Audit of PMP Exam applications

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by Raja

Have you ever felt scared of your PMP exam application getting selected for an audit?

If yes, this article is for you. Here, I will explain to you what the PMP certification audit is all about, and what you should do in order to clear it successfully.

In order to start, you should first know as to when you may expect your application to get selected for an audit. Remember that it is a completely random process, and that only a small percentage of submitted applications are selected for an audit.

Daily PMP GuideApplication, audit, and study tips/resources for the PMP exam.

You first submit your PMP examination application, which is reviewed for accuracy and completeness by PMI. Once that is done, you receive an e-mail from them stating that your application has been reviewed and that you may go ahead and pay the PMP examination fees. You should do as advised.

Now, here comes the deciding part. Within a couple of minutes of your having paid the fees, you should receive an e-mail from PMI which lets you know your candidate ID for the PMP exam. You may use this ID in order to schedule the PMP exam on a chosen date and time at a Prometric center located close to you. Once you do this, you will receive an e-mail from Prometric confirming your selected PMP examination schedule.

However, if your application gets selected for an audit, you will not receive a mail containing your candidate ID for the PMP exam (after you have paid the fees). Instead, you will receive another e-mail from PMI, which tells you that your application has been selected for an audit, and advises you about the steps to be taken next.

If this happens, the first thing that you should do is that you should not panic. It is just an audit, and not a bomb shell. The worst thing that can happen is that you will not be able to get past the audit process, and will have to apply for the PMP exam again. In the latter case, PMI will refund your PMP examination fees less a $100 processing fees. So, the sky is not going to fall.

You will be required to send to PMI hard copies of your educational, training, and experience certificates through snail mail (regular mail or express courier service). You can select the PMI center nearest to your place of residence for dispatching your documents. (The details of documents requested, along with postal addresses of all available PMI centers, where you can send in your documents, will be sent to you in the audit notification mail). Just send PMI the requested documents and wait for their feedback.

Upon receipt of your documents, PMI will verify them and let you know if they are satisfied with them. If your documents seem fine to them, you will receive another e-mail informing you of successful audit completion, along with your candidate ID for the PMP exam. You may then proceed and schedule your PMP exam. However, if PMI is not satisfied with the documents sent by you, you may receive another mail with request for more information (or supporting documents). You should send them the requested documents. Finally, PMI will either issue you a candidate ID or else, inform you of your failure in having completed the audit successfully. If the latter happens, you should consider applying for the PMP exam afresh.

One of my close friends got selected for an audit recently, and was through with it in less than 10 working days. If you possess documented evidence of your experience in directing and managing project activities as well as your educational and training qualifications, you have nothing to fear.

So, go ahead in your pursuit of your PMP certification, and do not let the fear of audit hold you back!

If you are serious about passing the PMP Exam, use my recommended PMP training course online.

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Leave a Comment

{ 171 comments… read them below or add one }

Josh Nankivel February 2, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Thanks Raja! I’d also like to point people to the free PMP Experience Log I put together, which helps document your project management experience BEFORE you apply and will be a helpful reference should you be audited.


Josh February 23, 2009 at 2:05 pm


What exactly does ‘documented evidence of experience in directing and managing project tasks’ mean? Could you please clarify if I have to send PMI the project documents/deliverables that I specify in the application as that’s the only documented evidence I will have of my project management experience.



Josh Nankivel February 25, 2009 at 1:32 am

You don’t need to send documentation into PMI proactively, but if you are audited you will need to be able to produce them and/or ensure the people who you have listed are able to vouch for your documented experience.


Daniel May 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm


Just wanted to thank you for posting your Excel log.

It took me quite a few hours to document everything but the form was invaluable when submitting my application. Just submitted payment and found out I was approved! And no audit. Thank goodness. Wasn’t afraid of the scrutiny but really didn’t want to deal with the hassle and delay (especially since I hope to test in a few weeks).

Thank you!



Margaret May 30, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Hi Dan,

So glad to learn that the excel log was helpful, filling out that application can be so much work!

- Margaret


Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo February 3, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Hi Raja,
Help me out here……. If you have not lied on your application, why should you have anything to fear anyway?

Also, FWIW, since PMI implemented the audit system almost 10 years ago, I can attest that 10% of people DO get audited, (I think there is a macro running that randomly selects 10% of the applicants after they have paid) and that at least from my observations, no one has ever been rejected because of the audit.

Just for the record, we do NOT believe in teaching to the exam and our programs of study are not advertised as PMP Prep courses. We teach “best” or “recommended” practices in project management, which, OBTW, more than adequately prepares you to sit for the PMP (or AACE’s much more techically demanding credentials)

Dr. PDG, Johor Baru, Malaysia


Josh Nankivel February 8, 2009 at 5:44 am

Fear of being scrutinized through an audit, etc. does not necessarily imply you have something to hide or have not been honest.

People get nervous for interviews, reviews, etc. It’s not because they have lied on their resume or that they fear they will be reprimanded (necessarily). There are lot of factors involved.


Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo February 8, 2009 at 9:53 am

Hi Josh,
I’ve been in the business of providing project management certification training now since 1989, and having processes thousands of applicants for both PMI and AACE certifications, I can assure you that a certain percentage of candidates can and do lie on their applications.

So I hate to be a skeptic, but when people say they are afraid of being audited, it usually implies they have something to hide. (Assuming you are American, have you ever been audited by the IRS???)

If the author said “inconvenienced” or “hassled” or some similar adjective, I could sympathise, but to use the term fear indicates something more to me.

Dr. PDG, back in Jakarta


Josh Nankivel February 8, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Interesting take on this. I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree. There’s no doubt some people act in a fraudulent manner. I tend to give the benefit of the doubt and assume the majority of people are honest, and that if they feel fear in this type of situation it’s due to something other than fraud.

I certainly felt a little nervous about the possibility of an audit. Some of it was uncertainty about the process. I think you are experiencing the curse of knowledge in that you unconsciously assume everyone else has the same level of knowledge about the process as you do. This article assumes the reader is lacking knowledge and has some uncertainty about the process. The author seeks to give them knowledge and decrease their level of uncertainty.

Some of it was “what if they can’t get a hold of my contacts”? I’ve worked for 6 different companies over the last 6-7 years. I’ve been laid off 5 times. One of those companies was a start-up, and went out of business. Another was Gateway in Rio Rancho, NM and that site was shut down in 2002.

Research by reading articles like this, checking up with my contacts, documenting all of my experience instead of stopping at the minimum required amount, etc. are things that reduced the uncertainty and fear.


kelvinzhao February 8, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Obviously, you had taken your personal emotion into this reply, why were you so absorb in the word that the author used in the article, I think the reader would pay attention to read the thought of the article, that’s what the author want to tell us. it’s not anything that would mislead anyone. As far as I know, there ARE some candidates really feel fear to go through the audit, but that feeling doesn’t mean any lies or other fake things, but because they don’t understand the whole process (even PMI) as well as you. they fear what they had done everything for the application and the time they spent for the exam would be totally wasted because of the failure of the audit. maybe they worry to much about the audit, but it’s the fact. there is the fact that they need some one like this author to tell them what the audit is for and how to pass through smoothly. especially in other country (I’m Chinese).


Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo February 9, 2009 at 2:12 am

Hi Kelvin,
I guess the best way to “fix” what has turned into a much more heated debate than I anticipated, let me emphasize the important points I made in subsequent postings.

1) The audit is or should be nothing to fear, provided the applicant has not lied or falsified their information;

2) PMI is very clear in explaining what has to be documented, what documents are required and how to submit them;

3) The process PMI requires, while an inconvenience and irritating, is a good and necessary one;

4) In the 10 or so years PMI has been doing these audits, I am not aware of one single person who has “failed” the audit process.

I trust this clarifies the issues??

