You have finished your research and have finally decided to pursue your dream job of becoming a project manager by choosing to get PMP Certified. What is the next step? Where to begin this journey? In this article, we will discuss the complete step-by-step application procedure for the PMP Certification examination and earn the most sought-after certification to get the coveted job position.
Brief Introduction of PMP Certification
Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification is one of the most prestigious professional certifications an individual can earn to get themselves distinguished from the rest in the industry around the world. The professionals who have earned this certification are revered for their knowledge of the project management methodology and their proven skills in leading projects for their organizations. They are proficient in managing cross-functional teams within their organizations to deliver quality projects that meet the requirements and deliverables set by the stakeholders.
Project managers are highly skilled and understand the roles they need to play in order to ensure successful project delivery for their employers. These professionals have earned the PMP certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI), which is the global community of PMPs around the globe. The PMP certification is a stand-alone certification that defines the duties of a project manager effectively. Earning this highly valuable certification has many proven benefits like industry-wide recognition, meeting global standards, higher income, and career growth opportunities.
Every 5-7 years, PMI conducts a job analysis or survey through an independent body that includes project management professionals (PMPs) working in organizations across all major industries, globally. This helps PMI maintain its global standards and remain relevant with the changing times. It also helps align the PMP certification examination with the current trends and industry requirements.
It has been reported that there will be an additional 2 million jobs in the industry by 2027. According to the PMI survey, it was also concluded that Certified PMPs earn 20% higher than their non-certified counterparts. The latest changes in the PMP certification examination have been made to suit the demands of the project management industry.
PMP Certification Eligibility Criteria
Before deciding to register for the PMP certification examination, individuals must ensure that they fulfill all the requirements to become eligible. There are two main requirements to meet the eligibility criteria set by PMI. These are- education and experience.
According to the PMI Handbook, the requirements for being able to apply for PMP certification are mentioned in the table below:
|Educational Background||Project Management Experience||Project Management Education|
|Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or global equivalent)||Minimum five years/60 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience*||35 contact hours of formal education unless you are an active CAPM holder|
|Four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or global equivalent)||Minimum three years/36 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience*||35 contact hours of formal education unless you are an active CAPM holder|
|Bachelor’s or post-graduate degree from a GAC accredited program (bachelor’s degree or master’s or global equivalent)||Minimum two years/24 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience*||35 contact hours of formal education unless you are an active CAPM holder|
*Leading and directing the project as identified with the tasks, knowledge, and skills specific in the PMP Examination Content Outline.
It must be noted that PMI recommends all the project management experience must have been gained within the last eight consecutive years before the submission of the application for PMP certification. Also, candidates must ensure that the required hours of professional training or project management education should be finished by the application submission time.
After fulfilling all the necessary criteria and keeping the information ready, you can proceed to start the application process.
Steps for Completing the Application Process
When all the details are sorted, you can start your PMP application process by following the below-mentioned steps
Register in the PMI Official Website
The first step for any individual in the PMP application procedure is to register themselves on the official website for PMI (pmi.org). This can be done by entering all the information asked in the sections. Once you have been registered, you can go to the homepage and click on the ‘Certifications’ section. Then select PMP, you will see a link to apply for PMP and start the application process for the PMP certification.
There are three steps in the application process- Education, Experience, and Exam Details.
These are discussed below with corresponding images of the PMP application form
Complete the Education details
In this section, candidates are required to give their highest education qualification and the project management education details. This should be done according to the eligibility criteria requirements recommended by PMI in the above-mentioned table.
It should be noted that one hour of professional training counts as one contact hour. You have to record these education hours spent towards project management education only. So candidates must complete the required 35 contact hours of classroom or online instruction sessions before applying for the PMP certification.
Professional training providers like Unichrone can help aspiring PMPs in fulfilling the 35 contact hours of project management education through our PMP Certification Training Course. Along with a detailed understanding of the 10 knowledge areas of project management methodology, the training provides hands-on experience in implementing project management tools and techniques in the industry
Enter the Project Management Experience details
The second section of the PMP application form asks applicants to provide details of their project management experience. This includes the title of projects they have been a part of, the organization for whom the project was conducted, their roles, functioning area, the methodology utilized, team size, the budget of the project, and the timeline.
You have to fill in the latest project details first then the second and so on. At the end of the section, you can type in a short project description detailing your roles and achievements in the project using a minimum of 100 words.
These individual projects should fulfill the criteria of 24, 36, and 60 months according to your highest education qualification, respectively. However, PMI does not accept multiple projects carried out in a single month to become eligible to appear in the PMP certification examination. This means that projects should not overlap, if you have spent a month doing two projects at the same time then you can only record the month managing project for only one of the projects.
Add Exam details and Submit Application
Lastly, in the final section of the PMP online application form candidates are asked to add their contact details and information to be used for the examination. This also includes the country where you want to take the examination and any additional requirements.
After completing all the sections accurately, you can click on Submit Application.
You can download a copy of the application for record purposes.
PMI allows 90 days for applicants to complete the application form online. So even if you do not feel confident to finish the application form on the first attempt, you can save it and edit the application anytime you want. But make sure that the details you have entered are accurate and true. Also, have all the documents ready with you, this might become useful in case your application goes for the audit process. We will discuss this in detail in the PMI’s audit process section.
Application Review Timeline
The PMP online application review process requires 5 calendar days to complete. It is done in a timely manner and checks that all the details provided by you match with the eligibility criteria for the PMP certification.
After the application review timeline elapses or you receive an electronic confirmation of the approval of your application within the 5 days waiting period, you will be requested to pay the PMP certification examination fees.
If that is not the case then there is a chance that the application has been rejected or is selected for the PMI audit process. There is no need to panic if that happens, all applications are eligible for the audit process. Although, only a few applications actually go through it. This will be communicated with you by PMI through the mail address you have provided in the contact details.
PMI’s Audit Process
This process of PMI ensures the quality and standards of the PMP certification by checking the applicant’s credibility. This is a random process and should not be a cause of worry. The audit usually requests candidates to submit the documents to ascertain their education and experience details provided in the application.
PMI allows applicants 90 days to submit the audit documents and can take 5-7 business days to complete. This can be sent by post to the address mentioned in the mail. PMI also recommends sending all materials in one post, to ensure speedy audit review.
After the audit review is successful, you will be notified to continue your application process and apply for the certification examination. This will mark the beginning of your one-year examination eligibility period.
In case of failure of submission of the requested documents for the audit process, a candidate cannot continue with the application process.
Also, if any candidate does not agree with the audit process, it may result in a one-year suspension to reapply for any PMI certifications. So candidates should carefully read all the requirements mentioned in the mail sent for the audit and follow the instructions.
The aim of this complete guide for the latest procedures of the PMP certification online application was to simplify the application process and has covered all the sections to make it easier for you. Hopefully, with the steps mentioned above, you can complete the application confidently and begin your journey to reach the ultimate goal of becoming a certified project manager.