How Can I Avoid a PMI Audit for the PMP Certification Exam Application?

If you are asking me how you can avoid the PMP Exam Application Audit by PMI, my answer is, you cannot avoid it, because this is a completely random process. As per PMI:

 “All applications are subject to an audit, although only a percentage of applications are selected for audit. The selection of an application for audit is random.

This also does not mean that you should send an invitation to PMI to come and audit you.

First of all, never be afraid of an audit, because failing to pass an audit will not sentence you to a life of imprisonment.

I believe that there are a few things which will make you a more likely candidate for auditing:.

  • Experience: If you provide overlapping experience, or there are many gaps in your application, then PMI may notice some red flags and can put you under an audit.
  • 35 Contact Hours: If you have earned your 35 contact hours of formal education through some unknown provider who is not a Registered Education Provider (REP), then PMI may ask you to provide more details about the 35 contact hours by putting you under an audit.
  • Job Responsibilities: If you are providing all your job responsibilities except showing your project management activities or responsibilities, PMI may ask you to clarify your job responsibilities by putting you under an audit.
  • Numbers of Hours per Year: If you provide excessive working hours per year, then PMI may need to verify this by calling you for an audit.

So, I am going to give you few pieces of advice that you should keep in mind while filling out the PMP Certification Application form to avoid inviting PMI to audit you.

If you have any overlapping experience or gaps in experience, then be ready to provide more information when PMI asks for it.

Try to earn your 35 contact hours through any renowned Registered Education Provider (REP) and don’t opt for any unregistered cheap option. However, if you are interested in the cheapest 35 contact hour providers then I have good news for you: I have already posted a blog post covering a list of  cheap and PMI approved 35 contact hour providers. You can access this blog post by clicking on the link below.

Affordable and PMI Approved 35 Contact Hour Providers.

Under the job responsibilities section, give them your project management relevant achievements, activities, or responsibilities.

For your project management experience, don’t calculate more than 2,000 hours of experience per year. For example, if you are giving experience for the last five years, then the total number of hours during this tenure should not be more than 10,000 hours.

These are my recommendations to you to avoid sending an audit invitation to PMI. Also, make sure of a few more things before applying for the PMP certification exam in case you are selected for an audit.

  • Keep all educational and experience certificates ready with you.
  • Make contact with all your previous bosses (under whom you have worked and for projects you have listed on your application form), or their replacements (in case the original boss has moved elsehere), and inform them about your application and tell them that PMI may contact them to verify your experience.
  • Don’t forget to discuss it with you current boss, because he is a more likely candidate to be contacted by PMI if you’re selected for an audit.

If you follow the above-given suggestions, I can assure you that you will be in a much better position to tackle an audit.

I hope all of your concerns have been answered here, but in case you need any further information, feel free to contact me.


  1. Debraj Pandit says

    Hi, Just wondering how is in PMP classroom training in US? Or Should I go with PMTI? Little bit confused. Any help will be a great help for my investment.

    • Peter Ramos says

      Hi Debraj,

      Hope you are well on course with your preparation for your PMP exam. I had the fortune of attending the 4 day Bootcamp of PMstudy in Washington D.C. It was one of the best structured programs and I would definitely recommend it to you. The instructor of PMstudy was the best and prepares you quite properly for your PMP exam.

      While I would advise you to prepare yourself as well as PMP is a very difficult certification. Do let me know how has been the going so far.

    • Ileana Fernandez says

      Hi Debraj! I too would suggest you to go ahead with PMstudy considering that most of the places I inquired about a good training provider I have ended up hearing PMstudy. I too enrolled for PMstudy after a lot of research and so far their service has been really good.

  2. Ehetesham Baig says

    Assalam Usmani,
    Nice reading to your post. Can you please tell me how much long and descriptive the job responsibilities or “summarize deliverables” as they say it.
    I read some where as it should not be more than 500 characters; 500 characters for each process group or for over all? and should it be more detailed or just highlighting some as “creating WBS; Developing Schedule” and so on in short??
    Please help me in this as I am at the final stages of my filling applicaiton process. And i don’t have much time waste in Audits….
    Ehetesham Baig

    • Fahad Usmani says


      Your resume should be in broad nature, not very specific with a lot of details.

      You can write something like this… Led a team of x people to build a school building project with xyz time period etc.. and completed it on time.


      Lead of team of x people to build a school building…Initiated the project and drafted a plan for it and then executed. Project was completed before time with appropriate monitoring and controlling…

      Just talk a little about your project and your involvement, I believe that this would be sufficient.

  3. Shee says


    Do I need to take the 35 contact hours even before submitting the PMP Application form on Can you please clarify.


    • Fahad Usmani says

      Hello Shee,

      Yes, you must attend 35 contact hours training program before applying for the PMP certification exam.

      You’re not eligible to apply for the exam until you attend 35 contact hours training program.

