2018 PMP® Certification - A Complete Guide

Updated March 29th, 2018 - Reflects A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide®) Sixth Edition Updates

A Foreword About The Complete Guide to the PMP Certification

This document is designed as a complete guide to anyone seeking to achieve or maintain the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification. While this document will occasionally discuss topics and ideas outside the scope of the PMP credential, the main focus of this document is the PMP certification and all areas as they relate to the PMP certification. This includes answering questions similar to:

Mission & Purpose

We strive to create a single repository of all applicable PMP certification knowledge that can be easily digested and understood, and to establish clarity in the complex PMP certification process.

If you feel that there is information that is omitted, not adequately covered, or could use further clarification, we encourage you to reach out to us directly at contact@apextrainingcorporation.com or by completing the on-page feedback window that should appear at the bottom of this browser window. This is a living document that we actively support. This not only is appreciated by us, but by other PMP aspirants such as yourself, as we all seek to further ourselves and our careers.

Abbreviations And Acronyms

Throughout this document we will refer to the Project Management Professional certification as the PMP certification, the PMP, PMP, the PMP credential, and a few other variations. Know that these terms are generally interchangeable and all refer to the Project Management Professional Certificate offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This document will also reference Project Management as it's commonly accepted acronym, PM. Understand in these scenarios that PM means Project Management. Finally, this document will reference Professional Development Units as the acronym PDU or PDUs when plural.

This document references many various PMI documentations and handbooks. Where existing text or images were borrowed to preserve clarity of information presented, we have cited the original documentation or source material. While we encourage you to read all of these source documents in their entirety, we understand that is not always possible.

A Word From Apex Training Corporation

From all of us here at Apex Training Corporation, we wish you the best of luck on your PMP certification journey. For those of you who have chosen Apex as your PMP training and PMP examination preparation provider, thank you for choosing Apex. We look forward to seeing you in one of our many online PMP trainings or classroom PMP boot camps. For those of you using this Complete Guide to the PMP Certification as a reference or guide, we thank you for allowing us the opportunity to interact with you. While you may not be a student today, we hope you will find value in this resource that we have compiled. We encourage you to share this document with those who may also be in need of this valuable information.



The Complete Guide to the PMP Certification

Table of Contents []

  1. Overview of the Project Management Institute (PMI)
    1. What is the Project Management Institute (PMI)?
    2. A Complete List of PMI Certifications
  2. Overview of the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification
    1. Why Get the PMP Certification
    2. PMP Role Duties & PMP Job Analysis
  3. PMP Certification Process High-Level Overview
    1. PMP Certification Steps
    2. PMP Certification Process Flowchart
  4. PMP Certification Eligibility Requirements
    1. PMP Requirements Table
    2. PMP Requirements: Four-Year Degree
    3. PMP Requirements: Secondary Degree
  5. PMP Certification Application Process Overview
    1. How To Complete PMP Certification Application
      1. PMP Application Steps
      2. PMI Online Certification System Additional Uses
    2. Creating Your PMI Account
    3. PMP Application: Applying for PMP Credential
    4. PMP Application: General Information
    5. PMP Application: How To Record Experience and Education
      1. Recording Project Management Experience And Project Management Education On The PMP Application
      2. PMP Application: Recording Your Project Management Experience
        1. PMP Application: Domain Area Experience Breakdown
        2. PMP Application: High-level Project Experience Description and Summary
      3. PMP Application: Overlapping Months in Project Management Experience
      4. PMP Application: Overlapping Hours in Project Management Experience
      5. PMP Application: Contact Hours of Project Management Education
      6. PMP Application: What Qualifies For the 35 Project Management Education Contact Hours?
    6. PMP Application: Final Review And Submission
    7. PMP Application: Approval Process Timeline
    8. PMP Application: PMI Audit Overview
      1. PMP Audit Selection Process
      2. PMP Audit Timeline
      3. PMP Audit Supporting Documentation
      4. Incomplete or Late PMP Audit Submission
      5. PMP Audit Results
    9. PMP Application: Submit PMP Examination Payment
      1. How To Submit Payment For PMP Exam
      2. PMP Exam Payment Steps
      3. PMP Exam Accepted Payment Forms
      4. PMP Application Payment Refund Policy
  6. PMP Certification Costs: A Complete Breakdown Of PMP Certification Fees
    1. PMP Costs for PMI Member
      1. PMP Cost Breakdown for PMI Member
      2. Total PMP Cost For PMI Member
    2. PMP Costs for Non-PMI Member
      1. PMP Cost Breakdown for Non-PMI Member
      2. Total PMP Cost For Non-PMI Member
    3. Should You Become A PMI Member?
    4. PMI Membership Fees
    5. PMP Examination Fees ($USD)
    6. PMP Examination Fees (€EUR)
    7. PMP Renewal Fees
  7. PMP Exam Policies and Procedures
    1. PMP Examination Format Overview
    2. PMP Examination: Allotted Time
    3. PMP Examination: PMP Question Breakdown
    4. PMP Examination: PMP Exam Questions By Process Groups
    5. PMP Examination: Requesting Language Aids
    6. PMP Examination: Requesting Testing Accommodations
    7. PMP Examination: Confidentiality
    8. PMP Examination: Eligibility ID
  8. Scheduling, Rescheduling, Or Cancelling Your PMP Certification Exam
    1. How To Schedule Your PMP Certification Exam
      1. Scheduling Your PMP Exam: Center-Based Testing
      2. Scheduling Your PMP Exam: Paper-Based Testing
      3. Scheduling Your PMP Exam: Scheduling By Phone
      4. Scheduling Your PMP Exam: Testing Accommodations
    2. Rescheduling or Cancelling Your PMP Exam
      1. PMP Exam Rescheduling And Cancellation Fees
      2. How To Reschedule or Cancel Your PMP Exam
      3. Rescheduling or Cancelling Your PMP Exam: Extenuating Circumstances
        1. Qualifying Extenuating Circumstances
  9. PMP Exam Test Site (Prometric) Requirements And Instructions
    1. PMP Exam Test Site (Prometric): Check-In Procedure And What To Expect
    2. Required Documentation To Enter PMP Exam Test Site (Prometric)
      1. PMP Exam Test Site (Prometric): Changing Your Name
    3. PMP Exam Test Site (Prometric): Prohibited Items In Testing Area
    4. PMP Exam Test Site (Prometric): Termination of Examination And Grounds for Dismissal
    5. PMP Exam Post Examination Report
  10. Understanding Your PMP Examination Score
    1. Non-Passing Score on PMP Certification Exam
    2. Passing Score on PMP Certification Exam
  11. Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Program: Maintaining Your PMP Certification
    1. CCR Requirements To Maintain PMP Credential
      1. PMP CCR Requirements Table
      2. PMP CCR Program Infographic
    2. The PMI Talent Triangle
    3. Educational CCR PDU Requirement By Talent Triangle Area
      1. PMP Educational PDU Requirement By Area Table
    4. Giving Back PDUs For PMP Certification
    5. Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS)
    6. What Is A PDU? Professional Development Units Explained
    7. Reporting PDUs to CCR System (CCRS)
    8. Ways To Earn CCR Credits (PDUs)
      1. Education PDU Examples
        1. Table Of PMP Education PDU Examples
      2. Giving Back PDU Examples
        1. Table Of PMP Giving Back PDU Examples
    9. What Does Not Count Towards PDUs
    10. Applying PDUs To Future Cycles
    11. PMP Certification Renewal Fees And Policies
      1. Table Of PMP Renewal Fees
    12. PMP Certification Renewal Audit

Overview of the Project Management Institute (PMI)

What is the Project Management Institute (PMI)?

