What is PMP Certification ?

Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification is offered by Project Management Institute (PMI). The certification is focused towards project managers but anyone who is into leading, directing or working with projects should look into this certification, as this is the most famous and well recognized certification in the world.

Various certification tapping organizations and online journals have considered pmp certification, one of the top 10 certifications in the world over the years but that is not just one of the plus point. The certification offers an immense ray of benefits but I won’t go into details as this blog post is about the application process.

The best part of pmp certification is that, it is industry independent. The tools, tips, tricks, techniques and best practices mentioned in the famous PMBOK guide offered by PMI immensely increased the success rate of various projects regardless of industry, whether they are executed in Govt, semi-Govt, private, commercial, non-commercial or any other organization.
Step 1: Create a Free User ID in PMI website:

This is optional but it would be required before application is submitted and also it’s better to enrolled yourself with PMI. When you create your ID, you will be able to create your profile and also search the site and can access to certain areas which are restricted to login users only.
There may be other benefits, but I will mention a few:
•Give you the ability to create a profile.
•Give you access to mode of payment.
•Able to get up-to-date information from PMI.
•Able to browse PMI site, restricted to login users only.
•Ability to browse, seek and apply for Volunteer work.
•You can upload your CV, apply for volunteer work in different regions and countries etc.

PMP Certification Application Process Flow Diagram

PMP Certification Application Flow Diagram
Step 2: Eligibility Criteria:

The first question every individual should ask before thinking of PMP Certification, Am I eligible to take on the pmp journey?. Before you apply for PMP Certification, it’s best to review your academics, experience and judge yourself whether you are eligible to take on the PMP Certification.
After reading below requirements, assess yourself and If you are not eligible, there is another certification called CaPM (Certified Associate for Project Management), you better consider this certification as that is another route to make yourself eligible for pmp certification.

PMI may change their certification eligibility requirements, so it’s always better to check their website for an up-to-date information.

PMI has categorized the eligibility requirements for PMP Certification in two:
Aspirants holding a Degree.
Aspirants holding a Diploma.

•Four Years Degree (bachelor’s or any other global equivalent).
•Three Years of project management experience.
•4,500 hours spent on leading and directing projects.
•35 hours of project management education.
•Diploma (A secondary high school or any other global equivalent).
•Five years of project management experience.
•7,500 hours spent on leading and directing projects.
•35 hours of project management education.

Let’s briefly discuss these four points:

1: Degree/ Diploma: It’s quite clear and nothing to add more or explain. You should have educational background before you apply.

2: Project Management Experience: It’s quite clear as well, if you have worked in any capacity as a Lead or Manager, then you are supposedly eligible.

3: Project Hours Submission: This is very tricky and seems the most daunting step in this whole application process. Please see step4 for further explanation but briefly, it’s your total hours that you spend on each project and you need to provide it to pmi via downloading the hours submission pdf document or online.

4: Project Management Education: If you notice whether you a degree holder or diploma both require 35 hours of project management education. Normally this is referred to as formal classroom training of project management. In pmi terms it’s referred to as (Professional Development Unit’s) pdu’s and a total of 95 pdu’s are required 35 before the pmp certification and 60 after you pass pmp exam. Please check section 2.1 for further explanation.

We will write in detail on how to get all 95 pdu’s in later article but here will focus a little bit on the 35 pdu’s, that are requirement to pmp application.
2.1: Get 35 PDU’s:
These 35 project management education can be achieved in various ways, and can be claimed, but normally aspirants take pmp certification preparation course from an authorized person/institute, and claim it as 35 pdu’s, and that seems to be one of the easiest way.

Step 3: PMI Membership:

Availing pmi membership is optional but if you are serious about pursuing your career in Project management, then membership is a great way to stay in touch with industry news, getting updates from pmi about new trends, techniques used in project management round the world. also give you the opportunity to network with local peers via pmi chapters.

Please don’t confuse yourself with step1, i.e creating user id in pmi site. user id and membership are two different things. User id is free and for life while membership is not free and renewable every year.
3.1: Types of PMI Membership:

PMI offers various types of membership. Below here are the three main types of membership that pmi offers, but there are also group and airmail membership available:
Individual Membership.
Student Membership.
Retiree Membership.
Individual Membership:

This is a general purpose membership and the most famous and anyone can get this membership regardless of his/her industry or organization. Those individuals who are associated in any project management related work and want to further enhance their knowledge, approach and network should look over this membership.

Student Membership:

PMI do offer student membership but would depend upon your enrollment in a Collage or University, if you want to know or choose project management as a future career or just want to enhance your project management skills besides your choice of industry. Then even as a student, you can get pmi membership.