      • Ileana Fernandez says

        Hey Folks!!

        The 35 contact hours is easy to get with PMstudy course. PMstudy provides with 40 contact hours free with their preperatory course. I have enrolled with them and got it.

        Hope this info helped..

        • Jenni says

          Hi All,

          I agree with Ileana, getting 35 contact hours is quite easy with PMstudy. I am taking PMstudy classroom training program next month and have got 40 contact hours which i have already submitted to PMI!!

  4. Clayton Rice says

    Hi Everyone,

    I guess there is any way to avoid being audited by PMI. I would attribute that to plain bad luck!!!

    But to be fair, one can get through the audit process in 10 days time as I did.

    My application was audited and had to submit the documents supporting my credentials.

    PMP Certification is a tough one and I was really apprehensive with whom to associate. I took up PMstudy on grounds of great reviews by my colleagues. I took the 4 day PMP Bootcamp with PMstudy for my PMP certification and I cleared it in the 1st attempt.

    Great providers they are!!! great faculty and awesome materials!!!


    • Arturo says

      Hi Clayton,

      I agree with you regarding PMI’s audit:
      as I undestand a random selection means that any candidacy will be audit, independently the grade of its trustworthiness, confidence or definition quality, if it’s “tached by the raffle”.

      Regarding your application audit, please could you privide us with details of documentation required to support projects experience credentials; e.g., did PMI’s call projets directors?, thank you.


      • Arturo says


        please, excuse my english mistakes: I should write “touched by the raffle” instead of “tached by the ruffle”.


  5. says

    Yes, you are right. One cannot avoid the audit. But as I have followed the best practices when submitting the PMP application, my audit process was quite smooth. The biggest problem is the postage time as I needed to send in the audit package from Hong Kong. It took over 8 working days to receive the audit success email.

  6. Sameer Verma says

    Hi, can any one please tell me, how much are the “Numbers of Hours per Year” should we put, since I have worked 7 yrs till now. can any one please suggest how should I divide my time.



  7. Mart says

    Dear Fahad,

    2,000 hours per year would mean 166 hours per month – i.e. no holidays/vacations etc. It would definitely be picked for an audit given that the hours are wrong up front. From our previous experience, when one accounts for leaves/vacation/organizational activities (20% of overall allocation), the hours/year would be around 1,500. This means about three years of PM experience.

    Would suggest that folks the 166 hours per month calculation and stick to a more realistic 128 hours per month range to ensure they’re also representing their experience honestly/accurately.

    • Fahad Usmani says

      You need to calculate the approximate hours of work you performed on the project management activities and then report it. This is the correct way of reporting experience to PMI.

      2,000 hours is the limit that a person should not cross. In some parts of world you work 40 hours a week (1920 hours/ year), in other parts you work 48 hours a week (2304 hours/year), and some times even more.

      Therefore experts suggest keeping it around 2,000.

  8. Dan Anwar says

    Hello Folks, I had submitted my PMP application and got flagged for audit. Now my problemn is that my contact for verification of experience won’t cooperate. My other colleagues who worked on all the projects are willing to help too but I am not sure if crossing out the original contact for verification of experience with new contact is such move or not. Has anyone experienced such problem that I have. I will really appreciate anyones help or advice. Thanks Dan

    • Fahad Usmani says

      I think you should speak with him and if he does not agree to co-operate, you can approach his superior to convince him.

      You’re not asking for any favor, you are just asking to tell truth to PMI.

  9. Randy says

    Can anyone give me some links to scholarly articles that are emprical in nature, which state clearly that PMPs are better than non PMPs? I know PMI says that they are better but I cant find any articles that back this.

  10. Gobi says

    Hi Fahad..My application is selected for audit and i could see i made a mistake in the “attained education”. Instead of my college name, i have given my PMP training center name and address. And selected Bachelors for degree field.

    Could you please suggest me,how can i address this issue now?.

    Thanks for your help.


    • Fahad Usmani says

      See if you can edit the details. If not, contact PMI customer care immediately and explained them the issue.

  11. Nasser says

    I have selected for an audit, I have my supporting documents for my Bachelor degree and my work experience, but the problem is that for my 35 PM contact hours, I addressed a project management course that I passed it during my Master’s Degree. I was a three credit one, which makes about 51 contact hours.
    I am going to send an email to my university and ask them to provide information about the course and its topics. My questions are:

    1) What information does the University have to certified?
    2) Should it be signed and sealed, or they may email it to me?
    3) If they don’t reply to my inquiry, or they don’t approve the contact hours or PM coverage, can I apply for a 35 Contact Hours class ant provide it to the audit committee?

    • Fahad Usmani says

      They should provide you the course content. If they dont do it, ask PMI if you can join another 35 contact hour training program.

      Just a plain email, or any letter with their stamp will be sufficient, as per my understanding.

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