Prepare for project management certification

Prepare for project management certification

Project Management Certification demonstrates to employers and clients the perspective manager possesses the necessary management skills and experience to ensure successful completion of assigned projects. Certification is a valuable part of career development and reflects knowledge, competence, and proficiency based on industry standards.

According to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, project management is defined as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. Project Management Certifications are offered to individuals with varying levels of education and experience.

Professionals that hold certification demonstrate they possess the skills needed to lead and direct project teams towards successful results. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), individuals Certified Project Managers experience around 15% or more increase in salary and career advancement opportunities as a result of certification status. According to the PMI Project Management Salary Survey, the average compensation for U.S. project management practitioners is $101,505.

Step 1, Application Submission

There are several types of certifications available CAPM, PMI-SP, PMI-RMP, PMP, and PgMP. To choose which credential is a suitable fit for your interest, PMI recommend applicants read the online handbooks, which outlines the certification details, exam policies, and procedures. Applications are submitted online through the online certification system. Once started, the application cannot be cancelled. However, unfinished applications can be saved and completed later. The online application must be completed within 90 days. Printable forms of the application are available for download at

Step 2, Application Review

Confirm eligibility requirements are met prior to submitting an application. Education and professional experience are required for certification. Project management experience must be within the last eight consecutive years prior to application submission. Educational background requires a secondary degree such as an associate, bachelor, or global equivalent. Educational training require a minimum of 35 contact hours of specific instruction that address project management such as quality, scope, schedule, budget, communications, risk, procurement, and integration management. Experience requires a minimum of five years or 60 months of unique non-overlapping projects with at least 7500 hours leading and directing project tasks.

Step 3, Application Payment

All payment and credential fees are due prior to scheduling the exam. Fees and payments are determined by the applicant’s status at the time of the application such as new, re-certification, or re-applying. Costs are also determined by the examination delivery type and geographic location. Discounts are available for those interested in becoming a Project Manager Institute (PMI) member. The membership application and credential application can be submitted at the same time to receive the membership rate. Certification and Membership fees are located on the website.

Step 4, Application Audit

Submit audit materials within 90 days of application acceptance. Eligibility begins upon successful completion of the audit. Audit materials include copies of diplomas or global equivalents, signatures from supervisors or managers for projects listed in the application, and copies of certificates from all training institutions in which course work was recorded on the application.

Step 5, Examination

Go to to locate a testing center and schedule the examination. The examination consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and must be taken within one year of the eligibility approval. The allotted time to complete the exam is four hours. Candidates have up to three attempts to pass during the one-year period. The examination focuses on the following areas of project management: Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring, Controlling, Closing, and Professional and Social Responsibility. Certification begins once the exam is passed.

Step 6, Personal Development

Certified Project Management professionals are required to earn and report 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) within 3 years. Project Management Certifications require ongoing personal development training and education. Professional development units (PDUs) are used to measure and quantify approved learning in the field of professional services. Topics must be related to project management and consistent with the knowledge areas outlined in the current edition of ‘A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge’ the (PMBOK® Guide).

  • Approved PDU categories and activities, according to the PMBOK Guide include:
  • Formal Academic Education from Accredited Institutions
  • Professional Activities and Self-directed Learning
  • Courses offered by PMI Registered Education Providers/PMI Components
  • Courses offered by Other Education Providers
  • Volunteer Service

Project Managers are responsible for managing and recording PDU activities as they occur. The recommended and most efficient way to manage the PDU activities according to PMI is through use of the online CCR System. The online CCR System provides project manager’s online access to not only manage their PDU activities, but they are also able to search for new activities and confirm the PDUs post to their account.

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