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What is a Project Management Professional (What is the PMP)? | Video

What is a Project Management Professional (PMP)? | Video

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the largest professional membership body for Project managers in the world. And the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is the premier qualification. So, what is PMP?

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What is the PMP?

The PMP is intended to certify that you are a skilled AND experienced project professional, with knowledge and understanding across the domains of and approaches to Project Management. 

Becoming a PMP

To become a PMP, you need four things:

  1. A minimum level of education
  2. A minimum number of months leading projects
  3. A specific number of hours of project management education (or the PMI’s CAPM certification)
  4. To pass the PMP exam

There are two routes through, with different levels of formal educational attainment requiring more or fewer months of leading projects. 

At the moment, your options are these (on screen)

  • A four-year degree
  • 36 months leading projects
  • 35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM® Certification

— OR —

  • A high school diploma or an associate’s degree (or global equivalent)
  • 60 months leading projects
  • 35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM® Certification

We have a video on the PMI’s entry-level CAPM certification: What is CAPM? PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management | Video. Also check out: PMP or CAPM? What You Need to Know about the Differences.

But these can change, so you should always check the PMI’s website.

The PMP Examination

The examination can and does change too. At any time, the syllabus is set in the PMP Examination Content Outline (ECO), which you can download from the PMI’s website along with the PMP handbook.

The latest ECO came into operation on 2 January 2021. But it was published in summer 2019, so we might expect a new exam syllabus around summer 2023.

Indeed, historically the PMP ECO has been closely linked to the PMI’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (the PMBOK Guide). And, although the 2019 ECO weakened that link, the PMBOK Guide is still one of the recommended references. And, since publication in 2021, we have the new 7thEdition. This represents the biggest change to the PMBOK Guide ever. So, we might expect some changes to the PMP syllabus in the coming year or two.

PMP Exam Content

The examination is a long one that now covers predictive, adaptive (agile), and hybrid project management, and splits its attention between three domains:

  1. People (42% of questions)
  2. Process (50% of questions)
  3. Business environment (8% of questions)

Maintaining the PMP

Getting your PMP is just the first stage. As with most professional qualifications, PMI imposes the need for continuing professional development (CPD). 

Its approach is to allocate Professional Development Units (PDUs) for an hour of learning or contribution. PMI sets strict requirements to maintain your certification.

All of the details are subject to change at any time PMI deems it necessary. But the simple fact is that PMP is a high-level certification from the world’s largest Project Management certifying body.

This makes it a much-in-demand qualification.

Whilst many employers prioritize alternative certifications, most will recognize the value of a PMP.

Should you invest the time and (not inconsiderable) cost of studying for and taking the PMP qualification?

That’s a question I get asked a lot.

And the answer is…

It depends.

It depends upon the job market where you want to work – both geographically and sectorally. Some sectors value PMI qualifications more highly than others. And the same is true of specific employers. The only thing to do is research your target job market and build your own business case.

If you do decide to study for your PMP qualification (or indeed CAPM), then we maintain a selection of carefully chosen training providers that we recommend. I review their offering regularly, and can change who I recommend, if better options emerge. So, I have provided a link to a page on our website, where you can see my recommendations and evaluate the choices for yourself. As you’d expect:

  • I get a small commission if you buy through my links that helps to pay for all the free content I create
  • You pay nothing extra and will often get added discounts, if you are on my mailing list
  • I only promote courses that I have evaluated for myself and genuinely recommend – and in many cases have come to know the trainers

The PMP Study Guide

PMP Study Guide - PMP Exam Prep Resource Kit

This is a Study Guide and a Resource Kit. It offers you guidance on how to prepare for your PMP exam, and provides easy access to all our resources that will help you to understand the Project Management ideas that the PMI examination syllabus requires you to know.

Use code YTLIVE10 to get 10% off our PMP Study Guide.

Carefully curated video recommendations for you:

And three videos that answer the question, ‘What is…


What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

Learn Still More

For more great Project Management videos, please subscribe to the OnlinePMCourses YouTube channel.

If you want basic Management Courses – free training hosted on YouTube, with 2 new management lessons a week, check out our sister channel, Management Courses.

For more of our Project Management videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management.

For more of our videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management

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About the Author Mike Clayton

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.

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