Dr. PDG, Jakarta


Vincent Birlouez March 3, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Hello -
I got audited as well back in 2007 when I submitted my application to pass the exam.
The process was very swift, they were quick to contact me about it and swift to approve once I submitted my papers.
There is nothing to be scared of UNLESS you lied on your application.
As I am a freelance project manager working with various telecommunications clients the key thing is to make sure you have contact still in place so that they can certified that you did what you said you did.


Josh Nankivel March 4, 2009 at 1:35 am

Thanks Vincent! This is exactly the kind of experience people need to hear about if they are worried for some reason.


Mihai May 6, 2009 at 1:08 pm

“The worst thing that can happen is that you will not be able to get past the audit process, and will have to apply for the exam again. In the latter case, PMI will refund your examination fees less a $100 processing fees.”

What happens if somebody fails the audit and applies for the exam again ?
Will that person be audited again, or the random selection is performed .

If random selection is performed, it means that for 100$ anybody can reduce the audit probability from 10% to 1%. For 200$ the chances of beeing audited for the third time would become 1 in 1000, which almost guarantees no audit.

For that reason PMI should maintain an application history and failed audits should considered automatically selected when the person applies again.


Nannette Nemenzo May 10, 2009 at 2:53 am

I am currently studying for the PMP and am taking the exam next month. I submitted my application late December 2008 before vacation only to come back and find an audit notice via email by PMI. Two of my classmates were audited, but quickly passed the audit. I think when you plan and submit your application, plan with the possibility that you may be audited. I contacted everyone that I named in my application and documented history, and explained what I was doing and what may happen if audited. The actual process of filling out the application and documenting all your hours, contacting all my past managers, etc. took longer than filling out and submitting the requested audit documents. The turn around was within 10 days I mailed it to PMI. They give you a few months – if you run into problems they are easy to contact. It was more of an ‘irritation’ that I had to take another step, but it quickly passed once I got the email to proceed and make an appointment for my exam.

So it is like filling out an application for a job and making sure that what you put in that application is truthful and verifiable.

I work for an academic medicine instition where credentialing is a requirement and rigorously scrutinized. My boss who is a professor commented that all applications should be audited. But it would be too expensive to do so. So they do it randomly.


Vijaykumar May 30, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Hi Josh,

My Application is put for audit!
Th audit documents say
“A manager, supervisor, or colleague who is intimately familiar with the experience on your application is required to review your Experience Record and then complete the Experience Verification Form. After they verify, they will put the completed Experience Verification Form and Experience Record in an envelope,”
Here my manager called and asked me what kind of “experience record” format is required to be filled, he has already sign the verification form provided by PMI.
Even i am not aware of this, Or is it he just need to sign the experience verification form and send.
Please guide.

Thanks and Regards,


Josh Nankivel May 31, 2009 at 12:52 am

I’ve never been through an audit personally. I’m pretty sure they would be certifying that the experience you provided when you applied for the PMP was correct. I’m pretty sure you can log into and get a print out of what you submitted, but that is what they would be validating.

See page 24 “PMI Audit Process” of the PMP handbook:


trespasser June 30, 2009 at 11:57 am

Auditing is frustrating in the following sense: If you’re not sure what this freakin audit means to you and how this audit could change the way you view the world; fear of an audit and the time loss; you worked in some place but got fired (you fear that your former boss wouldn’t appreciate to give such an endorsement stating that what you did was an incredible thing in his company and he wants to see you getting a PMP designation before he/she kick their bucket);

You don’t get professional help while filling out an application. Literally anything you do, in work or otherwise, you could technically assign a PM category to it. If you don’t know, ask some PMPs. They will understand your aspirations, so to speak and try to help you out.

Yes, wittingly or unwittingly candidates could potentially lie in their applications. At the same time, pay 1500 dollars to train yourself and tell the individual the instructors that you don’t have proper PM training, guess what. They could, ‘fix’ the problem similar to your accountant. They know what will satisfy PMI requirements.

Other scenarios include;

You think a particular job that you did had some PM component in it but your former employer doesn’t know what PM is, hence he goes against your view.

You worked with a PM and he moved to different country and you don’t have good contact with the HR department or do not know who to ask for. Your actual job description and title, for example says, ‘research assistant’. But your if you contact your HR, they will not know what aspects of your work actually involved PM practices. Many doesn’t have a clue.

Your former employer could dispute the hours of training along the PM line within his company. You say 100, and they could say, it is just 10.

How many of you have a LinkedIn profile? How many of your former bosses have written online endorsement for you? Although we still have favorite bosses…but not all. If you have to use one such boss for your experience, you would feel bit uncomfortable asking him to do it. Invariably, he would think that you’re asking for a ‘favor’ and not actually tell what you did in a PM language.

You had XX numbers of hours in the class. But your out of the class assignment took another XXX hours. Your course teacher doen’t want to consider it or simply forgot.

These are some of the likely scenarios.

One day (beginning of June), I woke up at the wrong side of the bed. Guess what, I was audited (it went well, but it took 3 weeks to get everything gathered, mailed, and approved). It was frustrating as I wanted to schedule the exam before the end of this month. I was racing against the time. I wasn’t afraid, but it was just an inconvenience to me. I felt as if I have to leave to the grandma still continued to talk to me!


Been July 17, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Just completed my audit. It took 2 days for PMI to review my audit material and give feedback on the audit. Like the author said – do not panic and it really helps to notify your references before hand should you get selected. Most of my references were halfway across the world but with careful planning, I was able to complete the verification in 2.5weeks.


Josh Nankivel July 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your experience!


Lalitha September 1, 2009 at 8:04 pm

I would like to know if you gave your employer name or the name of the manager who was involved in the project with you for all the projects?



Josh Nankivel September 1, 2009 at 11:38 pm

I gave both on mine…specifically I had the name of the person who I reported to and knew they would be able to validate my experience because I worked for them on it.


Been September 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm

I gave both the employer name and manager for each project I worked on as is required when filling out the application. It will help incase of an audit if you list someone who was familiar with the projects even if it is a colleague.


Abhi August 10, 2009 at 10:55 am

Am in the process of filling up the application.
I am not in touch(…and looks unlikely that I will be able to contact them) with some of the managers/supervisors from 4-5 years back. However, I am in touch with colleagues who worked closely with me in those projects and can vouch for the information I plan to provide in the application.
If my app. gets selected for an audit, will PMI accept verification provided by those colleagues?

I would really appreciate any help/information on my query.


Josh Nankivel August 10, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Thanks for the question Abhi! My recommendations:

1. Try to establish contact with someone at the company who can vouch for your experience in the case your previous managers are unavailable.

2. Email and pose the specifics of your question to them. They will work with you to figure out the right approach. Be sure to keep the response in case you need it later!

3. If you have more than the minimum requirements of PM experience, document more than the minimum requirements. I did this on my application, so in case I was audited and someone didn’t respond I had plenty of experience that could be validated by others and still meet the minimum requirements.

I hope those help!


Abhi August 11, 2009 at 5:31 am

Thanks for the pointers Josh. I have sent a query mail to PMI on the ID provided by you. Will post their response on the forum.

I have more than the minimum requirements of PM experience, but most of my experience is from my old organisation.

Will find out some way though.



Lalitha September 1, 2009 at 8:03 pm


I am planning to apply for PMP exam. I have been a consultant through out my career. Do we have to give the name of the manager in the organization I worked or the employer to whom I worked.



Josh Nankivel September 1, 2009 at 11:39 pm

You really worked for both of them so either should be fine, as long as you have their contact information and they can validate your experience.


