visitor experience for another accreditation body.

Committee Chair and Contact Information:

E-mail Address: [email protected]

Committee Chair Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. Connects with PMI Chair (or his/her designee), on an as needed basis, with questions or concerns.
  2. Guides the GAC in accomplishing the mission and objectives detailed in the charter and in accordance with established Institute policies. Keeps the GAC focused.
  3. Ensures all Directors are fully oriented on the GAC objectives, deliverables and roles/ responsibilities at the GAC's first meeting.
  4. Ensures all Directors are aware of and adhere to the processes and timing established by the PMI Board for placing items on the PMI Board agenda for discussion and deliberation, i.e., follow the PMI Board calendar; submit completed PMI Board agenda form; ensure that GAC has consensus approval of items before presentation to the PMI Board.
  5. Works toward building a sense of trust, productivity, and camaraderie within the GAC.
  6. Develops a work plan in coordination with the Manager of Academic Programs (Executive Liaison) that will allow the committee to effectively and efficiently discharge their responsibilities.
  7. Develops meeting agendas, in coordination with the Manager of Academic Programs, using the standard agenda template.
  8. Conducts meetings of the GAC and directs the communication for GAC matters.
  9. Works to ensure that meeting notes capture consensus agreement items and follow-up actions of the Committee using the standard meeting notes template.
  10. Assigns tasks among the GAC Directors, as necessary.
  11. Promotes consistent participation and timely connection to all teleconference meetings and addresses nonproductivity within the GAC.
  12. Works with Executive Liaison to ensure GAC work is carried out between meetings.
  13. Works with Executive Liaison to develop final reports, proposals and supporting documentation for the PMI Board and that the material presented to the PMI Board accurately reflects the work of the GAC and is submitted in a timely fashion.
  14. Provides updates on GAC's deliverables at Executive Committee meetings, as requested by the PMI Board Chair.
  15. Provides updates to respective GAC Directors after Executive Committee meetings.
  16. Represents the GAC at PMI Board meetings, as requested by the PMI Board Chair.
  17. Works toward building a sense of trust and productivity between GAC Directors and other PMI Board Standing Committees.
  18. Works with the Executive Liaison to review the charter mid-year and offer recommendations to Executive Committee for updates to the following year's charter.
  19. Transitions the incoming GAC Chair into the role.

Communication Point of Contact Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. The Board Communication Point of Contact (Board CPC) shall connect with the Board Support Committee Chair prior to the first team meeting to introduce him/herself and ensure:
    1. Board Support Committee Chair understands the Board Support Committees exist to support the work of the Board and are accountable as defined in individual charters, which must be approved by the Board.
    2. Understanding of charter, especially purpose, deliverables and reporting process to avoid risk of misinterpretation.
    3. Clarify Board CPC Role and how the Board CPC can support the Board Support Committee Chair
  2. Stress that open communications between Board Support Committee Chair and Board CPC, President and CEO or other Content experts that may be made available to the committee to answer questions, provide guidance and assist in any way to ensure successful execution of deliverables.
  3. Review PMI Board Meeting Calendar to communicate relevant dates for submitting deliverables, reports, and agenda templates to Executive Committee and final deliverables to full PMI Board. The Board CPC is encouraged to review the submittals with the Board Support Committee Chair prior to submission.
  4. Affirm staff liaison roles and their ability to provide access to necessary governing documents, agenda, reporting templates or any other document considered relevant for the execution of the committee work plan.
  5. Connect with the Board Support Committee Chair to advise the Board's official position about certain issues or risks that may impact the committee's work plan or deliverables.
  6. If there are issues that cannot be resolved, the Board CPC should discuss the matter with the PMI Board Chair.
  7. Affirm Board Support Committee Chair will communicate the Board CPC role and other Charter items with the team members.

Out of Scope

  1. Board CPC should not regularly participate in teleconference and in-person meetings.
  2. Board CPC cannot change or revise the purpose or deliverables of the Board Support Committee, Task Team, Council, etc. If the Board CPC has a concern about a deliverable, they should discuss it with the PMI Board Chair.