Project Management Institute (PMI) is a nonprofit professional organization specializing in project management. PMI develops standards, creates educational guidelines, conducts research, creates and manages publications, evangelizes, creates networking opportunities, hosts conferences, and provides accreditation, all in the realm of project management. PMI and its global network of over 10,000 recruited volunteers from around the globe create and define industry standards that are recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) against the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 17024. PMI touts more than 470,000 members from 207 countries, supported by a network of 283 chartered PMI chapters as well as 12 potential chapters. PMI's standout certification and the central theme of this document, the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, has over 740,000 certified professionals from around the globe. While the largest segment of these professionals live within the United States, over half live outside of the US and one (1) in six (6) live in China.

All PMI Certifications: A Complete List of PMI Certifications

While PMI's standout certification is the PMP certification, PMI offers a wide variety of project management certifications that encompass various standards and are designed to meet the everyday needs of the project management practitioner.

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification
Designed as an entry-level certification to demonstrate fundamental knowledge, terminology, and processes of effective project management.
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification
Combining SCRUM, XP, LEAN, and Kanban methodologies, this certification was created to apply agile practices and principles to projects.
PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® certification
Assessing and identifying project risk as well as plans to mitigate threats and capitalize on opportunities is the focus of this specialized area certification.
PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)® certification
Recognizing advanced experience and demonstrated knowledge in developing and maintaining project schedules is the focus of this specialized certification.
Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification
PMI refers to it as "the gold standard of project management certification". This certification is PMI's most popular certification and the focus of this document.
Program Management Professional (PgMP)® certification
The PMP is designed for managing a single project, the PgMP is designed for program managers managing multiple, complex projects.
Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) ® certification
If the PgMP is the big brother to the PMP, the PfMP is the big sister to the PgMP. Designed for portfolio managers coordinating the management of one or more portfolios.
PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)® certification
Highlighting expertise in business analysis, the PMI-PBA demonstrates ability to work with stakeholders to define requirements, shape outputs, and drive successful business outcomes.

While PMI offers this extensive array of project management certifications, we will be focusing in on the PMP certification throughout this document. To read more about how PMI develops, manages, and maintains their various credentials including their Role Delineation Studies, visit their certification page on their website.

Overview of the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification

Why Get the PMP Certification

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is a globally recognized and in-demand certification whose credential holders report higher median salaries than non-credential holders in similar roles. The PMP certification is widely sought by employers as a sign of core competency in the field of project management. According to the 10th Edition of PMI’s Salary Survey,

…those holding the PMP certification report higher median salaries (23% higher on average across the 37 countries surveyed) than those without a PMP certification.

Source: Project Management Salary Survey 10th Edition, p.3

PMI PMP Salary Data Graph US

New Project Management Professionals see an average salary increase of 23% Worldwide and 25% in the United States. First time credential holders on average see an increase of $12,000 USD or more in compensation packages within 24 months of receiving the PMP credential. The financial incentive is clear and the demand for PMPs continues to grow.

One of the biggest strengths of the PMP credential is that unlike other certifications that focus on a particular industry, geography, or domain, the PMP is truly global and is applicable across a wide range of industries, methodologies, and locations across the world. According to PMI's 2015, Pulse of the Profession study, employers benefit as much as PMP credential holders, citing "When more than one-third of their project managers are PMP-certified, organizations complete more of their projects on time, on budget and meeting original goals."

As a highly respected, financially incentivized, and extremely applicable to a project management practitioner, it is easy to see why the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is referred to as the gold standard of project management certification. And while the PMP certification as-is is extremely desirable and in high demand, PMI actively seeks to improve the certification through constant improvements. Seeking out omissions or areas of opportunity in their own certifications, none more than the Project Management Professional credential, via practitioner feedback via their Role Delineation Study.

 

PMP Role Duties & PMP Job Analysis

PMI conducts a Role Delineation Study, which is effectively a job analysis, every five (5) to seven (7) years. The purpose is to determine the specific roles associated with each of their many certifications and the general tasks and responsibilities that are expected to be performed within that role. This is used as a guideline for the information covered within that certification exam and ties the content covered to that certification to ensure accurate knowledge representation.

This means that the knowledge, information, processes, and general project management expertise covered in the PMP certification will more than adequately prepare you for all the challenges a day-to-day project management practitioner may face. Whether you are a program manager, planning coordinator, senior user, or fill any other applicable role in regards to project management, holding a PMP credential signifies you speak and understand the global language of project management and are an invaluable asset to your organization and team.

Now that you're ready to take the next step in your project management career, next we will review the PMP certification process. This includes the PMP certification requirements, PMP application process, PMP examination process, and maintaining the PMP credential through the Continuing Certification Requirement (CCR) program.

PMP Certification Process High-Level Overview

Before getting into the specifics of the PMP certification requirements, PMP application process, PMP examination process, and maintaining the PMP credential through the Continuing Certification Requirement (CCR) program, let's first take a look at a high-level overview of the PMP certification process. We will explore this first as a list, and then review a visual representation from PMI. This should allow us some necessary context to fully understand the process as a whole.

An overly simplistic breakdown of the PMP certification process is as follows:

  1. Determine we are eligible for the PMP certification
  2. Complete & submit our PMP application using PMI's online certification system
  3. If randomly selected for an audit, send supporting documentation by mail
  4. PMI reviews and approves our PMP certification application
  5. Pay PMP exam fees using PMI's online certification system
  6. Schedule PMP examination appointment via Prometric website
  7. Take & pass PMP examination, we are now a PMP credential holder
  8. Earn & report 60 professional development units (PDUs) during 3-year PMP maintenance cycle
  9. Submit PDUs and pay PMP renewal fee using PMI's online certification tool
  10. If randomly selected for an audit, send supporting documentation by mail
  11. PMI reviews and approves our PMP renewal application
  12. PMP maintenance cycle begins again, go back to line 8 and repeat indefinitely

Now that may be a bit confusing, but we've found that the following visual representation, developed by PMI and featured in the PMP Certification Handbook, helps clear up any initial confusion to this process.

Now that we've reviewed the PMP certification process at a high-level overview, let's review the PMP certification requirements, PMP application process, PMP examination process, and maintaining the PMP credential through the Continuing Certification Requirement (CCR) program at a low-level.

PMP Certification Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the PMP certification, you must meet the following requirements. These cover the areas of general education background, project management education, and project management experience. This information is first presented in table format followed by written descriptions to ensure complete understanding of the PMP certification eligibility requirements.

PMP Certification Requirements Four-Year Degree Secondary Degree
Years of Project Management Experience*1 3 Years (36 Months) 5 Years (60 Months)
Hours of Project Management Experience - Leading & Directing Projects*2 4,500 Hours 7,500 Hours
Formal Project Management Education Contact Hours*3 35 Hours 35 Hours

*1 The experience must encompass either thirty-six (36) or sixty (60) months of unique non-overlapping professional project management experience work and go back no more than eight (8) years.
*2 Project management experience must encompass either 4,500 hours or 7,500 hours of professional project management professional experience leading and directing projects. You must have experience in all five (5) process groups (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing); however, each project does not need to include hours from all five (5) process groups.
*3 Our PMP boot camps satisfy the 35 formal project management education contact hours requirement.

PMP Requirements: Four-Year Degree

If you have a four-year degree, generally referred to as a bachelor's degree or a global equivalent, you must meet the following criteria:

  • General Education - Four-year degree (bachelor's degree or global equivalent)
  • Project Management Education - 35 contact hours of formal project management education (Our PMP Courses satisfy this requirement)
  • Project Management Experience - Minimum three (3) years or thirty-six (36) months of unique, non-overlapping, professional project management experience. During this time, at least 4,500 hours were spent leading and directing the project.

