I have written this article to completely describe the PMI PMP audit process. Even though the article has references to the PMP certification exam, PMI follows the same principles for the other credentials also.
You can use and follow this article if you are interested in pursuing PMI-ACP, PgMP, CAPM, PMI-SP or PMI-PMP certification.
You will find answers to all of the following questions in this article.
- Why does PMI audit applications?
- How to avoid PMP audit?
- How not to fail in PMP audit?
- How many applications are audited by PMI?
- How to complete the audit process?
- When does audit happen?
- What documents is required for verifying education and experience?
Why does PMI Audit Applications?
PMI audit applications randomly in order to maintain the credibility of the certification program.
The process authenticates the information submitted by the candidates and ensures that only people with requisite experience sit in the exam. It filters out the inexperienced candidates from being certified.
The audit is part of the normal application process and there is no need to be afraid of it. PMI picks up applications at random so that there is no bias towards anyone.
The process ultimately beneficial for the certified professionals.
How to Avoid PMP Audit?
You cannot do anything to avoid PMP 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.
Although the audit process is completely random, you should not give PMI any chance to come after you. You should fill the PMP application truthfully and honestly in order to avoid any surprises. You should not put any information that can make PMI suspicious.
Here are a few suggestions while filling up the application:
- If there are any gaps in your experience then you should document them carefully.
- Mention the exact dates of your 35 contact hours education.
- While mentioning project management experience, give proper description of your role and mention your responsibilities. Also, avoid putting in activities that are not considered as project management activities.
- Do not put in excessive number of hours in your exam application. As a thumb rule, you should go with 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week, 168 hours per month, and 2000 hours per year.
- If there are any overlapping projects then you should document them carefully.
- Make sure you use PMI terminology while documenting your project experience.
The audit process is not the end of the world. It is just part of overall application process. As per PMI all applications are subject to audit but only a few are chosen at random.
How not to Fail in PMP Audit?
You can easily avoid failing in audit. You just need to ready for the audit if it happens.
Here is how you can be ready for the audit:
- You should enter absolutely correct information. Providing false Information is considered as fraud, which can lead to permanent suspension of you candidature for sitting in any of the PMI exams.
- You will need to provide the contact information of the people with who, you worked in the project. Make sure that the contact information is correct and up to date.
- Make sure you inform the people about your PMP application with whom you worked in your projects e.g. your reporting managers, project colleagues, client representatives etc. In case of audit, You can even ask them to verify what you have written in the application. This way they are ready to verify your project experience if your application is audited.
- Be ready with the verification documents including your education certificates, degrees, & diplomas, employment experience certificates, and contact hours certificate.
How many Applications are Audited by PMI?
It is not known how many applications are audited. PMI audits a specific percentage of application but it has not published any figures. Some experts suggest 8-10% of applications are audited. This figure might be true but there is no way to verify it.
How to Complete the Audit Process?
If your application is selected for the audit, you will receive an email with instructions to complete the audit process. You will have to send the requested documents for verification. All the documents need to be sent in one envelope through courier.
Here are few more pertinent points about the audit process:
- PMI usually asks for hard copies of your educational, training and project experience certificates.
- You have to send requested documents through post or courier and wait for the PMI’s response.
- PMI will verify the documents after receiving them.
- The documents need to be submitted within 90 days. PMI will take around 5 business days for verification.
- You will receive an email informing about successful completion of audit if PMI is satisfied with your documents.
- On the other hand, if PMI is not satisfied with the documents, you will receive another email requesting for more information (or supporting documents).
- PMI will send you an eligibility code and exam scheduling instructions upon successful completion of Audit. You can then proceed to schedule the exam.
- All documents need to be sent to the following address.
Attn.: Certification Audit
14 Campus Blvd.
Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299 USA
When does Audit Happen?
PMI can audit your application anytime after you submit your application. They can perform the audit even after you become PMP certified. However, in most cases, the audit 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.
What Documents is Required for Verifying Education and Experience?
Photocopies of original certificates (education and experience) should be sent to PMI for verification.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is PMI audit process totally random?
2. Is the audit less likely if I am a PMI member?
3. Can I be Audited/Not Audited if I am a resident/citizen of a specific country?
Nationality, race, creed, gender and other such things do not matter. PMI Audit is completely random.
4. Can I be audited if I am a highly experienced PM?
5. Is audit bad for my credential exam?
No. It does not impact your credential exam in any manner.
6. Should I be afraid of PMI audit? Will it affect my candidature in a manner?
No. There is no need to be afraid of anything. The audit does not impact your candidature in any manner.
7. How would I know that I am being audited?
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.
8. Can I send my documents using email or fax?
No. All documents need to be sent by regular post or a courier service to the following address
9. Do I need to send original copies of my educational and training certificates?
No. Photocopies of original certificates should be sent.
10. Do I need to send signed copies of my project experience documents?
11. 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 your PMP application.
12 Does the person have to be PMI credential holder in order to sign the project experience documents?
No. Anyone who has intimate knowledge of the project can verify project documents.
13. What would happen if I fail the audit?
PMI would keep USD 100 as the processing fee. The rest of the credential fee would be refunded. You will have to apply for the exam again. PMI can permanently disbar you from applying to any of the credential exam in case you had knowingly submitted wrongful information.
14. How much time does it take to complete the PMP audit process?
It can take anywhere between 10-15 working days to complete the process, provided the requested documents are sent to PMI immediately. Generally PMI verifies the documents within 5 business days of their arrival.
15 How much time do I have to submit the documents?
All requested documents should reach PMI within 90 days.
16. What will happen if I do not submit the documents?
You will fail the audit.
17. What will happen if I do not send the complete documentation?
Again, you will fail the audit.
18. How soon can I reapply for the exam if I fail the audit?
After 1 year.
19. Will I get additional time to schedule the exam if my application comes under the audit?
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.
20. What will happen if the exam changes while my application is under the audit process?
In case PMP exam changes, you will have to take the updated exam.