Marc Domachowski September 13, 2009 at 11:04 am

Well, I’ve been “lucky” too. Being chosen for an audit is mainly a schedule issue. I wanted to pass my exam in August, and the audit delayed the whole process by roughly four weeks. Obviously I did not do my homework in risk management for the application – proper risk management (that is – get in touch with line managers before, put together certificates and the like to prove your PM education etc.) could have saved me one or two weeks. So, just do it right: Be honest and truthful in your application, get in touch with former managers and colleagues as soon as possible, let them know that you might need their assistance, put together documents to prove your schooling and PM education. That’s it, then you’re prepared for the not-so-unlikely event of an audit and will loose only a couple of days.

Good luck!


Imran Shamim September 14, 2009 at 2:46 am

If i a guy (having bachelors in engg) has more than 4500 hrs experience of projects, what he should do, should he include all experience, say 10000 hrs or he should adapt his experience to 4500 hrs.


Raja September 14, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Dear Imran,

I would not advise you to ‘adapt’ your experience to 4500 hours. There is no harm in showing more experience than the minimum required. However, you should consider the number of hours you have worked per day. It is advisable to count your experience using the standard figure of 8 hours / day with a total of 22 working days in a month (on an average). Using these figures, if you want to document more than the minimum required experience of 4500 hours, go ahead.

Wish you all the best for your PMP certification exam!

Best Regards,


Imran Shamim September 15, 2009 at 4:38 am

Your points acknowledged, thanks a lot Raja.


Win Wright November 1, 2009 at 4:45 am

What is the maximum time (2 months?) to send response package to PMI (if one gets picked in PMP Audit)?


Josh Nankivel November 1, 2009 at 3:26 pm

I haven’t been able to find any specific time requirement Win. But remember you will have already paid the exam fee.

Since the PMP Handbook doesn’t say anything about a time requirement to get back to them on an audit, it’s probably just a “soon as possible” thing. Personally, I wouldn’t want to go more than a few weeks at the most before sending my response information back to them. Then, they need at least 5 days to review it.

Does anyone else have some insight on this for Win?


Kal February 21, 2010 at 9:05 pm

It will be 90 days from the day you were first notified about the audit.


Kal February 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I am sorry, it will be 60 days.

I counted wrong earlier, PMI has given me 60 days to submit required documents for the audit.


Azim Shaikh November 13, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Hi All,

I am scheduled for my PMP exam next month (December 2009). I am still completing my read thru from PMBOK & PMP EXAM PREP (by Rita Mulcahy).
Please suggest any last minute prep that i need to do to ensure i clear it in first go.



Josh Nankivel November 13, 2009 at 1:25 pm
Vengat December 31, 2009 at 10:55 am

Hi Josh,

Thanks for sharing the knowledge . I have one question.Is the role should be always project managers or even lead dba ,senior dba will suffice while applying which has PM role in it ?



Josh Nankivel, PMP December 31, 2009 at 2:47 pm

First, I just want to point out that Raja wrote the post, not me!

If I understand your question correctly, the answer is that many times the PM role is combined with a technical role. I have been in this situation myself as a lead developer and PM at the same time on the same project.

It really depends on the size of project, working environment, and project philosophy of the organization you are working in.


Raja December 31, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Thanks, Josh!

Vengat, I fully agree with what Josh has said. PMI never states that your designation should be ‘Project Manager’ or something similar. In fact, they have nowhere even said that you need to have the word ‘Manager’ in your designation.

What they need for a candidate holding bachelor’s degree is that he/she should have at least 4500 hours of experience in ‘leading and directing’ project activities, apart from other training requirements. So, if you have enough experience of performing PM activities, you should be good (irrespective of your designation).

Best Regards,


Vengat December 31, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Thanks Raja and Josh for answering my question by taking some time before new years eve :) .. Wish you both happy new year 2010 and all readers .


John January 8, 2010 at 3:38 am

Thanks everyone for the good comments. Could anyone clarify where I can find information about the auditing process technical details? i.e. what should my audits include? I would like to start studying for the PMP and would like to document my work from past experience as well as coming ones so that I have everything ready by the time I start applying.


Josh Nankivel, BSc PM, PMP January 8, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Great question John.

Check out the PMP Handbook and be sure to read it through so you understand the process entirely:

Also you can use my PMP Experience Log and check out the video I recorded on how to use it:

I hope that helps!


John January 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Alright Josh! That’s pretty helpful. I have already checked the PMP handbook before posting and it really didn’t help much in terms of technicalities but I can see a lot from your log file. So, really that’s about what you need to do in terms of auditing in addition to filling their auditing forms. Is there anything else? like do you have to submit specific project details…etc.


Josh Nankivel, BSc PM, PMP January 8, 2010 at 7:14 pm

All you really need is to have contacts that can vouch for your experience. The application will ask for contact details of someone who can vouch for your experience.

My recommendation is to contact them and let them know you are applying, and that there’s a small chance they might be contact if you are audited.

Also, I recommend putting additional experience beyond the required amount if you have it. This way if you are audited and PMI has a hard time getting in touch with one person, you may have enough experience documented from others to pass the audit anyway.


Srinath February 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Hello All,

My Application is selected for an audit and I have specified multiple projects under the same company.
Th audit documents say
“If one person is verifying multiple projects for the same company, they can fill out one form and initial or highlight on the Experience Record the projects that they are verifying”

If you see the experience verification PDF, for each project 1 PDF has generated. My manager asks, where to mention the other project names if I sign on one single document.

Please help.

Thanks and Regards,


Josh Nankivel, BSc PM, PMP February 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Great question, and my advice is to contact PMI customer care via phone or email to ask this question. Let us know what they say!

Here is their contact information:

PMI Customer Care


Chris Maniates February 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Let me assure all future PMPs that the audit process is fair and easy. When I was audited, I mailed the supplied PMI forms and papers off to my past employers. A month later, I mailed the signed papers to PMI. Yes, it took time but was painless.


Sanju March 3, 2010 at 9:28 am


If the manager has left the organization, can I put his name as contact person or i have to find out someone in the company.



Josh Nankivel, BSc PM, PMP March 3, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Sanju, you need to be sure someone can vouch for your experience. If you don’t have your previous manager’s contact information, find someone else in the company who is knowledgeable about the work you’ve done to vouch for you.


Sanju March 3, 2010 at 3:14 pm

thanks Josh. I have details of my manager but the manager has left that organization. In that case can i put him as a contact person.


Raja March 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Yes, Sanju. You can still go ahead and provide your erstwhile manager’s contact details in the examination application form. PMI primarily requires details of someone who may be approached for validation of your stated experience, if required.

Best Regards,


Sanju March 4, 2010 at 3:47 am

thanks Raja.


Ronnie April 19, 2010 at 12:14 am

I am also ‘fortunate’ enough to have been selected for the audit process. I got the notification to pay for the exam, as soon as I hit submit, the wonderful audit notification popped up. Looking through the instructions, I see the requirement to have the experience validated by the contacts I provided. I was wondering if anyone had to provide anything else besides experience validation form and education verification?

Also, someone in one of the posts mentioned getting professional help for application. I took a PMP prep course and as a part of it I was assigned someone to work with on the application. As you can see, having professional help didn’t reduce my chances of being audited. I obsessed over the application to make sure everything is correct, nonetheless it didn’t make any difference. Even though I know everything on my application is true, being selected for auditing is not a fun feeling. I have been worried sick since morning thinking about all possible scenarios where the audit will fail. I wonder how the employers/colleagues view you if you are being audited, especially if your colleagues have a PMP. Anyone has anything to share?


Josh April 19, 2010 at 7:58 am

Audits are selected at random as far as I know Ronnie…they don’t flag “suspicious” applications for audit. So in terms of perception, when you tell anyone you were “randomly selected” for an audit just make sure that part is clear. You “Won the lottery!” :-)

Here is another post by Derek Huether with some good information on PMP Audits.