Note - PMI requires you have experience in all five (5) process groups across your project management experience; however, you do not need to have experience in all five (5) process groups on each individual project.

PMP Requirements: Secondary Degree

If you have a secondary degree, generally referred to as a high school diploma, associate's degree, or a global equivalent, you must meet the following criteria:

  • General Education - Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate's degree, or global equivalent)
  • Project Management Education - 35 contact hours of formal project management education (Our PMP Courses satisfy this requirement)
  • Project Management Experience - Minimum five (5) years or sixty (60) months of unique, non-overlapping, professional project management experience. During this time, at least 7,500 hours were spent leading and directing the project.

Note - PMI requires you have experience in all five (5) process groups across your project management experience; however, you do not need to have experience in all five (5) process groups on each individual project.

PMP Certification Application Process Overview

PMP Application Overview: How To Complete PMP Certification Application

To apply for the PMP certification you will need to complete the online application using PMI's online certification system, while they do allow paper applications, for the sake of speed, simplicity, and ease we recommend that you use their online system. Once you begin your PMP Certification Application, you have ninety (90) days to complete it.

To complete your PMP certification application and be ready to schedule your PMP examination, there are six (6) steps that need to be accomplished.

  1. You must create your PMI account. - Learn More
  2. Login to your PMI account and on the overview page, select "Apply for PMP Credential".
  3. Complete Step 1: Application within PMI's online certification system. - Learn More
  4. Wait For PMP Application Approval Email From PMI.
  5. Optional: Become a PMI Member - Learn More About PMI Member Savings
  6. Complete PMP Certification Exam Fee Payment - Learn More

Congratulations! You are now ready to schedule your PMP certification exam with Prometric via Prometric's website. For complete instructions on scheduling your PMP examination, click here.

PMI Online Certification System Additional Uses

Once you have completed and submitted the PMP Application, you can use the online certification system to accomplish additional tasks, such as:

  • View your submitted certification application
  • View your examination eligibility status
  • Download PMI audit forms
  • Download your exam report with your pass/fail status
  • Apply and submit payment to take or retake any PMI examination and/or evaluation
  • Submit payment for certification renewal
  • Download receipts
  • Access your certification record and update your contact information
  • View your listing on the Certification Registry
As you can see the PMI online certification system continues to be useful even after completing the PMP Application. That said, let's dive deeper into each step of the PMP application process starting with creating your PMI account.

PMP Application: Creating Your PMI Account

Creating your PMI account is the first step towards completing your PMP certification application. This can be accomplished on PMI's website by selecting "Register" in the upper right-hand corner. You will need to provide the following information:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Primary Email - Be sure to use a unique, personal email address to ensure you don't lose access to your PMI account in the case of a job change.
  • Company Name
  • Job Title - Optional Field
  • Primary Organization Focus - Optional Field
  • Area of Focus - Optional Field
  • Account Username
  • Password
  • Confirm Password
  • Secret Question
  • Secret Question Answer

Once all this information is entered, simply click the "Create Account" button near the button of the page and your PMI account has been created. You should receive a confirmation email from PMI confirming the successful account creation.

PMP Application: Applying for PMP Credential

After successfully logging into your PMI account and selecting the "Apply for PMP Credential" option on the overview page, you will need to begin completing your PMP application by adding the necessary information. Most of the information will be straightforward and will be referred to herein as General Information. The most difficult part of the application process is the project management experience submission. This is detailed in the PMP Application: How To Record Experience and Education section of this document.

PMP Application: General Information

The following information is necessary to complete your PMP Application via PMI's online certification system:

  • Contact Address - Only one address is required, but you can enter both and select a preferred billing address as well as a preferred mailing address
  • Home Address
  • Work Address
  • Contact Information
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Attained Education
    • School/University Name
    • Country
    • Address Line 1
    • Address Line 2
    • Address Line 3
    • City
    • State/Province/Territory
    • Zip/Postal Code
    • Highest Level of Education Attained
    • Year Degree Awarded
    • Field of Study
  • Requirements
  • Optional Information
    • Primary Referral Source
    • Did you take a Certification Preparation Course present by a PMI Chapter?
  • Certificate
    • Exact Name To Be On Certificate
  • Agreement
    • Agree to PMI Certification Application/Renewal Agreement
  • Review and Submit
    • Verify Information
    • Submit Application

PMP Application: How To Record Experience and Education

Recording Project Management Experience And Project Management Education On The PMP Application

Most PMP applicants describe recording the project management experience and education as the most tedious part of the PMP application process. Before completing the project management experience section, we suggest you review the five process groups and think critically about how you can apply your experience to these process groups and how to best shape your experiences into these categories. Not demonstrating full coverage of the five process groups is the most likely way to get an application rejected.

That being said, ensure full honesty in this section. If you are selected for an PMP application audit and are unable to produce the supplemental supporting documents, you will be banned from all PMI certifications, including the PMP credential. Shape your answers, but do not lie.

PMP Application: Recording Your Project Management Experience

Using the experience verification section of the online application, you will record your experience leading and directing the various projects that make up your project management experience. While the experience does need to be in a professional setting, your project management experience does not need to be paid work. You will submit this information on a project by project basis, starting with your most recent and verifiable project and working backwards. Once you have met the PMP experience requirement, additional entries will not be permitted. Keep in mind that a project is defined as "a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result". Reoccurring tasks are not projects and should not be added to the project management experience section.

For each project entry within the project management experience section you will need to provide the following:

  • Project Title
  • Start Date - Month & Year Only
  • End Date - Month & Year Only
  • Project Role - Selections Listed
    • Project Contributor
    • Supervisor
    • Manager
    • Project Leader
    • Project Manager
    • Educator
    • Consultant
    • Administrator
    • Other - if selected, a field to enter your project role will populate
  • Primary Industry
    • Communications
    • Construction
    • Engineering
    • Finance
    • IT/Software
    • Manufacturing
    • Management
    • Resources
    • Services
    • Consulting
    • Education
    • Other - if selected, a field to enter your project role will populate
  • Job Title
  • Organization Name
  • Country
  • Organization Address
    • Organization Address Line 1
    • Organization Address Line 2
    • Organization Address Line 3
    • Organization City
    • Organization State, Province, or Territory
    • Organization Zip or Postal Code
  • Organization Phone Number
    • Country Code
    • Area, State, or City Code (where applicable)
    • Phone Number
    • Phone Extension
  • Organization Contact
    • Contact Name
    • Contact Relationship
  • Project Sponsor
  • Client
  • Manager/Director
  • Primary Stakeholder
  • Contact Email
  • Organization Contact's Phone Number
    • Country Code
    • Area, State, or City Code (where applicable)
    • Phone Number
    • Phone Extension
  • Domain Area Experience Breakdown - See PMP Application: Domain Area Experience Breakdown for more information.
    • Initiating the Project
    • Planning the Project
    • Executing the Project
    • Controlling and Monitoring the Project
    • Closing the Project
  • High-level Project Experience Description and Summary - See PMP Application: High-level Project Experience Description and Summary for more information.
    • The Project Objective
    • The Project Outcome
    • Your Role On The Project
    • Your Responsibilities And Deliverables For Each Domain Listed In The Domain Area Experience Breakdown

PMP Application: Domain Area Experience Breakdown

Here you will breakdown the number of hours you have spent working in each domain area. The summation of these values are the amount of hours that will count towards the PMP certification eligibility requirements.

Note - PMI requires you have experience in all five (5) process groups across your entire project management experience; however, you do not need to have experience in all five (5) process groups on each individual project.

