Want to earn your PMP designation or CAPM designation but don’t know where to start?
The process for becoming a Project Management Professional (PMP) often seems very complex. The following should answer many of your most immediate questions, and will point you in the right direction for where to get more detailed answers.
What is a PMP
PMP stands for Project Management Professional. It is a designation offered by the PMI (Project Management Institute). The PMP designation is the most recognized project management professional designation available.
What is a CAPM
CAPM stands for Certified Associate in Project Management. This designation is a stepping stone on the way to becoming a PMP, for those people who do not yet have enough experience to qualify for writing the PMP exam. Preparing for the CAPM exam is very similar to preparing for the PMP Exam, except the exam questions will not be based on experience, just facts. Participants who take our PMP Exam Prep course but intend to write the CAPM exam (not the PMP exam) should let us know and we will provide them with access to the on-line CAPM exam simulation lab as part of their course materials (participants who will be taking the PMP exam are given access to the on-line PMP exam simulation lab).
Why bother achieving PMP certification?
The most compelling reason for most people to achieve PMP certification is one of opportunity. As a career, project management is relevant to nearly every industry, and applicable to organizations of all sizes. Consequently, project management professionals tend to recover much easier from economic downturns that affect their organization. Also, in tough economic times organizations have less money with which to solve key problems. Skilled project management professionals, who have what it takes to deliver successful projects in a repeatable, sustainable and predictable fashion, are in higher demand than ever.
For many organizations, PMP® credentials are prerequisite for project management positions.
What are the requirements?
There are three main requirements to PMP certification:
- Project management experience - at least 7,500 hours of experience (4,500 hours if you have a Bachelor’s degree or global equivalent) spent leading and directing project tasks
- Project management education – 35 contact hours of formal Project Management education
- Passing the PMP Exam – a four hour multiple choice exam containing 200 questions
Each of these requirements is fully explained in the PMP Handbook which can be downloaded directly from the PMI (Project Management Institute) website.
What if I don’t meet the PMP experience requirements?
If you do not currently meet the experience requirements for becoming a PMP, there are a number of options you can take to obtain project management credentials.
One option is to obtain a CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) designation. This credential and its requirements are described in the CAPM Handbook which can be downloaded directly from the PMI (Project Management Institute) website.
Another option is to receive a Certificate in Project Management from a reputable University. WCP courses are currently included as part of the Project Management Certificates offered through the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo. For more information on these certificates, and the WCP courses which are part of these certificates contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where do I start?
If you have not already done so, the first step is to download the PMP Handbook. The PMP handbook fully explains the process of achieving PMP certification. Once you have read through the requirements, if you believe you meet the experience requirements for becoming a PMP, go to the Credential section of the PMI web site. Create an account if you do not already have one, and begin documenting your project management experience. PMI suggests that you should allow about 8 hours to complete the process of documenting your experience.
How do I prepare for writing the PMP Exam?
In addition to having your project management experience accepted by PMI, you must also receive at least 35 contact hours of project management training prior to writing the PMP exam. The PMP® handbook describes what type of training qualifies for training contact hours. Although most training on the topic of project management can qualify, we believe that the right training will prepare you for passing the exam and successfully applying project management best practices on the job. WCP therefore recommends that prior to writing the PMP exam, participants take the following courses:
- 3-day Project Management Essentials – to give you a solid foundation in the most essential tools and techniques of project management and how they are applied in the “real world”
- 3-day Project Management Essentials: Part 2 – to give you a solid real world understanding of the advanced project management tools found within the PMBOK ®, (note, if this course is not taken before becoming a PMP, it is strongly recommended after becoming a PMP ®)
- 3-day PMP Exam Prep – a blended learning solution which fully prepares you for the exam. In addition to 3-days of instructor lead training, course materials include InSite, the series of self paced on-line project management training modules designed to review and re-enforce the in-class PMP Exam Prep workshop. Students who choose to complete the InSite modules receive an additional 20 PDU's! The course also includes a comprehensive computer based PMP Exam simulation, the book “The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try” by Andy Crowe, and more.
After taking the PMP Exam Prep course, expect to spend at least another 20 - 40 hours of self study, in order to go through the on-line materials, and use the on-line PMP Exam simulation until you know the material inside and out.
Where do I write the PMP exam?
The PMP exam is a computer based exam offered through Prometric centres throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. For a location nearest to you, and to book your exam, visit http://securereg3.prometric.com/Dispatch.aspx
What happens after I become a PMP?
Becoming a PMP is an excellent way to launch your project management career. A PMP designation should not, however, be considered the end of your project management training. There is so much more to being an excellent project manager than what is covered in the PMP exam. That is why once you are a PMP, to maintain your credential you must show a commitment to continuous learning by earning an additional 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three year period. Of those 60 PDUs, you may claim 5 PDUs/year for being a practicing project manager. The remaining 45 PDUs are generally obtained by developing or participating in project management training. As a PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.), WCP offers many advanced project management courses. These courses provide project managers with the necessary PDUs to maintain their credentials, and give good project mangers the tools they need to become great project managers.
Which version of the PMBOK will the exam be based on?
On December 27, 2012, PMI made available its 5th version of the PMBOK. For information on how this new version will affect the PMP and CAPM exams, please click here.
For a complete list of available project management courses see out Project Management Training Map. Wheter you are just starting out, or are a seasoned project management professional, WCP has the training to help you be the best you can be.