Project management has become a key part of any successful organization. Businesses these days are facing increased competition, better quality requirements, and harsh deadlines. The price of failure is sky high, with every mistake costing valuable customers.
To combat the demands of modern day business, organizations have started hiring experienced, capable, and certified project managers.
Many authorities provide project management credentials; however, the PMP certification stands out from the crowd as the most in-demand certification.
In this blog post you will read about the PMP certification, eligibility requirements, how to attain it, and once you do, how you can maintain this credential.
What is the PMP Certification?
The PMP stands for Project Management Professional, the certification is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), USA.
The PMI is a non-profit organization that helps project professionals learn the latest tools and techniques.
The process of becoming a PMP is designed to help you to plan projects and coordinate various activities to complete each project successfully with minimal obstruction.
The PMP certification has become an industry standard and is the most sought-after in project management. A PMP title on your resume will greatly increase the visibility of your resume in job portals and makes you a more appealing job candidate.
This certification is valid across all industries and recognized throughout the world. It shows that you have the experience, education, and competency to successfully lead and direct projects.
How to Attain the PMP Certification
To attain the PMP certification, you have to see if you qualify to apply for the PMP exam.
PMP Eligibility Requirements
There are three eligibility requirements to get the PMP certification:
- Project Management Experience
- Project Management Training
Education: You should have either a diploma or a bachelor’s degree. This can be in any discipline.
If you do not possess any of the above educational qualifications, you cannot apply for the PMP exam.
Experience: If you are a degree holder, you should have at least three years of project management experience.
If you are a diploma or secondary degree holder, you should have at least five years of experience.
Qualifying experience is in leading and directing projects, and it should have been earned in the last eight consecutive years.
Project Management Training: You must attend a 35 contact hours training program that will educate you on project management concepts. This training should be aligned with the latest edition of the PMBOK Guide and PMP Exam Content Outline.
Please note that if you are an active CAPM certificate holder, this requirement is waived for you. If you fulfill the experience requirements, you can apply for the PMP exam without attending any training.
If you are looking for an affordable PMI approved 35 contact hours training consider joining my PMP Training Program.
If you fulfill these three requirements, you can apply for the PMP certification exam.
PMP Exam Application Process
There are two ways to apply for the PMP exam: offline and online. Both methods require the same information; however, the online process is quick, while you will have to send hard copies to PMI via courier for the offline, which will take some time.
I would recommend you proceed with the online process.
To begin the PMP exam application process, go to pmi.org, create your account, and fill in the PMP exam application form. You will need to relay information regarding your education, experience, and training.
Once you begin the process, you have 90 days to complete the application.
You may be selected for an audit after you submit the form. If you are selected, the PMI will send you an email about further action. They will ask you to submit copies of your educational qualifications, experience certificate, and proof of training program completion.
Once you submit these documents, within one week, they will approve it and then you can pay the fee for the exam. From this date, your one-year eligibility period starts, and you must pass the PMP exam within this period. You will be given three attempts.
If you are not selected for an audit, your eligibility period will start straight away and you can make the payment.
After making the payment, you will receive a code. Go to the PearsonVue site and use this code to schedule the exam.
I would recommend you get a PMI membership before applying for the PMP exam. Doing so will reduce your exam fee significantly.
As a member, you can download the PMBOK Guide for free. The PMP exam is based on the PMBOK Guide and your PMP exam preparation is incomplete without reading it.
The PMP Exam
The PMP exam consists of 200 questions and lasts four hours. There is no scheduled break and no negative marking. You can take a break, but the timer will not stop ticking.
The exam questions are broken down into five domains:
- Initiation – 13%
- Planning – 24%
- Executing – 30%
- Monitoring & Controlling – 25%
- Closing – 8%
Once you submit your answers, you will immediately know if you have passed or failed.
If you fail the exam, you will have two more attempts to pass within the year time frame. If you fail in all three attempts, you will have to wait a year to apply for the exam again.
If you pass the exam, you are entitled to use the designation “PMP” after your name in your resume, email signature, and in publications.
If you are looking for a course that can help you prepare for the PMP exam that is available at an affordable price, you can join the “PMP Exam Preparation Tool” course.
PMP Exam Passing Score
The PMI used to make the passing mark for PMP exam known, but this policy has changed. Currently, no one knows the PMP what makes passing score, except the PMI.
Generally, it is assumed that the PMP exam passing score is around 70%.
Please note that the PMP passing score is not fixed. It depends on the level of difficulty of your exam. If you receive easy questions, your passing mark will be higher and if you receive difficult questions, your passing score will be lower.
What are the Benefits of the PMP Certification?
Every industry has project managers; whether it is oil and gas, IT, or aerospace. All of them want to hire the best project managers who are aware of the latest tools and techniques, who understand the trends, are capable of leading and directing projects, and have demonstrated that capability using the best methods.
If you have PMP certification, employers will trust in your abilities because you have already demonstrated your skills and capabilities.
Some of the benefits of the PMP certification are as follows:
- It demonstrates your professional achievements.
- It shows your commitment to learn new skills.
- It boosts clients’ confidence in your organization.
- It makes you a more appealing job candidate.
- It increases your employer’s confidence in you.
- It improves organizational productivity.
- It boosts your self-confidence.
- It improves your organization’s brand.
Maintaining the PMP Credential
The PMP credential is valid for three years.
To renew your PMP credential, you will have to earn 60 professional development units and report them to PMI. Once these PDUs are accepted, your credential will be renewed for another three years.
Other Certifications Offered by the PMI
As of today, September 2019, the PMI offers eight certifications.
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
- Project Management Professional (PMP)®
- Program Management Professional (PgMP)®
- Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)®
- PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®
- PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)®
- PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)®
- PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)®
Currently, about 800,000 professionals hold a PMP certification; making it the most popular certification in the project management industry. This certificate is recognized by many government organizations and private and public sector industries. Obtaining the PMP certification is not an easy process. However, if you plan correctly, it is a great achievement.
I strongly recommend you begin your application process if you are in the project management field.
I am writing a series of five blog posts to answer some basic questions regarding the PMP certification.
This is the first part of a series of five posts. The other blog posts are as follows:
- What is the PMP Certification Exam? (You are here)
- What are the PMP Eligibility Criteria?
- What is the PMP Exam Application Process?
- How Expensive is the PMP Certification?
- What is the PMP Examination Structure?
I strongly encourage you to visit www.pmi.org to get the most recent and detailed explanations and for further information.