About the PM4SD

PM4SD (Project Management for Sustainable Development) is an internationally recognized methodology and professional qualification designed to help ensure tourism projects deliver benefits for all stakeholders and achieve lasting impacts.

While the importance of sustainable tourism has been receiving increased recognition in recent years, too often, funding for delivering sustainable tourism projects has been spent without achieving any substantial results due to factors such as: lack of a solid needs analysis; poor planning and project design; and inadequate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

The methodology of PM4SD has been developed to empower project managers, policy makers and entrepreneurs with tools and techniques to better plan and manage funding and investment in the tourism context, and to overcome these challenges, with the key goals of:

  • Delivering long-term benefits beyond the project life cycle for all stakeholders.
  • Ensuring projects achieve substantial results for destinations and communities.
  • Empowering professionals to use tourism as a positive force for social, economic and cultural change.


PM4SD Foundation Course

European Travel Commission members have the opportunity to join the PM4SD Foundation Level training in a facilitated online course format, which includes self-paced learning materials, scheduled interactive live sessions and exercises tailored for this group. The course period will be scheduled over a 4-week period, with an expected workload of few hours per week.

Course Structure:
The PM4SD-Foundation facilitated online course consists of:

1. Weekly modules including recorded video lessons and readings that can be accessed at your own pace;

2. Scheduled interactive live sessions to enhance learning results through sharing ideas, examples and best practices;

3. Individual exercises to practice applying the PM4SD methodology to different project contexts.

4. Online discussion forums for discussing questions, exchanging ideas, and sharing additional resources.

Throughout the process, our Course Facilitator will guide you along the way, and you will receive email updates to help you keep track of your progress.

sustainable tourism management, planning, monitoring, risk management, sustainable tourism KPIs, the European Green Deal, sustainable tourism certifications and tools, marketing and promoting sustainable tourism.

Introduction: Getting Started on the PM4SD Online Course

Get started on some introductory learning content and course activities.

  • How Does the Course Work?: Become familiar with the course flow, and learn how to navigate the course platform.
  • Meet Our Team: Get to know the people behind the PM4SD online course.
  • What is PM4SD?: Learn about the PM4SD approach, vision and philosophy - the foundation of what you will be learning throughout the course.
  • Project Management Issues and Challenges: Learn about and discuss some of the main issues and challenges with sustainable tourism projects.


PM4SD Methodology and Project Management Overview

The first module provides an overview of the PM4SD methodology, including the fundamentals of sustainable tourism, which is key to the context in which PM4SD is used; the principles and standards in sustainable tourism; and the key characteristics of PM4SD projects, such as how success is defined, how project stages are planned, and what conditions are considered to ensure good governance.

  • Tourism Context: Learn about and discuss the definitions, principles and indicators relevant to the concept and approach of sustainable tourism.
  • Sustainable Tourism Standards: Get to know the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, the baseline standards for sustainability in travel and tourism, and the European Tourism Indicators System (ETIS), a tool for destinations to measure and monitor sustainability performance.
  • The PM4SD Approach to Project Success: Understand the key variables within a project that must be considered and controlled, and other factors that influence the project's success or failure.
  • Project Life Cycle in the Tourism Sector: Understand the different stages of a project, which has a start and end, and needs to transform plans into actions during its lifetime.
  • Governance and Leadership: Learn how to foster conditions for good governance that enable effective collaboration and active participation. 


Key Components of a PM4SD Project

In the second module, a more in-depth look into a PM4SD project is presented, with discussions on the why, who, what, how, and when of the project management approach, all with an emphasis on ensuring that the project delivers tangible and lasting benefits to all stakeholders.

  • Business Case: Understand how projects are justified as desirable, viable and achievable, bringing measureable benefits and delivering products with concrete value.
  • Risk, Issue and Change Management: Learn how project managers can identify, assess and address any events that might have an impact on the project objectives and results.
  • Organization Structure: Learn how to define the various roles in the project and the specific responsibilities and accountabilities associated with those roles.
  • Quality Planning and Management: Learn how a project manager should incorporate in project stage planning the necessary steps to ensure a product’s readiness before its delivery.
  • Product-Based Planning: Learn the techniques to approaching a project’s stage and activity planning with the PM4SD’s "focus on product" principle.
  • Progress Control: Learn the procedures and techniques to monitor and assess progress against the project’s planned objectives at different levels of planning.


PM4SD Project Management Processes

The third module of this course covers the specific processes within a PM4SD methodology, offering step-by-step instructions on setting the project direction; initiating the project; defining project stages; managing deliverables; and closing the project.

  • Project Direction: Learn how to manage project activities using a Project Board.
  • Project Initiation: Learn how to define project performance goals and produce documented plans at the start of the project.
  • Stage Definition and Planning: Learn how to define and plan project stages, ensuring alignment with strategic objectives.
  • Stage Control and Product Delivery: Learn how to manage each delivery stage within the constraints set by the project objectives, and to ensure quality in the delivery stage.
  • Project Closure: Learn how to ensure a controlled and structured closure.


PM4SD Benefit Realisation Management

In the fourth module of this course, key questions around the benefits delivered through the projects are discussed, by mapping the benefits (and their links to strategic objectives and project outputs), providing clear descriptions of the benefits created and their value to the project; and establishing concrete plans for realizing and managing those benefits.  

  • From Outputs to Benefits: Understand the definitions of, and the difference between project output, outcome and benefits.
  • Measuing the Benefits: Learn how to measure project benefits, which is key to managing those benefits - before, during and after the project.
  • Disbenefits: Understand the possible negative side effects of a project, and learn how to measure, minimize and manage them.
  • Benefit Realisation Plan: Learn how to use Benefit Maps and Benefit Profiles to effectively develop and execute a benefit realisation plan.
Director of Training Strategy and Development, TrainingAid
Managing Director, Jlag
International tourism consultant, researcher, and speaker
Founder and CEO, McKenzie Gayle Limited
Sustainable Tourism Consultant
Ferdinand Weps's picture

Questions? Talk To Your Course Advisor

Email Ayako Ezaki with your questions or to schedule a call.