Project Management Institute (PMI) is the world’s leading not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession, with more than half a million members and credential holders in more than 185 countries. Its worldwide advocacy for project management is supported by its globally-recognized standards and credentials, its extensive research program, and its professional development opportunities.
1. Who is PMI?
These products and services are the basis of greater recognition and acceptance of project management’s successful role in governments, organizations, academia and industries.
In an increasingly projectized world, professional certification ensures that project managers are ready to meet the demands of projects across the globe. Project practitioners can learn more about PMI’s certifications and find one that’s right for them. If you are a project practitioner who already has a credential, find out what you need to maintain it, or look into earning another one.
Project practitioners can solidify their skill set and face project challenges head-on with a PMI certification.
What are PMI certifications?
PMI offers a comprehensive certification program for project practitioners of all education and skill levels. Currently consisting of five credentials, the program demonstrates both your commitment to the profession and your expertise through certifying education, experience and competency. Rigorously developed by project managers, PMI certifications ensure that you and your projects excel.
This is more important now than ever before: one-fifth of the world’s GDP, or $12 trillion, is spent on projects. And with many skilled practitioners leaving or scheduled to leave the workforce due to retirement — in the United States alone, 40% of the workforce by 2015 — there is a great demand for knowledgeable project managers. So much so that $4.5 trillion of that total is at risk, and the talent gap is widening.
When these opportunities arise, certification helps make sure that you’ll be ready. There are already more than 400,000 PMI credential holders around the world and in every industry, from healthcare, telecommunications and finance to IT and construction. According to a 2007 PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, 80% of high-performing projects use a credentialed project manager.
2. Why choose a PMI certification?
PMI was the first organization to offer a credential specifically for project managers, and its certification program remains the global standard. Developed by practitioners for practitioners and representing its diverse global audience, PMI certifications give project professionals a technical and financial edge.
Are flexible. PMI certifications are not based on one specific methodology, so they’re flexible and adaptable. You can easily transfer them between industries, market segments and geographic locations.
Keep you up-to-date. PMI continually conducts in-depth studies to ensure that our credentials actually reflect the current skills, knowledge and best practices you need to succeed.
Encourage professional growth. You never have to worry about a PMI certification becoming obsolete. Our certification maintenance program requires you to earn professional development units (PDUs), which encourages you to continually develop your skills and stay current as the profession changes.
Help you get ahead. PMI certification offers financial benefits — the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential increases your salary by up to 10%, according to the PMI Salary Survey — Sixth Edition, 2009 — and helps you stand out and better market yourself to prospective employers.
Are renowned throughout the world. Part of that marketability comes from the prestige of PMI certifications. PMI has provided project management certifications for over 25 years, and our PMP® credential was the first one designed specifically for project managers.
3. Which certification is right for you?
The decision to earn a project management certification is a big one, so project professionals need to make sure they choose one that best fits their current expertise, knowledge and future career plans. They can apply for any certification that matches their qualifications, and no certification serves as a prerequisite for another. Also, it is not necessary to be a PMI member to obtain a credential, but there are member discounts on application and credential maintenance costs.
Three of PMI’s popular certifications are:
1. Project Management Professional (PMP®)
This is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers. Globally recognized and demanded, the PMP® demonstrates that you have the experience, education and competency to successfully lead and direct projects.
Who should apply?
The PMP recognizes demonstrated competence in leading and directing project teams. If you’re an experienced project manager looking to solidify your skills, stand out to employers and maximize your earning potential, the PMP credential is the right choice for you.
To apply for the PMP, you need to have either:
If you do not meet the PMP requirements, you may want to look at the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification.
- A four-year degree (bachelor’s 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.
- 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.
Maintain Your PMP
Credential holders need to adhere to PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program. To follow the program, participate in professional development activities to earn professional development units (PDUs) to maintain your credential. Professional development units are the measuring unit used to quantify approved learning and professional service activities.
As a PMP credential holder, you need to earn 60 PDUs per three-year cycle. PDU activities for PMP credential holders must be related to project management topics that are substantially consistent with the knowledge areas and processes outlined in the current edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) and involve appropriate expert resources. Each professional development activity yields one PDU for one hour spent engaged in the activity. Some examples of PDU categories include attending training offered by PMI’s Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.), chapters or communities, continuing education, creating new project management knowledge, working as a professional in Project Management, etc.
2. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®)
This is a valuable entry-level certification for project practitioners. Designed for those with less project experience, the CAPM® demonstrates your understanding of the fundamental knowledge, terminology and processes of effective project management. Whether you’re new to project management, changing careers, or already serving as a subject matter expert on project teams, the CAPM can get your career on the right path or take it to the next level.
Who should apply?
If you’re a less experienced project manager looking to demonstrate your commitment to project management, improve your ability to manage larger projects and earn additional responsibility, and stand out to potential employers, the CAPM certification is right for you.
To apply for the CAPM, you need to have:
Maintain Your CAPM
PMI requires CAPM credential holders to retake the CAPM® exam before the end of their five-year certification cycle
- A secondary diploma (high school or the global equivalent)
- At least 1,500 hours experience OR 23 hours of project management education.
3. Risk Management Professional (RMP®)
PMI’s Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® credential is a response to project management’s increasing growth, complexity and diversity. Globally recognized and demanded, the PMI-RMP® fills the need for a specialist role in project risk management.
It recognizes your unique expertise and competency in assessing and identifying project risks, mitigating threats and capitalizing on opportunities, while still possessing a baseline knowledge and practical application in all areas of project management.
Who should apply
The PMI-RMP demonstrates skill and competence in the specialized area of project risk management. If you’re looking to fill the risk management specialist role on your project team, hone your basic project management skills and showcase your specialized expertise to employers, the PMI-RMP credential is for you.
To apply for the PMI-RMP, you need to have either:
- A four-year degree (bachelor’s or the global equivalent), with at least 3,000 hours of project risk management experience and 30 hours of project risk management education.
- A secondary diploma (high school or the global equivalent) with at least 4,500 hours of project risk management experience and 40 hours of project risk management education.
Maintain Your PMI-RMP
As part of PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements program, a PMI-RMP credential holder will need to earn 30 PDUs in the specialized area of project risk management per three-year cycle.
Certification information from www.pmi.org and PMP® , CAPM®, RMP® Handbooks, please refer to these sources for full details