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The Core Skills of Project Management

  • Course Overview

    In recent years, project management has become increasingly recognized as a corporate discipline in its own right. Organisations have become ‘project focused’ as they realize that the project methodology offers a structured approach to achieving organizational goals and competitive success.

    But what exactly is a project? What is project management all about? Project Management is about leading a team of diverse functional specialists towards a defined goal or outcome for which the project exists to deliver. This is however, not as easy as it might sound. Projects must operate within defined parameters, they often reflect a step into the unknown, are subject to a multitude of stakeholder influences and agendas and the environment within which they operate is often rapidly changing.

    Project management is in itself, therefore a discipline that requires and demands both a vast and varied set of skills for those tasked with the role of Project Manager.

    This course has been specifically designed to provide the delegate with both a comprehensive and a holistic perspective of project management – to build a solid foundation from which to develop the required core skills to be a successful project manager and ensure delivery within the ‘iron triangle’ of cost; time and quality.

    This course is an immersive experience with a significant emphasis on open dialogue and participant involvement in a variety of exercises and scenarios.

    Who Should Attend?

    This course will be of most value to:

    • Project Managers
    • Project Engineers
    • Those who deal/interact with project managers/teams
    • Anyone wishing to gain a thorough understanding of Project Management

  • Day One:

    Session 1: The Project Methodology

    • Exploring the project methodology – what is it and why is it used by organisations?
    • The advantages and disadvantages of utilizing a project methodology
    • Class exercise
    • Identifying project risks and opportunities
    • Examining and understanding project risk

    Session 2: The Project Lifecycle

    • The project lifecycle
    • The project manager – a specialized set of skills
    • Scenario 1: Dealing with the Human Element
    • Scenario 2: Cross Functional Dealings

    Session 3: Key Components of a Project

    • The Project Business Case
    • Scenario 3: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    • Class Exercise
    • The Project Sponsor
    • Scenario 4: The power dimension
    • The Project Scope – critically important
    • Scenario 5: Too wide; too narrow; too little; too late
    • An overview of Project Interfaces
    • Class Exercise

    Exercise (in syndicates): Participants will write a simple business case that deals with project operations within a remote environment. A spokesperson will present their thoughts/analysis to the class.

    Session 4: Project Scheduling

    • Overview
    • The Concept of Precedence
    • The Precedence Table
    • A brief overview of Network Diagrams
    • The Critical Path Method
    • The Gantt Chart
    • Class Exercise


    Exercise (in syndicates): Participants will attempt to identify and list different interfaces that exist within a large, complex project. A spokesperson will present the groups’ findings to the rest of the class. Exercise 2 (in syndicates) teams will attempt to construct a simple precedent table for required project activities.



    Day Two:

    • Session 1: Project Scheduling (con.)
    • The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
    • The Work Package
    • Class Exercise

    Exercise (in syndicates): Participants will choose a project with which they are familiar (or be provided with one). They will identify all of the Work Packages then construct a Work Breakdown Structure for their project, showing the work packages. A spokesperson will present the groups’ work to the rest of the class.

    Session 2: Resource Management

    • Classifying Resources
    • Utilising the Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS)
    • Cost/Time/Resources (CTR) and Project Planning
    • The Critical Problem of Constraints
    • Trade-off’ Decision making
    • Project ‘Crashing’ explained
    • Project ‘Fast Tracking’ explained

    Session 3: Lead Time Management

    • Lead Time Management
    • Class Exercise
    • Managing Remote Teams
    • Scenario 6: Time zones and tempers
    • Exercise (in pairs): Participants examine the scenario given and share their thoughts with the rest of the class.

    Day Three:

    Session 1: Stakeholder Mapping and Analysis

    The problem with Stakeholder agendas
    Stakeholder power and influence – a shifting dynamic over a project’s lifecycle?
    Stakeholder Identification and assessment – ‘stakeholder mapping’
    Class exercise – stakeholder mapping
    Scenario 7: Dealing with Stakeholder Agendas
    Establishing/re-establishing constructive engagement with stakeholder groupings
    Dealing with local content and Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR)

    Exercise (in syndicates): Following on from the project in the previous exercise, participants will now attempt to identify all of the relative Stakeholder groupings and assess their likely impact upon the project. They will demonstrate the use of a ‘Stakeholder Matrix’ and the ‘Stakeholder Cyclical Model’ discussed in class. A spokesperson will present the groups’ work to the rest of the class.