Retiree Membership:

If you have given up work and spending your life as a retiree but still the thirst for project management and the profession is there, then pmi has a place for you as well and offer a retiree membership program as well.
3.2: Fee for Membership:

In section 3.1 we discussed the different types of membership offered by pmi. Now let’s discuss fee for each membership types. Please keep in mind that membership is renewable, means every year you to repay in order to retain your membership.
There are two kinds of fee:
PMI main Membership and
Chapter Membership


Chapter: Before you are lost, let me quickly tell you about Chapter. PMI has local chapters in every Country and major Cities round the world (Not every country and city has a chapter, check pmi website to see whether your Country/City has a chapter).
Chapter provides local access and network to project management professionals but highly depends on chapter and it’s members. Some may not be active, so before you take local chapter membership, it’s better to visit and know about the members.
PMI Membership Fee

PMI main membership fee is fixed for everyone regardless of Country/Organization.


The membership needs to be renewed every year in order to be retained.
Chapter Fee

Fee vary from chapter to chapter. Every chapter have set their own fee.
One can be member of more than one chapter but will pay for each chapter separately.

The membership needs to be renewed every year in order to be retained.

Individual Membership

PMI Membership:
Join: 139$
Renew: 129$

Chapter Membership:
Vary on Chapter
Student Membership

PMI Membership:
Join: 42$
Renew: 32$

Chapter Membership:
Vary on Chapter

Retiree Membership
PMI Membership:
Join: 65$

Chapter Membership:
Vary on Chapter

Step 4: Submit Application and Project Hours:

So you completed all steps above and found yourself eligible for pmp certification. Good !. The above steps were some how easy but this is the most daunting, difficult and challenging task in this whole pmp application process but you are covered, not need to worry.
If you recall step2: There are three things required to be accompanied with your application:
1: Education.
2: 35 contact hours.
3: Hours of project management related work on projects (depends on your qualification).

The first two are easy, you already have a degree/diploma and obtained 35 hours of project management training either from a local institute or online but the third one is challenging and I will help you with that. Please see 4.1, how to calculate project hours.
4.1: Calculate Project Hours for PMP Certification:

Calculating project hours that you have spend on your projects are a bit tricky but hopefully below description will give you a brief insight.

What is Project Hours?
Your 8*5 or 9*5 or whatever schedule you had for your projects, you need to calculate that and identify the hours spend on each phase of the project (Initiating to Closing) and then submit to pmi.

You must know that you will be tested on the five knowledge areas of pmbok i.e: Initiation, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and controlling and Closing and each process group has certain percentage on pmp exam. With that said, each phase has a process e.g: If we take Initiation, it has a process of creating a project charter. So all you need is to fill the hours that you spend on each process in a phase of your project.

Note: If you have two or more concurrent projects started and running at the same time, make sure you fill the project hours with care and look for overlapping.
e.g: If you start working on two projects, say: both started on 1st January 2010 and one ends in may 2010 and other in july 2010. Now you can fill one project from January till may and other from may to July and can claim 6 months for both projects.

How Project Hours will be Submitted?
Once the above steps are completed, pmi will send you an email with links to upload your application data and also there is an online downloadable pdf version as well.
So have a choice to either download the pdf, fill it with all your hours honestly filled and send it or complete the application form online…

Step 5: Submit Fee:

The application that you have submitted will take less than a week for pmi to review and you will be asked to deposit fee. Now if you recall step 3, we talk about pmi membership.
Please keep in mind that membership fee is separate than certification fee, so your certification fee will be now dependent on your membership status.
Certification fee is different for members and non-members

Computer based testing
US Dollars 405 Euros 340

Paper based testing
US Dollars 250 Euros 205

Computer based testing
US Dollars 555 Euros 465

Paper based testing
US Dollars 400 Euros 335
Step 6: Application Status Response:

Once you have submitted your application and deposit the required certification fee as a member or non-member, you will be send an email to either jump into schedule your pmp exam or either will be asked for audit.

If you are lucky and are not selected for audit, you can skip reading the audit process and jump straight on scheduling your exam but if you are asked for audit, read on the audit section
6.1: Audit:

PMI states that every application submitted is subject to audit but very few randomly picked applications are caught in the audit process and the applicant is asked to submit proof or verification for the application submitted.

If your application is hold for an audit, you will receive an email from pmi asking to verify the documents which may be the following:
•Qualification submitted.
•Letter from HR or Manager or any other authorized body.
•Training certificate.

You will be asked to submit the relevant document within 90 days via snail mail and pmi will review it with in a week and send you an email back to either schedule your exam or your application will be decline on certain grounds.
The address of snail mail will be mentioned in the email..
6.2: Application Accepted:

As I mentioned previously, you will be notified via email that your application has been approved or accepted and now you can proceed to schedule your exam.
Note: Please keep in mind that you have to schedule the exam with in a year or else, you have to redo all this process again including fee.
Step 7: Schedule Exam:

Good Luck !! You have partially done it, now it’s time to schedule your exam. PMI have nominated prometric institute as their test taking center. Here is a link to prometric testing center.

Partial congratulation to you. why partial, because you have just completed the pmp certification application process and not yet achieved pmp certification..

Every effort is made to make this pmp certification process guide as thorough, simple and useful but there is always room for improvement. If you believe, there is anything that seems complicated or not clear and need further explanation or improvement, please feel free to add it in the comments below…

Sharing is Caring !! Please do not miss to give your feedback and share it with your friends, colleagues.


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