How to Correctly Fill the Online PMP Application Form?
Once you have registered an account on the PMI website, you will be able to find the online application form for the PMP Certification under “myPMI” section.
Filling the online PMP application form is a project in itself.
In addition to filling the personal particulars and details, PMI requires you to record your Project Management Experiences in details which requires you a lot of time and efforts.
This article will spell out all the points you should note when filing your application.
I passed the PMP Exam with 4 Proficient and 1 Moderately Proficient, check out my free study notes, resources, tips and more.
When to Fill the PMP Application Form?
Some PMP aspirants will wait until they are fully prepared before filling the online PMP certification application form. While this may work for some people, it is more advisable to submit the PMP application earlier in your exam preparation. The benefits are listed below:
- After submitting the PMP application, you will be “forced” to write the PMP exam within one year. This gives PMP aspirants a tangible target (or deadline) to work with and helps them remain focused during the exam preparation. I have heard a lot of aspirants lost focus amidst their hectic schedule and just postponed (and postponed again) the PMP certification. Some of them even postponed the exam for over 2 years.
- You will have up to 90 days to begin your exam application. Once you begin filling in the details online, PMI would store your information for 90 days before deletion. This will give you another tangible target to work on and focus on this project of filing the online PMP application.
- Filling the application form would take up much longer than you think. PMI requires you to record in details all the projects that you have handled during the required project experience period and each of them should be documented separately. You need to calculate the time spent on the different project management process groups one by one and write up a “concise” description of your role in the project. You are also highly advised to seek consent from the supervisors for your documented projects in your role as well as your time in preparation for an audit.
- If you have made up the mind to get PMP certified and have already begun reviewing the reference titles for the PMP exam, don’t wait until a new version of the PMP exam comes up and you will have to study from the ground up again (note: the new PMP Exam will be administered in early 2018).
Completing the Online PMP Application Form
- The most important rule is “be honest”. This is expressly spelt out in the PMI conducts requirements. If PMI found out you had supplied misleading or wrong information on purpose, it would ban you from applying all of their certification forever.
- Double check the information you have entered. As you are allowed to print out a copy of your application for your record, do take advantage of this function and ask other to help you to check your information in the printed copy.
- Read the PMBOK® Guide at least once or attend PMP exam prep courses before completing the PMP application form. This will help you understand what is the most important information from PMI’s perspectives.
- You will need to agree to the Project Management Institute’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct before the form can be submitted. Don’t skip this step, do read the code and learn it by heart. (The Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct will be tested on the PMP exam in the form of situational questions, i.e. asking what you would do in a particular situation.)
Filling the PMP Project Management Experiences
- The start date of the first project and the end date of the last project should at least cover a period 3 years (degree holders) or 5 years (secondary degree holders) as required by the PMI.
- In order to well prepare for an audit, you are highly advised to contact your project supervisors and notify them of the hours you will claim for each project. Their help is vital in case you are selected for an audit. Some PMP aspirants failed the audit because they could not find their supervisors or their supervisors refused to sign the experience verification forms.
- It is not required nor advised for each and every project you have handled. Include only enough number of projects to reach the required minimum number of hours (i.e. 4,500 hours for degree holders / 7,500 hours for secondary degree holders). Include large projects first as this would save you considerable time in case of an audit.
- When adding details of project management experiences to the application form, you will need to:
- Give a title to each project (usually the project title)
- Give your project role (not your job title) – you can use PMI terms like project leader, project manager, project coordinator, etc.
- Insert your supervisor‘s name and contact methods (note that you need not fill in the name of the CEO of your company, but someone who works closely with you and you have gained the consent form)
- Calculate and add the time (in number of hours) spent on each project management process groups (you might need to refer to the PMBOK® Guide if you don’t know what these exactly mean):
- Initiating the Project
- Planning the Project
- Executing the Project
- Controlling and Monitoring the Project
- Closing the Project
- PMI advocates work-life balance and will only allow 40 hours for each work week, don’t fill in more than 40 hours for each week of work or PMI will ask you to amend.
- Try to estimate your project hours offline (e.g. using Excel or a notebook) first and insert the hours once finalized. Though PMI has not mentioned it, to amend and save the project hours repeatedly on the web server might trigger the need for an audit.
- Write the project description of the project (in around 500 characters) including the following:
- a brief description of the project
- key deliverables
- project outcome
- your personal role
- When composing the project descriptions for each project, make good use of PMI terms to demonstrate that you understand what project management is. Include terms found in the PMBOK® Guide like project charter, sponsor, scope, project deliverables, stakeholders, schedule, acceptance of deliverables, quality management, etc. at least 5 times in your description. PMI has the right to require you to rewrite the project description should they found it inadequate.
- The above steps have to be performed for each and every project you would submit. Below is a sample form of the project experience record:
Preparation for the PMP Audit
Follow the advice below while filling the PMP application form to help you well prepared for a PMP audit (as PMP audit is selected on a random basis, you don’t know whether you will be selected before settling the PMP certification fee):
- Keep all supporting documents for your education, project management education as well as work experience in folders (supporting documents may include certificates, e-mails, project plans, meeting minutes or project charters). Do gather enough documents for each and every project you have submitted on your PMP application form.
- Contact and seek endorsement from your supervisor/manager on the number of hours to be reported for each and every project on the application form so as to avoid a disagreement during the audit process.
Further reading: Common mistakes in PMP application and how to avoid them
After You have Submitted the Application
You will need to wait for about 5 days as PMI carry out the “Application Completeness Review”. Should your application form is considered complete, PMI will send you an approval email, asking you to pay for the PMP Certification fee. You can settle the fee online.
In case you are not a native English speaker and your mother tongue is available as a language aid from PMI, you must specify the language aid while you are confirming the payment. The language aid is provided free of charge and is often overlooked by many PMP aspirants. The translated question in the language you have chosen will appear on the same page as the original English question on each screen of the PMP exam, this feature is extremely useful when dealing with wordy questions.
Currently, PMI provides the following language aid for the PMP exam:
- Chinese (Traditional)
- Chinese (Simplified)
- Portuguese (Brazilian)
After you have paid the PMP Certification fee, check your email immediately. You will be notified if a PMP audit is needed in an email from PMI.
If a PMP audit is required, get to know what is required to help you pass the audit smoothly. Or if you are not selected for an audit, you will be given the instruction to schedule your PMP exam on the Prometric website.