Dagoberto May 19, 2011 at 10:03 am

Hi Josh
This is one of my biggest questions about the eligibility requirements: The eligibility requirements in PMP handbook says “35 contact hours of formal education”, BUT it not saying 35 PDUs, Why many people says that in order to be elegible, 35 PDUS are needed? What if someone take “formal education” with a freelance consultant, not a training aducation?


Dagoberto May 19, 2011 at 10:07 am

i mean : Who can give ” formal education”? a person? only a company or organization?


Ravi July 1, 2010 at 2:25 am


I am planning to apply for my PMP exams.

I have a couple of questions on the audit process.

1) My experience as a Project Manager has been primarily in the US working for a US employer and a US client. After my visa expiry, I had to return to India.
In case my application is selected for audit, is it ok to get a signature of my present manager certifying my past work experience?

2) I have education certificates and PMP training ( 35 points) certificate ready.

Given that my previous employer is located elsewhere geographically, are there any other work -arounds to submit my work experience verification from the managers?

Please let me know.

Thanks much,


Josh Nankivel July 2, 2010 at 2:06 am

1) Ravi, you will need to have someone who worked with you while you gained that experience vouch for you.

-It is fine if your references are located elsewhere, but you need to list them as people who can vouch for your experience and have their contact information so you can let them know you are applying for a certification and they might be contacted to verify your experience.



Joe October 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Hi All,

My application is selected for Audit and I have more then 2 years of Project manager experience with my previous employer but even my manager has left the company and working for some other organization and software development is outsourced to Inida. Will audit guys accept my previous company manager who he now working for some other organization


Josh Nankivel October 25, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Yes, the person who vouches for you need not still work for the employer where you gained the experience.


Joe October 25, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Thanks Josh !! really appreciate your prompt response


Worthey October 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I’m surprised by all the angst and misunderstanding in regards to these audits. Two of the folks who work in my company received audit notifications and it was a real pain for them trying to run down supervisors and co-workers who could verify their experience claims. They’re both former military, with long careers and multiple work places/locations, so tracking down folks they hadn’t seen/heard from in years was pretty difficult.

In the long run, the both were able to find people who knew where so and so lived … or they were able to run down others who worked with them at the same time and could/would verify that they had worked on a certain project or completed certain tasks.

While they weren’t “scared,” they were pressed to find all the contacts. Of course, for most/many this will not be an issue, as perhaps their work experience is only with one or two companies, and their prior supervisors/co-workers are readily available.

Josh, I’m with you … being nervous or even dreading an audit is not an indication that someone is lying or even trying to hide something. I’ve been audited twice now by the IRS and I can tell you that there’s some apprehension from the unknown (what are these guys going to do … and how are they going to go about doing it?) and the fear that I might not be able to back up everything (to their satisfaction) for the deductions I’m claiming, and that I could end up having to pay additional taxes, plus any interest. I had nothing to hide, but it was still an unpleasant experience.


Husnain November 3, 2010 at 5:03 pm

I been running a small construction company for the past seven years, we do like all sort of projects , in my pmp application i gave ref. of my Project Sponsors (Clients), is that ok.


Raja November 3, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Yes, Husnain, that should be fine.

You may give reference of any individual who is able to verify your documented work/experience on the project, if required to do so by PMI.

Best Regards,


Ramesh November 16, 2010 at 3:46 am

i read the discussions of the documenting the project experience. i have total of 6yrs of experience and lead the projects almost 4 yrs in constuction. i want to document my project experience for PMP audit. Does anybody have a templetes for documentation? or sample of submitted documents to PMI. i am just confused to document my project experience in hours.
Help me out of this.!!!!!


Vijay December 14, 2010 at 10:03 am


I reported to two managers one in US and One in India for an year. Later on, for the next three years, till data, I reported to the managers who were in US.

If my application gets picked-up for an audit, should I need to send the audited application for signatures in US Or will it be enough if all of them are signed and verified by the country manager in India?

Please let know if you have any questions.



Raja December 14, 2010 at 11:17 am

Dear Vijay,

The country manager based out of India can certify your experience in all the projects irrespective of whether you used to report to him or to someone else in USA. Any person who is aware of your contribution to the project, and can certify your documented experience, can do that.

Hope this helps,

Best Regards,


Vijay December 14, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Brilliant and a Big thank you for the prompt Raja!!

You response was very much helpful..

Kind Regards,


Kane January 27, 2011 at 6:51 am


My question is, if we get audited, do we need to get our degree signed by the person signing the pdf?

Is there any mention of our degree / certificates on the pdf?

Thank you.


Vijay January 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

Hi Kane,

You need to get the signatures ONLY of your project experience. Other documents such as PMP Contact hours and a photocopy of your degree certificates are optional.

Though I got my certificates signed to be on the safer side.



abdulrahim naser February 10, 2011 at 8:12 am

thank you


Sonal March 19, 2011 at 9:17 am


My PMP application is selected for Audit :( .
Now my worries are around this :

1. …… After they verify, they will put the completed Experience Verification Form and Experience Record in an envelope, sign his/her name over the sealed flap of the envelope, and return the envelope to you via in person or by mail……

So what is this Experience Record: DO we have to show Employment letter ..or what is it. I am contracting..and getting this letter is not possible.

2. Can I change my verifying persons name,as are in other side of the world. This will reduce tensions and worries from my side. I would rather prefer to give somebody local here from my work place from WA, USA. Would this work, or will PMP raise their eyebrow on this reference change issue.

Please guide me on this.



Sonal March 19, 2011 at 9:29 am

Additonal Information:
Now I read this as dis-crepancy: The PDF provided with the PMI, called pdc_auditinstructions ONLY mentions Project Management Experience Audit Report and nothing called as Experience Record ( which is posted on the PMI Application portal)

Now which is true and needs to be followed.


Raja March 22, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Dear Sonal,

Not sure if your queries have been resolved by now, hence answering them.

(1) You only need to submit the Experience Verification Record to PMI. There is no need to submit anything called Experience Record. The main motive behind asking the manager of your project(s) to seal the envelope containing your Experience Verification Record, and signing over the sealed flap of the envelope is to maintain confidentiality. The manager may himself/herself get the sealed envelope couriered to PMI, or hand it over to you for the same. PMI wants that the contents of this envelope should remain confidential.

(2) As far as I know, PMI should have no objections to your changing the names of your references. Often, candidates lose contact with the references listed on their application forms earlier, and are not able to contact them as and when their applications get selected for an audit. Hence, someone else may attest to your documented experience on the project(s). Again, the only requirement is that the person verifying your experience should have genuinely worked with you or managed you on the documented project(s).

Hope this helps.

Best Regards,


Sonal April 12, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Thanks Raja,
Thanks for your response.
Last week I turned in my application, now keeping my fingers crossed for the reply from PMI body.
and yes I was able to provide the same references as mentioned as in the earlier application.
I was sckeptical and was worrying about logistic issues so was considering changing the references.
Also the PMI body customer care is prompt in replying via the email, they provided me the same answers as you have mentioned above for my query.
Thanks again.


Ced March 22, 2011 at 8:54 am


For five years, the main parts of my role are (in many projects):
Realising action plans (including planing and expected workloads) to be submited to the heads of departments, drafting specifications, following developments of the service provider (third party), testing or coordinating testers during UAT, documenting, training customer, coordinating support after go live… So according to me, I’m not a clear project manager allocating resources for many projects or managing budgets and I’m afraid I am not eligible for PMP certification? Am I right? What are your opinions?


Sonal March 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Hi Ced,

Based on what you say, let me clarify, I dont think PMI dis-qualifies you based on your cadre or office ranking.
They are looking to see if you have attained 4500 hrs of work experience in any / all of these 5 areas.

Initiation Activities
Planning Activities
Executing Process
Monitoring & Controlling
Closing Process

Truly speaking everybody would have all the knowledge areas in some hour % as an experience. in some project more and in some less…based on your experience. This needs to the tabulated and calculated and provided to PMI Body.


