Overview of the PMP Certification Process

There’s a lot to getting the PMP certification. Here’s an overview of the steps you will go through in obtaining your credential.

  1. First review the requirements of the PMP Certification to ensure you are eligible for the credential. The requirements for the certification are discussed in this blog post – Understanding the Requirements to become PMP Certified.
  2. Go to the PMI website and create an online account. Here’s the link for that. https://authentication.pmi.org/Default.aspx?r=www.pmi.org%2fmembership%2fbecome-a-member.aspx&s=False
  3. Begin filling out the PMP application. The application can be found here. https://certification.pmi.org/default.aspx
  4. Once you begin filling out the application, PMI will save your draft application up to 90 days, after which it will be deleted. So you need to complete your application within 90 days or you will be forced to restart it.
  5. It is important to note that filling out the experience section of the application will take much longer than you think. This is a project in and of itself. I will have another blog post dedicated to this topic in the future. I decided to gather all the experience information first, and entered it into Word and Excel documents so I was ready to copy and paste once I began to fill out the application.
  6. I will also have a future blog post on How to Prepare for an Audit Before you Submit your PMP Application.
  7. Submit your application and wait for PMI to carry out a review of your application. This review generally takes 5 business days.
  8. If your application is deemed complete, then you will receive an email indicating the next step is to pay the PMP Exam Fee.
  9. Financially, it’s cheaper to become a PMI Member (http://www.pmi.org/membership/become-a-member.aspx) for at least the first year and pay the Member Exam Fee than paying the Non-Member Exam Fee. However, PMI membership is not required. When you pay the annual fee of $139 to join PMI, and then decide to apply for the PMP exam, instead of paying $555 to take the PMP exam, you will only pay $405.
  10. Once you pay for your exam, you will immediately get an email indicating if you’ve been selected for an audit. If you don’t get an email regarding the audit, you will get an email notifying you can proceed to schedule your exam with a Prometric testing center.
  11. If selected for an audit, gather and submit by mail the requested poof of working experience, academic achievement and 35 hours of project management education for approval. It will take PMI about 5-7 business days to review your audit materials after they have received them. If you then pass the audit, you will receive an email to schedule your PMP exam with the Prometric testing center.
  12. Once your application has been approved, you have one year to schedule and pass the exam.
  13. Study the PMP knowledge areas, processes, and related material, as found in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). I took the PMStudy Bootcamp class and found it helpful. Here’s my review.
  14. Schedule your exam on the Prometric website and pass your exam! Or if necessary, retake the exam.
  15. Once you pass, your certificate will be mailed to you within 6-8 weeks.
  16. Your PMP credential is valid for 3 years, from the date that you passed the exam. To maintain the credential, you must earn 60 PDUs every 3-year cycle.
  17. Don’t forget to report the PDUs you’ve earned and apply for the credential renewal.