Certification FAQs

IMPORTANT UPDATE

PMI is committed to the safety and well-being of our global community. Resulting from COVID-19, there have been significant changes to certification testing that may impact you. Please refer to our COVID-19 page for the most up to date information and guidance.

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    General Certification

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    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.

    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.

    The eligibility requirements for each certification are mentioned here, on these web pages, and detailed in each respective certification handbook. Please link to the appropriate certification handbook for complete guidelines.

    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.

    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.

    Exam Guidance

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    You may refer to yourself as a certification holder. You will receive your digital badge through Credly, which can be shared on social media and verified by employers. Please refer to the "Use of Your PMI Certification" section of the handbooks for more details.

    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 testing center or online.

    All PMI exams are offered at approved Pearson VUE Testing Centers worldwide. You can check for locations on Pearson VUE’s website. (NOTE: Please check Pearson VUE's Covid-19 page for information about exam availability in your area.)

    You can also take your PMP, CAPM, PMI-ACP or PMI-PBA exam in the comfort of your home or office while being monitored by an online proctor through Pearson VUE.

    However, South Korea and Japan exam candidates can take the PMP online proctored exam with ATA. The ATA exam interface is set up with a choice of two languages--Japanese and Korean, and local native-speaking proctors will help you navigate the test-taking process. No need to schedule your exam during the week, you now have the option to test on select weekend days. Learn more about how to prepare for your PMP online proctored certification exam. All other online certification exams for South Korea and Japan will be offered with Pearson Vue.

    The PMP, CAPM, and PMI-ACP exams are translated into multiple languages. Please consult the respective certification handbooks for details on specific languages available. 

    Other certification exams are not currently translated, but PMI will notify you when translations are available.

    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.

    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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    All PMI certifications 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.

    Extensive market research and feedback from certification holders and organizations identified a subset of skills that 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.

    The PMI Talent Triangle outlines three key areas that will help you succeed:

    Ways of Working (previously Technical Project Management): Whether it’s predictive, agile, design thinking, or new practices still to be developed, it's clear that there is more than one way that work gets done today. That’s why we encourage professionals to master as many ways of working as they can - so they can apply the right technique at the right time, delivering winning results.

    Power Skills (previously Leadership): These interpersonal skills include collaborative leadership, communication, an innovative mindset, for-purpose orientation, and empathy. Ensuring teams have these skills allows them to maintain influence with a variety of stakeholders - a critical component for making change.

    Business Acumen (previously Strategic and Business Management): Professionals with business acumen understand the macro and micro influences in their organization and industry and have the function- or domain-specific knowledge - to make good decisions. Professionals at all levels need to be able to cultivate effective decision-making and understand how their projects align with the big picture of broader organizational strategy and global trends.

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

    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).

    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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    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.

    Yes. You can earn your Education PDUs by attending classes offered by PMI Authorized Training Partners, Chapters or by your organizations or a university; attending a PMI congress, PMI Training and other events; or through self-directed learning.

    Yes. You can claim PDUs for a single Education activity under multiple skill areas, Ways of Working (formerly Technical Project Management), Power Skills (formerly Leadership), and Business Acumen (formerly Strategic and Business Management) of the PMI Talent Triangle. For example: if you read a book that contains content on agile/hybrid approaches and on negotiating with stakeholders, you could claim this Education activity in the skill areas of Ways of Working and Power Skills.

    Yes. 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. For more details, please refer to the CCR Handbook.

    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.

    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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    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.

    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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    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.

    To apply for retired status, submit a written request to PMI by email [email protected] or fax 1-610-239-2257. PMI will send you guidelines about retired status and a form to complete.

    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.

    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.

    Candidates have 90 days to complete and submit their audit paperwork. Candidates can log into their dashboard at PMI.org to view the number of days left to complete their audit package.

    Candidates can log into their myPMI dashboard and select ‘Access Audit Package’. From there, the candidate is directed to the application audit dashboard. Simply upload academic and professional education requirements. Additionally, users can send references electronically. Candidates cannot select the submit button until all documents are collected.

     Please contact PMI.

    No, candidates must check the audit package dashboard in myPMI to determine if a response was provided by the reference. Candidates cannot submit audit package to PMI until all references, academic, and professional education requirements are collected.

    Yes, you can update your reference at any time. Please be advised, there is a 90-day time box to complete the audit package.

    Candidates cannot access a submitted audit package. If they attempt to select ‘Access Audit Package’ after they submit, they will be routed to the landing page advising that the audit has been submitted.

    Once all paperwork is collected by the candidate you must submit within the audit package dashboard.

    Signatures are captured electronically.

    The certification audit team processes audit materials within 5 to 7 business days of their submission. Once PMI reviews and approves audit materials, PMI will send an e-mail containing your payment instructions.

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

    Candidates can have a colleague, peer, client or sponsor who has intimate knowledge of the project verify.

    PMI is very sensitive to this situation, and encourages 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. PMI may also provide a letter of intent to any managers or supervisors upon request.

    No. Audit candidates must contact the PMI Authorized Training Partner directly for the necessary verification.

    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.

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

    Yes.

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

    The Certification Department will address further actions on a case-by-case basis.

    The entire audit process is now digitized. Candidates can upload audit documents in their audit package dashboard if selected for audit. If a document has multiple pages, please upload documents into one PDF.

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

    Please check the reference’s email address for accuracy. Please be sure the reference checks their spam folders for Docusign.net.

    Candidates are required to upload the original certificate and a letter outlining a general translation. If a document has multiple pages, please upload documents into one PDF. This can be uploaded to the Professional Education area provided in your audit package.

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