PMBOK Guide FAQ

These Frequently Asked Questions will help provide information pertaining to the availability of member-only PDFs, a high-level overview of major updates to the standards, translations, and changes to certification examinations.

General Standards Information

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  • What is a Standard?

    PMI defines a standard as a consensus-based document that provides an agreed on and repeatable framework of doing something, such as a project. Standards provide precise criteria designed to be used consistently as a definition, rule or guideline.

    PMI global standards provide guidelines, rules and characteristics for project, program and portfolio management. These standards are widely accepted and, when consistently applied, help you, your global peers and your organization achieve professional excellence

  • Which titles have been published?

    • A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Fifth Edition
    • The Standard for Program Management—Third Edition,
    • The Standard for Portfolio Management—Third Edition, and
    • Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®)—Third Edition
  • Will members still receive PDF versions as part of their member benefits?

    As a PMI member in good standing you may download a digital copy of all the updated standards at no charge. Members can visit the PMBOK® Guide and Standards Page to access the digital versions. Members can click on the title to enter their user name and password to access the PDFs. Printed versions of the updated standard titles are available for public sale through the PMI Store.

  • What are the prices for each of the titles, and have they increased from the previous versions?

    The prices for all four titles will remain the same as the previous versions; there is no price increase:

    PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition

    • Non-member price: US $65.95
    • Member price: US $49.50

    The Standard for Program Management—Third Edition

    • Non-member price: US $60.95
    • Member price: US $48.75

    The Standard for Portfolio Management—Third Edition

    • Non-member price: US $60.95
    • Member price: US $48.75

    Organizational Project Management Maturity Model(OPM3®)—Third Edition

    • Non-member price: US $76.75
    • Member price: US $61.40
  • How often are PMI Standards updated?

    PMI updates its global standards at least every five years in accordance with ANSI Guidelines.

  • What are the major updates to the PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition?

    The Fifth Edition continues to reflect the evolving knowledge within the profession of project management. Like previous editions it represents generally recognized good practice in the profession.

    The PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition continues the tradition of excellence in project management with a standard that is easy to understand and implement. 

    The major updates to the Fifth Edition are summarized below:

    • The content from Section 3 “The Standard for Project Management of a Project” has been moved to Annex A1. The new Section 3 addresses project management processes and Process Groups as in previous editions.
    • A new Knowledge Area has been created called “Project Stakeholder Management” that increases the focus on identifying and engaging stakeholders. This increases the number of Knowledge Areas from nine to ten.
    • Four planning processes have been added to reinforce the concept that each major Knowledge Area has a planning process focusing on how that area will be planned and executed.
  • Into which languages will the PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition be translated and what is the expected publication date?

    PMI will offer official translations of the Fifth Edition in the following ten languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian and Spanish. Complete translations will be available to members and non-members starting in October 2013. In the meantime, as sections of the translations become available, we are posting them to PMI.org for access by PMI members.

  • What are the requirements for translating the PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition into a language not currently published?

    If you wish to translate the PMBOK® Guide into a language not currently being published by PMI, please complete and submit the PMI Permissions Form.

  • What are the major updates to The Standard for Program Management—Third Edition?

    The Standard for Program Management—Third Edition continues to recognize good practices for managing multiple projects and programs successfully. The major updates for the Third Edition include:

    • The Program Life Cycle has been assigned to its own chapter to provide the details of the unique set of elements that make up the program management phase.  
    • The updated edition highlights the full scope of program management and clarifies the supporting processes that complete the delivery of programs in the organizational setting.  
    • A more detailed definition of program management within an organization is provided, including the 4 fundamental differences between project and program management. 
  • What are the major updates to The Standard for Portfolio Management—Third Edition?

    The Standard for Portfolio Management—Third Edition continues to recognize good practices in the discipline of portfolio management—“doing the right work.” The major updates for the Third Edition include:

    • A standardized approach to discussing enterprise environmental factors and organizational process assets.
    • Three new Knowledge Areas have been added: Strategic Management, Performance Management and Communication Management.
    • The Defining Process Group has been added that contains key processes to define and plan execution of the portfolio process.
    • The Monitoring and Controlling Process Group has been renamed the Authorizing and Controlling.
    • Process Group.
  • What are the major updates to Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®)—Third Edition?

    OPM3®—Third Edition significantly builds on the foundation formed by the input of hundreds of project management practitioners and consultants from countries around the world. It introduces the latest best practices and expansions, and enhances several sections in order to keep up with the newest developments.

    The major updates for the Third Edition include:

    • Restructured content with inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs (ITTO) that are fully harmonized and more precisely aligned with other PMI standards. OPM3®—Third Edition is the perfect companion to the three new PMI foundational standards—PMBOK® Guide, The Standard for Program Management and The Standard for Portfolio Management—as well as other maturity models such as Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI).
    • Improved value for business application, with new content to enhance the way an organization measures itself and transform organizational strategy into business results.

Credential Exams

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  • How will updates to the PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition affect certification examinations?

    When an update to a standard, such as the PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition, is released, certification exams are updated as appropriate to reflect changes in the professional reference.

    It is estimated only a small percentage of examination items/questions require updates that directly address actual changes in the standards. As a regular part of the examination update process, PMI continually develops new questions that replace older questions on a periodic schedule rather than upon the immediate update/change of a particular reference.

  • 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.

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