pmp audit failed

If you are into project management and interested in the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, you may be having many doubts regarding the certification process. Among all the worries, failing the PMI audit is the scariest.

It’s not just you; in fact, almost all aspirants wonder what will happen if they are selected for an audit and they fail it. I have seen many professionals who worry more about the audit than the PMP exam itself.

Honestly, you should not fear an audit; it is nothing but a verification of the facts that you have provided to the PMI while filling out the PMP exam application form. The PMI will ask you to submit copies of your education certificates, experience certificates, and training program certificates.

Once you provide them with these documents, your audit will be cleared within one week. If you are truthful with your experiences, provide legitimate information to the PMI, and all your papers are in order, you will not fail the audit process

Now we will discuss what will happen if you fail the audit.

How You Can Fail the Audit

There are three cases in which you can fail the audit, and the outcomes of each are different.

  1. When the situation is beyond your capability
  2. When you decide not to proceed with the audit
  3. If you have provided incorrect information to the PMI

When the Situation is Beyond Your Capability

In this case, you fail the audit due to no fault of your own.

It may happen that your company has closed and you are unable to verify your experience, or your boss is not available to verify your experience. This means that you cannot verify the information given to the PMI, and that is not your fault.

In this case, you will fail the audit; however, you will be able to apply again once this issue has been resolved.

Moreover, there will be no suspension period in this scenario.

When You Decide Not to Proceed with the Audit

In this case, you will be banned from applying for the PMP exam for one year.

When You Have Provided Incorrect Information to the PMI

Here you failed the audit because you provided the wrong information to the PMI and tried to persuade them to believe in your false claim.

In this case, the PMI will ban you for life, and you will not be able to apply for the exam ever again.

If you have provided false information by mistake, or you have entered the wrong data while typing in a hurry, you must contact PMI customer care to correct the error.

You should never intentionally submit incorrect information to the PMI. Doing so risks a lifelong consequence if you are caught.

I have noticed that these days that the PMI is selecting more candidates for auditing and many aspirants are failing. It seems that they are checking each application more rigorously for possible mistakes. Therefore, make sure that you provide correct information while filling out the PMP application form.

Please refer to my blog post on how to avoid a PMP audit to learn how to correctly fill out the PMP application form and tackle the audit.

Summary

If you fail the audit, you may or may not get a suspension period. However, there is a chance of a lifetime ban from the PMP exam if you provide false information intentionally. The PMI audit is an essential tool for the PMI to ensure that it certifies the people who are who they claim to be. This process establishes the credibility of the PMI and its certification process. Be truthful and honest with the PMI; this is the only way to pass the audit.

Have you been selected for an audit? If yes, please share your experience in the comments section so other aspirants can learn and better prepare for it.

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Speak Your Mind

  • Dear Fahad,
    I submitted the documents of my Audit last Jan 1, 2020 to PMI and received last Jan 3, 2020.
    Yesterday I got email from PMI that I fail the Audit apart from the document send as to Audit Report which signed by my Direct Manager.

    PMI message on email yesterday:
    “Thank you for submitting your complete audit materials.

    After thorough review of your application, it has been determined that your application does not meet the minimum eligibility requirements. At this time your application has been closed.

    Eligibility Not Met: Domains are not included
    It is required that candidates show that they led and directed the project as identified with the tasks, knowledge, and skills specific in the PMP Exam Content Outline. The PMP candidate is not required to show experience leading and directing projects in all five project domains for each project, but must have this experience within the total number of experience hours and in their project deliverable descriptions.

    Review Feedback:
    For all experience – Project domains (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, Closing) and domain-specific deliverables are incomplete; project management methodology used is unclear; without clear project domains we are unable to determine if a project is valid. Wherever work hours are claimed within a domain, elements of that domain as detailed in the PMBOK Guide or the PMP Exam Content Outline must also be conspicuous in the description.

    Additional Comments:
    1. We have reviewed your education documents. Your attained education and project management education are approved and will be waived for your next audit.
    2. Should you choose to submit a new application, please note that for best results, project descriptions should be formatted as noted below:
    – A brief, one-sentence project objective
    – Project deliverables summarized by process areas (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing – abbreviations are acceptable IN, PL, EX, MC & CL)
    – A brief, one-sentence project outcome.

    If you wish to submit a new application, you may do so at any time. Please note, if you choose to submit a new application for this certification, your application will again be audited. For your convenience, please visit Things to Consider When Applying for tips and guidelines on how to better present your experience.”

    For this reason, How I will apply again for it is the same project I will write.
    Could you please assist me in detail sir.

  • My name in Educational Certificate is “Vinod Prabhakar” and in all my professional experience letter it is with my surname “Vinod Kulkarni” if my file selected for audit then how to convey them ?

    • It is a different name. Do you have any certificate showing your name as Vinod Prabhakar Kulkarni or Vinod Kulkarni Prabhakar?

  • I took the pmp exam in 2011 but failed the exam. I am giving a 2nd try. Can i use projects experience which i listed in 2011 to apply for the exam OR do i need to update my most recent project experience?

