The Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential examination will be revised in 2011, based on updates to the professional role of a PMP® credential holder recently found by PMI's Role Delineation Study (RDS).
PMI conducts a role delineation study for the PMP credential every five to seven years to ensure the credential reflects contemporary practice and evolves to meet current needs in the profession, and to comply with the PMP credential's accreditation against the ISO 17024 standard.
Project managers pursuing the credential or preparing for the exam in the upcoming year should be aware that approximately 30 percent of the PMP exam will change.
As a result of the RDS, certain areas of the examination will be tested in a different way because an existing domain was seen to be common across all content areas of the examination. Specifically, the Professional and Social Responsibility content area (Domain 6) will now be tested in every domain rather than as a separate domain on the examination. The recognition obtained through the RDS is that professional and social responsibility is integrated into all of the work of project management. PMI's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct should therefore now be viewed as integrated into the day-to-day role of a project manager, emphasizing its importance in each phase of the project life cycle.
However, education and experience eligibility requirements for the PMP credential will not change.
The new examination is scheduled to be released on 31 August 2011. This means that the last day to take the current PMP exam is 30 August 2011. Candidates who would like to take the current version of the examination are advised to schedule early to better ensure that they are able to obtain a test date before the update.
The changes in the PMP exam reflect the maturity of the role as defined in the RDS. More than 3,000 PMP credential holders from 97 countries were involved in the process of updating the role.
A steering committee and task force of volunteers comprised of PMP credential holders led the RDS effort. These volunteers represented project managers from every global region, as well as diversity in industry, job roles and other demographics.
PMI started the eight-month RDS process in late 2009, working with Professional Examination Services, a third-party with expertise in this process, to complete the study.
Michella Dantas, PMI-RMP, PMP, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, served as the PMP representative for the Role Delineation Study Steering Committee. She noted that "the process as conducted by PMI brings high value, as it involves a wide diversity of experienced professionals coming from different business areas and countries who can bring to the table their views on how the profession is evolving and what might have to be reviewed as far as knowledge, skills and abilities." Ms. Dantas also participated in the PMP Role Delineation Study in 2004.
"Because it provides timely recalibration of the certification requirements with the experiences of global project managers across a wide array of project types, sizes, industries and complexities, the RDS ensures that PMP [credential holders] can measure and chart their own development based on internationally accepted criteria," says task force team member Grace E. Solas, PMP, of Jamaica. "By doing this, a PMP should always have a distinct advantage toward providing value-adding services to their employers."
"Project management is still not as easily recognized as some older professions. An RDS makes the role clearer and shows the difference between a skilled technical specialist and a skilled project manager," says Sergey Rakovskiy, PMP, of Moscow, Russia, who served on the RDS task force.
"By performing an in-depth look at the current PMP [exam] and comparing it to what project managers in the ‘real world' are doing, a role delineation study results in a more meaningful credential," says task force participant Julie Paradise, MSM, PMP, East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, USA.
"In a world that's so dynamic, it is important [for a project manager] to have fresh information in order to adapt to many circumstances. The Role Delineation Study helps project managers be sure that the information that is shared with them is updated based on the experience that other project managers have faced in daily work. Conducting a role delineation study gives a huge amount of certainty that the project management practices are adaptable to the current markets," says task force member Gabriel Perez Huesca, PMP, of Puebla City, Mexico.
To reflect exam modifications, PMI has created and released a new PMP Exam Content Outline that will replace the current PMP® Examination Specification. Find more information online about the RDS or related examination changes.