How NOT to Fail the PMP Audit? Here are the Top Audit Tips

Top PMP Audit Tips

Recently, a PMP Aspirant told me that his application and audit had been rejected by PMI on grounds that “the experience entries listed on the application form do not meet the requirements of the PMP credential”. He was very disappointed but yet take the time to share his experiences with fellow Aspirants in order to help others pass the application and audit successfully. Below are the list of top Application and Audit tips with the contribution from Ulysse. Kudos to Ulysse. 

How to Fail the Application/Audit?

Below is the extract of the application/audit unsuccessful message to Ulysee in PMI’s own words. By reading this, one will be able to understand PMI’s view point on what is considered valid working experience:

Upon further review of your application it has come to our attention that the experience entries listed on your application do not meet the requirements of the PMP credential.

The credential recognizes the competence of an individual to perform in the role of a project manager, specifically experiences in leading and directing projects. The PMP Role Delineation states that candidates for the credential meet all of the following qualifications:

  • Perform their duties under general supervision and are responsible for all aspects of the project for the life of the project
  • Lead and direct cross-functional teams to deliver projects within the constraints of schedule, budget, and scope
  • Demonstrate sufficient knowledge and experience to appropriately apply a methodology to projects that have reasonably well-defined requirements and deliverables

The project management experience that you have listed on your application does not meet this requirement because your project management work experience descriptions do not align with the five key process areas of project management and we are unable to determine how you lead and directed the projects.

Top Application and Audit Tips

1. Must read PMBOK® Guide at least Once before Filling the Experience Description

This is very important as PMI judges the experience according to the project management framework as described in the PMBOK® Guide, e.g. the definition of project management process groups of initiating, planning, executing, controlling & monitoring, and closing. Every applicant should at least have some experience in all of the project management process groups.

And in writing the descriptions of each of the projects you have listed, remember to make use of the project management terms used in the PMBOK® Guide to show PMI that you really understand project management — no only that you need to have the required experience (4,500 hours for degree holders / 7,500 hours for secondary degree holders) but also you need to show this to PMI.

2. Include at least ONE Project in which You are the Project Manager

Though PMI does not specifically ask you to be named project manager in order to get eligible experience in project management. Having at least one project in which you are the project manager from initiation to closing will show PMI that you are competent as a project manager. The PMP Certification is one of the few professional certifications that require you to have real working experience as a project manager before being “certified as one”.

Remember: You must be a Professional Project Manager even if you have not (yet) get the certification.

3. Select only Projects that You are Confident of Passing the Audit

PMI does not require you to fill in all the projects you have done over your professional project management life. You will only need to include experience spanning at least 3 years (degree holders) / 5 years (secondary degree holders) with a total number of hours of at least 4,500 hours for degree holders / 7,500 hours for secondary degree holders.

Try to include just enough number of hours of projects and no more. Plus, you would need to contact your then supervisor to have them agree with your description and role during that projects as they are the one to verify you and your experience in the Audit.

4. When Composing the Project Descriptions, Remember “DOKTOR”

This is also from the experience of another aspirant who was required by PMI to “re-write” the project descriptions (this time with the 500 characters limit lifted). “DOKTOR” stands for:

  • a brief Description of the project
  • Objectives
  • Key deliverables/outpuT
  • project Outcome
  • your personal Role

This will give PMI a clear understanding of the scope and your involvement in the Project in order to judge whether it is a “Project” at all.

5. Send Audit Package with Tracking

I have heard at least a few reported cases from Aspirants that PMI did not receive the PMP audit package at all. But the case for Ulysse is quite strange. He received a notification from PMI that the letter containing information for audit was not received on time. However, online tracking information for the letter showing that the letter was delivered a few days again. What’s more was that PMI latter sent a notification to him that the parcel was received. There seems to be something wrong with the internal mail service within PMI.

What to Do If I Fail the Application/Audit?

In case if you get a fail in the Audit, your exam fee paid will be refunded to you but with a subtraction of the processing fee (around US$100). There maybe some restrictions on your re-application depending on the reasons for the fail:

  • If you did not respond to the Audit request, you will have to wait one year before re-applying.
  • If you have responded the audit request and you get a fail out of reasons that are beyond your control, you can re-apply immediate if the reasons can be eliminated.
  • If you have supplied fraudulent information, PMI may be banned from re-application forever.

In Ulysse’s case, I think he can re-apply immediately if he has other project experiences that are eligible. But he has already found a new job in project management and he do not intend to re-apply for PMP Certification in the near future. Anyway, thanks Ulysse’s sharing.

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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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6 Responses

  1. Mohsin Khan says:

    HI, My application has fallen into audit, I have downloaded all audit package for PMI portal for submitting, but problem is, I have written my Managing Director’s Name as the contact person in all of my experiences in my main application. For audit purpose it is difficult to get his sign at this moment as he is not in town and I have to wait for two months. What Shall I do? If I want get sign of other person, if there any conflict? how can I move forward in this situation

  2. Irene says:

    I got an audit request and responded and received another audit request
    When I send a new package I was asked to complete a new app and received an audit request again what am I doing wrong