PMP Audit – an oversea applicant’s first-hand experience


Introduction: This is the third part of my preparation for the PMP Examination Application. You can read more about my PMP exam journey here.

Introduction: This is the final part of my preparation for the PMP® Examination Application. More information on the PMP® examination preparation can be found at  my PMP® exam journey here.

Your PMP® Application is being Audited

After having diligently filled all the required information on the online form and submitted the application, PMI states that it will take around 5 working days before sending you an email requesting you to log in your account and make payment. Up till now, you still do not know whether your application will be selected for an audit or not. The requirement for an audit will only be revealed once you have made the payment!

Luckily or unluckily, I was termed by the PMI audit process as a Category One PMP® Candidates. The sub-heading of this paragraph is the first message I got after I have hit the payment button. As PMI would not disclose the probability of an audit, various sources have guessed that around 5%-25% (rough order of magnitude) of candidates are audited for US applicants while that for international applicants would be as low as 0.5% (and I am one of them). Greetings to PMI from Hong Kong!

PMI Audit Email

PMP® Certification Audit Requirements

PMI will give every PMP® applicant 90 days to respond and complete to the PMI audit. Please take note that the “90-day period” is all the time you will have to successfully complete the PMI audit. You must make sure all the required documents were included in one package sent to PMI. PMI will not contact you for further information.

Category One PMP® Candidates are requested to:

  • Verifying Bachelor’s/equivalent university degree.
  • Verifying your Project Management Experience.
  • Verifying 35 contact hours of Project Management Education.

The first and last are no more than requiring you to prepare a photocopy of your certificates.

The second one would require you to print out all the experience records (PMI already did the hard work of putting your experience neatly into separate experience records as PDF files) and send them to your supervisors/managers for endorsement and signing. Each experience record and form should be put into a separate sealed envelope (also signed on the sealed flap). What if all the experiences were gained under the same supervisor? PMI is so considerate that (quoting PMI) “If one person is verifying multiple projects for the same company, they can fill out one form and initial or highlight on the Experience Record the projects that they are verifying”.

The Audit Process

When these are ready, put all the documents into a large envelope and mail it back (better with registered mail) to PMI at:

PMI Global Operations Center
14 Campus Blvd., Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299 USA

It costs HKD$25.90 to send the document of 10 pages from Hong Kong to the PMI Center in the US for the PMP® audit.

It will take another week for PMI upon arrival of the package for verification. If everything is fine, PMI will send an email to you informing the result and ask you to further proceed to schedule the test. There are cases that PMI would request the candidate to supply more detailed descriptions of the projects they have undertaken, and fortunately this can be done through email.

From discussions in online forums, candidates requiring simple document audit are the most lucky ones amongst all PMI audit cases (of course it would be more fortunate if your application is not selected after all). It was rumored that PMI would require some candidates to have a chat session through video conferencing or even fly in person to the PMI headquarters for fact-to-face interviews.

Should one fail the audit, PMI would refund the application fee (less US$100 for administrative charge) and you are not allowed to submit PMP® application within one year.

Your PMP® application audit materials have been received

Just as I was still wondering whether PMI has received my audit materials, I received the following email from PMI to state that they have received the mail. It was about 11 days (including holidays) after I sent the mail to the post office here in Hong Kong. They state that they would need five more days to process the audit.

PMP audit material received

You have successfully completed PMI’s audit process for the PMP® credential

Strange enough, I got this PMP® audit success email just 1 minute after the email above. They have actually gone through my materials and given me a go for sitting the PMP® examination. Great! However, I wished they would have sent me the receipt acknowledgement email a bit earlier so that I could be assured of no loss during postage. I was checking the PMI website every day…

PMP audit pass

OK, time to make an appointment at Prometric for the PMP® examination!

 

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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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43 Responses

  1. Peter says:

    Dear Edward,

    thank you so much for your reports and answers which were really helpful so far.

    I might have a quite simple question but want to make sure I’ll pass my PMP audit at first place.

    So here is the story:
    I handed my boss the verification forms to fill in the required information, such as Name, Titel, contact informations. I got it back in a sealed envelope.

    In Germany a titel is for example “Doctor”.
    He hasn’t got a titel as “Doctor” so he didn’t fill in anything for “Titel”.
    Now I’m wondering if he was supposed to give information about his job titel?
    Should I ask him to append/add/update this?

    Oh, should I add any documents of my past projects (PMI didn’t ask for it yet) or will PMI contact me during ongoing audit process of required?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    David

    • Edward Chung says:

      I would recommend you to contact PMI directly for clarifications on this. But in my opinion, the missing “Title” should not be a problem (yes “title” is the job “title” or “position” of your boss), PMI may contact your boss for verification and there is no need for you to add additional documents to the audit package as PMI has not asked for.

      Wish you PMI audit and PMP success!

  2. Thanks for this article. The timing of everything helps a lot. Not knowing if PMI received the audit materials is the worst! I’m sitting here wondering myself…

  3. Goldfish says:

    Hi Edward, I just have a quick question, when I am logging my 4500 pmp hours does it need to sum up to exactly 4500 hours or can it be a little more?

