PMP Eligibility Requirements Changed on April 17, 2012

There has been a change made to the PMP Handbook. The handbook was last updated on April 17, 2012.

Dr. Paul Giammalvo alerted me to the change. I still have a communication from PMI I’m expecting back soon, but in the meantime I’ll share what changed with you and my initial thoughts.


I have had many spirited debateson the topic about what the PMP eligibility requirements truly mean. My interpretation has not been shared by all.

I have always interpreted the phrase “leading and directing project tasks” as managing projects. It’s true that this phrase is pretty wide open for interpretation though.

So here’s the change:

Changing From: “leading and directing project tasks”

Changing To: “leading and directing the project”

I *think* the new wording is closer to my interpretation, but who knows. It certainly seems to be saying plainly now that you must have been the project manager in order for the experience to count.

Here are screen shots from before and after the change:

Prior to April 17, 2012

After April 17, 2012

What Does This Mean?

I have no idea.

Hopefully when the PMI gets back to me I’ll have a better idea of what it really means.

Another thought Dr. Paul threw out was if this changes anything for people who already have their credentials.

I doubt it. Just as with any other standards change, it’s going to be tough to make thing retroactive. When a university upgrades their standards, it doesn’t mean that alumni must go back and complete the extra required course or else their degree is null and void.

What I Do Know

What I do know is this; if you stick with the interpretation I’ve always held, you can’t go wrong. Before you apply for the PMP exam, I recommend you have those hours of experience as the project manager, managing project teams to produce a product or outcome.

What other questions do you have? What are your thoughts on this change?

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Mihail Sadeanu


Some results and interpretation around this subject.

The new “PMP Credential Handbook, April 2012” Eligibility Requirements (still related to the PMI PMBOK V4, 2008) present for the questioned text “leading and directing the project*”, on page 8 the footnote:

*Leading and directing the project as identified with the tasks, knowledge, and skills specific in the Project Management Professional Examination Content Outline.

If we go now to find the environment for the above note inside the last edition of the “PMP Examination Content Outline, Revised August 2011”, this document mentions on page 4, inside chapter DOMAINS, TASKS, AND KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL STATEMENTS:

“Each domain contains tasks that are measured through the PMP certification progress. In addition, the domain contains knowledge and skills, which are required to competently perform these tasks. There are also cross-cutting knowledge and skills, which are used in multiple domains and tasks.”

In this way, the new formulation of “leading and directing the project*” instead of “leading and directing project tasks*” is more comprehensive, including apart leading and directing the five domain’s project specific tasks the real utilization in practice by the candidate project manager of both the usual as well as the CROSS-CUTTING KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS required to perform the tasks inside a single or over multiple domains. Under this last special domain list, for example, we find the requirement for the PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, which content is mandatory to be known and applied while leading and directing the project but not in the usual way of leading and directing the tasks of the five domains. Thus, the new statement (without mentioning “tasks”) becomes more covering and more emphasizing the global purpose of the PMP Eligibility Requirements for certification process/progress. We should remember, also, that the minimum PMP exam passing score is determined by a modified Angoff procedure (taking into account multiple meanings and related directions of the perfect single answer to a question covering combined purposes), overseen by a group of test experts while posible improvements might be continuously brought to the eligibility requirements as well as to the Angoff procedure.

NOTES: a).-Performance Domains II (Planning the Project) and III (Executing the Project), both supported an updated task in August 2011.

b).-Neither, PMI PMBOK V4 edition nor the V5 (future) edition’s Glossary Definition subchapter do not include the term “Task” and its meaning/definition.

Let’s see, also, what the the new 5-th edition of the PMI PMBOK will reveal this year.



John powers

When pmp first swept through GSA, kids six months out of our intern program were taking the test and getting the certificate having leased a couple of thousand square feet of office space in the hinterland. Luckily it’s all blown over. Latest fad like the hula hoop.

Jo Youngblood

Okay this really irritates me. We do some very large “projects” which is really a way of saying a large contract within which are contained multiple projects that within my agency is treated as tasks. So a task leader is a project manager in some instances. I’m in process of qualifying for PMP so I’m wondering how this will affect my eligibility.

Josh Nankivel

I hear you Jo.

I’d say if you can point to your experience and say ‘that’s a project manager right there’ then you are fine. Formal titles are not really relevant since they differ so much across organizations and agencies.