Industries across the world continue to face myriad complex challenges in project management to deliver their services and products within the budget and time allotted to it. The result is that there is a severe shortage of professionals capable of meeting the demand for projects all over the world.
The PMP certification, provided by the Project Management Institute has rigorous standards and is designed with ongoing research to enable candidates to face real-world challenges.
The PMP certification is considered to be the gold standard in the world of Project Management certification. It is developed for practitioners by practitioners. It is a certification that helps you stay in demand for different organizations across all the industries. If you are interested in becoming a PMP certified professional, you should be aware of the process involved in earning the certification.
Steps involved in becoming a PMP certified professional
If you intend to take up the PMP certification examination soon, below are the steps you need to follow. Know what you must do and play your schedule ahead of time to improve your chances of clearing the examination with your first attempt itself.
Step 1 – Start with the PMP Handbook
There is a credential handbook published by the PMI (Project Management Institute). You can find it online. This handbook has an explanation of everything you need to know regarding the process of taking the PMP examination and becoming a PMI Certified Project Manager. It will take you about 20 minutes to read the handbook and this way you start your journey to earning the certification. You will find answers to a lot of your questions regarding the procedure involved in applying for and giving the exam.
Step 2 – Fulfill the necessary prerequisites
There are certain experiences and education requirements that every candidate is required to fulfill to give the PMP examination. These include:
If you have an associate’s degree, high school diploma, or an equivalent educational qualification of these, then you are required to have at least 60 months of non-overlapping, unique experience in project management. Furthermore, of these 60 months, you are required to have a minimum of 7500 hours directing and leading the project tasks.
If you have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent educational qualification, then you are required to have at least 36 months of non-overlapping, unique experience in project management. Furthermore, of these 36 months, you are required to have a minimum of 4500 hours directing and leading the project tasks.
Apart from the experience requirements, you are also needed to undergo 35 hours of training in project management.
Step 3 – Get a PMI membership
Getting a PMI membership gives you a discount on the PMP examination fee. Not just that, you get free access to the PDF version of the PMBOK Guide. You also stay updated with PMP prep workshop information upon becoming a PMI member. Last but not the least, you also get a chance to interact and network with new and experienced PMPs, which improves your chances of clearing the exam at the first go.
Step 4 – Sign up for the PMP examination
When you have a deadline to work with, you are more likely to prepare better for your examination. You can apply for PMP examination by registering with the Project Management Institute. Then, you will be required to fill up your PMP credential application. The application needs to be submitted to PMI for approval. Once you get the confirmation number, you will be able to schedule your exam through the Prometric website.
Step 5 – Study the PMBOK Guide
When you are preparing for your PMP certification exam, the PMBOK Guide should be your primary reference. The answers for approximately 75% of the PMP examination questions can be found in the PMBOK Guide. So, you need to consider it as a valuable resource and thoroughly read it.
Step 6 – Get the self-study materials
The PMBOK guide gives you a rough knowledge of the questions in the PMP certification exam. You may feel the need of using other study materials as well. You can find study materials on the internet.
Step 7 – Undergo a PMP certification training
While reading books might be useful, it still doesn’t give you the required 35 contact hours to be eligible for the PMP exam. PMP certification training is helpful in that regard. The training is provided through self-paced and flexible courses aimed at helping you prepare for your certification exam. Applying for PMP training also gives you access to mock exams and practice questions, which are quite helpful.
Step 8 – Answer the sample exam questions
One of the best ways to test your learning curve is by trying to answer sample questions. You can get sample questions for free on the internet. Sample tests are also provided when you undergo certification training. Keep practicing and verify your scores to check how you are progressing.
Step 9 – Take the examination
After doing all the hard work, the time comes for you to appear for your PMP certification examination. At the beginning of the exam, you will see a short tutorial on how to use the computer and software. Make sure you don’t skip this tutorial to avoid making any blunder.
Step 10 – Maintain your certification
If you pass the examination, you achieve your goal of becoming a PMP certified project manager. If you earn the certification, it means that your hard work has paid off. It is an achievement worthy of a celebration. However, you must know that you will not be a PMP certified professional for the rest of your life after initially earning the certification. There is a certain recertification requirement that is applicable if you want to keep the certification.
To maintain the certification, you are required to collect and claim PDUs (Professional Development Units) every 3 years. To recertify, 60 PDUs are needed every 3 years.
The PMI has a CCR (Continuing Certification Requirements) handbook in which all the recertification details are explained. PDUs can be earned by attending PMI meetings, volunteering, or attending seminars.
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