    Many thanks,

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Goldfish,

      The short answer is YES. Sure, you can enter little or way more than 4500 hours of project management experience. However, it is often recommended to enter just 4500 hours or a little more because when you are requested a PMP audit, you will need to ask to provide evidence of all the hours entered.

      Wish you PMP success!

      • Goldfish says:

        Well noted, thanks Edward. Just wondering if there is a recommended limit to the period per project? I’ve have a few long period projects and a couple of short ones taking up one month to complete them. Just want to make sure I can include these ? Additionally is there a limit to how many projects I can document for my hours?

        Many thanks again and have a good weekend.

      • Edward Chung says:

        Hi Goldfish,

        It is most recommended to include the lengthy projects first, include as less number of projects as possible and better with all projects supervised by the same person so as to ease your audit process (if needed) — you will need to ask the supervisors to sign an audit form for each individual project.

  4. Megan says:

    Hi Edward. Thank you so much for this wonderful information. It has really helped to understand the audit process more clearly. One question I do still have-does the audit require you to submit any supporting documentation such as project plans, notes, emails etc for projects I completed? The reason I ask is because I naively did not keep any records of work I did at my old job and those projects also contained sensitive information so even if I did keep physical records of the projects I don’t know that I would feel comfortable submitting that type of information. Am I correct in understanding that as long as I can explain through written word my role in a project and can have that verified by my manager I should be OK? This article only speaks to filling out the forms and having it verfied by a manager so I believe you have answered my question but I wanted to be sure I wasn’t misunderstanding the type of verification that is required.

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Megan,

      Thanks for your comment. My answer to the question is NO. I have never been asked for such information from PMI. During the audit, I just needed to ask my supervisor to sign the forms which include “the written word my role in a project”.

      Hope this helps.

      Wish you PMP success!

  5. Trotter says:

    Hi Edward!
    Great site. Taking advice to heart, I am contacting my former managers in advance of completing my pmp application.
    All are reluctant about signing any document in an official capacity due to company hr policy.
    They are all wiling to sign as my supervisor or sponsor but only in a personal capacity, I.e. they won’t sign a document printed on company letterhead.
    Will this be a problem? Or are experience docs printed on ordinary non-letterhead papers?

    • Edward Chung says:

      Rest assured that they are not required to sign on a document carrying their company logo. If you are required an audit, just print out the forms prepared by PMI and ask them to sign on the form. That’s it.

      Wish you PMP success!

  6. Syed Junaid says:

    Hello Edward,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. I have a basic question. Is there a time frame that my application will get picked for audit or like you mentioned, you received the Audit notification as soon as you paid the fees. I did not get anything like that. So does that mean I am through or there is a waiting period?

    • Edward Chung says:

      Yes, you are right. If you don’t get the audit request immediately after paying the PMP exam fee, you are in luck and you are not required for the PMP audit.

      Wish you PMP success!

  7. Cesar Miranda says:

    HI Edward, Please could you tell me how to fill the contact information area? I don’t know what to put in the organization, title, and address line because my ex boss is out of the company we did the project so I don’t know if in the organization and address line I have to put that company’s information and Is the title line the project name?

    Help me, please.

    • Edward Chung says:

      I would put the organization name, address and the then position of the boss (i.e. title) which the project was carried out in those fields as PMI would like to know your experiences are verified by someone who has intimate knowledge of your involvement in the project.

      Wish you audit and PMP success!

  8. Marvin says:

    Hello Edward, I was recently selected for an audit, I provided all supporting signed and sealed documents …. long story short, I was denied based on inadequate description of work experiences – the five key process areas of project management. Can I use same projects when reapplying?

    Thanks!

    • Edward Chung says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your denial of PMP audit. Since PMI has the final say on which experience is eligible, I would highly advise you to ask PMI directly. But if you are denied the audit simply because you haven’t had experience in all 5 key process areas, you may be able to make use of those experience plus new experiences covering the missing areas.

      Wish you PMP success when reapplying!

      • Marvin says:

        Thanks for the prompt response, Edward! I will check with PMI to make sure if I could use same project experiences and this time be more detailed or wordy to cover all the 5 key process areas.

      • Edward Chung says:

        Hi Marvin,

        Do make sure to make use of the PMBOK Guide terminology in your experience description which will help you a lot!

  9. Mohamed says:

    Dear Edward,
    I hope you are fine.
    I have failed in passing audit because i cant prove my management experience as per their feedback.
    I limited by writing certain number of letter so i was trying to write in short sentences.
    If you can support by share your experiences so that it can guide while submitted my application again and avoid such mistakes.

    Thanks,

  10. Alice says:

    Hello Edward,

    Having read your articles about PMP study several times, please advise whether the verification/proof of my PM experiences (in case of PM Audit) from my supervisors can be in email / electronic forms ? for instance, electronically signing the PDF ?

    I mean, if sending by post, it would cause much inconvenience for my ex-supervisors who are super busy and may not want to do that 😛

    Thanks a lot in advance

    • Edward Chung says:

      Thanks Alice for your comment.