Executive Liaison Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. Empowered to make decisions to support accomplishing the mission and objectives of the GAC. Any direction of the GAC that may violate Institute policy must be discussed with the GAC Chair and the President and CEO.
  2. Works in coordination with the GAC Chair to efficiently discharge and coordinate all administrative responsibilities and duties of the GAC, and ensures that an online community exists for the team.
  3. Works in coordination with the GAC Chair to develop agendas, set meeting dates and locations, and communicate meeting requirements using the following criteria:
    1. Meeting dates and locations should be determined as far in advance as possible.
    2. Meeting requests forms should be sent to the proper contact with all meeting requirements stated.
    3. Agendas should be developed using the standard agenda template and should include the meeting date, venue and meeting room on all agendas. If the meeting room name is not available at the time the agenda is distributed, then meeting attendees should be informed of the meeting room at check-in. The agenda should reflect what agenda items are tied to a stated deliverable in the charter.
    4. Handouts should be distributed to the team in advance of the meeting via the team's online community.
  4. Works in coordination with the GAC Chair to capture notes that reflect consensus agreements and follow-up actions using the standard format for meeting notes for PMI Board Standing Committees.
  5. Works in coordination with the GAC Chair to ensure all reports, proposals, supporting documentation are developed in a professional and timely manner.
  6. Works in coordination with appropriate staff to ensure that any financial, ethical, legal, and strategic implications associated with any option brought to the PMI Board is identified and revealed during the preparatory stages and that these implications are reported on the PMI Board agenda template.
  7. Ensures that an online community site is established and maintained and GAC documents are appropriately archived.
  8. Coordinates and deploys any approved external communications.

Applicable Governing Documents:

(In addition to the below, identify sections from PMI's governance documents specifically related to roles and responsibilities of this committee.)

  1. PMI Bylaws Article II, Purposes and Limitations of the Institute, Section B., 2. I.
  2. PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
  3. PMI Rules of the PMI Board 6.6, Other Committees except Rule 6.6.4. PMI Rule of the Board 6.6, Support Committees provides specific guidance to the GAC as a PMI Board Support Committee. Consistent with the unique nature of GAC as an accreditation body, GAC shall have independent authority to appoint or elect the Chair, Vice Chair and a minority of Directors to the Commission. PMI Rule of the Board 6.6.4 shall be suspended with regard to GAC.
  4. Rule of the Board 6.6, PMI Board Support Committees and specifically: 6.6.3 c) Limitations. Support Committees shall be prohibited from any activities or actions that shall cause the Institute to be legally or financially bound to an agreement or other relationships. Other Committees shall be limited to the activities set forth in the formal Other Committee Charters consistent with law, the Bylaws and all applicable Rules of the Board.
  5. Rule of the Board 12.1, PMI Board Member's Code of Conduct.
  6. PMI Strategic Plan, specifically Core Value on Volunteerism: Volunteers and effective volunteer partnerships with staff are the best way to accomplish the Institute's goals and objectives
  7. The PMI Strategic Plan provides overall strategic guidance to the GAC and includes the following relevant statements
    1. PMI Strategic Principle 14: "PMI shall advance the application of project management knowledge, concepts and theory by society-at-large, including through active support of educational practices and dissemination of project management related educational information."
    2. The PMI Strategic Plan Value Proposition notes:
      1. PMI will be seen as the organization that sets the bar on education and training in project management, based on solid evidence of what constitutes the best project managers, best project management practices and best organizational practices.
      2. Educational institutions will seek out PMI to define value-added research programs and to establish curricula, and project management will be a widely offered primary course of study.
  8. GAC Handbook of Accreditation of Degree Programs in Project Program, and Portfolio Management and Related Programs (4.1).
  9. Institute Policies:
    1. Candidate Criteria for PMI Board Appointees
    2. Confidentiality
    3. Conflict of Interest
    4. Contractor/Volunteer Electronic Systems and Communication
    5. Reporting to the Board
    6. Volunteer Records Management
    7. Volunteer Travel

Version #: 1
Date: 30 August 2021
Description: 2022 GAC Charter