Certification FAQs

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    General Certification

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    • Do I have to be a CAPM, PMP, or a PMI member to apply for other PMI certifications?

      No. No one certification serves as a prerequisite for another. You also do not have to be a PMI member to apply to become a certification holder.

    • How do I earn a PMI certification?

      To obtain a PMI certification, you must first meet the eligibility requirements outlined on these web pages and detailed in the certification handbooks. Then, you must pass an exam.

    • What are the eligibility requirements?

      The eligibility requirements for each certification are mentioned here and detailed in the handbook.

    • How do I complete the application?

      All certification applications are available online. Click the "Apply" button on these web pages. Please note that any missing information on the application will delay processing.

    • What supporting documentation should I send with my application?

      When submitting an application, you do not need to send documentation. However, you will be required to send supporting documentation if your application is selected for a random audit. To find out more about PMI's audit process, refer to the certification handbooks and the audit FAQs.

    • Once I pass the exam or evaluations, what next?

      You may refer to yourself as a certification holder although your certificate package can take six to eight weeks to arrive in the mail. Please refer to the "Use of Your PMI Certification" section of the handbooks for more details.

      You also can start making plans for maintaining your certification by familiarizing yourself with the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program and its requirements. More details on the CCR program can be found within the CCR Handbook.

    • How do I schedule a certification exam appointment?

      Once you are eligible, PMI will e-mail you examination scheduling instructions with your eligibility code, which you will need when scheduling your exam appointment at a Prometric testing center. You can schedule your exam appointment online or by telephone. Full details can be found in the certification handbook and within the examination scheduling instructions.

    • Where will the examination be given?

      All PMI computer-based exams are offered at all Prometric Testing Centers worldwide. You can check for locations on Prometric's website but you will need to have submitted your certification fees and received your examination scheduling instructions in order to schedule an exam appointment.

    • Are the exams available in languages other than English?

      The PMP and CAPM exams are translated into multiple languages. Please consult the respective certification handbooks for details on specific languages available. The PMI-ACP exam is available in English and Simplified Chinese. The PMI-PBA exam is available in English and will also be available in Simplified Chinese by mid-2016. Other certification exams are not currently translated, but PMI will notify you when translations are available.

    • If I fail the exam, can I take it again?

      If you fail the exam on your first attempt, you can re-take it two more times within your one-year eligibility period. Fees are associated with re-examination. Details for re-examination can be found in the certification handbook.

    • What happens if my eligibility expires and I have not taken the exam?

      Your application is valid for one (1) year from the date of approval. If you allow your eligibility to lapse, you must re-apply.

    CCR Program Requirements

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    • What requirements do I need to fulfill to maintain an active certification status?

      All PMI certifications, with the exception of CAPM, require that you engage in continuous professional development in order to remain certified.  The requirements for each certification can be found within the CCR Handbook.

    • Why has the PMI Talent Triangle been incorporated into the CCR program?

      Extensive market research and feedback from certification holders and organizations identified a subset of skills which, employers require for project practitioners to deliver improved results. These skills areas are represented in the PMI Talent Triangle. The CCR updates align professional  development activities, specifically Education activities, with the PMI Talent Triangle to ensure  certification holders are focused on the needs of the profession.

    • How are the three areas of focus for the PMI Talent Triangle defined?

      The PMI Talent Triangle outlines the three skill areas employers need. They are as follows:

      Technical Project Management: the knowledge, skills and behaviors related to specific domains of Project, Program and Portfolio Management. The technical aspects of performing one’s role.

      Leadership: the knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed to guide, motivate, and direct a team, to help an organization achieve its business goals.

      Strategic and Business Management: the knowledge of and expertise in the industry and organization that enhances performance and better delivers business outcomes.

    • What are some examples of topics that align to each skill area within the PMI Talent Triangle?

      Many topics can align to each area of the PMI Talent Triangle.  Here are some examples to help you understand.

    • Are the skill areas of the PMI Talent Triangle aligned with activities that Give Back to the Profession?

      No. They are not. You can still earn PDUs for activities that give back to the profession including creating new project management knowledge, volunteering, and working as a professional in project management. Volunteer activities should reflect your use of practitioner knowledge and skills (i.e., planning the project for a charity).

