An Overview of the PMP Certification Process and PMP Requirements

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Pursuing the PMP® Certification might well be one of the best decisions for your career development as you will gain the valuable credential behind your name once you passed the PMP® Exam. However, if you are new to PMP®, chances are that you may find the PMP® Certification Process and PMP® requirements a bit complicated when you rely on reading the 56-page PMP® Handbook alone. There are lots of requirements and time events involved in the PMP® Certification process and many of the contents seem Greek to beginners.

Fortunately, infographics are a great tool to help simplifying complicated procedures and concepts. The infographic below summarizes all the important process involved in the process of getting PMP® certified which is especially beneficial to visual learners to get a mental route of the whole process .

An Infographic of the Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification Process

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The PMP® Certification Process and PMP® Requirements Step-by-step

  1. PMP® requirements 1: Get enough project management working experience
    • If you have a secondary degree (e.g. high school diploma, associate’s degree) :
      at least 5 years of project management experience with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects
    • If you have a four-year degree (e.g. bachelor’s degree) :
      at least 3 years of project management experience with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects
    • What is project management experience?
      • You need not be assigned the title ‘project manager’ but you must carry the responsibility of managing the project.
      • The experience must involve all the 5 process groups of the project management lifecycle (i.e. initiating, planning, directing, monitoring & controlling and closing the project, you will know more about these after your 35 hours of project management education). However, you do not need to be involved in all the 5 process groups for every project.
      • The experience must be gained through engaging in project management works (i.e. you have to manage the project, not working for part of the project managed)
    • If you don’t have the required project management experience, you might consider the Certified Associate in Project Management Certification (CAPM®) which is also offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). There is no experience requirements for taking the CAPM® exam. Further information on CAPM® can be found here.
  2. PMP® requirements 2: Have the required 35 Hours of Project Management Education
    • The project management education can be any lessons on project management which does not need be based on the PMBOK® Guide Guide issued by PMI® taken at any time before your PMP® application. Examples can be project management component in your degree curriculum, evening short courses in project management, etc.
    • If you have NOT received the project management education yet, you should seriously consider PMP® prep courses that are accredited by PMI® (termed as PMI® Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.)) in order to also assist your PMP® Exam preparation.
  3. Apply for the PMP® Certification at You will need to sign up an account first. Once you beginning fill in the application form, you can store the data at PMI®’s server for 90 days, after which your information will be deleted forever.
  4. It is highly advised to apply and pay for being a member of PMI® (annual membership fee of US$129, extra US$10 for the first year) to enjoy the discounted PMP® Certification fee, a downloadable copy of PMBOK® Guide Guide and the online PMP® exam reference books. Although the PMI® members is not mandatory for applying for the PMP® Certification, your saving with the discounted PMP® fee will justify the first year’s membership fee.
  5. Submit your application and wait to get the approval from PMI® for the application
  6. Pay the PMP® certification/examination fee online. Currently the fee is US$405 for members and US$555 for non-members.
  7. If being selected for an PMI® audit, submit the required documents (i.e. proof of working experience, academic achievement and 35 hours of project management education) to PMI® by mail for approval. If you are selected, you will get an email immediately after you have settled the exam fee; if no audit email is received, then it is safe to assume that an audit is not required.
  8. Schedule the PMP® Exam at Prometic (the URL will be sent to you by PMI® through email). The date of the examination should be within 1 year of submitting the fee. If you are selected for an audit, the date will be postponed to the approval date of your audit. You can have up to 3 chances (to be charged separately for each try) to take the PMP® exam within the 1-year validity period.
  9. Sit and pass the PMP® Exam. Or, retake the exam if failed.
  10. Upon passing the exam, you are a PMP® immediately and the 3-year PDU cycle begins. Your PMP® certificate will be mailed to you within 6-8 weeks. You can also request a PMP® lapel pin to be mailed to you free of charge.
  11. Collect 60 PDUs per 3-year cycle to maintain the PMP® credential.
  12. Report the PDUs to PMI® and apply for credential renewal once you have collected enough PDUs. The renewal fee is US$60 for members and US$150 for non-members. The new certificate will be mailed to you within 6-8 weeks.

The Next Step >>

After getting the overview of the PMP® Certification Process and determining that you meet the PMP® requirements, now get a rough idea of the kind of input in term of money, time and efforts in getting the PMP® Certification so that you can make an informed choice of whether to pursue PMP® or not.

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