Initiating the Project
Defining the project scope and obtaining approval from stakeholders
Planning the Project
Creating the project plan and developing the work breakdown structure (WBS)
Executing the Project
Performing the necessary work to reach the project objectives
Controlling and Monitoring the Project
Monitoring project progress, managing change and risk, and communicating project status
Closing the Project
Finalizing all project activities, archiving documents, obtaining acceptance for deliverables, and communicating project closure

PMP Application: High-level Project Experience Description and Summary

This section is your space to describe and summarize your experience on the project. This must specifically include:

  • The Project Objective
  • The Project Outcome
  • Your Role On The Project
  • Your Responsibilities And Deliverables For Each Domain Listed In The Domain Area Experience Breakdown

You must have a minimum of 300 characters and a maximum of 550 characters in this description.

After successfully submitting the Domain Area Experience Breakdown and High-level Project Experience Description and Summary sections, you will return to the experience verification section's main screen. You should see the experience submitted table updated with your recently added project(s). You will see that the number of months and hours have been updated to reflect the new values as well as the number of months and hours still needed to meet the PMP requirement category you fall under.

PMP Application: Overlapping Months in Project Management Experience

Often you will be working on multiple projects that have overlapping, concurrent time periods. This is completely acceptable; however, you may only count the months spent on one (1) of those projects towards fulfilling your eligibility requirements. In example, if Project A started January 2017 and ended March 2017, while Project B started February 2017 and ended June 2017, this would qualify as six (6) months of project management experience. The months of February and March would not be counted twice.

PMP Application: Overlapping Hours in Project Management Experience

Contrary to how months are counted, project management experience hours can be congruent. Stated differently, if you worked on multiple projects at one time, all the hours from all the projects are counted towards the total. Continuing our above example, if Project A included 180 total hours, of which 60 were in February 2017 and 60 were in March 2017, while Project B included 360 total hours spread evenly across the months, all 540 (180 + 360) hours would be counted towards the PMP certification eligibility requirement.

PMP Application: Contact Hours of Project Management Education

Using the Project Management Education, shortened to PM Education in the interface, you will list your qualifying project management education. This is our friendly reminder that our PMP boot camps satisfy this requirement as well as prepare you for the PMP exam. You will need to provide the following:

  • Course Title
  • Institution Name
  • Course Start Date
  • Course End Date
  • Total Hours
  • Qualifying Hours
Note - The course work must be completed at the time of application submission. If the course work is not yet complete when you submit your application, the application will not be approved.

PMP Application: What Qualifies For the 35 Project Management Education Contact Hours?

There are a variety of ways to satisfy the thirty-five (35) educational contact hour requirement, the easiest and most common choice is to complete a PMP training course such as our Online PMP Training or any of our various Classroom-Style PMP Training courses.  Other options include completing various workshops, training sessions, or courses that fall into any of the following categories:

  • PMI Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s)
  • PMI Chapter Trainings
  • Employer or Company Sponsored Programs
  • Training Companies or Consultant Trainings
  • Distance Learning Companies, Including An End Of Course Assessment
  • University or College Academic And Continuing Education Programs

The following does not satisfy the educational contact hour requirements:

  • PMI Chapter Meetings
  • Self-Directed Learning (i.e. Reading Books, Watching Instructional Videos, or Sessions With Coaches or Mentors)

PMP Application: Final Review And Submission

Once you have completed your application, verified the accuracy of the information, and agreed to the PMI Code of Ethics, you can submit your application to be reviewed by PMI. Be sure to double check all the information you have provided for completeness and accuracy as you cannot edit this information once you click the "Submit Application" button on the "Review and Submit" tab of the PMP Application dashboard.

PMP Application: Approval Process Timeline

If you're wondering, "How long does it take for my PMP Application to be approved?" Look no further. After successfully submitting your PMP application, the PMP application approval process begins. Officially, online applications are approved within five (5) calendar days, but we often see students approved in as little as one (1) day and an average approval time of three (3) days.

Note - If your application is selected for PMI's random audit process, these timelines are not applicable. See the PMP Audit section to learn more about what to do if you've been selected for an audit.

Once you have received your PMP application approval from PMI, congratulations! You have completed the first step towards becoming a PMP credential holder. You may now pay the associated PMP exam costs and schedule your first attempt at the PMP examination!

PMP Application: PMI Audit Overview

PMP Audit Selection Process

So your PMP application was selected for an audit. While being audited is never fun, rest assured that it is most likely a random occurrence and not a manual selection. When you submitted your PMP application, you agreed to comply with the terms of PMI's audit process, which includes a random selection process. PMI also reserves the right to manually select applications to be audited, even after passing the PMP examination. If you received the request for an audit prior to submitting payment for your PMP certification exam, chances are you were a victim of the random audit selection process.

No matter whether you were randomly selected for an audit or manually chosen, the below sections provide the critical information you need to submit your PMP audit documentation in a timely manner to ensure quick approval of your PMP certification application.

PMP Audit Timeline

If you have been selected for a PMP audit, you have 90 days from the date of first notification to provide all the necessary documentation to PMI. Once this information has been successfully submitted, the remaining process will take five (5) to seven (7) business days to complete.

PMP Audit Supporting Documentation

When your PMP application is audited by PMI, you will need to provide the following supporting documentation:

  • Copies of your diploma or global equivalent
  • Signatures from your supervisor or manager from the projects recorded in the experience verification section of the PMP application
  • Copies of certificates or letters from the training institute for each and every course recorded on your PMP application to meet the project management educational contact hour requirement

Send all of the above in a single envelope by express courier service or postal mail to PMI's certification audit department, address below:

PMI
Attn: Certification Audit
14 Campus Blvd.
Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299 USA

Incomplete or Late PMP Audit Submission

Incomplete or late PMP audit submissions will not be evaluated at all and will result in a failure of an audit. Make sure that you mail your documents in a timely manner and account for postal delays due to shipping times, weather, holidays, etc.

PMP Audit Results

Your PMP certification process will not continue until your PMP audit is complete and you have met all audit requirements. Once you successfully complete the audit and are approved by PMI for the PMP exam, your PMP exam eligibility period starts.

If you fail or fail to complete the PMP certification audit, you will receive a one-year suspension period from attempting to take the PMP certification exam.

PMP Application: Submit PMP Examination Payment

How To Submit Payment For PMP Exam

Once your completed PMP certification application has been approved, PMI will send you an email as well as a notice in your account requesting payment. Simply log into PMI's online certification system and complete the following steps:

  1. Choose Examination Delivery Method - This will almost always be center-based testing, to see whether you qualify for paper-based testing see our PMP exam format section.
  2. If necessary, request a language aid - see PMP language aid section for more information.
  3. If necessary, request test accommodations - see PMP testing accommodations section for more information.
  4. Submit payment - see PMP exam cost section for more information.

Forms of payment accepted:

  • Credit Card - This is accepted via the online certification system, but can also be send via postal mail if necessary
  • Check - Sent via postal mail to PMI
  • Money Order - Sent via postal mail to PMI
  • Wire Transfer - You will need to email customercare@pmi.org to arrange for a wire transfer payment

Note - If you send your PMP application via postal mail, be sure to also include your payment in the same mail or you may significantly delay your PMP application approval timeline.

PMP Application Payment Refund Policy

There are a few scenarios in which you might wish to request a refund from PMI for your PMP application fees, such as a PMI application audit delay, career changes, or any other situation where you desire a refund; however, PMI will not authorize a refund in the following scenarios:

  • Your one-year eligibility period has lapsed and you did not schedule your PMP exam. In this scenario you forfeit your PMP exam fees and must reapply and pay all associated fees again if you choose to seek the PMP credential in the future.
  • You scheduled your PMP exam, but did not take it. This is assuming you did not provide the necessary rescheduling or cancellation notification to Prometric, PMI's parter for global testing centers.