Raja March 23, 2011 at 12:04 am

Hi Ced,

Sonal is right. You would be eligible for appearing in the PMP exam as long as you have worked on all of the Process Groups identified by PMI. You may worked more on one or more of these process groups, and you may have done negligible work on one or more of other process groups. However, as long as you have worked on them in atleast one of your projects, and possess the required total experience as stated by PMI, you will be eligible to appear in the exam.

Also, your designation does not matter. What matters is the role that you played while working on projects documented in your PMP application form.

Best Regards,


Ced March 23, 2011 at 3:17 am

Thank you Sonal and Raja for your swift answers!
After your explanations, I now think I have a good chance to be eligible.
Is there a way to confirm that before taking (and paying) the 35 hours of PM related training?
Or the only verification step is the audit mentioned in this article and so there is no way to be sure I am eligible before taking the course?


Sonal April 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm

eligibility is evaluated only when you turn in your complete application.
Until you pay for 35PDU’s course and applciation fee you will not know
1. if you are under audit
2. AND/OR Eligibility criterion.

So financially you are looking at an initial expenditure like
PMI Membership(if you need, but highly recommend)
+35PDU’s course
+Exam Fees($405 if you are a member already)


Imran April 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm

This is Imran from India. My Senior ( Report authority) is in USA now. In this case can i use
a) The Mobile No. of His in the verification form.
b) can i provide the contact no of US client to whom my senior has gone to attend.

Imran khan


Josh June 8, 2011 at 6:19 am

Yes in both cases, as long as they are able to contact them and get the experience verification form filled out and mailed back.


TS May 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Good evening! I served as managing coach for a year-round swim club team for four years. Can I count each season as a “project” and use my work there as experience? I can definitely write to PMBOK framework (I managed all aspects of initiating and developing a season plan for my athletes, executing the plan during the season, monitoring it against progress benchmarks, and closing out the season), but am unsure if an individual season qualifies as a project. Thanks!


Josh June 8, 2011 at 6:30 am

Hmm…. some people may disagree with me TS, but in my view this does not count as experience “leading and directing project tasks” unless you had volunteers or workers whom you were leading and directing. You could definitely have been using parts of what’s described in the PMBOK framework, but it seems to me this is more of an operational activity.

Now, if you managed an EVENT, that’s a different story. The planning, procurement, marketing, setup, execution, contracts/agreements, etc. combined with leading contractors or volunteers definitely makes something like that a project in my view, and project management experience.

Josh Nankivel
Recommended PMP Training:


Santosh Nandalwar June 6, 2011 at 1:58 am

Hi Josh/Raja,

Nice to see your response to queries w.r.t. PMP certification. I have couple of questions:
1. What are PMI specifications for “leading & directing projects” so as to prepare myself for the possible audit?
2. What happens if, I have done 7500 hours of project according to my calculations but the auditors find it less than 4500 hours as per PMI specifications?

Pls guide…


Josh June 8, 2011 at 6:17 am

Thanks for the question Santosh. I can’t do much more than point you to PMI’s resources for the definition of “leading and directing projects” – but in my view this means managing projects or portions of projects in the role of a project manager.

For instance, on large projects/programs there may be several project managers involved, all leading various portions of the project. You don’t have to be the lead project manager in order for your experience to qualify. You don’t have to have the title “project manager” either. But you do need to be performing the role of a project manager, in my view.

On your second question, if you are unable to successfully verify your experience in an audit situation, you would be ineligible for the exam. The key is to make sure someone can vouch for your experience ahead of time.


Anitha Martin June 7, 2011 at 10:41 pm


My PMP application has been selected for audit. The instruction says this
“A manager, supervisor, or colleague who is intimately familiar with the experience on your application is required to review your Experience Record and then complete the Experience Verification Form. After they verify, they will put the completed Experience Verification Form and Experience Record in an envelope, sign his/her name over the sealed flap of the envelope, and return the envelope to you via in person or by mail. …..”

The PMP site contains one pdf per project, is it enough for my manager to fill that and sign it? Do i have to separately include some document for ‘Experience record’?

Anitha Martin


Josh June 8, 2011 at 6:05 am

Anitha, I’m guessing there is a printout you could do from PMI’s website for your application with a consolidated view of what you submitted for experience. I’m not 100% sure about that however.

I’ve reached out to some friends who have personal experience with the audit process to give a better answer to your question. Watch this space!


Anitha Martin June 8, 2011 at 6:22 am

Hi Josh,

Yes, there is a printout that i could do from the PMI’s website for your application. Should i just get that signed by my manager? or should i have to suppliment that with any more documentation?



Derek Huether June 8, 2011 at 6:49 am

Josh asked me if I could help answer your question. Your manager will not be filling out the project description section (page 1 of 3). That information had to be completed by you through the PMI web form and it will be preprinted on the PDF.

The section that you are referring is on page 2 of 3. There will be a check box where your manager, supervisor, or colleague will either agree or disagree with what you claimed. If they agree, they check “Yes”, enter their contact information and sign it. If they disagree, they check “No” and list what you did or did not do. They would still be required to fill out the contact information, sign it, seal the envelope, and sign the flap.

Make sure you include ALL of your (sealed and signed) envelopes when you send the pack to PMI. If not, you won’t pass the audit. It usually takes about 10 to 14 days to inform you if you passed.


Santosh Nandalwar June 9, 2011 at 12:40 am

Thanks Josh for the clarification.
Also if you can guide on one more query. Can we only show completed projects for evaluation. For e.g. I’m currently working on a large project which may or may not complete before I apply for the PMP exam. Can I mention it in the list of projects?


Josh June 9, 2011 at 6:14 am

Yes Santosh, you can include projects that are not completed. For that matter, if you took over an existing project you can still count the experience you had while managing that project.


Santosh Nandalwar June 10, 2011 at 12:56 am

Thanks Josh…u & few others r doing a gr8 job by clearing the doubts of PMP aspirants!


Josh June 10, 2011 at 6:59 am

You are very welcome Santosh!


Maanya August 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Hi guys,
I’m still weighing my options and wondering if PMP is the way to go. And most importantly I’m wondering if I even meet the qualifications criteria. I would appreciate any kind of advice you can give me.
I don’t have Project Management experience per se, I worked as a Contracts Manager/Key Accounts Manager for a large global telecom company in India and Australia for 3 years. While I did not manage a team or projects, I managed several high value customer accounts from end to end.
You mentioned the following aspects in an earlier post: Planning, procurement, marketing, setup, execution, contracts/agreements, etc.
My experience in them: Planning – yes, procurement – not so much, marketing – no, setup – yes, execution – yes, contracts – yes, closure – yes.

So based on this, do you think I would qualify? Should I maybe go with a CAPM cert first and then try and work my way up to a PMP?
I have a Bachelors degree.

Thanks much!


Josh August 1, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Take a look at this post Mannya:

Did you lead the production of a specific deliverable or set of deliverables during the process?


Ayan August 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

Hi all,

I am strongly interested in the PMP certification. I’d like to give you a brief introduction about my career – I’m holding a Bachelor of Technology degree and I’ve almost 7+ years of total project experience. In these years of my experience, I’ve played various roles like software developer, business systems analyst, test team member and test lead but never worked as Project Manager as such.

When I was looking at the experience verification form, I roughly calculated Total PDUs as 5589 categorized as below:

1. Initiating 3.24%
Activities: Identify and document high level risks, assumptions and constraints using historical data and expert judgment

2. Planning 13.47%
Identify project risks to define risk strategies and develop the risk management plan.
Obtain project plan approval from the customer and conduct a kick off meeting with all key stakeholders.
Define and record detail project requirements, constraints and assumptions with the stakeholders to establish the project deliverables.

