Change control is the process through which all requests to change the baseline scope of a project, programme or portfolio are captured, evaluated and then approved, rejected or deferred
APM P3 Management

The change control of projects is a formal process to ensure that the proposed changes are considered and introduced in a controlled and coordinated way to minimise any disruption to project activity or, place undue burden on generally scarce resources.

Causes of change

Changes in a project can happen due to a number of reasons, both internal and external to the organisation, such as:

  • new information coming to light
  • inadequate business requirements
  • legal or regulatory requirement
  • changes in organisational strategy
  • new technology becoming available

Impact assessment

Once the cause has been identified, you will need to carry out an impact assessment to evaluate how this will affect the project. A change request form (.docx) must be completed if the project has experienced slippage or needs to make changes to the previously approved:

  • timescales (go live / project end date)
  • project budget (overall)
  • project scope
  • resource profile

The process of completing a change request form helps the Project Manager and the Project Board to determine the potential impact and cost of changes from the agreed business case.

Good practice guidelines

Good practice guidelines for requesting a change to a project:

  • don't wait – if it looks like things will go beyond the agreed tolerances in the plan this should be flagged up as early as possible to the Project Board. The Project Board will either identify mitigating action or decide to escalate a change request through the relevant sub group, Capital Projects Board / Systems and Academic Processes Project Board, prior to consideration by the appropriate committee, Capital Planning Group / Project Coordination Group
  • what is the impact – understand the impact/potential impact, dependencies and risks for this and other projects and discuss the change request with those who may be affected
  • talk it through – if a decision cannot be reached when discussing issues and priorities, the change request should be escalated to the Authority Group for a decision
  • keep us up to date – all change request forms should be sent to the relevant boards and committee’s via the Project Governance Office at An early indication to the secretary of the board/committee will enable sufficient time to build the change request into any forthcoming agenda’s or, if necessary, obtain a decision via chairs action. A record of the change request decision is vital for audit trail purposes

After the change form is submitted

The project  change request form (.docx) is completed by the project manager and should be endorsed by the project sponsor prior to submission to

The request is then reviewed by SAPB/CPB who acts as a critical friend to ensure it contains all required information to enable Project Coordination Group (PCG) to make an informed decision.

PCG considers the change notice alongside any recommendations from SAPB and makes a decision on whether to approve, reject, or defer the change request. If the change is approved, all relevant project documentation must be updated accordingly and the change must be communicated to all stakeholders.

Some changes may also require re-baselining of the project scope, budget and/or milestones.

Contact the Project Governance Office at to discuss a change if you are unsure.

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