The Most Frequently Asked Question about Becoming PMP Certified
Project managers often call us concerned about what it takes to become a Project Management Professional (PMP). The most frequently asked question is, “How do I document my experience so that PMI will approve my PMP eligibility application?”
We review every PMI PMP eligibility application a Cheetah Learning student completes. This review is part of Cheetah’s 100% passing guarantee for Cheetah’s 0 to 5 days PMP exam prep program. You see, if PMI does not approve your eligibility application for becoming a PMP, you don’t even get to take the PMP exam. We can’t help people pass the PMP exam if they do not make it through PMI’s eligibility application.
So this is no trivial question. We have had people from the same company, in the same jobs, working on similar projects. One got their eligibility application approved, another did not. While it may seem arbitrary who gets their application approved vs. who does not, PMI does have requirements for relevant Project Management experience. Here are some things to pay attention to:
1. You need to show non-overlapping projects. For example, if you’ve done project management for 5 years and easily meet the 4500 hour project management experience requirement for people who hold a college degree, you must show projects that were done at different times.
2. You need to show actual project management leadership experience. This is what trips up many people. There are numerous project management applications out that are primarily project task management. Too much time as a project task manager pegs you as an administrator, not a leader. Just because you may have sufficient hours doing project tasks, or doing project task management using these programs to keep your efforts on track, your experience is not the caliber PMI is seeking for those who carry the prestigious PMP designation. We have also seen people who do not have the requisite experience, also have a very difficult time with passing the PMP exam. PMI does a very good job of screening out those people not qualified to become a PMP – with both the eligibility application and then with the PMP exam.
3. You need to have people who can verify the information you include on your PMI eligibility application. Many people who pursue the PMP have far more experience than what is required to sit for the exam. Make sure for the PM experience you record, you have someone still around who can verify that experience.
If you’re concerned your project management experience is sufficient for becoming a Project Management Professional (PMP), schedule an appointment with one of our Cheetah Success Coaches to discuss.