You must make your refund request to PMI no later than thirty (30) days prior to your PMP eligibility period's expiration date.

To submit a request for a refund, email customercare@pmi.org or fax it to 1-610-482-9971.

In the case of an approved refund, PMI will keep $100 if you haven't yet scheduled or taken the PMP exam.

PMP Certification Costs: A Complete Breakdown Of PMP Certification Fees

The various costs associated with the PMP certification can be broken down into five categories. Education and preparation costs, PMI membership fees, PMP examination fees, PMP recertification PDU courses, and PMP renewal fees. We will explore all of these in detail in the coming sections as well as provide you with our guidance on the best approach to take when pursuing the PMP credential, but first let's break down the total cost of becoming a PMP-certified practitioner. We will evaluate both the costs associated as a PMI member, assuming a standard PMI membership, and a non-member of PMI. Keep in mind that these costs do not factor in any additional benefits of being a PMI member, this is purely a financial breakdown of PMI Membership as it applies to PMP fees.

PMP Certification Cost Breakdown for PMI Members

Cost Category Cost in $USD Per Payment Frequency of Payments
Apex PMP Training Course (Lifetime PDUs Included) $1,795 Once
PMI Membership Application Fee $10 Once
PMI Membership Fee $129 Yearly
PMP Examination Fee $405 Once
PMP Reexamination Fee $275 As Necessary, Max: Twice
PDU Courses for Recertification* Included In PMP Course* Never*
PMP Renewal Fee $60 Every Three Years

* Only Included In Apex Training Corporation PMP Training Courses, average costs range by provider, but can be $2,000 or more per certification cycle

Total PMP Certification Cost for PMI Members

Total Cost Category Pass On 1st Attempt Pass On 2nd Attempt Pass On 3rd Attempt
Cost of Achieving PMP Credential $2,339 $2,614 $2,889
Cost of Achieving & Maintaining PMP Credential For Six (6) Years $3,104 $3,379 $3,654

PMP Certification Cost Breakdown for Non-PMI Members

Cost Category Cost in $USD Per Payment Frequency of Payments
Apex PMP Training Course (Lifetime PDUs Included) $1,795 Once
PMI Membership Application Fee N/A N/A
PMI Membership Fee N/A N/A
PMP Examination Fee $555 Once
PMP Reexamination Fee $375 As Necessary, Max: Twice
PDU Courses for Recertification* Included In PMP Course* Never*
PMP Renewal Fee $150 Every Three Years

* Only Included In Apex Training Corporation PMP Training Courses, average costs range by provider, but can be $2,000 or more per certification cycle

Total PMP Certification Cost for Non-PMI Members

Total Cost Category Pass On 1st Attempt Pass On 2nd Attempt Pass On 3rd Attempt
Cost of Achieving PMP Credential $2,350 $2,725 $3,100
Cost of Achieving & Maintaining PMP Credential For Six (6) Years $2,650 $3,025 $3,400

PMP Certification Costs: Should You Become A PMI Member?

Yes, you should become a PMI member prior to paying for your first PMP examination attempt. You are not required to maintain your PMI membership to maintain your PMP credential, so you will save $11 if you pass the PMP exam on the first attempt, $111 if you pass on the second attempt, and $211 if you pass on your third and final attempt. You can then cancel your PMI membership or just let it lapse due to non-payment after the first year if you do not wish to pay the $129/year fee.

PMP Certification Costs: PMI Membership Fees

There are three categories for PMI membership costs: standard, student, and retiree. Most everyone will fall into the standard membership, but if you meet either of the following criteria, you may qualify for a discounted rate.

  • Student Membership - You must be enrolled in a full-time, degree-granting program at a college or university that has U.S. accreditation or the global equivalent.
  • Retiree Membership - You must have been a PMI member in good standing for five or more consecutive years and have retired from active employment.
PMI Membership Costs $ US Dollars € Euros
Standard Membership $129 / year €105 / year
Student Membership $32 / year €26 / year
Retiree Membership $65 / year This membership must be paid in USD

Group Membership - If you are part of or are representing fifteen (15) or more individuals that all hail from the same organization or university, you may qualify for a group discount and easier application process. Visit PMI's Group Billing Plan for more information.

PMP Certification Costs: PMP Examination Fees ($USD)

For anyone paying in United States dollars, the amount of fees you pay is determined by your PMI membership status. The below table highlights the cost of the PMP certification in $USD for PMI members and non-members. The PMP Exam Fee is the amount you will pay to schedule and take your PMP certification exam. If for any reason you should not pass on your first attempt of the PMP exam, the PMP Reexamination is the amount you will pay to retake the PMP exam. You have three (3) attempts to pass the PMP certification per 365 day period, starting from your PMP application approval date.

PMP Examination Fees ($USD) PMI Member Non-Member
PMP Exam Fee $405 $555
PMP Reexamination $275 $375

PMP Certification Costs: PMP Examination Fees (€EUR)

For anyone paying in European currency, the amount of fees you pay is determined by your PMI membership status. The below table highlights the cost of the PMP certification in €EUR for PMI members and non-members. The PMP Exam Fee is the amount you will pay to schedule and take your PMP certification exam. If for any reason you should not pass on your first attempt of the PMP exam, the PMP Reexamination is the amount you will pay to retake the PMP exam. You have three (3) attempts to pass the PMP certification per 365 day period, starting from your PMP application approval date.

PMP Examination Fees (€EUR) PMI Member Non-Member
PMP Exam Fee €340 €465
PMP Reexamination €230 €315

PMP Certification Costs: PMP Renewal Fees

After receiving confirmation from  PMI that you have satisfied the sixty (60) PDU requirement to maintain your PMP certification, you will receive an email providing you the ability to apply for PMP certification renewal. You will be directed to the online certification system, where you will need to submit the renewal fee payment. If you are a PMI member, the cost is $60, and $150 for non-members.

PMP Renewal Fees PMI Member Non-Member
Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Renewal Fee $60 $150

PMP Exam Policies and Procedures

PMP Examination Format Overview

The PMP Exam is a 200 question, four (4) hour, multiple choice exam that is designed to test your knowledge of the PMBOK Guide, general project management methodologies, and practices of the project management practitioner, and is generally administered as a center-based exam through Prometric test centers around the world, though in some circumstances can be administered as a paper-based exam. All PMP exams are administered in English with certain language aids available to those with English as a second language.

Exams are administered in a center-based format by Prometric at one of their many Prometric testing centers throughout the globe. In certain scenarios, a paper-based examination may be offered, but must first be approved by PMI. These scenarios are:

  • The distance to a Prometric Center-Based Testing site is more than 150 miles or 240 kilometers.
  • A Prometric Center-Based Testing site is not available within your current country of residence and traveling across country borders is prohibited or unduly burdensome.

To apply for a Paper-Based Test, contact customercare@pmi.org and be prepared to provide supporting documentation.

PMP Examination: Allotted Time

The PMP certification exam has an allotted time of four (4) hours. You are not required to use the entire four (4) hours, but are able to do so as you see fit. There are no scheduled breaks during the examination, but you are allowed to take a break; however, we aware that your time continues to count down during the break.

Prior to the official start of your PMP exam, there is an optional fifteen (15) minute tutorial to help you familiarize yourself with the testing interface and format, you may exit this at any time, but exiting early does not award you additional time on the PMP certification exam.

After you complete your exam, whether you use the full four (4) hours or not, there is an optional fifteen (15) minute survey. After completing this survey, you will be receive your PMP examination score and be allowed to gather your items from your locker and leave the testing site.