    • How will certification holders be transitioned to the new CCR program?

      To facilitate the process of transitioning to this updated program, there will be different renewal requirements during this initial migration period based on your certification cycle expiration date. See the table below for more details.

      1 December 2015 – 30 November 2017

      • Classify PDUs according to new CCR format.

      1 December 2017 and Beyond

      • Classify PDUs according to new CCR format.
      • Meet minimum number of PDUs in Education category and each of the three skill areas. This is required for renewal.
      • Limit Giving Back category PDUs to new maximum requirement.
    • How can I maintain several credentials at once?

      The CCR process enables certain PDUs to be shared across your certifications, simplifying the  maintenance process.  To learn more please refer to the “Maintaining Multiple Certifications” section of the CCR Handbook  and/or watch this webinar.

    All About PDUs

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    • What are PDUs?

      PDUs stand for Professional Development Units.  PDUs are the measuring unit used to quantify your professional development as part of the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program.  1 PDU = 1 hour of learning/activity.

    • Can I still earn Education PDUs the same way I used to?

      Yes. You can earn your Education PDUs by attending classes offered by PMI R.E.P.s, Chapters or by your organizations or a university; attending a PMI congress, SeminarsWorld® and other events, or through self-directed learning.

    • Can I claim PDUs for a single Education activity in more than one skill area of the PMI Talent Triangle?

      Yes. You can claim PDUs for a single Education activity under multiple skill areas (Technical Project Management, Leadership, Strategic and Business Management) of the PMI Talent Triangle. For example: if you read a book that contains content on techniques for project time management and on negotiating with stakeholders, you could claim this Education activity in the skill areas of Technical Project Management and Leadership.

    • Can I transfer PDUs to my next cycle?

      Yes. Any PDUs earned above the required total (e.g. 60 for PMP) in the last year of your 3-year certification cycle can be applied to your next cycle. PDUs earned during the first two years of your cycle cannot be applied to a future cycle.

    • When is the earliest I can start earning PDUs after I earn a certification?

      You can start earning and reporting PDU activities as soon as you earn a PMI certification. Activities you completed prior to earning your certification will not count as PDUs towards your newly acquired certification.

    • When reporting PDU activities, is any supporting documentation required?

      You do not need supporting documentation to report PDUs and renew your credential. When reporting your PDUs through CCRS, you will be directed to include specific information about the activity in the PDU claim form.

      NOTE: PMI recommends you maintain a personal folder for all PDU-related documentation and keep this documentation for at least 18 months after your CCR cycle has ended. If you are randomly selected for an audit, you will need to provide this documentation.

    Online PDU Reporting (CCR) System

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    • Do I need a special username or password to use CCRS?

      No. You will use the same username and password that you use to access PMI.org. CCRS uses PMI single sign-on technology, which enables you to log in only once to gain access to all PMI systems and resources. Single sign-on saves time and prevents the need to remember a separate username and password to access CCRS.

    • Where do I find detailed instructions for using the CCR System?

      CCRS features a comprehensive online user guide.  You can find the user guide in the Handbooks and Guides section of CCRS.

    Certification Suspension

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    • Can I get an extension beyond the suspension expiration date?

      PMI recognizes that hardships may arise. Certification holders who are military personnel called to active duty, incapacitated due to illness or out on maternity leave can request an extension.

    • I have retired from the project management profession. How do I end my certification?

      Please send a written request to the PMI certification department. Your certification will then be marked non-active.  PMP certification holders with 10 years of good certification standing may qualify for the PMP-Retired status.

    • Can I complete PDUs during my suspension period and apply them to my recent CCR cycle?

      If you complete required PDUs during the suspension period to meet your CCR, you will be able to renew your certification. However, if you can document the necessary PDUs from the original CCR cycle, you can use PDUs earned during your suspension period as activities toward the cycle in which these PDUs were actually earned.

    • Why does PMI conduct application audits?

      PMI conducts application audits to confirm the experience and/or education documented on certification applications. The purpose of the audit is to enhance the credibility of the certification program and of the certification holders. For each certification, a specified percentage of applications are randomly selected for audit.

    • How long does the audit process take?