      As far as I know, PMI requests all the experience verification forms to be signed on hard copy up till now.

      In order to save time, you may ask your ex-supervisors to print out the forms on their side and mail them back to you. Or, you can ask anyone who were involved in your projects to sign the forms (not necessarily the direct supervisors you have entered at the time of application).

      Wish you PMP success!

  11. Max says:

    hello,

    in your article you list a “simple document audit” as a list of lucky candidates. what is a simple document audit, and how are they any more lucky than other candidates selected for an audit?

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Max,

      In fact, being selected for the audit is not “lucky” at all – I just laughed at myself. Most PMP candidates will not be selected for an audit. But I got both my PMP and PMI-ACP applications selected for the review at random.

      The “document audit” is to prove what you have submitted in your application form, i.e. education and working experience.

      Wish you PMP success!

      Regards,
      Edward

      • Max says:

        Hello again,

        Thanks for clarifying Edward. I also go selected for an audit and just received my “success” email. I have scheduled my exam for tomorrow morning. wish me luck!

      • Max says:

        Passed yesterday with 2 P’s and 3 MPs!!!your site was very helpful in providing guidance, keep up the good work!

  12. Me says:

    Hi

    Once it was mentioned that you are selected for audit and you were asked to submit the documentation, HOW MANY DAYS WERE GIVEN AS DEADLINE to submit this documentation?

  13. rabab radi says:

    Hi Edward,
    Can you please help me in my audit process, I have received a mail for my documents to be audited and the issue is for experience part, where some of my previous managers whose names are in the application as the contact persons are not reachable or they left the company, my question if there is someone who worked with me in the same project or even a colleauge can sign instead and should he give details about replacing the old contact in the form sent by PMI to me?
    Thanks in advance

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Rabab,

      Thanks for your queries. In case if you can’t find the persons named in your application, you can find others who have “intimate knowledge about your role in the project” to sign the form. PMI has expressively stated this in their FAQ:

      Q: A supervising manager is no longer at the company. How can this project be verified?
      A: The supervising manager can still verify although they are not at the company. If this option is not feasible, a colleague from the project can verify, or a current manager or supervisor, who has intimate knowledge of the project, can verify.
      (source: http://www.pmi.org/certification/faq.aspx)

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Edward

  14. Carina says:

    Thanks for sharing this experience. I also had to undergo this procedure and I also recieved both emails (your audit-documents have been recieved – you successfully completed audit process) within 1 minute. Strange 🙂

  15. sathishkumar says:

    Hi Edward,

    My PMP audit is now complete and I have one year from today to take the certification. As soon as my application was selected for Audit, I used the above article as reference to collect the documents and took signatures from my manager. After 12 working days PMI cleared my application. I will schedule my exam in mid of May 2015 and I will definitely use you website as reference during my preparation. Thanks for the website and information available in it.

  16. Sathish says:

    Hi Edward, Forgive me for overlooking the Audit package. I had shown 4 projects for my experience and all projects were assigned by same manager. I assume that my manager has to fill one form completely and he has to tick option yes and sign it in other 3 forms. Am i correct. or he has to fill one form completely and highlight the other 3 project details in the same form.

    • Edward Chung says:

      Your manager will need to enter all the information in one experience verification form and then just put the initials in the other forms without the need to enter the information again. Then, he or she will need to put all the form into a single envelop and seal it with a signature. Thanks!

  17. Sathish says:

    My PMP application has been selected for Category one Audit. I dont see the Audit form to download.
    1. Can you guide me on how/where to download the Audit forms.
    2. How to verify Project management experience?
    Your response is appreciated.

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Sathish,

      You will need to log in your PMI account and go to your PMP application page. Then you will see a message for the PMI audit and you will be able to click a link and follow the instructions to download the audit package.

      For project management experience verification, you simply need to find the ones named as supervisor or manager for your projects to enter the required information and sign the form. Then the forms will need to be put in a sealed envelope (one envelope for each supervisor / manager even though they are verifying several forms) with signature signed across the flap.

      Wish you PMP success!

  18. sandy says:

    Hello Edward,

    In the audit application form , Can I myself fill in the details like name , title, organisation , address ,email etc.. and only signature from my supervisor/ manager . or my manager needs to fill in all the details too. If I have two different projects , does my manager need to sign in both the forms as the experience number is different in the audit report for each project .

    Also , please clarify what do PMI mean by sealed envelope , can the audit report be put in a envelope and use a glue along the inside of the flap before folding down. or does it necessarily have to have a sealed Flap . Thanks.

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Sandy,

      Yes, you can help your supervisor / manager to fill the details and ask them to sign the form.

      If you have the same manager for more than one projects, you will just need to ask the manager to sign the experience verification form for one project and write down his/her initials for other forms. There is no need to fill in the details on other forms too.

      “Sealed Envelope” means that only the job verification forms will need to be put into an envelope, have the flap glued and your manager signed across the flap. You can then put this sealed envelope together with other documents/certificates into another envelop and mail the package back to PMI.

  19. bdair says:

    Do I need to send the bechalor degree hard copy by mail or scan it and send it by email?!?