What is PMP certification?

The Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification issued by the Project Management Institute (PMI). As a requirement to get the management-based certification, the candidates must appear for an exam. The document acknowledges and proves an individual’s achievement, experience, and skills. This credential is valuable in Project Management worldwide.

What is Project Management?

Project Management is a set of techniques, tools, skills, knowledge in the elaboration of related management activities to achieve a conjunct of predefined objectives. In simpler terms, every project has a goal, and a manager uses his acquired skill sets of project management to deliver those goals as per the budget, time, and resources allocated.

Who is Project Management Certification for?

If an individual intends to work as a manager or is already working as a manager for a project, he must understand the basic phases of project management which include initiation, planning, execution, monitoring/control, and closure. Each phase will further include the management of integration, time, quality, costs, human resources, risks, communication, acquisitions, and third-party candidates of the project.

What are the Prerequisites for PMP Certification?

Here are some prerequisites for a PMP certification as defined by PMI:

  1. Academic Qualification – A secondary diploma or degree is mandatory, while the candidate also needs to provide the name of the institution, the year of graduation, and major.
  2. Experience in Project Management – The candidate should hold an experience of leading or giving directions in projects that are cumulative across various process groups and within the last 8 years will be counted on the PMI PMP application. These should be signed by a reporting manager or supervisor.
  3. Project Management Education– The candidate is required to show 35 contact hours of project management education, covering all aspects from initiation to completion.
  4. Fees – A candidate needs to ensure that the fees required to sit for the PMP examination is submitted at the time of application submission.

Keep in mind that a candidate has up to 90 days to submit all relevant documents to PMI after filing the application. Also, PMI requires five calendar days to approve a candidate’s application.

What is the Eligibility for PMP Certification

Following is the eligibility criteria for PMP Certification:

Eligibility Requirement Four-Year Degree Secondary Degree*
Years of Project Management Experience 3 Years (36 Months) 5 Years (60 Months)
Hours Leading & Directing Projects 4,500 Hours 7,500 Hours
Hours of Project Management Education (PDUs) 35 Hours 35 Hours

*A secondary degree is defined as a high school diploma, associate’s degree, or global equivalent.

What are the PMP training objectives?

The objectives of a PMP training are to instill the following:

  • Understanding of a project’s framework and then learning how to integrate individual elements of the project
  • Learning how to define a project’s scope
  • Creating schedules for people and processes
  • Stakeholder management for example, acquiring approvals for deliverables
  • Understanding risk assessment – learning to identify risks and its effective management
  • Using the PMBOK guide to create and follow a structure approach
  • Management of resources, time, budgets
  • Learning best practices for project management
  • Developing the skill sets to plan, monitor, and deliver goals

Is PMI Membership Mandatory for the PMP certification?

This is the point which raises doubts amongst many candidates, whether to become a PMI member first, before taking the exam. Since PMI has not made it mandatory for PMP certification aspirants to become PMI members first, the opinions vary.

A member is entitled to discounts on the certification. The PMP certification exam fee is fixed by PMI which is US$405 for PMI members and US$555 for Non-PMI Members. However, keep in mind that the membership comes a cost and includes other benefits depending on geographical regions. A Free Digital Copy of the PMBOK Guide and other material is provided to members to prepare for the exam.

What are the Steps of PMP Preparation?

A candidate must first meet the prerequisites and eligibility criteria as explained above. Once he qualifies, joining an institute is recommended they join an institute to help prepare for the exam.

