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Following on from last week’s blog “PRINCE2, ITIL or PMP®: Which Certification is Right for You?”, we thought we would expand further on the PRINCE2 complementary certification, PMP®, as we are so often asked for more information about this credential and how it can help individuals and organisations.

What is PMP®?

PMP® is the acronym for the industry recognised credential Project Management Professional®. Attaining the PMP® demonstrates that you have the experience, education and competency to successfully lead and direct projects.

How do I get the PMP® credential?

To earn your Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential, you will need to demonstrate that you meet the rigorous experience and education requirements, before going on to pass the PMP® examination.

Even as a highly experienced project manager, or someone whom has invested a lot of time and effort into their project management education, you should still expect to prepare vigorously for the exam with successful PMP® candidates typically using multiple study aids – including courses, self-study and study groups, whilst familiarising themselves with the latest edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).

What is the PMBOK® Guide?

The PMBOK® Guide is recognised as one of the leading global standard for project management, providing professionals with generally recognised good practices in the profession while reflecting project management’s continually evolving knowledge.

Who owns the PMBOK® Guide?

The PMBOK® Guide is developed, published and owned by the Project Management Institute (PMI®) – the world’s largest not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession. The PMP® is one of the credentials offered by the PMI®.

What does PMI® do?

The association has more than 700,000 members, credential holders and volunteers worldwide, and works to enhance their careers, improve their organisation’s success and further mature the profession.

They also offer internationally recognised standards and certification programmes in project management to support professional development, academic and market research programmes, as well as supporting chapters and communities of practice.

Are the PMP® and PMI® recognised globally?

PMI® certifications have their origins in the USA and as such PMP® is the predominant credential in the States, though it is still valued throughout the world for the comprehensive content of the PMBOK® Guide.

How many people have a PMI® Credential?

There are over 460,000 PMI® credential holders worldwide across all industries – from healthcare, telecommunications and finance to IT and construction.

Who is the PMP® for?

It is for experienced project managers who wish to formalise their knowledge, skills and understanding by gaining recognition from the Project Management Institute.

Who develops PMI® standards?

The standards are developed by volunteer committees who are expert in all types of project management.

How will having the PMP® help me as an individual?

If you are currently looking for a job in project management, then the PMP® credential will certainly help you to get past the initial HR screening process whilst putting you ahead of other unqualified candidates with similar experience applying for the same post. If you are already working, it will solidify and consolidate your existing project management knowledge, skills and experience – thereby instilling within you the self-confidence to apply for challenging and fulfilling roles. In addition, it will establish your commitment to project excellence and improve your salary earning potential.

How will it help my company if my employees are PMP® certified or if I hire someone with the PMP® credential?

PMP® ensures that projects are aligned with corporate goals, that risks are assessed, resources used efficiently and costs controlled. In short, when you have PMP® certified professionals on board, you can be confident that projects will be properly managed which, as the Economist Intelligence Unit has reported, will help you reap substantial financial rewards.

What would studying for the PMP® Credential involve?

PMI® provide useful guidance on how to earn your PMP® credential which you can find here, as well as providing details of important updates to the PMP® credential exam here. As a Registered Education Provider (R.E.P) with PMI®, we aim to make earning your credential as efficient and as effective as possible. Naturally, your personal experience will depend on your training provider but ILX Group’s PMP® online learning offers a comprehensively engaging and effective course. For instance, it breaks down the PMBOK® Guide into digestible chunks, uses real-world examples to help you apply the theory you’ll learn, has virtual classmates (a group of animated characters) to help you explore some of the PMBOK® Guide’s more complex concepts and allows you to take multiple choice questions to test your understanding.

What are the pre-requisites for taking the PMP® exam?

You must either hold:

A four-year degree (bachelors or the global equivalent) and at least three years of project management experience, with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education; or
A secondary diploma (high school or the global equivalent) with at least five years of project management experience, with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.
You also have to apply to PMI® before you can sit the exam. There’s a strict protocol as they have to authenticate that the above criteria have been met prior to exam attendance.

How should I prepare for the exam?

To be successful you need to study the PMP® credential handbook, look at the examination content and familiarise yourself with the kinds of questions you will have to answer. These and other useful links can be found on the PMP® Exam Prep page.

What topics does the exam cover?

As you would expect, the PMP® certification covers everything you will need to know to run a project successfully from initiating and planning to controlling and closing. Full details of the examination content can be found here.

What does the exam consist of?

The PMP® exam has 200 questions of which 25 are pre-test questions that do not affect your final score. The exam lasts 4 hours. Exam questions are divided into sections: Initiation 13%, Planning 24%, Executing 30%, Monitoring and Controlling 25% and Closing 8%. Go to the handbook for full details.

Does the PMP® credential combine with and complement other certifications?

Yes, we believe it does. By using the theory and competencies gained from PMP® and the methodology learnt from PRINCE2 you have a greater chance of ensuring a project is successful. Moreover, as not one of these certifications does everything, it makes sense in the long run, to get PRINCE2 and PMP® – plus, if you are working in an IT project management setting, you should of course consider ITIL® – to make you an all-round professional; our recent blog “PRINCE2, PMP® or ITIL: Which Certification is Right for You?” goes into more detail. Indeed, having all three certifications can boost your earning power: PRINCE2 commands healthy salaries as PayScale.com shows and both PMP® and ITIL are amongst the certifications that are expected to pass the test of time according to IT Business Edge.

Where can I find out more about the PMP® and PMI® in general?

Take a look at our blog on the value of PMP® and other complementary certifications. Visit the PMP® page on the PMI® website for more information about the certification and follow this link to the Governance section of PMI® to find out more about the organisation itself.

Useful Links

  • Visit our PMP® page to find out what the course could do for you before going to our dedicated PMP® information page to view full course content and to take a free tour of our interactive and engaging PMP® course.
  • If you would like to see how PMP® can work effectively and profitably with PRINCE2, visit our blog, It Takes Two to Tango.
  • To understand how PMP®, PRINCE2 and ITIL can improve your and your company’s bottom line, read our blog PRINCE2, PMP® or ITIL: Which Certification is Right for You?
  • If you already have your PMP®, see how these approaches will allow you to get value of completing a PRINCE2 course.
  • The Project Management Institute (PMI®) is a great source of information about PMP® certification.
  • Information that you will find useful in understanding and preparing for PMP® includes: the PMP® credential handbook; details on PMP® examination content; a sample of PMP® test questions.