PMP Audit Process – 25 Frequently Asked Questions

PMP Audit Process – Everything You Need to Know

PMP audit process

Are you facing a PMP Audit?

Let us go down the memory lane. Flashback…

One fine day, you finally decided that that you want to attain PMP certification. You diligently started PMP preparation to achieve your goal. While you were studying for the exam, you also submitted the online application form. It was subsequently approved by the PMI.  Things were going just fine and you were quiet sure that one fine day you will become PMP certified. When you were almost ready to take the exam, you took the PMI membership and paid the examination fee.

Immediately after paying the exam fee, your world turned upside down. You received an an email from PMI stating that “your PMP application has been selected for PMI’s audit process”. You wanted to hide but there was no place to hide. You wanted to run, but you knew that it would be futile. Finally, you just accepted the truth and started to look for information about PMP audit process.


Let us come to the present day.

You might be reading this article if your application has been selected for PMP audit process. Or you might be in the process of filling up PMP application form but you want to be prepared for the worst. You probably have heard numerous dreadful stories about the PMP audit process that you just do not want to take any chances.


Don’t despair! You are at the right place.

First of all, there is nothing to be ashamed of if your application has been selected for PMP audit process. There is nothing wrong with your PMP application. PMI selects the applications randomly in order to ensure the credibility of the certification program and of the certification holders.

The audit is part of the normal application process. PMI randomly conducts an audit of some of some of the applications. You should not worry if you have provided truthful information in your PMP application.

PMI may verify some or all of the application details. If your application comes under audit, PMI can ask for proof of educational qualification and/or proof of contact hours among other things. You can refer to this PMI document for more details on what they can ask.

Note: This article talks about PMI audit process in general. Although this article has references to PMP Exam, you can refer to this article even if you are preparing for any other PMI certification. Most of the the information contained in this article is applicable to other certification audits also.

PMP Audit Process – Frequently Asked Questions

I am sure you still have many questions in your mind. How does the PMP Audit process work? What is Audited? Who is it meant for? When is it done? How long does it take? etc.

Let us answer some of the frequently asked questions about the process.

Is PMI audit process totally random?


Is the audit less likely if I am a PMI member?


Can I be Audited/Not Audited if I am citizen of a specific country?

Nationality, race, creed, gender and other such things do not matter. PMI Audit is completely random.

Can I be audited if I am a highly experienced PM?


How many applications are audited?

It is not known how many applications are audited. PMI audits a specific percentage of application but it has not published any figures. Some websites suggest 8-10% of applications are audited. However, this is not an authentic information.

How many applications are rejected after audit?

Again there is no authentic information. PMI has not published any figures. However, your application will not be rejected, if you provide the required information. PMI does not randomly reject an application.

Can I avoid the audit in any manner?

No. PMP Audit is a completely random process. Your chance of being audited (or not audited) is as good as (or as bad or) any other applicant.

Is audit bad for my credential exam?

No. It does not impact your credential exam in any manner.

Should I be afraid of PMI audit? Will it effect my candidature in an manner?

No. You should not be afraid of PMI audit. It does not impact your candidature in any manner.

How would I know that I am being audited?

PMI would send you an email immediately after you deposit the exam fee. The email will categorically inform you that your application is under audit. The email will also provide you details about the process itself and suggest a future course of action

What does PMI expect from the candidate who is being audited?

– PMI usually asks for  hard copies of your educational, training and project experience certificates.

– The candidate has to send requested documents through post and wait for PMI’s response.

– Upon receipt of your documents, PMI will verify them. If PMI is satisfied, the candidate will receive another email informing about successful completion of Audit

– PMI would also send eligibility code and Exam scheduling instructions upon successful completion of Audit. The candidate can then proceed to schedule the Exam.

– However, if PMI is not satisfied with the documents, the candidate would receive another email requesting for more information (or supporting documents).

– In some rare cases, the candidate might fail the Audit.

Can I send my documents using email or fax?

No. All documents need to be sent by regular post or a courier service to:


Attn.: Certification Audit

14 Campus Blvd.

Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299 USA

Do I need to send original copies of my educational and training certificates?