3. Executing 69.87%
Execute the tasks defined in the project plan in order to achieve the project goals.
Ensure a common understanding and set expectations through communication to align the stakeholders and team members.
Improve team performance by building team cohesiveness, leading, mentoring, training, and motivating in order to facilitate cooperation, ensure project efficiency and boost morale.

4. Monitor & Control 10.56%
Measure project performance using appropriate tools and techniques.
Ensure the project deliverables conform to quality standards established in the project quality plan.

5. Closing 2.86%
Activities: Identify, document and communicate lessons learned.

My questions are -
1. Am I eligible for PMP exam even if I haven’t work as PM? If so, should all my experience come under “Project Contributor” (for dev/test activities) and “Supervisor” (for test lead activities) roles?
2. While calculating PDUs I’ve considered the data for last 3-4 years as the previous experience is limited to “Execute the tasks defined in the project plan in order to achieve the project goals” activity only (for developer or tester role)
Should I also include those hours? As I’ve a total project experience of 7+ years which roughly comes about 10300 hours (counting 6 hours per day devoted in project works), can I show all of that?
3. As “Primary Contact” for my projects, can I give someone’s name (for one or more projects) who was not my manager, but was involved in my past projects. This is important because I’m not in touch with some of my past managers and don’t even have their contact information. In that case, what should I fill for “Contact Relationship” in the application form? Should it be “Primary Stakeholder”?

Please clarify my doubts. Thanks a tonne in advance!


Josh August 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm

The PMI calls for “leading and directing project activities” as the benchmark for experience.

Only use the experience time as referenced above, working on a project team as an individual contributor doesn’t count.

It has to be someone who can vouch for your experience, does not necessarily have to be your direct supervisor. Your best guess on the classification.


Moja September 2, 2011 at 2:50 am

Hi Josh,

I have 11+ of total IT experience with 4 yrs of PM experience in different ways … also for attaining 35 contact hrs I am planning to enroll in the

My question is :

While filling up the PM experience hrs, is there any criteria of benchmark for each domain to qualify. for eg – u shud hv atleast x% for Initiation,Planning, …. , closing etc

What are the exact Documents I have to furnish incase I am being audited so that I keep that ready before I click on submit .. For eg – photocopy of degree certificate etc . Also,what exactly do I need to furnish for my work experience(Do I need to give all the project deliverable documents OR only the form that I filled up in the PMI application needs to be verified by my X/current manager )

Thanks for helping …


Josh September 3, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Thanks for the question Moja.

There isn’t any requirement for a specific amount of hours in each area. If you have always come in to manage projects that are past the initiation phase, that’s fine. The requirement is for your total hours to meet the minimum standard.

In terms of the audit, what you need is someone who you worked for/with that can vouch for your experience. That could be your direct supervisor or someone within the company who can verify your experience. They don’t necessarily have to still be working for the organization in which you worked with them. You may be asked to provide proof of your degree since that lessens the experience requirements from the PMI.

See the PMP Handbook’s requirements section for more information:

Also, the very first edition of my PMP Guide newsletter helps answer some of these experience requirements questions:

I hope that helps!


Moja September 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Hi Josh,

Thanks for your answer … hope things goes smoothly for me :)



Josh_Fan September 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Wonderful article. Thanks Josh for your clarifications.

Had a query:
The PMP application form talks about the eligibility criteria being 3years/4500 hours of Project Management experience.

Also, came across the following in the form:
“Project management experience dating back at least three years from application submittal date.
Project management experience not dating back further than eight years from the application submittal date.”

I have Project Management experience in delivering IT projects from approximately mid 2007 to mid 2010 following which I moved to a PMO role ever since which is mostly operational and can add some hours in this role. Would I fit into the above criteria as I satisfy the following: “Project management experience not dating back further than eight years from the application submittal date”


Josh September 9, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Yes, it is now September 2011, so any work after this time in 2003 would qualify. The ‘three years’ is just to say that your time must be at minimum 3 years in duration….so if you got enough ‘hours worked’ in 2.5 years, that’s not good enough. The requirements cover both hours worked (effort) and duration (elapsed calendar time).


Ryan September 12, 2011 at 1:35 am

Damned, not that I “fear” audit but I hate goverment postal services at place from where I belong. My documents are stuck in NY Customs since 31st Aug. I called JFK and they say there is nothing wrong with it, it just takes time but no ETA.

It was international courier from India. The postal services here, have written an email to NY customs, nothing more.

Any idea, How long usually it takes for U.S Customs to clear something like a envelope of document assuming I have not been advised of any “issues/problem” with package?

Shall I go with mighty expensive DHL services who gurantees to deliver the package in 3 days?


Josh September 23, 2011 at 11:14 am

I have no idea about customs turnaround Ryan.


Deborah September 14, 2011 at 9:01 am

what type of documents of the project, PMI could require to show proof of your experience? Project Docs, like project plan? or resource plan?


Josh September 23, 2011 at 11:14 am

Deborah, you need to have people who will vouch for your experience in the case you are audited.


John September 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I’m in a quandry with respect to the project experience requirements. I’ve been a VP of IT for many years and, as such, the majority of my time has been spent in PM-related activities. However, in order to document my hours on specific projects I’d likely have to document around fifty to sixty individual projects. Does anyone know of an acceptable means of aggregating PM time across numerous projects or, essentially “program management” experience managing multiple projects?

Many thanks!


Josh September 23, 2011 at 11:15 am

Have you looked into the PgMP John? You may want to. It sounds like you are more of a program manager than a project manager.


Andre October 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Having a recorded message blasting my speakers to check my inbox immediately made me regret subscribing.
That’s beyond silly.


Josh October 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm

What are you talking about Andre?


Jason October 10, 2011 at 2:05 am

Josh – I have a similar question to John from back on Sept 22. I have now been a Program Manager for the last 18 Months (so PgMP is not yet in my qualifying range). Prior to this position I had been a Site lead – overseeing multiple tasks over the last 8 years at two other locations. Do I record all projects that I was overseeing during that time or just record the Site Management experience for each location and apply all hours performed as the site lead (which are directly project management related)? Or should I be digging up the various projects that I oversaw/led during each of those years and record the hours by each project? I was the official lead for all tasks that my contract was required to complete at both locations. Thoughts? Thanks!


John October 10, 2011 at 11:05 am


Fyi, I posed my question to PMI Customer Care and this is the response I got:

“Unfortunately, the PMP application requires that applicants list each project individually. PMI does provide a credential for program managers, the PgMP, but that application also requires applicants to list individual projects and programs.”

Regards… John


Jason October 10, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Thanks John! My plan then is to move forward with treating the contract management of each site as smaller projects and then detail several of my qualifying projects with hours.

Thanks Jason


dohaking November 8, 2011 at 2:31 am

Hi Raja,

I am planning to appear for the PMP exam soon.
Like the other PMP aspirants I am also slightly concerned about the audit. I am an engineering graduate with a PG in Management(MBA). I have altogether 12 Years experience, First three years in India and the rest in the middle east.
At the present company, my relationship with my present boss is not that smooth. Therefore, If I am picked up for an audit and if I give his(present boss) name as my supervisor, I will be in deep trouble. How can I avoid this situation? Can I give my colleague’s name to verify my credentials? Please reply


Josh November 8, 2011 at 8:09 am

Why will you be in ‘deep trouble’ for listing him as your supervisor?

It has to be someone who can vouch for your experience, it doesn’t have to be your direct supervisor. It could be someone in HR who is familiar with your project work, for instance.


Marsha November 10, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Do you know how recent your experience has to be for the PMP exam. I have over 14 years of solid project management experience and my supervisor will verify it if audited, but it is over 10 years old as I took off time to raise my kids.