  1. Study the PMBOK Guide thoroughly
  2. Spend 35 Contact hours on the Professional Development Units or PDUs
  3. Give simulation exams

Study the PMBOK Guide thoroughly

  • Use the latest Guide– PMI regularly updates its PMBOK Guide and a candidate must use the latest one to study for the exam. The latest one as of today is PMBOK Guide 6th edition is to be released in September 2017. The updated guide points to newer exam pattern and the institute chosen should be helping candidates prepare accordingly.
  • Divide the learning – The PMI divides the area of study into knowledge areas (performance domains) and it is recommended that a student allocate one knowledge area learning to one week. In fact, to make the learning smoother and faster, divide each knowledge area into processes. It is quite easy to take time out of a busy schedule to study one process a day
  • Concepts matter – The PMP certification focusses on both memory and a candidate’s ability for practical application of concepts. The examination will test an individual’s ability to use the principles and ideas in real life scenarios

Spend 35 Hours on PDUs

  • Contact hours – One contact hour equals to 60 minutes (yes, one hour) that a candidate spends on learning. Learning could be with a workshop, online training with a live instructor, formal courses by PM chapter, etc.
  • Share details of the training hours – A candidate will have to share details of the training before the examination in form of a certificate. Along with the candidate’s name, the certificate should show – the number of PMP training hours covered, details of the institute, and chapter or company from where the training was undertaken.
  • PDUs continue even after PMP certification is obtained – If a candidate wishes to hold on to their PMP certification, they are required to obtain 60 PDUs, every three years after first clearing the exam.

Physical preparation for the exams

  • Create a schedule – As a project management professional, a candidate would be aware that the importance of creating a schedule can never be emphasized enough. Scheduling time in the daily routine to prepare and excel at the exam is vital.
  • Join a PMP training center/workshop – Certified educational institution will provide high-level learning, hundreds of certified trainers, instructor-led online courses. Joining a workshop on the other hand will get a candidate in touch with other like-minded professional. Creating a study group can help with studying and clearing doubts.
  • Give simulation exams – Simulation exams monitor the positives and negatives. They will give a clear picture of the domains that are mastered and those that still require learning. One other important factor is time management for answering each individual question. A PMP training center will also create the exam environment of a PMI center.

What is the exam pattern and pass percentage?

Earlier, PMP gave a pass percentage. But, this practice has been discontinued for many years now. Instead of a pass percentage, a rating is given to the candidate. Psychometric analysis and difficulty levels of the questions help give the ratings of Proficient, Moderately Proficient, and Below Proficient. Below Proficient is naturally considered as Failed. In case of failure, a candidate can sit for the exam three times in one calendar year.

What kind of questions should one prepare for with PMP Training?

The examination is broadly divided into the following formats:

  • Questions that judge a candidate’s ability to judge relevancy of content in a given situation
  • Calculations based on about 49PMI formulas will cover this set of questions
  • Hard facts of project management with regards to processes and knowledge areas
  • A candidate’s ability to interpret a situation is one aspect that the questions cover
  • Ability to use the tools and techniques to complete a task are tested

How to schedule for an exam?

After PMI evaluates and confirms the eligibility requirements, a candidate may apply and schedule an exam. Candidates should apply on the PMI website with their unique PMI Eligibility ID. If a candidate is unable to appear for the exam, the schedule can be cancelled or rescheduled 30 days before the appointment.

It is vital to carry an identification document (in English) with the candidate’s photograph and signature to the PMI test center.

When are the test results declared?

Before the candidate leaves the test center they are notified of their result status. A message declaring the result will be sent to their registered email address. They will receive the certificate within 4-6 weeks of clearing the exam. The best part is that they can start using ‘PMP certified’ with their name as soon as they receive the congratulatory message.

What are the career benefits of PMP Certification?

