AXELOS underscores that the PRINCE2 2017 UPDATE is an organic development, not a new methodology. That's correct. The PRINCE2 methodology still is the same, based on the four elements of "Principles", "Themes", "Processes" and "Tailoring". Some changes touch single processes, only a few themes and some terms. Much more attention now is on the different scenarios of tailoring the methodology to different project environments. This makes the integration of agile approaches more easy.
The details about the changes in the new version you will find in the prevous article .PRINCE2 2017 UPDATE. Generally speking the changes are not dramatic. You will not have too many problems to upgrade from an old Foundation certificate to the new Practitioner level, or to do the Practitioner re-certification in the new 2017 version.
The new Manual
Much more changes come with the official manual "Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2®" respective "Erfolgreiche Projekte managen mit PRINCE2®". The element and principle of "Tailoring to the environment" is much more prominent. Now, in the new manual, there are 2,5 chapters discussing different project environments when adapting and integrating PRINCE2. It is helpful that each of the seven themes include information about minimal requirements, and each of the seven processes include hints to tailor these processes. The bigest change is that the fundamentals of the methodology and the pricinples of PRINCE2 are described more in detail. On the other hand there are not so many details in the description of the processes any more.
Changes of the Exams
There are some changes in this area, although there still are the two levels of Foundation and Practitioner. The Foundation certificate still is valid the whole lifetime, but the duration of the Pracitioner certificarte now is reduced to 3 years. And there is no possibility any more to do a reduced re-registration. Now you have to choose whether you do a complete Practitioner exam within theses 3 years or whether you register on MyAXELOS. This new service allows you to collect a certain ammount of credits to replace the Practitioner re-certification. According to feed backs from my Prince2 courses I estimate that less than 50% of the candidates use this service. Maybe because it is in eglish language only.
In the new certification exams there are much more questions concerning the principles. Questions about the processes touch more often the aims and purpose of the processes. Questions targeting the themes deal more with aims, purposes and minimal requirements. This is valid for both exams, the Foundation as well as the Practitioner.
The exam questions of Foundation exam became mor difficult, but in exchange there are less. More change comes with the Practitioner exam. The project scenario you need to answer the exam questions is not so extensive and complex any more, that's helpful. And there are also questions about basics and principles. But the questions about details of Management Products nearly disappeared. Several of these famous but annoying and time consuming questions were removed, there is only two types of quesitions now.
Preparing well for the Practitioner exam is more important now. There is a smaller number of questions, but these are more difficult to answer. In most of the cases you have to build links between several themes and processes to be able to anser properly. You should really be an expert in knowing the manual because it is not so easy to look up just one or two pages during the exam, if you are not sureabout the correct answer.
Read the complete article in geman language: Hans-Peter Ritt: Was ist neu am neuen PRINCE2? In Projekt Magazin 21.6.2019 https://www.projektmagazin.de/blog/neu-bei-prince2-2017