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Professional Port Manager (PPM®) Certification Program

The AAPA Professional Port Manager Program is an unparalleled industry certification designed to shape the future of port leadership and enhance port management professionalism. The online application for the class of 2023 will open on October 15th, 2018.  If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact Andrew Cameron at acameron@aapa-ports.org.

PPM® class participants receive a 20% reduction in seminar and conference registration fees being taken to meet PPM® course requirements.  For more information on registration discounts, contact Katie Miller at kmiller@aapa-ports.org

PPM Brochure

Application Steps


Advance Your Career with a PPM Certification


The AAPA Port Professional Manager Program is built on a foundation of interactive class-room-based, instructor-led sessions held over a four-year term where participants have access to the best and brightest thought leaders in the maritime industry. Covering all aspects of port management profession, these interactions enable you to become a seasoned professional and a valuable asset to your port.


Candidates are required to complete all of the following core training seminars

  • Marine Terminal Management Training
  • Executive Management Training
  • Finance Seminar
  • Environment Seminar
  • Public Relations Seminar
  • Facilities Engineering Seminar
  • Port Administration and Legal Issues Seminar
  • Information Technology Seminar

In addition, they must attend any two of the following elective requirements

  • Cruise Seminar
  • Shifting International Trade Routes
  • Security Seminar

Improve the Effectiveness of Your Organization


Ports increasingly expect executive team members to work across departments, collaborating with colleagues from different work backgrounds and areas of knowledge. While a healthy strategic plan and team building exercises can make sure everyone Is working toward the sam outcomes, they don’t always provide training that ensures senior managers understand each other’s roles and responsibilities.

By attending a wide variety of seminars focused on key line departments, as well as Executive Management conference and the Marine Terminal Management Training program, PPM candidates achieve an unparalleled understanding of roles of coworkers and counterparts. PPM classes attract port staff from a wide variety of disciplines, enhancing the learning experience for all participants. PPM graduates are uniquely positioned within their own organizations to reduce staff conflicts, lead multidisciplinary programs and streamline staff efforts on critical projects.

Experience hands-on project-based learning

The final requirement of the PPM certification is the successful completion of a project of the candidates choosing. This real-world learning experience ensures a functional knowledge and understanding of port management principles, roles and responsibilities, and techniques.

There are three options for meeting the project requirement:

  • Author and present an industry white paper on a topic that advances port management theory or practice
  • Assist on a port-specific project, such as a strategic plan, public relations campaign or economic analysis, then provide an executive summary on the experience and contribution to the project
  • A “residency” of no less than two weeks at port other than their own to gain experience and expertise in another port environment and bolster professional relationships.

Who Should Apply to the PPM Certification Program?

If you’re an experienced port manager looking to grow your understanding of the maritime industry, then the PPM is the right choice for you. The eligibility requirements:

  • Seeking validation or accreditation for future career growth
  • Are a full-time employee of an AAPA member port or organization
  • 5+ years of management experience
  • Have a referral to the program by their Port Director/CEO