The tangible benefits of undergoing PMP training are:

  • A positive effect on salary as your job opportunities grow
  • Better and more challenging projects (national and global) are given to certified professionals
  • A PMP certification highlights an ability to handle a project proactively
  • Skills acquired during PMP course to improve the performance of a project

Published by: Aisha Aggarwal



  • "Casseo was engaged to provide both Programme and Project Management services to Capita Life & Pensions Services (Ireland) Ltd to define, plan, manage and control the delivery of a suite of initiatives to support the Companies strategy to be the Business Process Outsourcer of choice in the International and Domestic Life & Pensions market sector. In addition to the Programme Management assignments, Casseo also took on responsibility for the project management and delivery of specific risk and efficiency projects incorporating both business and IT elements together with the Project management of the Capita Internal end-to-end bid process (bid negotiation to legal contracts and subsequent transition/integration). All assignments were approached and delivered in a very practical, professional and comprehensive manner and I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending or engaging Casseo should the opportunity arise at some point in the future." Operations Director, Capita Life & Pensions Services (Ireland) Ltd.

  • GE Financial Insurance (now Genworth Financial) engaged Casseo to assist in the delivery of a complex cross-functional project. The project entailed managing the IT Infrastructure and providing IT Support to assists a dedicated debtor recovery team that was set up specifically for the project. Based in Birmingham, Casseo leveraged excellent project management and technical skills to quickly win the confidence of the local team. Over a period of time, Casseo worked hand-in-hand with this team to deliver an outstanding result where significant more debts were recovered than had been thought possible.  I have no hesitation in recommending Casseo. Programme Manager, Genworth Financial

  •   "Casseo was engaged to provide Project Management services to ‘Prudential Europe Management Services Ltd’ and each project managed by Casseo during this period was delivered in a very professional and effective manner. Casseo also provided key project management services in the selection; negotiation and subsequent contract awarding of a strategic €160m Business Process Outsourcing agreement, which was in line with the Prudential business strategy. I would highly recommend Casseo to any organisation seeking experienced, practical and structured delivery of IT/Business change projects." Managing Director, Prudential Europe Management Services Ltd

  • " I engaged Casseo as I felt other vendors and recruiters just didn’t get our requirements and I haven’t been disappointed. We have established a solid partnership that I value greatly."

    Director of Change, International Financial Data Services (IFDS)

  •   "Casseo was engaged on a critical programme aimed at further enhancing Dell’s renowned Supply Chain model for outbound logistics in EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa). The Casseo team immediately hit the ground running and added immense value in augmenting the internal Dell IT team seeking to expedite this critical project.  They brought a strategic and realistic view of the possibilities for the project, as well as a professional focus on delivery of a quality product to agreed timescales.  Casseo managed a wide range of internal relationships, as well as cementing the external commitments needed from Dell’s partners to make the project a reality.  Throughout the project life cycle, Casseo always brought a practical perspective to the table when wrestling with a complex project, and executed creative and innovative solutions to ensure success. A very worthwhile partnership which I would eagerly recommend to those in search of external expertise and commitment in meeting their project commitments."

  • "When DB Schenker announced the $2BN acquisition of BAX Global, the integration of these two large organisations commenced in over 100 Countries across the globe. In Ireland, Schenker/Bax engaged the services of Casseo Ltd to project manage critical elements of this integration.  The brief included; IT Application integration, Network integration; IT Infrastructure upgrade and IT organisation design & recruitment.  Casseo Ltd played a vital role in each element of their brief, quickly familiarising themselves with the organisation locally and globally, building up positive and constructive working relationships with key staff. Over a nine month period through the mix of extensive experience, hard work, determination and the use of professional project management tools, Casseo Ltd made a huge contribution to the successful integration of Schenker/Bax in Ireland.   Throughout the project, Casseo Ltd provided regular progress reports to the project team and provided direct and clear advice on all occasions. Our decision to engage Casseo Ltd was recognised as a huge success, locally in Ireland and at our global HQ in Germany." Managing Director – Schenker Ireland Ltd, www.schenker.com