      Audit materials will be processed within one week upon their arrival at PMI. Once we review and approve audit materials, you will receive an e-mail containing your eligibility code and exam scheduling instructions.

    • What is the best way to send audit materials to PMI?

      You can send your completed audit forms, depending on where you live, by regular postal mail or express courier service, to the address below. PMI will not accept faxed or emailed audits documents. Please send all materials at one time, or in one envelope, to expedite the processing time.

      PMI Attn.:
      Certification Audit
      14 Campus Blvd.
      Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299 USA

    • Are audit materials confidential?

      Yes. Audit materials are strictly confidential and are not shared with any external organization unless required through legal action involving PMI.

    • Does PMI return the original audit materials after review?

      No. PMI retains the original documentation according to its internal auditing procedures.

    • Do the Experience Verification Forms need to be notarized?

      No.

    • Will PMI accept an e-mail signature?

      No. All audit signatures must be handwritten.

    • How should an audit candidate verify experience that they were the manager/supervisor/consultant for? What if the manager/supervisor is no longer at the specified company?

      Candidates can have a colleague, peer, client or sponsor who has intimate knowledge of the project verify. A supervising manager can still verify experience even if he/she is not with company. If this option is not feasible, a colleague from the project can verify, or a current manager or supervisor, who has intimate knowledge of the project, can verify.

    • If the projects and/or programs listed were completed in a highly classified environment, or a company is very sensitive about proprietary information being seen by other employers or individuals outside the company, how should this be handled?

      We are very sensitive to this situation, and encourage candidates to have the information verified in a way that is consistent with company practices and policies. Candidates may black out any proprietary information so as long as there are no changes or omissions to the original information provided to us. We can also provide a letter of intent to any managers or supervisors upon request.

    • A manager accidentally mailed the envelope directly to PMI. The cover letter states that partial submissions are considered an automatic failure of the audit. Is this oversight considered an automatic failure?

      We will not penalize an audit candidate for this oversight; however it is important that we are aware of the situation so that we can flag the piece of mail in anticipation of the remaining audit materials.

    • A manager or supervisor is across the world. Can the audit materials be faxed or sent directly to PMI?

      The Experience Verification Form and Experience PDF attachment can be e-mailed to any verifying manager or supervisor; however because the original audit forms need to be submitted in the sealed and signed envelopes, we will not accept faxed copies. We prefer that the candidate mail all documents in one parcel.

    • Are photocopies of education certificates of completion sufficient or does PMI require the originals?

      Copies of your certificates are sufficient. We recognize that your certificates are important to you. Therefore, we suggest that you send copies of the originals be sent.

    • Do certificates in a foreign language need to be translated?

      Candidates are required to send a copy of the original and a letter outlining a general translation.

    • If a course was completed at a PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.), can PMI contact them for my certificate?

      No. Audit candidates must contact the PMI R.E.P. directly for the necessary verification.

    • If an in-house course did not issue a certificate, what type of verification will PMI accept?

      We will accept a letter of completion from the course administrator, HR department, or manager on company letterhead to verify that the course was completed.

    • The individual who verified my work experience forgot to sign the back of the envelope. Will this be a problem?

      Although it is preferred that your experience verification form(s) are returned to PMI in a signed and sealed envelope, we understand that this may not be possible in some cases due to internal business regulations, customs inspections, etc. Please make a note on the back of the envelope in question that the signature was omitted.

    • Will PMI accept a receipt or course roster as educational verification?

      No. This does not provide any information relating to completion of the course.

    • Will PMI accept a school transcript to meet the degree requirement?

      Yes, school transcripts are acceptable.

    • Will PMI contact a verifying manager or supervisor?

      Not always. PMI does reserve the right to do so if there is a specific question related to verification.

    • What happens in the case of a failed audit?

      In the case of a failed audit, the certification fee, minus the processing fee will be refunded. The Certification Department will address further actions on a case-by-case basis.

    • What steps need to be taken when an audit candidate decides not to proceed with the audit?

      If a candidate chooses not to complete the audit, it is considered a failed audit due to non-conformance. In the case of a failed audit, the examination fee, minus the processing fee will be refunded. A candidate may reapply after one year. At that time, a new certification application and payment must be submitted, and the application will be subject to a re-audit.

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