PMP Eligibility Requirements

To apply for the PMP examination you must demonstrate the following requirements:

Requirements – Category 1 (Hold a baccalaureate degree or equivalent – the subject does not matter) PMP
Experience in ‘directing and leading’ project teams 4,500 hours
Number of unique months of non-overlapping project management experience 36 months
Allowable timeframe for accumulating experience, prior to date of application 3 to 8 years
Formal, project management specific training contact hours (prior to application) 35 hours
Requirements – Category 2 – (Hold a high school diploma or equivalent) PMP
Experience ‘directing and leading’ project teams 7,500 hours
Number of unique months of non-overlapping project management experience 60 months
Allowable timeframe for accumulating experience, prior to date of application 5 to 8 years
Formal project management specific training contact hours (prior to application) 35 hours
 Headline Issues

  • Do not over apply – the application is a threshold process. There is absolutely no benefit in having more than the specified minimums. Round out the last project or training that crosses the threshold and STOP!
  • Every item entered in your application must be fully documented if you are audited. If you enter 10,000 hours of experience and fail to document 500 you will fail the audit.
  • Make 100% sure you can contact all of your referees. PMI do not like to accept substitute referees without very powerful extenuating circumstances.
  • PDUs are completely different to the hours of eligible training needed for a credential. For more on this see: PDUs and the PMI Examination Eligibility Requirements
  • Nothing is uploaded when you apply for a credential. The documents are only needed if you are audited.
  •  Your experience needs to be ‘real’:
    • You do not need hours against every line item; only those that you worked on.
    • You do not need hours against every domain in every project; PMI’s requirements are that   overall you have at least 1 hour from one project in each domain.
 The detailsThe supporting documentation/information required by a candidate before applying for the examination is:

  • Educational background (degree or diploma or equivalent for Category 1)
  • Experience verification form(s) meeting the requirements above + managers to verify the time claimed for each project listed.
  • Proof of having successfully completed the required number of contact hours of project management education.
  • Any project management training is acceptable provided it covers the 10 knowledge areas from The PMBOK Guide, but you must have certificates to prove you attended the course and details of the course content. 
  • If you require this certificate to make up 23 of the 35 hours required, do not apply until the completion of this course.

Potential candidates must also agree to abide by the PMI Code of Ethics

Your experience verification forms must identify hours against some of the specified tasks in each of the five ‘domains’ within a project’s life cycle (but there are no minimum requirements):

  • Initiating processes: Recognising that a project or phase should begin and committing to do so (10%).
  • Planning processes: Devising and maintaining a        workable scheme to accomplish the business need that the project was undertaken to address (20%).
  • Executing processes: Coordinating people and other resources to carry out the plan (30%).
  • Controlling processes: Ensuring that project objectives are met by monitoring and measuring progress and taking        corrective action when necessary (30%).
  • Closing processes: Formalising acceptance of the project or phase and bringing it to an orderly end (10%).

To complete your application for each project listed you will need to:

  • Document your project management performance. Candidates will be required to document experience in performing specific tasks needed to effectively lead and direct projects as part of the application process (refer table above). You can count hours from all of the projects you have worked on in the last 8 years (counting back from the date of your application).
  • Provide project contact information. Applicants will be required to provide contact information for each project that is submitted as part of the application. During the application evaluation review period and if an application is selected for audit, PMI will contact the manager(s) indicated on the application to validate the documented experience.

PMI reviews and/or audits all Certification applications. During the audit process, PMI requires formal verification of all information you have provided. This is to be provided by your employer(s) and educational institutions. This is a very formal process designed to maintain quality in the Certification Program. If incorrect information is found during the audit process, you will have your Certification or eligibility revoked.

PMP training courses offered by R.E.P.s [see more on PMI Registered Education Providers] are pre-approved by PMI for the designated Contact Hours in fulfilment of your PMP eligibility requirements. The eligibility of contact hours from other training sources are the responsibility of the PMP candidate and will be determined on a case-by-case basis through the application audit process.

If you are not a PMI member and intend joining; complete your PMI application first, receive your membership # and then apply for the PMP exam.

Download a copy of The PMP Handbook.

The PMP Exam Structure

The PMP exam consists of 200 questions made up of 175 ‘live’ questions and 25 pre-test questions. The pre-test questions are scattered randomly throughout the exam and do not influence your score (they are there to validate the question for use in future exams). However, you have no way of knowing which questions are pre-test and which are ‘live’; you need to deal with all 200 questions in the same way!

PMI do not publish a passing score for the PMP; a pass is awarded to candidates that achieve an acceptable score compared to the overall number of people taking the exam. The structure of the exam is:


Percent of Questions







Monitoring   and Controlling




 Return to PMP/CAPM Course Overview

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