PMP Examination: PMP Question Breakdown

The PMP certification exam is a 200 question exam consisting of only multiple choice questions designed to test your applicable project management knowledge. Of these 200 questions, only 175 are scored, while the remaining 25 questions are considered pretest questions. These pretest questions are used to evaluate future examination questions on difficulty and subject matter. It is important to note that these unscored questions are mixed in with the scored questions, so if you come across something that you are unfamiliar with, don't let it distract or bother you. These questions are often on subject matter not currently covered in the exam or written in a confusing manner.

Written specifically to satisfy the test specifications of the PMP Examination Content Outline, the scored questions on the exam are written in accordance with the ISO/IEC 17024 standards and are developed and validated by groups of PMP certification holders throughout the world.

PMP Examination: PMP Exam Questions By Process Groups

The 175 scored questions will cover all five (5) process groups. These process groups, sometimes referred to as domains, are Initiation, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing. The breakdown of questions on the PMP certification exam by process groups is as follows:

PMP Exam Scored Questions By Process Groups Percentage of Scored Questions Number of Scored Questions
Initiation 13% 23
Planning 24% 42
Executing 31% 54
Monitoring & Controlling 25% 44
Closing 7% 12
Total 100% 175

Each of these domains contains a number of tasks, knowledge areas, and skills that are measured throughout the PMP certification exam. There are also a number of knowledge areas and skills that are applicable throughout many of the domains and are generally referred to as cross-cutting. For more information and a complete breakdown refer to the PMI PMP Examination Content Outline.

PMP Examination: Requesting Language Aids

While All PMI certification examinations are administered in English, certain examinations including the PMP examination, allow for language aids in certain languages. These language aids, listed below, must be arranged during the payment process of the PMP application process, but do not have additional costs associated.

Available PMP Language Aids:

  • Arabic
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Turkish

If you received a confirmation of your exam eligibility information, but did not receive a notice that your request for a language aid was received and approved, contact customercare@pmi.org immediately to inform them of the error.

Note - The language aid is for the PMP examination questions only. The pre-exam tutorial and post-exam survey are only administered in English.

PMP Examination: Requesting Testing Accommodations

If you need to request a testing accommodation due to disability, handicap, or any other condition that may impair your ability to sit for the PMP examination, you are able to do so as part of the PMP certification application during the payment process. You will be required to submit supporting medical documentation to PMI via email, certexamdelivery@pmi.org, or fax, 1-610-239-2257, after submitting your PMP examination testing accommodation request.

If you have an existing PMP examination date, PMI in unable to append any accommodation requests to this date and you should contact customercare@pmi.org immediately. They will ask that you cancel your existing appointment prior to submitting your PMP testing accommodations request.

PMP Examination: Confidentiality

(Look up questions related to this on Answer the public) Unless directed by valid and lawful subpoena or court order, PMP examination results are confidential and will not be passed to anyone without PMP candidate consent. If you wish for your examination results to be passed to a third-party, you will need to send a written request specifically identifying the types of details to be passed to the third party, i.e. exam date, pass/fail status, etc.

When you submit your PMP application, you agree to abide by the complete terms outlines in the PMI Certification Application and Renewal Agreement and agree, "Not to discuss, debrief or disclose, in any manner, the specific content of PMI examination questions and answers, to any individual."

PMP Examination: Eligibility ID

Once your PMP application is approved, your one-year eligibility period has begun. Throughout this time you may take the PMP examination up to three (3) times, assuming you do not pass on your first attempt. The second and third attempts are offered at a discounted rate, but you should strive to pass on your first attempt to avoid worry and additional exam reexamination costs.

After your approval, you should receive an email containing your PMI Eligibility ID as well as PMP examination scheduling instructions. You will be directed to the PMI's examination administration partner, Prometric. At the Prometric website you will be able to schedule your PMP examination date and location using the PMI Eligibility ID included in your email. Be sure to save copies of any documentation regarding your exam scheduling or date in case of issues at a later date.

Note - There are no guarantees that seating will be available at a specific location on a specific date, we encourage you to schedule your exam date as soon as you are comfortable to do so. If you are taking one of our many PMP preparation courses, we encourage you to schedule your exam immediately after completing your PMP course.

Scheduling, Rescheduling, Or Cancelling Your PMP Certification Exam

The following sections will cover everything you need to know about scheduling, rescheduling, or cancelling your PMP Exam. This includes what qualifies as extenuating circumstances for a late cancellation, the fees for rescheduling or cancellation, and all other necessary information about scheduling, rescheduling, or cancelling the PMP examination.

How To Schedule Your PMP Certification Exam

Scheduling Your PMP Exam: Center-Based Testing

PMI uses Prometric as their testing center partner. This means that you will be using the Prometric website to facilitate everything relating to scheduling, rescheduling, and cancellation of PMP exams. The process for scheduling your PMP exam is as follows:

  • Using the link to the Prometric website provided to you in your email from PMI, select the "I Want To… Schedule My Test" option that will appear towards the top-center of the page.
  • You will then follow the on-screen instructions as they guide you through the scheduling process.
  • After a few screens, you will be asked for your Eligibility ID and the First four (4) characters of your last name. If your last name is shorter than four (4) characters, enter your entire last name.
  • You will then be able to search for and select a testing site in your area, as well as select an examination time and date.
  • Once you have selected a location, date, and time, you will be asked to confirm your contact information and provide an email for Prometric to send you your appointment confirmation email.
  • Then you will be able to review your details, confirm they are correct, and Complete Appointment.
  • Note - Your appointment is not scheduled until you select Complete Appointment.
  • Finally, you will be presented your appointment confirmation and your sixteen (16) character confirmation number. This information will be emailed to the email address you provided, but we do recommend recording it manually for your own records.

Congratulations! You have now scheduled your PMP exam. Time to get back to studying!

Scheduling Your PMP Exam: Paper-Based Testing

If you indicated that you need a paper-based test for your PMP exam, you are not required to schedule your exam dates.

Note - You will still receive examination scheduling instructions as PMI's system automatically sends this information to all PMP applicants. You can ignore this message.

Scheduling Your PMP Exam: Scheduling By Phone

If you live in North America, you are able to schedule your PMP exam via the Prometric Telephone System by calling 1-800-268-2802 and following the prompts. This system is available 8 AM to 8 PM, Eastern Time. If you are hearing impaired, instead call 1-800-529-3590 to schedule your PMP exam.

No matter which number you call, you will be asked to provide the following information:
Testing Program - Project Management Institute
Name of Examination - PMP
PMI Eligibility ID - Provided via Email from PMI (i.e. 9876543T1)

Scheduling Your PMP Exam: Testing Accommodations

If you have been granted testing accommodations by PMI, call 1-800-967-1139 between the hours of 8 AM to 8 PM, Eastern Time. During this call, you will be asked to provide the following information:
Testing Program - Project Management Institute
Name of Examination - PMP
PMI Eligibility ID - Provided via Email from PMI (i.e. 9876543T1)

Rescheduling or Cancelling Your PMP Exam

Rescheduling or Cancelling Your PMP Exam: Rescheduling And Cancellation Fees

You may need to reschedule or cancel your PMP examination for many reasons, and may do so at any time. As soon as you know that you will not be able to make your examination appointment, you should reschedule or cancel your PMP exam appointment to avoid paying fees. Based on how close your examination date is, see below table, your fees will change.

PMP Exam Rescheduling & Scheduling Fees Days Prior To Exam (Does Not Include Day Of Exam) Fee Amount in $USD
More Than 30 Days No Fee
Less Than 30 Days, But More Than 2 Days $70
2 Days or Less Forfeit Entire Exam Fee

As you can see, cancelling or rescheduling as early as possible is always the best policy, so as soon as you know you can't make your examination date, take action.

