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Have you decided to take the PMP® certification? Yes? Great! Have you obtained the 35 mandatory hours of project management education? Fabulous! So, what next? You now have to figure out how to fill up the PMP® application form. It’s not as simple as it sounds. You need to think like a project manager and make sure you fill the form meticulously without any errors. This blog tells you how to go about it.
Here, we will be documenting the step-by-step process, right from navigating to the form on the website to finally submitting the final completed form.
Navigating to the form
Upon visiting the PMI website (www.pmi.org), click on the ‘Certification’ option on the topmost bar. Click on the link and under ‘Get Certified’ choose PMP®. Once you click on ‘Apply Now’, you will be redirected to a page wherein you will have to enter your PMI account details. In case you don’t have an account, you can easily register for one. You are now ready to start filling up the application form. Please note that PMI gives you a 90 days window within which you have to work on the form and complete it. In case you are unable to submit the form within this period, you will have to start filling up the form from scratch again.
Contact and education details
While this is basic information that you must have reproduced many times previously as well, you must be extra cautious with this form. Out of all the forms received by PMI, 20% forms are chosen for audit, and in the event of your form being chosen, a minor error is all it takes to be rejected. Please make sure that you update your correct contact details and also make sure to enter the names of your alma maters exactly how the names are mentioned on your certificates. In case of an audit, you will be required to produce your certificates; so while filling up the form, do not round up your percentage marks but instead enter exactly what is mentioned on your certificates.
This section of the form might appear complex, but if you articulate well and document the information systematically, you can navigate this section easily. The form clearly mentions the eligibility criteria corresponding to different educational backgrounds. Here, you need to make sure you have completed your 35 hours project management education and that you have the requisite supporting documents.
Before you start filling the experience sheet, make sure that you have the active contact numbers of all the project heads/mentors whose names need to be stated in the form. Also, make sure that you discuss how you plan to document your role under different projects with each of the project heads/mentors, so that in case of an audit query, there is no discrepancy that can jeopardize the chances of enrollment.
There are two aspects to the experience worksheet. Documenting your work experience will require you to mention the name of the organizations you have worked with as well as your designations in each of these organizations.
For filling up the project management experience section, you will be directed to a worksheet with five broad sections: Initiating the project, Planning the project, Executing the project, Controlling the project & Closing the project. You need to document your project experience and the dedicated hours, under these five phases of the project. While it is not mandatory, your form will appear professional if you resort to using project management related terms such as scope, stakeholders, risks, constraints, assumptions, deliverable, closure, archives, status updates etc. while documenting your experience.
Case of overlapping projects
This is a concern area for many candidates while filling up the form. If you have worked on multiple projects that overlap in terms of duration, you can mention the hours dedicated to each of these projects separately but the months cannot be documented twice.
Here’s an example: If Project 1 went on from January 2013 to December 2013 and Project 2 went on from July 2013 to December 2013, then for the overlapping months from July to December, you can document project hours separately for each of the projects, but you cannot document separate months for each of the project. In this case, you can only document your experiences as 12 months and not as (12+6) 18 months.
After you have successfully filled the experience details and obtained a score of the requisite number of hours corresponding to your eligibility criteria, you will be navigated to a page where you will have to enter your project summary within 550 characters. Make sure that you include aspects of all the five phases of project management while writing the summary. After filling up the experience sheet, you will be required to enter details about your project management education.
At the end of the form, there will be a Terms & Conditions page that you must read carefully and then click on ‘I agree’. PMI, usually takes about five days to process the form so do not expect an instant response. Also, do download a copy of your completed form. In case your form is chosen for audit, you will need the downloaded form in order to verify all the details you have mentioned.
This is the final step of the PMP form filling process. Next, you sit back and wait for approval from PMI, after which it’s only a matter of time before your project management career leapfrogs to massive heights.
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