No. Photocopies of original certificates should be sent.

Do I need to send signed copies of my project experience documents?


Who can sign on copies of my project experience documents?

Anyone who has intimate knowledge of the project can verify project documents. e.g. colleague, peer, client or sponsor can verify the project documents. You should get it signed from the person whose name is written in the PMP application.

Should person be holder of a PMI credential in order to sign project experience documents?

No. Anyone who has intimate knowledge of the project can verify project documents.

What will happen if I fail the audit?

PMI would keep USD 100 as the processing fee. Rest of the credential fee would be refunded. You will have to apply for the Exam again.

How many applications fail the PMP audit process?

All applications are verified on the basis of merit. You should not worry if your documentation is complete and it is conformant with the information provided in your application. Personally, I have not heard about anyone who has failed the Audit.

How much time does it take to complete the PMP audit process?

It takes anywhere between 10-15 working days to complete the process. provided the requested documents are sent immediately. PMI processes the documents usually within a week of their arrival.

How much time do I have to submit the documents?

All requested documents should reach PMI within 90 days.

What will happen if I do not submit the documents?

Your application will be deemed to have failed the PMI Audit.

What will happen if I do not send the complete documentation?

Again your application will be deemed to have failed the PMI Audit.

How soon can I reapply for the exam if I fail the audit?

After 1 year.

PMI provides 1 year to take the exam after application approval. What happens if my application comes under PMI audit and the process takes 4 weeks?

The period under the Application Audit is not counted towards the 1 year limit. It means that if the process takes 4 weeks then you will get additional 4 weeks to schedule and take the Exam.

What will happen if version of the Exam changes while my application is under PMI audit process?

You will have to take Exam under new version.

You can also visit PMI’s website for more information on PMI audit process. PMI’s website has the most authentic information. The website also has a page containing another set of Frequently Asked Questions on PMI audit process.

If you want to be extra sure about the PMI audit process then, you should buy PMI Exam Audit Kit. It contains a 40+ page pdf ebook, among other things, that will help you successfully passing the audit.

Please leave a comment if you still have a question about PMP Audit process. I will answer it.

May you successfully pass the Audit…er…pass the exam. All the best.

December 2011 Update: Sometimes my students are also selected for the PMI audit process. One such student went through the audit and shared his experience on the blog. You can also read about his experience.



Frequently Asked Questions on PMI audit process

PMI’s Audit Information

PMP Handbook

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links – it means that, if you buy from any of these links, then I will receive a small commission that would help me in maintaining this blog for free. However, for you, there is no extra cost. I recommend only those products that I believe will definitely help the certification aspirants.

Praveen Malik, PMP is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 20+ years of experience. He is a leading Project Management Instructor and Consultant. He regularly conducts Project Management workshops in India & abroad.

4 thoughts on “PMP Audit Process – 25 Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I have applied for PMP certification & it has been chosen for audit purpose . For one of the requirement of having need to clock in 35 contact hours of PM training, I have used internal corporate PM training program clocking in for 16 hours & for the rest 24 hours I have factored in Six Sigma training conducted by organization . Can the Six Sigma training be used as a substitute as it also touches upon parts of PMBOK like Project Plan Development, Scope Planning, Scope Definition , Project Quality Management . Can you pl guide me on this

    • Hi Arun, You can use the portions of six sigma training which are relevant to project management as a subject. You were correct in mentioning PMBOK guide related topics.

  2. I have applied for PMP exam in the month of May 2016 and its my surprised that I have selected for audit. After submitting all relevant documents PMI has informed me that I have failed in audit with ‘No fault’ status. They have informed me that my project management experience is more on administrative and operational side. Now I have to convince them that I have 10 years of exp in PMG. But how can I proceed?

    • Hi Vijay,

      That is sad. PMI wants 4500 hours of experience in “leading and directing” projects. So, your role and description of projects is important. You can read more about it in Cornelius’ forum.

      Now, the best thing is to write to (or better call) PMI’s customer support and explain your situation. Sometimes they reconsider. Or, they can give some suggestion. Let me know how it goes. You can contact me directly.

      All the best

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