Rescheduling or Cancelling Your PMP Exam: How To Reschedule or Cancel Your PMP Exam

Using the same Prometric website link provided in your PMP Eligibility ID email, visit the Prometric website and select the "I Want To… Reschedule/Cancel My Test" option near the top of the page on the right. Follow the on-screen instructions and use your 16 character confirmation number to reschedule or cancel your PMP examination appointment.

Note - Within 2 days of your exam you will be unable to reschedule your exam, the only option will be to cancel and will result in a forfeiture of examination fees.

Rescheduling or Cancelling Your PMP Exam: Extenuating Circumstances

If you have extenuating circumstances that cause you to have to cancel your PMP examination within 30 days of the appointment, you should still reschedule or cancel your examination as described above, but then contact customercare@pmi.org with an explanation and supporting documentation to obtain a refund of fees.

If your circumstances force you to miss your appointment, contact customercare@pmi.org within 72 hours of the missed appointment. You will be asked to provide an explanation and supporting documentation to support your claim. If PMI approves your claim, you will be able to reschedule your PMP exam without penalty.

Qualifying Extenuating Circumstances

The following are circumstances listed by PMI as qualifying circumstances:

  • Medical Emergency
  • Military Deployment
  • Death In Immediate Family
  • Illness In Immediate Family
  • Natural Disaster
Note - Work-related circumstances are not included and will not be approved.

PMP Exam Test Site (Prometric) Requirements And Instructions

PMP Exam Test Site (Prometric): Check-In Procedure And What To Expect

Ensure that you arrive thirty (30) minutes prior to your scheduled PMP examination appointment. You will sign in, present the required information, and provide your PMI Eligibility ID. You will be asked to empty your pockets, roll up your sleeves, and will be scanned with a metal detector. You will then have the opportunity to store your items in a locker provided to you. The only items permitted in the testing area will be your government-issued identification, locker key, and the provided scratch booklet and two (2) pencils, or provided two (2) erasable marker boards, two (2) markers, and an eraser. Which set of items that are provided is based on location and availability. You do not have a choice which of these will be provided to you. At any time during your examination you may raise your hand to request a hand held calculator, but there is a calculator built into the testing interface. You may also request additional scratch paper, though your current scratch paper will be taken when you request more.

PMP Exam Test Site (Prometric): Required Documentation To Enter PMP Exam Test Site (Prometric)

In order to be admitted into the Prometric test center to take your PMP certification exam, you will be required to provide valid and current government-issued identification. This identification must include and clearly show the following:

  • Your First and Last Name in English Characters or Translation
  • Your Photograph
  • Your Signature
If your identification does not show a signature or photograph, a secondary form of identification must also be presented. This secondary identification needs to have your printed name as well as whatever is missing from your primary form of identification. All forms of identification must be current and in good condition.
Note - If the printed names on the identification do not exactly match the name on the Prometric scheduling notification, you will not be permitted to enter.

PMP Exam Test Site (Prometric): Changing Your Name

When receiving your eligibility email from PMI, you will be able to see your name exactly as recorded from PMI. If you need to update this information prior to taking the PMP exam, contact PMI immediately with the following information:

  • Requested Change
  • First Name
  • Middle Name
  • Last Name
You can email CertQuestions@pmi.org or send a fax to 1-610-482-9971 to complete this request. This request must be done more than five (5) business days prior to your examination date.

PMP Exam Test Site (Prometric): Prohibited Items In Testing Area

You will not be able to bring anything to the testing area or the desk where you will take the PMP exam. This includes food, beverages, bags of any kind, wallets, purses, calculator, paper, or literally anything. Prepare carefully, if you choose to wear jewelry or a sweater into the testing area, you are not allowed to remove them. Anything you brought with you will be placed in locker provided to you and will be unavailable to you until you have completed your PMP examination.

PMP Exam Test Site (Prometric): Termination of Examination And Grounds for Dismissal

You are to conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times throughout the examination. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the examination grounds and PMI may cancel your scores or take further action such as barring you from future attempts at any PMI certification.

PMP Exam Post Examination Report

Immediately upon completion of the PMP certification exam, you will be provided a printed copy of your test results. This will detail not only the pass/fail grade of your PMP certification examination, but will also provide a detailed breakdown of domain-level scores. If you did not pass the PMP certification exam, you should use this detailed analysis to guide your future preparation for your additional PMP certification reexamination attempts.

You will also be able to see your PMP examination report detailed online through your PMI.org account in no more than ten (10) business days. You will receive an email from PMI when this report is available online.

Post PMP Examination Report Overview - Understanding Your PMP Examination Score

Understanding Your PMP Examination Score: Non-Passing Score on PMP Certification Exam

If you did not pass the PMP certification exam, the first thing to do is breathe and not panic. This is an extremely difficult exam and many do not pass on their first or even second attempt. Use the post-examination report to guide your studies and focus in on the areas where you had the most difficulty. Consider taking a PMP training course such as our Online PMP Training or join a PMP study group in your area. Stay focused on your goal and prepare for your next attempt.

Once you are prepared to retake the PMP examination, follow the PMP exam payment steps as outlined above to pay for and schedule your next attempt.

If you fail all three attempts at the PMP certification, you will have a one-year waiting period, starting from the last exam date, in which you are not eligible to retake the PMP examination; however, you are able to apply for and take any other PMI credential, such as the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM).

Understanding Your PMP Examination Score: Passing Score on PMP Certification Exam

Once you have received your passing score on your PMP certification exam you are officially a Project Management Professional (PMP) and may use the PMP credential immediately. You will receive a PMP Certificate Package from PMI within six (6) to eight (8) weeks. This will include a congratulatory email, information on maintaining your PMP credential, and an official certification certificate.

Your PMP credential is valid for three (3) years from your pass date. To maintain your PMP credential you must meet the renewal criteria as outlined by PMI's Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Program.

Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Program - Maintaining Your PMP Certification

Once you have your PMP certification, now it's time to keep it! With our PMP For Life Guarantee, we ensure that you maintain your PMP credential for your entire professional life, but if you did not take one of our many PMP training courses that come with our PMP For Life Guarantee you will need to be aware of the continuing education requirements so that your PMP credential does not lapse.

All PMI credential holders, including the PMP certification, must actively maintain their certification through the CCR program throughout each three (3) year certification cycle. This means that you will be required to earn sixty (60) Professional Development Units (PDUs) throughout your three (3) year certification cycle.

Maintaining Your PMP Certification: CCR Requirements To Maintain PMP Credential

Throughout your three (3) year PMP certification cycle, you must earn sixty (60) Professional Development Units (PDUs) to maintain the PMP credential. There are many different ways in which you can earn these PDUs, all detailed in PMI's CCR Handbook, but there are certain requirements that need to be met to ensure you meet the recertification criteria.

PMI Certification Re-Certification Cycle Total PDUs Required Education PDUs (Minimum) Giving Back PDUs (Maximum)
PMP 3 Years from Pass or Recertification Date 60 35 25

The below image was developed by PMI and is featured in the CCR program Handbook.