    Session 2: Performing Due Diligence

    • What is the purpose of ‘Due Diligence?’
    • The ‘key’ areas of a corporate DD - proprietary technology; access to markets; transparency; corporate image; social and environmental policies; financial strength
    • Class Exercise: The DD process – how to conduct one, some useful techniques


    Exercise (in syndicates): Continuing from the past two exercises, syndicates will now utilise the analysis techniques presented in class to create scenario’s relative to their project. A spokesperson will share the groups’ findings with the rest of the class.

    Day Four:


    • Session 1: Dealing with Change Orders
    • Change orders and the Project Scope
    • Understanding the reasoning behind a change order – is it applicable or appropriate?
    • The 3 common reasons for change orders – client specification changes; poor ‘scoping (errors and omissions);’ changes in the environment
    • Establishing the audit trail
    • Scenario 8: ‘The dangers of doing someone a favour’
    • The importance of Price Escalation clauses
    • Change orders and contractual breach – a significant issue?
    • Scenario 9: ‘How the hours have flown by’
    • Change orders and Liquidated Damage Clauses (LDC’s) – a direct relationship?
    • Change orders and Force Majeure


    Exercise (in pairs): Participants will consider some simple scenarios to make a determination as to whether Force Majeure applies or not. A spokesperson will share their thoughts with the rest of the class.

    Session 2: Effective Communication 
    • Overview – what is effective communication?
    • The different forms of communication
    • Scenario 10: Understanding non-verbal communication
    • Factors that impact upon communication
    • The ‘5 Keys’ to being an effective communicator
    • Maximising Presentation skills
    • Class exercise – presentation skills

    Exercise (in syndicates): Participants will consider the linkages between effective communication and presentation skills based on the material covered in this session. A spokesperson will present the groups’ findings to the rest of the class.
     Session 3: Q&A; open discussion and course closeout

  • Our Tailored Learning Offering

    Do you have five or more people interested in attending this course? Do you want to tailor it to meet your company’s exact requirements? If you’d like to do either of these, we can bring this course to your company’s office. You could even save up to 50% on the cost of sending delegates to a public course and dramatically increase your ROI.

    If you want to run this course at a location convenient to you or if you want a completely customised learning solution, we can help.

    We produce learning solutions that are completely unique to your business. We’ll guide you through the whole process, from the initial consultancy to evaluating the success of the full learning experience. Our learning specialists ensure you get the maximum return on your training investment.

  • We have a combined experience of over 60 years providing learning solutions to the world’s major organisations and are privileged to have contributed to their success. We view our clients as partners and focus on understanding the needs of each organisation we work with to tailor learning solutions to specific requirements.

    We are proud of our record of customer satisfaction. Here is why you should choose us to help you achieve your goals and accelerate your career:

    • Quality – our clients consistently rate our performance ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’. Our average overall score awarded to us by our clients is nine out of ten.
    • Track record – 10/10 of the world’s largest banks have chosen us as there training provider and we have delivered training across the largest banks and have trained over 25,000 professionals.
    • Knowledge – our 100+ strong team of industry specialist trainers are world leading financial leaders and commentators, ensuring our knowledge base is second to none.
    • Reliability – if we promise it, we deliver it. We have delivered over 25,000 events both in person and online, using simultaneous translation to delegates from over 99 countries.
    • Recognition – we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council and the CPD Certification Service. In an independent review by Feefo we scored 4.2/5 on service and 4.7/5 on Coursecheck
This course can be run as an In-house or Tailored Learning programme


  • Christopher Lennon


    Christopher Lennon has 30 years’ experience within the oil and gas industry – initially working offshore on rigs in the UK and Norway before becoming involved with projects and supply chain issues. He helped establish an anti-corrosion production facility in Aberdeen for casing tubulars – running the production facility initially before going on to create and manage the supply chain. He has set up distribution networks supporting the North Sea E&P industry within Aberdeen. He has managed (and continues to do so) a variety of ‘special projects’ internationally – normally strategic or change management focused. He has worked/consulted extensively within the field of supply chain management – is a contracts specialist and an international commercial arbitrator. Chris is empanelled as both an Arbitrator and a Mediator at the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC); has the Freedom of the City of London; is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators and a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.He holds an MBA and LLB from the University of Aberdeen, as well as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators DipICArb. He has over 20 years teaching experience including a number of universities across a wide range of subjects. Chris works internationally consulting/training. He is the Author of ‘The Silver Bullets of Project Management,’ published by Taylor and Francis, release date 30 September 2021.