Do You Qualify for PMP Certification?

You may have wondered if you qualify for the PMP certification. We're here to dispel your doubts and go through the appropiate analysis with you.

Keyword(s): PMP Certification

To answer the question whether you qualify for the PMP certification you need to think about what you've been working on before. If you have worked on creating something new, like product, system, process, etc. you definitely qualify. In this article we examine the detailed requirements regarding PMP certification, so that you can be sure that you are qualified to receive it. 

What is PMP certification?

According to Project Management Institute PMP certification is designed for project professionals and validates that you are highly skilled in:

  • People: emphasizing the soft skills you need to effectively lead a project team in today's changing environment.
  • Process: reinforcing the technical aspects of successfully managing projects.
  • Business Environment: highlighting the connection between projects and organizational strategy.

PMP validates that you have the project leadership skills. The new PMP includes three key approaches:

  • Predictive (waterfall)
  • Agile
  • Hybrid

What types of work qualify for PMP?

In the majority of cases, PMI is likely to accept that your experience is project related, without further scrutiny. But that doesn't mean you could for example misstate your experience and hope nobody will notice it. Apart from it being a serious ethical violation it would could also easily bar you from ever obtaining your PMP certification. And moreover, PMI uses random selection audits to verify that people are truthfully outlining their work experience. 

These audits are simple. First, you provide evidence of your educational background by copying your diploma and sending it in. Next, someone you worked with on each project you listed signs a form saying that you have accurately described your work. The last step is showing that you received the required 35 hours of professional development which is a must-have to take the exam.

Usually the audit ends quickly after you provide all the information and your work is proven to be project related. Next step is taking the exam. 

How much work experience is needed to get PMP certification?

First thing is college degree. If you have it you will be required to show it. Then you need to show that you have spent at least 4.500 hours working on projects. Important thing is that your project work should take place over at least three-year period. These two requirements are needed to get PMP certification. 

For example: 

You worked on a big project for over 4.500 hours but all the work was done in less than three years, let't say, two. In that case, you would not qualify for a PMP certification. But, if you had worked on another project for full year or more, you could use it to fill that extra time needed to meet the overall time requirement.

Now let's assume that you worked at least 4.500 hours on the project that lasted three full years and you were involved in it the whole time. In this case, you have satisfied both the volume and duration requirements. Keep in mind these requirements are seperate; you may go well over the 4.500 hours but still not meet the duration requirement if those hours were not spread over a three-year period.

Important thing is that your experience cannot be overlapping. That means that you cannot say that you spent two years working on one project, and another two years working on other project if they actually overlapped in time. If the first project began at the same time as second one, but after the first ended, the second lasted for 6 months longer, then you can add extra 6 months to overall time credit. This is very important and it's good to keep that in mind when adding up your experience. To sum up, PMI wants to know if you worked on projects for at least three calendar years and if you spent the time of at least 4.500 hours on all project activities. 

If you don't have a college degree, but e.g high school diploma or other document, you can still get your PMP certification, but the requirements increase. Here you would have to show not three, but five years of overall project work experience, as well as 7.500 hours for the volume requirement. All other requirements are the same, the numbers just increase for the work experience.

Another thing you need to prove is that during your project experience, you have worked on each of the five process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing. 

One final thing to remember on the experience requirement is that PMI will not consider work experience you obtained more than 8 years before the date of your application. This cutoff sometimes makes it difficult for people who worked on projects in the distant past, but have not done much recently. So make sure that you can meet the requirements using only experience obtained in the last 8 years.

Next Steps

While thinking about whether you qualify for PMP exam application you need to focus on your work experience. Answer yourself this question: Was I working to create something new - product, service, system, process, etc.? If yes you can go to next steps which are adding project work's total hours and duration that we described. 

If you do think you qualify, the PMP certification that is very good news for your career. Taking the exam opens the door to increased salary and better job opportunities. Read more about our course and prepare for PMP exam

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