PMI PMP Certification Recertification Continuing Certification Requirements Program

Source: PMI's CCR Handbook, 2017. p.7

Maintaining Your PMP Certification: The PMI Talent Triangle

PMI employs what they refer to as the PMI Talent Triangle for their educational PDUs. The PMI Talent Triangle consists of three areas that together make up the ideal skill set combination. These areas are technical project management, leadership, and strategic and business management. PMI describes these three areas as follows:

  • Technical Project Management: Knowledge, skills and behaviors related to specific domains of Project, Program and Portfolio Management.
  • Leadership: Knowledge, skills and behaviors specific to leadership-oriented, cross-cutting activities that help an organization achieve its business goals
  • Strategic and Business Management: Knowledge of and expertise in the industry or organization that enhances performance and better delivers business outcomes.
Source: PMI CCR Handbook, 2017

Maintaining Your PMP Certification: Educational CCR PDU Requirement By Talent Triangle Area

The below table describes the PDU requirements to be met for each of the three areas to meet the minimum 35 Educational PDUs needed for PMP certification renewal.

PMI Certification Technical PDUs Required Leadership PDUs Required Strategic PDUs Required Remaining Educational PDUs Required Total Minimum PDU Requirement
PMP 8 8 8 11 35

To reiterate this and state it differently, you will need at least thirty-five (35) PDUs that fall under the category of technical, leadership, or strategic, but each category must have a minimum of eight (8) PDUs to meet the CCR requirement to maintain the PMP certification credential. You may have as many educational PDUs as you desire, and can satisfy the sixty (60) PDU requirement with only educational PDUs as long as each area in the PMI Talent Triangle has a minimum of eight (8) PDUs.

Maintaining Your PMP Certification: Giving Back PDUs

The non-educational or giving back PDUs are an optional part of the CCR program. As mentioned above, you may maintain your PMP credential using only educational PDUs, but for those that wish to earn PDU credit outside of these restrictions, PMI's CCR program offers giving back PDUs up to a maximum of twenty-five (25) per certification cycle.

 

Maintaining Your PMP Certification: Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS)

The Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS) is PMI's online tool to support, guide, and track your progress as you progress through the CCR process. Within this tool you will also find a robust list of activities, courses, and events that award PDUs. The CCRS will allow you to report PDUs as you earn them and track your progress throughout your PMP certification cycle.

Maintaining Your PMP Certification: What Is A PDU? Professional Development Units Explained

A Professional Development Unit (PDU) is simply a unit of measurement to quantify approved learning, growth, and professional service activities. Simply put, one hour in an approved activity is one PDU. PDUs can be expressed in increments as little as 0.25. If you spend fifteen (15) minutes doing a qualifying activity, you would be able to report 0.25 PDUs.

As discussed above, educational PDU activities must be related to the three skill areas of PMI's Talent Triangle, technical project management, leadership, and strategic and business management; however, there are additional categories of activities that can count as PDUs, specifically Giving-Back PDUs, discussed below.

Maintaining Your PMP Certification: Reporting PDUs to CCR System (CCRS)

It is your responsibility to report earned PDU activity and the associated PDUs as you earn them. While Apex PMP training students are sent automated reminders as part of our PMP For Life Guarantee, PMI will not send you periodic reminders to submit your PDUs. If you fail to earn and submit the sixty (60) required PDUs to meet the PMP CCR requirement, your certification will be suspended until you reach the necessary PDU requirement or a period of one (1) year passes. If you fail to reach the necessary sixty (6) PDUs to reinstate your PMP certification, your PMP credential will be revoked and you will need to reapply to take the PMP certification exam.

Maintaining Your PMP Certification: Ways To Earn CCR Credits (PDUs)

There are a plethora of different ways to earn Professional Development Units (PDUs), including courses or trainings, organization meetings, online self-paced learnings, reading, structured discussions, work as a practitioner, creating content, giving presentations, sharing knowledge, volunteering, and many others! Reference the CCR Handbook for full details. No matter how you earn your PDUs, they will fall into one of two categories defined by PMI, Education and Giving Back. Each activity is defined by what is involved, the PDU rules for calculating PDUs, and the documentation needed in case of an audit by PMI.

Education PDU Examples

Detailed below are the categories of Education PDUs, an example for each category, the PDU rules for each category, and the documentation or proof needed in case of an audit from PMI. It's important to maintain the documentation for eighteen (18) months after your PMP certification cycle ends as PMI may audit you anytime within that period.

Education PDU Activity Example PDU Rules Documentation Needed For Audit
Course or Training Training Courses Offered By PMI Education Providers 1 Hour Instruction = 1 PDU Completion Certificate
Organization Meetings Local PMI Chapter Events Typically 1 or 2 PDUs Per Event Registration Letter or Letter of Attendance
Online Self-Paced Learning Online Training Courses Offered By PMI Education Providers 1 Hour of Learning = 1 PDU Evidence Supporting Learning, Notes & Dates
Self-Directed Reading Reading Project Management Articles or Books 1 Hour of Learning = 1 PDU Evidence Supporting Learning, Notes & Dates
Structured Discussions Structured Professional Discussions, i.e. Learn & Lunch 1 Hour of Learning = 1 PDU Evidence Supporting Learning, Notes & Dates

Giving Back PDU Examples

Detailed below are the categories of Giving Back PDUs, an example for each category, the PDU rules for each category, and the documentation or proof needed in case of an audit from PMI. It's important to maintain the documentation for eighteen (18) months after your PMP certification cycle ends as PMI may audit you anytime within that period.

Giving Back PDU Activity Example PDU Rules Documentation Needed For Audit
Work as a Practitioner Your Daily Work In Domain Areas 8 PDUs per Cycle Proof of Employment
Create Content Creating Public Knowledge Resources 1 Hour Creating = 1 PDU Copies of Publication, Sample Material
Give a Presentation Presenting on Topics Relevant to PM Profession 1 Hour Creating = 1 PDU Copies of Presentation
Knowledge Sharing Sharing Skills With Others, Mentoring, Teaching 1 Hour Sharing = 1 PDU Evidence Supporting Sharing, Notes & Dates
Volunteering Providing Domain Related Services to Non-Employer 1 Hour Volunteering = 1 PDU Letter or Certificate From Organization Acknowledging Participation

Maintaining Your PMP Certification: What Does Not Count Towards PDUs

Along with anything that is not specifically outlined in the PDU tables above for Education PDUs or Giving-Back PDUs, anything done prior to earning your PMP certification does not qualify for the CCR program and thus does not count as any PDUs. You also may not claim participation in the same activity more than once. Even if the first time was prior to earning your PMP certification.

Maintaining Your PMP Certification: Applying PDUs To Future Cycles

If you earn more than the required PDUs, up to twenty (20) PDUs may carry over to the next certification cycle, provided that they were earned in the final twelve (12) months of your eligibility cycle.

Maintaining Your PMP Certification: PMP Certification Renewal Fees And Policies

After receiving confirmation from  PMI that you have satisfied the sixty (60) PDU requirement to maintain your PMP certification, you will receive an email providing you the ability to apply for PMP certification renewal. You will be directed to the online certification system, where you will need to submit the renewal fee payment. If you are a PMI member, the cost is $60, and $150 for non-members.

PMP Certification Renewal Fees PMI Member Non PMI Member
PMP Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Renewal Fee $60 $150

You can complete this process at any point during your certification cycle after meeting the CCR requirements to maintain the PMP credential; however, you must submit payment no later than ninety (90) days after your PMP certification cycle end date. After completing the renewal process and submitting the renewal payment, PMI will send you an updated PMP certificate with updated information, including your new PMP certification cycle dates within six (6) to eight (8) weeks.

Maintaining Your PMP Certification: PMP Certification Renewal Audit

Just as it was when you first applied for your PMP credential, when you complete your PMP certification renewal you are eligible to be audited by PMI. This process similarly follows the PMP application audit process, but with the supporting documentation for your PDUs instead. You may be audited even after your renewal has been approved, so PMI suggests that you maintain important documentation and supporting documents for your PDUs earned in the PMP certification cycle for an additional eighteen (18) months after your PMP recertification cycle ends.