5 Rules to Avoid PMP Audit When Submitting a PMP Application

The PMP audit scared the crap out of me when I was applying for the PMP examination. I spent 3 months working on my application where I mapped out every bit of work experience. I then wrote up paragraphs on each of projects, broken down by process group (initiation, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling and closing).

After that I spruced them up with project management terminology and finally sent them off to my manager at the time.I did this all as precautionary you don’t need the managers to approve them before you submit them but if you get audited the mangers will need to approve them. I explain why it took me 2 months longer than it should of at the end!

When you submit your application for any PMI© examination you are agreeing to comply with the terms of the PMP audit process. Everyone’s application is eligible to be audited but only a percentage are selected.

5 Rules When Submitting an PMP Application

Firstly you need to understand 3 things:

  1. PMI will only recognize 40 hours per week so 160 maximum per month regardless if you worked overtime
  2. No need to include every project as long as you have covered each domain at least once.
  3. Overlapping projects do not count ie. You manage 3 projects in one month you still can only claim 160 hours

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5 Rules for the Perfect PMP Application

For my preparation, I wrote up objectives, deliverables and what I did in each domain for every project I was submitting. All I needed to do was provide 300-500 word description per project but instead I wrote 200-300 per applicable domain per project. This gave me great descriptions covering each domain.

The selection of an application for the audit is at random but it is common knowledge on the interwebs that if you follow these 5 rules you have a high chance of avoiding the audit:

  1. Not to repeatedly modify your application as it could set off a flag.
  2. Not to be changing numbers for hours experience as it seems you are fixing the numbers for your convenience.
  3. Do not differentiate from the recommended percentages per process group. The percentages are Initiation 5% to 10%,  Planning 20% to 30%, Executing 20% to 30%, Monitoring & Controlling 20% to 30%, Closing 5% to 10%.
  4. Do have your descriptions & hours written out already in another document so you can just paste into your application to prevent
  5. Do use PMP expected vocabulary, as highlighted in the below table:
avoid pmp audit
Use these words when submitting your PMP Application

If You Are Selected

This is not the end of the world and just needs you to verify the information you provided. You will know if your application is selected for an audit straight away. You will be notified by email after payment of the examination fee is received. The email will also provide further details on the audit and the next steps.

During an audit, you will be asked to submit supporting documentation such as:

  • Copies of your diploma/global equivalent
  • Signatures from your supervisor(s) or manager(s) from the project(s) recorded in the experience verification section of the application
  • Copies of certificates and/or letters from the training institute(s) for each course recorded on the application to meet the required contact hours of project management education

You have 90 days to provide the above documentation either by regular post or express courier service in ONE envelope to the following address….


Attn: Certification Audit

14 Campus Blvd.

Newtown Square,

PA 19073-3299 USA

The audit should take about five to seven business days to complete.

Once you pass the audit you have one-year to complete the examination.

Fail The PMP Audit

You should not be failing the audit process if all the information you provided is correct and accurate.

Please note though incomplete audit submissions will not be processed and will result in failure of the audit. You will receive a refund of your fee if you do fail. Please see Refund Policy on the PMI website for more details.

Also if you fail you cannot apply for the PMP for one year.

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