group of participants

National Centre for Project Management

About the Centre

The National Centre for Project Management (NCPM) is an interdisciplinary centre of excellence, operating in collaboration with industry, government, third-sector organisations, national and international think tanks and the learned societies. We foster a trans-disciplinary perspective that covers all aspects of implementing successful project and programme management, regardless of sector.

NCPM was established in 2003 to encourage transdisciplinary thinking in project management and has earned a stellar reputation for thought leadership and shaping the profession through its engagement, dissemination, educational, consulting and business activities. In the autumn of 2018 it relocated to Lancaster University, where it is part of the Management School.

In exploring the new frontiers of project management knowledge and capability, NCPM endeavours to reflect the increasing role of projects and project management in modern society as well as the organisational, strategic, cultural, environmental and societal implications associated with instituting sound project practice.

This broad perspective positions NCPM as the leading centre of excellence specialising in all aspects of managing projects and strategic change initiatives.

Our vision

NCPM aims to set the national agenda and establish project management as a major profession and discipline in the UK.

Our mission

We aim to foster active dialogue about the integration of successful practice and theoretical research within project management.

Strategic objectives

NCPM focuses on developing the trans-disciplinary and essential facets of the discipline of project management, by means of:

  • providing thought leadership
  • disseminating and publishing new ideas through two established book series
  • directing the development of the project management body of knowledge
  • encouraging, fostering and participating in leading-edge research
  • developing innovative educational programmes and courses
  • launching the UK’s first professional doctorate in project management
  • Qualifications

    Explore our range of project management qualifications from Master's to PhD.

  • Publications

    Explore our collection of resources including books and blogs written by international experts.

  • Contact Us

    Get in touch with us to discuss opportunities to address your business needs.

Our expertise

NCPM provides a forum for addressing national issues and challenges and draws on industry, government and academia to promote best practice and foster improvement in project practice. Participants share a common concern over the understanding and skill levels in project management and seek to improve and build upon current knowledge and capability.

Background to project management

Project management has grown beyond its roots in the construction, engineering and aerospace industries and is increasingly recognised as a key competence in many organisations in both the private and public sectors. The award of Royal Charter to the Association for Project Management (APM), has established a formal recognition of the profession.

This has now been strengthened through the development and release of a revised body of knowledge devised by Professor Darren Dalcher which re-positions the profession as a strategic discipline concerned with delivering value and balancing portfolios of initiatives to deliver beneficial change. While projects are being employed in most sectors, it is now increasingly acknowledged that a large proportion of economic activity is conducted through projects, programmes, portfolios and megaprojects. Yet, many organisations require support, knowledge, expertise and capability development and enhancement in this area.

Project management is clearly becoming a major enterprise. The PMI (Project Management Institute) estimates that over $20 trillion (USD) worth of projects, will be rolled out worldwide throughout the year 2019. The IMF projects that the world economy in 2019 would combine for a total gross world product of around $88 trillion (USD). It appears that project work accounts for a significant proportion of global economic activity. Moreover, governments, charities and industry heavily rely on policy implementation and strategy execution through projects, programmes, portfolios and megaprojects. Indeed, project work offers a framework to help organisations to transform their mainstream operations and service performance through beneficial change. It is viewed as a way of organising for the future. Moreover, in an increasingly busy, stressful, and uncertain world, it has become necessary to manage complex portfolios of initiatives to adapt and sustain success.

Employees working on project


Our services

Engage with our leading international experts to address your business needs, develop tailored solutions and gain a competitive advantage.

Bespoke training and development

We offer training activities tailored to your needs, designed to address your specific challenges, including a range of diagnostic workshops and a variety of developmental activities designed to improve teams, interpersonal relationships, and project management skills and competencies.

Managing external projects

Consultancy and management support, or an actual service offered for managing a variety of externally funded projects

Project rescue

Help and support in the rescue and turnaround of live projects.

Assessment and evaluation

We offer a range of recognised and bespoke improvement, assessment and evaluation activities, including project assurance, benchmarking and a variety of maturity assessments and evaluations and process improvement workshops.

Our programmes

Latest News

Our people

For more information on the National Centre for Project Management, please get in touch using the details below:

Centre Director

Darren Dalcher

Professor Darren Dalcher

Professor in Strategic Project Management

Centre for Technological Futures , Pentland Centre

D37, D - Floor, Charles Carter Building


Ian Cammack

Dr Ian Cammack

Senior Teaching Fellow in Project Management

External members

Mary McKinlay is a Teaching Fellow at NCPM and Managing Director of Mary McKinlay Projects Ltd Project Assessment and Training.

She is a former Board Member and Trustee of APM and a former Vice President of the International Project Management Association. She is an Adjunct Professor of Project Management at ESC Lille. Mary’s expertise is in project and programme management, risk management and systems engineering. Her special field of interest is aerospace and defence.

Mary has worked in project management for over 30 years as a practitioner, researcher and trainer. Following a degree in Systems Engineering, she started her career on the Tornado aircraft project and has subsequently worked on many large programmes. A further dimension was added by participation in research programmes involving collaboration between industry and academics (Alvey, SERC and ESPRIT). One of these projects was to generate a process model for project management. This underlined the need for project management improvement and influenced her later work.

Industry Advisory Board

The Industry Advisory Board (IAB) is a high-level independent advisory group constituted to provide guidance and direction to the NCPM in the areas of research, business and educational/training trends. The IAB is a volunteer organisation and represents industry, commerce, government and the professional societies through a combination of representative and individual members.

The IAB provides a defined mechanism to:

  • identify, assess and discuss new trends in project management
  • provide guidance to NCPM and the research and teaching communities associated with it
  • share experiences and perspectives across domains
  • offer a forum for interaction between researchers and academics, industry and government in shaping the national agenda and seeking improvements
  • propose new directions in education, training and research and development
  • provide the underlying support for the development and promotion of NCPM and the interdisciplinary approach to project management.