PMP / PMBOK Guide FAQ 2 – Contact Hours for PMP Certification

pmp / pmbok guide faq 1

The Project Management Institute (PMI) requires PMP® Certification aspirants to have accumulated at least 35 contact hours (not PDU) at the time of PMP® application in order to qualify for the PMP® exam. However, as PMI allows great flexibilities in choosing the education providers for obtaining the contact hours, this has given rise to a lot of confusions.

According to the PMP® Handbook (the official guide for PMP® Certification),

Verify at least 35 contact hours of specific instruction that addressed learning objectives in project management. Record all education hours regardless of when they were accrued. The course work must be completed at the time you submit the application


The following 6 types of education providers are recognized by PMI to provide the PMP® Certification contact hours:

  • A. PMI Authorized Training Partners (R.E.P.s)
  • B. PMI chapters or communities of practice
  • C. Employer/company-sponsored programs
  • D. Training companies or consultants (e.g., training schools)
  • E. Distance-learning companies, including an end-of-course assessment
  • F. University/college academic and continuing education programs

A reader of my PMP® website has queries about the education provided by PMI communities of practice (CoP), in particular, whether the webinars provided by PMI CoP can be counted towards the contact hours. Currently, the webinars can be used by PMP® to obtain PDU for free for PMI members. The reader would like to know whether he can make use of such free members-only benefit to fulfill the education requirement for PMP® exam.

Question About PMP® Certification Contact Hours

Hello Edward,

I read your blog post on collecting PDUs by watching the recorded webinars from the PMI Learning Education and Development Community of Practice website. I only have 28 hours of class room training and need 7 more hours to qualify to take the PMP® exam. Do you know if I can use the webinars for the remaining 7 (contact) hours?

Thanks in advance,
Thomas Ramaglia

The best way to obtain official answers for questions like this is to ask PMI directly at The following is the answer he received from PMI for his enquiry:

We are pleased you are interested in pursuing a PMI certification. As a global membership organization, we consider educational backgrounds from a global perspective when reviewing a candidate’s application. We can provide you with some general information to address your questions regarding our requirements in this area.

You can achieve contact hours of education by completing courses offered from an employer, training company, college/university, PMI Authorized Training Partner, distance learning company, etc. Distance learning is accepted as long as there is an end-of-course assessment or tutorial and there is a certificate of completion from the course provider. You may also take advantage of PMI’s multitude of courses, designed to fit into your busy lifestyle. To access our course offerings, please visit

Each classroom hour is equivalent to one “contact hour”. Candidates can document all project management education hours regardless of when they occurred, provided the course work has been completed at the time of the application’s submission. These contact hours may include content on topics such as project quality, scope, time, cost, human resources, communications, risk, procurement, stakeholder, and integration management. Each certification has a specific focus. We encourage you to review your specific certification’s handbook for more information. Because we consider so many options for contact hours of education, we are unable to prescreen individual experiences. Once you submit your application, we will contact you by email if we need additional information or a question arises. Please note you do not have to pay for the exam until your application is approved.

Though PMI does not directly answer whether webinars by CoP can be counted towards the PMP® contact hours, from the sentence in bold above, it can be inferred that webinars by CoP cannot be used as they do not have “end-of-course assessment or tutorial” and there is NOT a certificate of completion.

In order to get the required PMP® Certification contact hours with minimal costs, it is highly recommended to make use of distance learning (online PMP® exam prep courses or PMP® podcast courses). You may wish to refer to this post for quality online PMP® Certification exam prep courses that are reasonably priced.


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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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