what is the PMP audit

Today’s blog post will discuss the PMP audit, its process, and its purpose. My goal is that this explanation will help you understand the PMP audit and why it is necessary.

The Project Management Institute (PMI), USA, offers the PMP certification, the most challenging and in-demand project management credential worldwide.

Every project professional should aspire to become a PMP. Organizations are looking for PMP-certified professionals to improve work efficiency.

To maintain the credibility of its certifications, PMI conducts audits for applicants applying for the PMI certification exam.

PMP Audit

A PMP audit ensures that the right candidates are passing through the process and earning the certification.

Employers trust PMI’s certifications, so it is essential that the PMI maintains the quality of its exam process so that only people with the required skills and experience can achieve it.

Clearly, the audit is necessary to uphold the high standards and reputation of the certification process.

No one applying for the PMP exam knows if they will be selected for a PMI audit since the selection process is random. Any applicant has a chance of being audited. The percentage of candidates selected for an audit is also a secret.

According to the PMI,

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

There is no way to avoid the audit, but also no reason to worry about it since I will describe the process below.

What is the PMP Audit Process?

The PMP audit process authenticates the information provided by an applicant and verifies that the applicant is eligible to apply for the PMP exam. Once you submit the application, PMI will notify you immediately if you have been selected for an audit.

If PMI selects you for the PMP audit, your eligibility clock stops until you successfully pass the audit, and the PMI clears you. You will then have three attempts to pass the PMP exam within one year after the revised deadline. 

If you are not selected for an audit, you will pay the exam fee, proceed to the Pearson VUE site, and schedule the PMP exam.

If you are selected for an audit, the PMI will send you an email instructing you on how to complete the process.

The PMI will ask you to provide the following documents to complete the audit process:

  1. Proof of education
  2. Proof of training
  3. Proof of experience

Proof of Education

You must provide photocopies of your educational certificates. Make sure they are in order; start with the lowest qualification and end with the highest qualification or vice versa.

Proof of Training

Attending a PMP training program to earn 35 contact hours training program is mandatory. Provide a copy of your training certificate.

Proof of Experience

This part of the PMP audit process is lengthy. If you are selected, you will get access to a special section of myPMI on the PMI website to find your audit package. Fill out your experience details and make printouts. 

Next, collect signatures from your supervisors for each project on the experience form. This process can take time, so get started right away. You have 90 days to complete the audit process.

Ask your supervisors to give you a signed experience certificate in a sealed envelope with another signature across the seal. This is important. If proof is not sealed in an envelope, you may fail your PMI audit.

If you cannot get a signature from your supervisors because the company no longer exists or you have a bad relationship with your old supervisor, I suggest you contact PMI customer care, and they will advise you how to proceed further.  

I know some cases where the PMI asked applicants to get their experience certificate signed by a colleague on behalf of the supervisor.

Once all the experience certificates are ready, put them in a sealed envelope and send them to the PMI at the following address:

Project Management Institute
Att: Certification Audit
14 Campus Blvd.
Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299, USA.

Note that the PMI will not accept your audit documents through fax or e-mail. Send all the documents in one envelope for faster processing.

They will take one week to review your package and inform you of the result. If you have passed the PMP audit, you can complete the payment and schedule the exam.

If you have failed the audit, rectify the issue and then apply again.

What is the Purpose of the PMP Audit?

This is a quality assurance process for the PMP exam certification process ensuring that only eligible candidates apply for the exam and filtering out fraudulent candidates from being certified. This process verifies the authenticity of the information presented by the candidates.

While the process may seem burdensome to applicants, it supports the credibility and reputation of the certification, ultimately benefitting all project management professionals.

I strongly recommend you download the PMP Handbook and read it. It will help you understand the application and PMP audit process. Although it is not well explained, it will outline the latest official information on the PMP audit.

How Long Does is the PMP Audit Process?

The PMI will provide you with the information you required to complete the PMP audit process. 

It’s the applicant’s responsibility to collect all required PMP audit documents and send them to the PMI.

The PMI will take one week to review your application after they receive it. If the papers are in order, you will know your result a week later.

Accordingly, you can control how quickly you send the package to the PMI. You can minimize the disruption and expedite the process by lining up your supervisors’ contact information beforehand. If selected for an audit, you can then quickly collect the documentation you need.

Keep in mind that the PMI reserves the right to audit any candidate even after passing the PMP. If you fail in this audit, you will lose your credential, and your fee will not be refunded.

Summary

The PMI audit process is one reason why the certification is highly regarded. The PMP audit process maintains the credibility of the certification and ensures the right candidates hold the PMP title. 

Many aspirants worry about the PMP application audit process; however, if you are truthful and provide the correct information, you will pass the audit. Prior knowledge of the process and proactive preparation go a long way to alleviate anxiety and delay.

Have you been selected for the PMP audit? If yes, please share your experiences with the PMI application audit process in the comments section with other PMP aspirants.

I have written five posts on the PMP audit process. Please follow these links to understand the audit process.

  1. What is the PMP Audit and its Purpose? (You are here)
  2. What Will Happen if I Fail the PMP Audit?
  3. What Will Happen if I Decide Not to Proceed With the Audit?
  4. What is the Percentage of PMP Aspirants Selected for an Audit?
  5. How Can I Avoid a PMP Audit?