For those in project management, or people aspiring towards a career in this area, Project Management Professional certification (PMP) is the leading credential for professional development.
But what exactly is the PMP certification?
In this article, we look at the qualification in more detail and assess what a project management professional does, what the certification comprises of, and how to attain PMP certification.
What is the PMP Certification?
The PMP certification is a quality credential awarded to those who have successfully completed an examination set by the Project Management Institute, or PMI.
The qualification is recognized internationally in more than 200 countries around the world and has been endorsed by a wide range of national standards agencies including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Who are the Project Marketing Institute (PMI)?
The PMI is an internationally renowned professional organization that sets industry standards in project management. The body serves to develop education, standards, research, training, and accreditation in project management.
The services of the institute are utilized by more than 2.9 million professionals across the globe in diverse sectors including construction, aerospace, public administration, and many more areas, and the institute has been in existence since the 1960s.
Becoming a PMI member
There are multiple benefits to PMI membership and different types of membership including categories for:
- Group membership options
Anyone can register for free for basic membership and track PMI certification. But for comprehensive benefits, standard membership enables a range of enhancements and costs $129 per year. For student membership the cost is $32 per year and for retirees the annual cost is $65.
Benefits of being a PMI member
Membership opens up a number of benefits including:
- Access to the PMBOK guide for free
- Tracking of certification status
- More than 1,000 templates and tools to use
- PMI publications
- Access to the PM job board
Membership also gives an edge in the job market in many other ways in terms of allowing access to professional networks, knowledge, and resources.
It also demonstrates to potential employers that you are part of a top international body who promote best practice in project management.
What is a PMI Registered Education Provider (REP)?
The Project Management Institute understand the need to ensure that PMP certification is undertaken through organizations of good standing. To facilitate this, they approve providers to become a Registered Education Provider (REP).
This entails an in-depth assessment of potential providers followed by a further comprehensive review every 3 years. Organizations who attain the status of a REP are able eligible to issue professional development units, or PDUs, for a range of training and events.
For those wishing to study for the PMI PMP certification, it makes sense to ensure organizations are registered with PMI and a list of providers with this standard is accessible on the PMI website.
You can go here and view our PMI REP status to see what an approved company would look like.
What do Project Management Professionals do?
Project Management Professionals are responsible for all elements of a time-limited business initiative.
This could involve:
- Launching a new product
- Implementing a banking system
- Standardizing test procedures
- Launching a new brand for a retailer
This names a few of the many diverse areas that project managers work in.
Project Management Professionals are highly skilled communicators and organizers who deal with multiple tasks such as logistics, management of budgets, coordination of timelines and outputs as well as overseeing contracts.
By completing the PMP exam, Project Managers consolidate their experience and demonstrate conformity to high-level quality standards in their profession.
PMI members also have access to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide which promotes a common body of knowledge and best practice for project management planning and delivery.
How to get your PMP Certification
Before you begin to think about getting your PMP Certification it is important to check that you meet the rigorous eligibility criteria that PMI set as a minimum:
To undertake the PMP exam it is necessary to check your qualification level against PMI’s PMP requirements. Different levels of degrees will require demonstration of a significant number of hours leading and directing projects and undertaking management education.
It is worth noting that one in four of all applications received by PMI are audited to ensure the information is correct.
You can use our quick and easy PMP Certification eligibility calculator to see if you’re eligible.
There are a number of options open to individuals who need to acquire relevant PMP certification training. These can take the form of:
- PMP Boot Camps with in-person training
- Online training incorporating a virtual classroom
- Self-study that can be undertaken online and offline.
A number of flexible methods are available to get the necessary training.
This comprises of a series of tests that candidates will be able to familiarize themselves with prior to the PMP exam.
These incorporate 200 multiple choice questions; 24 pilot questions; a number of randomly generated questions; knowledge testing on 10 specific areas. You can view our sample PMP test here.
In order to pass the exam candidates need to score a minimum of 62%.
After the euphoria of gaining such a difficult certification, you will have reached an important milestone in your project management career. Your certification is valid for three years, and within this timescale you will need to attain 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) to maintain your PMI status.
There are a number of ways to claim PDUs and you must also earn a minimum of eight PDUs in the categories of Technical Project Management, Leadership, and Strategic & Business Management.
So, for those who were wondering “what is PMI certification?” this has hopefully answered your questions. And you may now be keen to find out further information about PMP requirements and PMP certification training.
The next best step is to see if you are eligible by checking the PMP Certification requirements.
For those embarking on a project management career, or people already working as project management professionals, the PMP credential provides high value and very marketable industry standard that is acknowledged by a wide range of top employers.
In attaining PMP certification training at this level of professional study you will ensure you stand out in the workplace, and will experience the satisfaction of knowing that you have gained an excellent credential from a premier international project management body.