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The Ultimate Guide To PMI PMP Audit Process To Avoid Failure

pmi pmp audit process

In this post, I have described the complete details of PMP audit process. After reading this post you will find answers to frequently asked questions on the audit process like can you avoid PMI audit, at what stag is exam application audited, what percentage of applications are audited, what documents are required for verifying education & experience, what happens if you fail the audit etc.

This article talks about PMI audit process in general. Although this article has references to the PMP Exam, the information contained here is applicable to other PMI certifications like PMI-ACP.

What is PMP Audit Process?

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

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

The PMP audit generally happens immediately after you pay the exam fee. If your application is selected for the audit, you will receive an email from PMI informing you about it and asking you to submit a few documents. At this point, you may want to hide but there was no place to hide. You will just have to accept the truth and start collecting the documentation asked by PMI.

PMI Audit process ain’t as bad as you think it is.

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 you or your 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. There is absolutely no need to worry if you have provided genuine 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.

Frequently Asked Questions On PMI Application Audit

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.



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


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. This figure might be true but there is no way to verify it.

Again there is no authentic information. PMI has not published any figures. However, PMI does not randomly reject an application. The applications are rejected only if you have not provided the required documentation.

You cannot do anything to avoid PMI Audit. It is a completely random process. Your chance of being audited (or not audited) is as good as (or as bad or) any other applicant.

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

No. There is no need to be afraid of anything  The audit does not impact your candidature in any manner.

PMI would send you an email immediately after you pay the exam fee. This email will tell you about the audit. The email will also provide complete details about the PMP audit process and what is expected from you.

– 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.

No. All documents need to be sent by regular post or a courier service to the following address
Attn.: Certification Audit
14 Campus Blvd.
Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299 USA

No. Photocopies of original certificates should be sent.


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.

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

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.

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.

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.

All requested documents should reach PMI within 90 days.

You will fail the audit.

Again you will fail the audit.

After 1 year.

PMI provides 1 year to take the exam after the application approval. The period under the application audit is not counted towards the 1 year limit. It means that if the audit process takes 4 weeks then you will get additional 4 weeks to schedule and take the Exam.

You will have to take Exam under new version.

Final Thoughts

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.

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

Over To You

Has your application under audit? Is there any other question that is bothering you? Please leave your question in the comment field below.

Related Articles

Eligibility Requirements For PMP

35 Contact Hours Through PMP Online Training

Notes From A Recent Audit


Frequently Asked Questions on PMI audit process

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.

29 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide To PMI PMP Audit Process To Avoid Failure”

  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

    1. 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?

    1. 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

    2. Same thing happened to me. It makes no sense because my job is ‘project manager’ and I work for a consulting company, so absolutely all I do is work as PM on projects for external clients. I am super annoyed with the PMI because the audit process was a pain (my managers are all over the US) and now they failed me without a real reason and vague feedback within hours of receiving the audit package. I don’t know how much more I could possibly work in PM.

  3. Hi,
    I have two question while preparing for PMP application-

    1) Can i have same supervisor for both the project. I worked with a small software company and we don’t have to work for different managers.
    2) I am showing two project which easily meet my hours n years criteria. See below and let me know if this will work.
    Feb 2011 – Mar 2013 ; April 2013 – June 2014


  4. Jatin – Answers to your Q
    1. Yes.
    2. Depends on what you calling a project. Ensure that they are separate projects and not series of projects.

  5. Hi,
    I am having 6 years of experience into different Pharmaceutical companies. In my application I have mentioned only 3 years and 5700hrs of experience in which I was managing the projects.
    The other experience was not included in the application as I felt the requirements are fulfilled.
    Now, I have recieved audit for the eligibility. I will be providing the required documents but I am concerned wether it was correct to not mention the other experiences ??

    What are chances of passing the audit if all the documents are submitted truly??

    Please revert ASAP

    1. Hi Navin,

      Don’t worry. The other experience is not required. Just go with what PMI has asked for and submit the relevant documents.

      Good luck.