  • I failed the audit due to the following reasons:
    “Deliverables do not show leading and directing. The deliverables documented do not indicate how you lead and directed cross functional teams in all five process groups on the application (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling and closing) as detailed in the PMP Exam Content Outline and the PMBOK Guide.
    Project domains (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, Closing) and domain-specific deliverables are incomplete; project management methodology used is unclear; without clear project domains we are unable to determine if a project is valid. Wherever work hours are claimed within a domain, elements of that domain as detailed in the PMBOK Guide or the PMP Exam Content Outline must also be conspicuous in the description.”
    Seems I failed to write the project description in the way its required to be presented. Although the mail says, “If you wish to submit a new application, you may do so at any time. Please note, if you choose to submit a new application for this certification, your application will again be audited”, I just want to know whether I can re-apply with the same projects, but rewriting the descriptions and making them conspicuous with the claimed work hours. Or I need to re-apply with different projects (as I don’t have any other)?

  • Once the listed contact name signs the document on the pmp verificaton audit form, does pmi contact them to verify that they signed it.

  • Hello Fahad,

    I just failed the audit because of the project descriptions. PMI says: “your audit was not passed because your descriptions did not clearly define your role in leading and directing cross-functional teams through the project management processes (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, closing) in line with the tasks outlined in the PMP Exam Content Outline.”

    I can apply again but I need to update the project descriptions to proof my project management experience. I am wondering how to do that because if I remember it right there is only a field with about 400 digits during the application process to describe the project and my role. Also during the audit process, I couldn’t figure a possibility to give more information about the project. There were only the attached documents with the same description (of about 400 digits) that my colleagues had to sign.

    Did I miss something during the application or audit process where I can describe the project and my role as project manager in the project in more detail?

    Thanks.
    Best
    Katrin

  • Hello Fahad,

    I failed the audit with no fault and received the comments from PMI as follows.

    “The content within several of your project management work experiences offered a significant amount of detail regarding the challenges and attributes of the projects. For several of the experience items the content addressed task level details which appear to have been relevant to the requirements of the project(s). However, for several of the experience items listed on your PMP application, the content did not demonstrate that you led and directed as project manager using skills specific within the PMP Examination Content Outline.”

    Does that mean at least one of the project description I submitted met the verification guidelines of PMP?

    Could you please help evaluate the following project description that I submitted?

    Role: Administrator
    PO: Program overhaul to a new degree
    Duties: Assigned to a XX-year project to transform XXX (old program) to XXX (new program). Involved in the project initiation phase to review course curriculum change, draft program budget, and conduct stakeholders’ analysis. Participated in risk analysis and the development of project schedule to address the needs of marketing and to enrich student experience. Program transition phase completed by XXX (date) with XXX students enrolled.

    Thanks!
    Penny

    • I think you are missing executing and monitoring and controlling processes here. How about your other experiences?

  • Hi Fahad,

    Thank you for this detailed article.

    I have the required amount of hours as per eligibility. However, for the credits, I have already completed my MBA in Project Management from Sikkim Manipal University (Distance) for which I have a certificate which shows that I have done well and passed. Would this suffice? (This was a 2 year course that I completed along side my work).

    Thank you again!

  • How to prove: When the situation is beyond your capability (no fault of your own)…
    Like in my case, I had submitted 5 projects for PMI – ACP.
    1. One project – my manager is not alive. I have left organization – so can not convince others.
    2. 2nd project – it was in different city. As its 4 years ago, I know only 2 people – out of which one has left organization and 2nd one is not responding.
    3. 3rd project – it was in Staff Augmentation. Client is not ready to sign anything in written. My colleague and org manager was not aware of work as it was staff augmentation.
    4. Even in all the cases, colleagues are scared to sign anything in written as they consider it as some contract and may face some legal issues anytime. They do want to do any charity work to help somebody which doesnt have any benefit but some possible risk.
    Now, under these circumstances, there is no meaning also to submit Audit Package and I just want to cancel my application. So is it audit failure? If yes, how do I convince about my condition? As I am cancelling application without PMI spending anytime on it, why should they even deduct processing fees?

    • Hello Biren, don’t cancel your audit.

      Although your situation is unique, I suggest you contact PMI customer care. They are smart people and understand situation like yours.

      I am sure that there will be some solution for this problem.

      • Hi Fahad – sorry, I could not replied earlier on the thread. Yes, I had mentioned details to PMI Customer care and then, I asked to cancel audit as I was not in position to submit. It was considered as audit failure after explaining my condition. Though, they were nice to understand that it was not my fault – so they waived off 1-year ban for me. I still lost $200 – audit fees. May be – I could have some more dialog but somehow, I lost interest and thought to give CSM/SAFe if I just need certification of my knowledge and experience.

  • what is supposed to be placed in project description: is it the description what was project was initiated for and it’s deliverable or my activities as a PM done in scope of the project

  • Suppose someone is fresher and cleared s/he CAPM exam, can s/he go for PMP certification right away or do s/he need to earn/wait for 4500 hours to complete. Please guide.Thanks

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