  • Casseo Ltd were selected by Pioneer Investments Management Ltd to play a very significant part in establishing the PMO in the organisation (processes, systems, data) and in gaining broad acceptance for the role of the PMO amongst the IT community. The Casseo Consultant made a major contribution to adapting and tailoring processes, at short notice, to accommodate the diverse elements involved in a very large and complex change programme and also came with a strong project management background, which, combined with a good knowledge of the asset management business, allowed him to be effective from the start. The Casseo Consultant has performed to a very high standard in a fast-moving, multinational environment and has interacted well with PM, IT and business groups.  I would have no hesitation in recommending Casseo Ltd to other suppliers who are seeking a quality Project Management partner. Programme Manager, Pioneer Investments Management Ltd

  • "As a Global IT director with General Motors, it’s critical that I source high calibre resources every time. Casseo Ltd bring such a level of confidence and integrity to the pipeline of resources that distinguishes them from everyone else in the market. Casseo is about relationship building, getting to know our company, our culture, our management team, requirements and practices. They assist with the tailoring of job specifications to ensure the widest range of options are attracted to the job profiles. In addition to the existing Casseo network, their hands on screening of resources means that we have an excellent ratio of interviews to on-boarding and subsequently, shorter ramp-up cycles, improved business value & increased efficiencies.  Resources are not just screened based on their CVs, Casseo invests a lot of time to get to know the resources and this profiling gets best results, both for my teams and for the resources themselves. Our local team has leveraged the Casseo experience for a number of years and I would highly recommend them to any organisation seeking a true partnership arrangement that delivers results. " Global IT Director General Motors

  •   "Casseo partnered with Perot Systems to provide Programme and Project Management expertise across a number of projects in the UK Public sector and in the international education sector. These are complex Business Transformation and IT Change Programmes, aimed at improving efficiency and business outcomes and reducing costs through the implementation of new technology. Once engaged, Casseo’s consultants hit the ground running, developing and implementing the plans, governance models and reporting disciplines thereby bringing significant improvements in the clarity and transparency of the progress being made in a short timeframe. The focus, work ethic and pragmatism of Casseo’s Consultants meant that as an executive sponsor you had confidence and clarity that the projects would be delivered and that our customers objectives and outcomes would be realised. The results and deliverables achieved speak for themselves across all engagements. I would strongly recommend Casseo to other organisations faced with requirements to deliver new projects or indeed faced with having to intervene or rescue in flight IT or Business Change programmes.” Director of Professional Services, Perot Systems

  • Casseo Ltd provided experienced IT contract personnel to Kindle Banking Systems. During this period Casseo personnel quickly assumed key roles in the development of the Bankmaster product portfolio, a leading open systems integrated banking solution that was deployed in over 200 banks worldwide. Casseo developed a partnership with Kindle Banking Systems that saw its personnel provide business critical services during a time of huge upheaval in the banking software market. Casseo services were also key in underpinning operations during the creation of Kindle’s Bangalore Software Services Centre. Technical competence, pragmatic project focus and flexible people are the hallmark of Casseo’s service delivery. I would strongly recommend Casseo and its team of IT professionals. Corporate Partnership Services Director, Kindle Banking Systems

  • TTM engaged Casseo at Board level to work with us particularly, but not exclusively, on Funding, Delivery Management and Sales Growth. The Casseo Interim Manager worked with us through two acquisition approaches, a funding round with Ulster Bank Ireland / Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS Commercial) UK and numerous Vendor Selection processes. Subsequently, we have appointed the Casseo Interim Managers as Non – Executive Chairman of TTM Ireland / TTM UK and as a direct result, our revenue has grown considerably allied by a massive reduction in our costs through various measures including Business Process Outsourcing and more structured Delivery Management. TTM’s Managing Director, our Senior Management team and our Project Managers have grown in confidence since their arrival at TTM. The Casseo Interim Manager’s rounded experience and qualifications has allowed him to truly work with the management team across all operational areas – financial management, sales channel development, project management, marketing support, technology vendor selection and in particular operational business management. We now have a much more structured outlook to the future and in our attempt to add more value to the bottom line the Casseo Interim Managers input will ultimately have an impact on the value of TTM as we move towards trade sale. Managing Director...[Read more]

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