  6. Hi Praveen,

    I have a query that if after submitting the PMP application form, one’s form has been selected for Audit and thereafter some minor modifications/changes has to be done , example: selected incorrect year for Project during filling up application ; and apart from this all the details for the project are correctly mentioned (Project Description, Roles & Responsibilities, Working Hours in each process group). In this case, how to modify the application for a minor change to be made.

    Please suggest.

    Thanks & Regards
    J Bansal

    1. Hi JK.
      You can write to PMI customer support and tell them about the mistake. They should be able to help you.

      Good luck.

  7. Thank you for this detailed article.

    I have the required amount of hours as per eligibility. However, for the PM Education Credits, I have completed my MBA in Project Management from Sikkim Manipal University (Distance) for which I have a certificate which shows that I have done well and passed. Should I consider only the last year of my MBA as only that year had my Elective subjects?
    How many hours should I consider for each PM subject that I have completed?
    Would this suffice? (This was a 2 year course that I completed along side my work).

    Thank you again!

  8. I applied for my PMP and I am now under audit. Many of my past supervisor have moved on and I have lost touch with them. Also one of the companies has gone out of business. Can other colleagues that knew me at these positions sign-off on the experience forms? Is there a way to get there name on the experience form?

    1. Hi Tiffany,

      Short answer to your Q – Yes, your colleagues can verify & sign.

      Excerpt from the post:
      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.

      You can also read my answer on Quora –

      Good luck.


  9. Hi there,

    During the Audit Process, do you know how PMI verifies the company you worked for? Do they call HR? What happens if you no longer work for that company and have moved on but need the hours from the projects you lead?

    1. Hi Sam, PMI asks you to get the evidence from the person whose contact information you entered while filling up the form. It could be your manger, colleague or HR. They can directly contact this person but they generally don’t. BR

  10. Hey Praveen,
    Is there a way to change your supervisor details on the pmp application form? My supervisor, whos name is on application form is not contactable. I now need to get the audit forms completed. How to go about it?

    1. Hi Smriti, I always advise my students to check with the person, whose name you are mentioning, before filling the application form. Now the best thing to do is to contact PMI’s customer care and tell them about your problem. They should be able to help but it might take some time. Good luck.

  11. Hi Praveen,
    Your site is very helpful. Do you have any ideas regarding existing pmp holders…are they ever audited? I didn’t renew my certification by the 3 year renew deadline (suspension mode) due to personal circumstances at the time, and now I wonder if that makes me a candidate for audit?

    1. Hi Debra, As per PMI’s guidelines, they can audit you at anytime. But they seldom do after one becomes PMP. Regarding your current certification status – Many people, for myriad of reasons, renew their certification in 4th year. So, don’t worry too much about it. Try to collect 60 pdus as soon as possible and renew your certification. This article can help you in getting chepap and useful PDUs – //

      Good luck.

  12. Hey, I have a question to ask. If I was selected for Audit, can I send supporting project documents such as project charter to prove my experience even though they’re not required? Or PMI will review them as “over-documentation” since they didn’t request them which will create a question mark on my audit process.

    Thanks in advance!

  13. Hi sir,

    I am not sure about latest process but in 2017 when I was selected for audit, the step came in before I paid the fee. As soon as I applied for the exam, I was asked to submit the documents. After I cleared audit I was asked to pay fee. I clearly remember that as even I was under the impression that audit comes after you are done with the payment.However in my case I was asked to pay the fee only after I cleared the audit.

  14. Hi Kushal, Thanks for the comment. Good that you were asked to fee the pay later. 🙂

    The process is still the same. As I have written in the article “The PMP audit generally happens immediately after you pay the exam fee. “. So sometimes they ask for the fee later.

    BR, Praveen.

  15. Hi,

    I have forgotten to mention the reference name in the pmp application. I thought I will get a separate column to fill that in the application form but I did not see any column asking for reference name.
    What should I do now? Any suggestions or advice will be helpful.

  16. Hi Shubhangi

    There is no need to worry. If your application comes under audit then PMI will ask you to provide a reference. Otherwise, you can also write to their customer support and apprise them of the same. Good luck.

    Best, Praveen.

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