By Cornelius Fichtner, PMP
By applying to take the PMP exam you also automatically agree to comply with the PMI's audit terms. The PMI writes about this in the credentials handbook as follows:
"To ensure that only qualified individuals attain credentials from PMI, we routinely conduct audits of candidate applications. The audit process is primarily random however, PMI reserves the right to audit any candidate or PMI credentialed individual at any time."
So, what happens, if you get audited? Here is what you will need to know about it:
• Read the PMI's Credentials Handbook to learn the basics regarding the audit process: (http://www.pmi.org/P...PMPHandbook.pdf )
• Remember: If you fill in your PMP application truthfully, then you will have nothing to fear from the audit. We have not yet heard from anyone who has failed the audit.
• The audits ensure that only viable candidates apply. This is one of the reasons that the PMP credential retains its high regard.
• If you are selected for an audit, then you will receive an email from the PMI about this. The email contains detailed instructions.
• Once you are being audited the "clock stops". By this we mean that you have 1 year following your application to take the exam. But during the audit, this "clock stops" and does not continue until after your audit has been processed. So if your audit takes 6 weeks, then you have 1 year and 6 weeks to take the exam.
• The next time you log into your account at PMI you will find the "audit package" waiting for you. This package contains the details that you have submitted in your application. It also contains instructions.
• In your application you named contact persons for your projects. Print the package and give the appropriate section to these contacts. Your contacts have to verify that this is all correct, sign it, put it into a sealed envelope and then put another signature across the sealed flap of the envelope. (Yes, the PMI is very serious about this...;-)
• You will also have make photocopies of the certificates you received from your training courses, to show that you have had 35 Contact Hours.
• Then you will have to send the sealed envelopes and your certificate copies to the PMI for review.
• It is important to realize, that you have the power to expedite the audit process. The sooner you respond, the sooner it is processed. The PMI is usually rather quick in processing your audit documents after you send them in. In some cases it can take as little as only 4 days.
• When I applied for the PMP exam, I went the extra mile and contacted my primary project contacts before submitting it to show them what I will be submitting. That way I was certain, that I would not fail the audit if I were selected.
• Should you fail the audit, then the PMI will refund the money that you paid minus an administrative fee of $100.
So you see that being audited is neither stressful nor difficult. Be truthful in your application and then simply follow the instructions provided.
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is the host of The Project Management Podcast™ at www.thepmpodcast.com and The Project Management PrepCast™, the first true PMP® Podcast at www.pmprepcast.com. Cornelius worked as a Project Manager in his native Switzerland, in Germany and in the USA for the last 17 years. He received his PMP credential in April 2004. He has led projects for a management consulting company, a national retailer and an internet startup company. Currently, Cornelius works as a project manager for one of the oldest financial service providers in the USA. His passions are project management methodologies, PMOs and helping others pass the PMP Exam. In addition to hosting the PrepCast™, he is an instructor for the PMP Workshop and the 2007 Chair of his local PMI chapter. He currently lives in Silverado, California, USA with his wife and their two computers.
Cornelius Fichtner is not associated with KaDonk, but has kindly granted KaDonk permission to reprint this article.