I can’t find any dates on the PMI website – when I called I was told that the experience had to be within the last 8 years.
The woman I spoke to told me I should do the CAPM instead.

Thanks for any thoughts – do they make any exceptions?


Josh November 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Thanks for the question Marsha. According to the PMP Handbook the qualifying experience must be within the last 8 years.

I wouldn’t jump at the CAPM either necessarily. Why are you interested in PM Certification? If you are doing this to help your chances of finding a job, I have something better for you at

With your experience, you need no certification to find a role deserving of your talents. And although certifications can be useful, they are not as much of a factor as many people would like you to believe.


Ravi November 12, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Thank you so much, i just got an email for audit..11/11/11,,funny but real.


PMP Exam November 14, 2011 at 4:02 am

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Rajat November 16, 2011 at 6:42 am

I am presently working as project analyst in an IT company since April 2011. Prior to this i worked in a shipping company for 3.5 years as a procurement officer where i was handline various requirements of cargo ships travelling worldwide. I am planning to give PMP after 6 months. Will this work experiance count towards 3 yrs project experiance required for PMP?


Josh November 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Check out the PMP Handbook:

On page 8, you’ll see the experience must be ‘leading and directing project tasks.’ – it’s up to you and your references if your experience qualifies. It’s not something I can tell you without having worked with you.


Ryan Endres November 17, 2011 at 12:16 am

I had a co-worker that was audited once, and I was her reference. All I had to do was sign off one each of the projects she listed and fax it back to them. Quick and easy.


Moja November 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Hi Josh,

I was not able to clear my PMP exam for the first time. Will I be audited again or I have a period of 1 year before I can be audited again.

Note: I was not audited during my first time payment.

Thanks for guiding.


Josh November 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Do you mean you failed the audit, or you took the exam and failed it?


Moja November 27, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Hi Josh,

I failed the exam.
I was not audited last time. When I paid the exam fees last time I was told that you can go ahead and schedule the exam. Now, am preparing again so was thinking that will I have the audit clause once again or I will be able to give my exams directly.

Note: I got a mail from PMI after the exam stating that :

This is a reminder for you to make payment for the PMP® Credential.
You have one year from the date your application was accepted, which was 27 Sep 2011, to sit for and pass the exam. This is known as your exam eligibility period and is discussed in detail in your respective handbook.


Josh November 27, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Thank you for clarifying. I am not sure about the answer to this question. Please contact PMI Customer Service (info is on >> contact) via email or phone.

Please leave a comment back here about what you find out, it will help others as well.


Moja December 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Hi Josh,

I got the below reply from PMI customer care . So as per my understanding even if you sit for the exam 2nd time within a year … you may have to face the audit if selected .

Please be informed that all applications are subject to an audit, although only a percentage of applications are selected for audit. The selection of an application for audit is random.

Response from PMI :
Please be informed that all applications are subject to an audit, although only a percentage of applications are selected for audit. The selection of an application for audit is random.

If your application is selected for an audit, you will be notified after payment of the credential fee is received. The electronic audit notification provides detailed information on how to comply with the terms of the audit.


Abhay December 5, 2011 at 4:17 am

Hi Josh

Does the designation of the person acknowledging our experience matters?


vivek January 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm

My PMP Audit completed in just 4 business days. I got email on last Saturday that my application is selected for audit when i submitted my exam fee. On this Monday, I tried to contact my reference but they were not available. I could get hold of them on Tuesday and took appointment for Wednesday,got the signatures and send the package back to PMI on the same day. PMI received the package today morning(Thursday) at 10 AM and completed the processing by 4 PM and sent email that I can go ahead and schedule for the exam. So PMI took just 6 hours to complete it !!

I think, no one should worry about audit as long as you are truthful in application and your references agree on the projects.


Josh January 26, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Excellent, thanks so much for sharing your experience with us Vivek!


Anatole January 30, 2012 at 4:22 am

Hi, PMI say they select people for the audit randomly. May be. Just look at this and think: out of our UK PMP prep course group of 12 people with the only individual of a Russian origin and the only individual of a Nigerian origin in it, two people were selected for the audit. Guess who? Both, a Russian and a Nigerian.


Anatole January 30, 2012 at 4:35 am

Another interesting thing: when I asked PMI if the choice of a Russian and Nigerian out of the British group of 12 people was truly random, a PMI auditor Paul O. tried to switch the topic from the audit to ice hockey answering my question!


Josh January 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Very strange Anatole. I must confess I have no idea how they go about selecting people for an audit.


Middas March 10, 2012 at 2:43 am

I am working on putting together my PMI certification package, and there are two “engagements” I am not quite sure I can use to demonstrate I have the experience required:

1) I worked in presales and one of my assignments was to lead a team to respond to an RFP. I used a schedule, managed resources, but the budget was not managed by me, and since this was a presales task, there was no revenue generation, and

2) I was assigned to develop training material and then trained hundreds of new hires in a couple of modules in the areas of Project Management, Presentation Skills, and methodologies, but it was the same course taught over and over to groups of 20 students each time for over 2 years.

Can I use this experience?

My local manager in the US for assignment Nr 2) retired and I lost contact with him. Who else can I request to certify this experience? Another instructor? Former students?

How old can this experience be to be recognized by the PMI?

Thanks for your suggestions and input!!


Middas March 10, 2012 at 2:50 am

I just read your response to Marsha about the 8 years window, so please disregard my question about how old those experiences needed to be. Thank you!


PMP courses June 19, 2012 at 6:16 am

This is a very good article. This article provides detailed information about the PMP exam applications and the procedure of submitting PMP exam application form. This is very helpful article; for the student who want to submit PMP exam form.


Rahul July 17, 2012 at 11:28 am

Thanks for the wonderful blog Raja.

I am planning to take PMP and is already in process of filling up the application form. The manager/supervisor information that I provide for the projects , will they be contacted for verification right after the submission of application or only if the application is chosen for audit ? In case they will contact them even if the application is not chosen for audit , I will provide a copy of these forms to them(supervisors) so that we are on the same page when verification happens.


Josh August 17, 2012 at 10:44 am

Rahul, that is a good idea. Keeping the people who can vouch for your experience in the loop is a great way to make a potential audit painless.


SR August 15, 2012 at 10:26 am

For the primary contacts, do they have to still be in the same company that we worked together in?
In my case, I am quit my job(with company A) over 2months ago, and two of my previous managers who I will be quoting as primary contacts are no longer with company A. Ove of them is also out of the country :(
Will this be a problem? Should I be using only contacts who are still with company A?
Pls advise.


Josh August 17, 2012 at 10:46 am

No SR.

Either HR at the company may be able to vouch for the projects you managed while you were there, or those contacts can still vouch for your experience even if they no longer work for the company.

I had this situation when I took my PMP, because in 2004 a startup company I managed projects in went out of business. So my contacts were obviously at different companies when I applied for my PMP.


SR August 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

Thanks Josh.

I submitted my application and is now on audit.
I have managed to get response back from all managers except one for the project verification. He had responded to me more than 2months ago when I had indicated my plan to do my PMP, however now is not responding. 
The project involved was a small one (under 200hrs) and even without this, I still have the required 4500hrs. 
So what are my options here:
- if I need to find an alternative contact to vouch for this project, how can I get my PMP application updated with the relevant contact info?
- can I remove this project from my application since I already have 4500hrs of experience.
- will old email indicating that I worked for the contact suffice? Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any details on hours or role :(

Pls advise as I really don’t want this roadblock stopping me from attaining my PMP.
PS: I sent an email to customercare and am waiting for a response .

Many thanks


Josh August 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

You are doing exactly the right things. The fact that you still have 4500 hours of verified experience should be sufficient – one of the reasons I urge people to put all their experience on the application, not just up to the minimum requirement.

