April 4, 2020

Understanding the PMP Certification Process

The letters “PMP” stand for Project Management Professional, the designation of which is certified by the PMI or Project Management Institute.  Being designated as a PMP ensures that all individuals will follow the standardized methodologies and procedures mandated by PMP certification process and guidelines throughout the world.  A person that is a certified PMP is involved in the choice, development, execution, and finishing of business projects in numerous industries.

Prerequisites for taking the PMP exam

Taking the Project Management Professional exam in order to receive PMP designation is required and includes a targeted education curriculum and numerous work experience hours in the position.  Although the education and employment criteria will occasionally vary, a Bachelor’s Degree that includes having taken communication, economics, or human resources courses is normally required along with 2 years of hands-on experience (see below for individuals without a Bachelor’s).

Taking the PMP designation exam

The PMP Examination Specification defines and describes five specific performance domain tasks or process groups that are based on the following including the weight of this portion of the PMP designation exam:

  • 13% on initiating the project
  • 24% on planning the project
  • 30% on executing the project
  • 25% on controlling and monitoring the project
  • 8% on closing or finishing the project

Additionally, there are 9 Project Management Professional areas of knowledge that are associated with these 5 areas including Project Communications, Cost, Human Resource, Integration, Procurement, Quality, Risk, Scope, and Time Management.  The processes of these areas of knowledge are described based on their input and output as well as the techniques and tools involved. Project Management Professional certification is valid for a period of three years from the date the exam was passed at which time you must continue your education to maintain certification.

The “Project Management Body of Knowledge” (PMBOK) guidelines emphasize interacting with and the interdependence of these process groups.

Steps to becoming a Project Management Professional

The following steps are necessary for any individual who desires becoming a Project Management Professional and earning PMP certification:

Submit the application – document your project management education and experience at the PMI website online.

Professional experience and educational requirements – 1) Associate’s Degree or high school diploma 5 years of PMP experience or 2) Bachelor’s Degree and 3 years experience.

Review of the application’s completeness – it will take up to 5 business days for the PMI to review your application after being submitted.

Exam eligibility – you can take the PMP certification exam for up to a period of 12 months after the approval of your application.

Payment of the application – you will need to pay for the cost of taking the PMP exam once your application has been thoroughly reviewed and approved.  The cost is $405 for PMI members and $555 for non-members.

Application audit – if an individual’s application is selected for auditing, the process will usually take up to 5 business days.  You will need to produce copies of your diploma or degree and be signed off by any managers or supervisors of projects that you worked on in the past.