Wait to hear back from PMI customer care on exactly how to proceed with the paperwork – they’ll know best. If you can, please respond in this thread and let us know how they told you to proceed.


PSoftGuy August 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm

I too was selected for audited today. I found it peculiar that I was selected for auditing after I paid my exam fee. I was warned that I may be selected for auditing because I joined PMI as a student (I’m currently in graduate school) and I used SkillSoft from where I did my undergraduate to fulfill my 35 hours. Thankfully I was ready for that, and I had all 19 courses that equaled the 35 contact hours printed out (the PMI certificates that SkillSoft provides), my unofficial transcipts showing that I have my BS in IT, and contacted my supervisor to fill out the five Employment Verification forms and sign the flaps on the envelopes. (Made sure he checked yes and signed the forms with the required information.) I then mailed the required forms to PMI so now I’m just waiting.

I bookmarked this page, so I’ll respond back within 2 weeks if I got the green light to take the PMP exam. $447 was a lot better than paying $555 to take this exam….I guess PMI wanted me to jump through some hoops.


SR August 29, 2012 at 10:02 am

The reply I got from customer care:
” If you are unable to contact this individual you will only need to have someone else that is familiar with your work on the project sign the form. There is no need to make changes to the application. ”

I have sent email to another contact who will hopefully respond and provide the verification now. I don’t want to take any chance by not submitting this project verification even though I have verified 5000hrs already. I have some time for the deadline so will keep trying :)


PSoftGuy August 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Thankfully, I only had to deal with one employer. I would have l liked to have included my previous employer but my past supervisor took a gig in Afghanistan as a contractor. PMI should have my audit materials by tomorrow or Friday. Here’s to hoping…


william October 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm

very useful for people like me who applied first time and the handbook didn’t say one email or the other, so I worried that if I will have enough time to prepare docs before exam date. looks like I can go ahead to book a date as I got candidate ID for exam. thanks.


Dheeraj Assudani November 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm


I don’t have contact details of my past manager as he has left the organisation. Can I put the contact details of my colleague in project as primary stakeholder ?


Josh November 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I believe so, someone who can vouch for your experience managing projects.


jason taylor December 23, 2012 at 9:47 am

Can your experience hours come from volunteer project management hours or does it have to come from a paid project management job?


T B December 28, 2012 at 1:52 am

I worked for a company for 12 years that went out of business in April this year and all my project management experience is from this company. I am in touch with my supervisors, so that is not an issue. The issue is that since this company doesn’t have any address or any type of contact details what do I fill in for the contact details of the organization I managed the projects for? Any ideas?



Josh December 31, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Use the contact information for a supervisor or someone who worked with you that can vouch for your experience.


Anc February 25, 2013 at 5:53 am

Thanks for this useful Post. I had also applied for the PMP and have paid the required fee. My application was selected for Audit. But at this stage I do not want to go with a Audit. and I am selecting this Non Compliance option (i.e. Non-Compliance: If you are audited and you simply have too much going on in your life to participate in the audit, then you can choose not to give any audit responses. Similar to pleading “no contest,” the candidate is subject to a one year suspension period before he/she can apply for the PMP Exam again.)

Can you please assist me in this case, how can I apply for a PMP exam fee refund and what is the process to do the same.

Your help will be appreciated.



Peter May 28, 2013 at 12:46 am

You will be required to send to PMI hard copies of your educational, training, and experience certificates ??
Do you mean that I would have to send them my ORIGINAL university diploma?
If for some reason that is lost in the mail, I am doomed!
You sure?


Margaret May 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Hi Peter,

You are right, you should NOT send your originals, you should send copies. PMI accepts copies or transcripts from your university – either should work.

- Margaret


Omid May 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm

I am not quite sure how that “Qualified Months” and “Hours” under “PM Experience” tab of PMP application is calculated. I entered 46 actual months and it just qualified 4 month of it!
Anyone has any idea?


Margaret May 31, 2013 at 11:52 am

Hi Omid,

Do you mean that the data you entered was cut off? (As-in, the form or spreadsheet took 46 and made it into a 4?) Or that the PMI actually replied to you and told you that of the 46 months that you entered they are only counting 4 months (which would be a different issue)? If your question is about whether or not PMI is counting your experience, you might go to and under certifications review their rather extensive handbook on the PMP exam, which does include some information on the application.

If you are looking at the spreadsheet provided by pmStudent, you might consider watching this video:




Stephan July 25, 2013 at 7:23 am

It’s really a great and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.


Meg August 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Great article!! I am contemplating the application, but dread the process, esp if I get audited. In anticipation, I have been trying to reach out to a key manager who mentored me and who could truly vouch for my experience hours. However, I just learned that she has passed away. The firm was high politically and she was the only one who really backed me up and skipped the mind games. Needless to say, I am in a quandary. I just hope I don’t get audited.

A question – what typical documents does PMI request if audited?

Thank you – Meg


Margaret August 28, 2013 at 9:40 am


First my condolences.

The PMI might ask for document that shows your education. In terms of work experience they will typically ask for phone numbers or emails of people who can backup your experience. They don’t necessarily have to have been your direct supervisors.

If there someone you keep in touch with the worked beside you at that previous job you can use that person as a reference too.
Prepare and go ahead and move forward. Don’t let fear of an audit stop you, you might not even be audited.

Thank you,
Margaret Meloni
pmStudent community leader


dwyane August 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm has a great list of PMP practice exams.


Edward Chung October 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Thanks for your article. I am about to submit my application for the PMP exam, hope I won’t be audited :P


Margaret October 16, 2013 at 6:06 pm


Well if you do get audited you will be able to handle it!
Wishing you all the best as you move forward with your PMP.

Margaret Meloni
pmStudent Community Leader


AJ November 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I’m a PM with 8 years of experience. I just got audited and decided not to go through the process. 1. My mistake for not reading carefully but I thought everyone is being audited and the way it work is that they (PMI) checks on your job history just like HR department will if hired for work, so I was fine with that process. 2. I realized that anyone can get PMP, and some people with no PM experience, don’t get audit and take test. 3. I decided not to go through process because I believe it is unethical and unprofessional to contact your manager or coworker from years ago and ask them to sign audit form. It is PMI responsibility to do that, you pay them and yet you the one who should chase your management? It’s like hiring a pilot and asking him to sign his own past experience form, because anyone can sign audit form and sent it back, PMI doesn’t check or verifies that. PMI become just money making machine.


Margaret November 18, 2013 at 6:14 pm


Certainly it is your right to opt out of the audit process and to opt out of the PMP certification. Of course you can still be (and in fact you already are) a successful project manager.

Wishing you continued success!

Margaret Meloni
pmStudent Community Leader


Surya Anem November 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Hi Margaret,

Thank you for your support through this forum. I am planning to give my PMP exam and have a query regarding the Audit. I have worked in India and now am in Canada pursuing my MBA. I have references of my managers who can be contacted in case I get an audit but what am worried about is the documentation which requires them to sign my professional experience. Since we are geographically in different place, am not sure how to get the document signed from them. Is there any other way like an Email or anything else that I can do to clear this ?


Shiv Shenoy December 12, 2013 at 12:45 am

Hi Surya,
Your question is answered in the PMI’s FAQ page here –


Margaret December 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

Hi Surya,

IF you are audited your references might be contacted and asked to verify if what you say is correct, I do not believe they will have to provide any paperwork. Usually their word (often via email) is enough.

Thank you and good luck with your exam.

Margaret Meloni
pmStudent Community Leader


Shiv Shenoy December 12, 2013 at 12:38 am

Thanks Raja. I recently put together my experience in a step-by-step guide with screenshots so people can go through the exact steps before actually applying.
I also have an excel sheet template that one can use to capture the experience. One can download it from the page and use to prepare themselves with right required information before applying for PMP.
Hope your readers will find this useful.


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