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It's About Time for a PMI Scheduling Exam

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If you’re looking for a new project management certification that shows your scheduling prowess, you might be interested in the PMI-Scheduling Professional designation. This new certification from the Project Management Institute is all about scheduling, and in this article project management expert Joseph Phillips shows you how to earn it.
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The Project Management Institute is the certifying body for the infamous Project Management Professional (PMP), the Program Management Professional (PgMP), the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), and now a new certification on scheduling: the PMI-Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP). This title demands the candidate qualify for the certification and then pass a grueling test.

This certification isn’t for all project managers. You must qualify for the exam by having loads of experience scheduling resources, activities, and projects. Not everyone can qualify for this certification exam.

In order to qualify for the designation you need one of two approaches:

  • A high school diploma as a minimum, 5,000 hours spent just on project scheduling within the last five years, and 40 hours of specialized training in project scheduling.
  • A bachelor’s degree, 3,500 hours spent just on project scheduling within the last five years, and just 30 hours of specialized training in project scheduling.

In regard to the specialized training, PMI does accept classes on scheduling tools such as Microsoft Project, Primavera, and other software. There’s also no time limit on when the specialized training took place, so even those old college classes you took on scheduling can still count—as long as you can prove that you actually took the classes. You cannot count reading books and self-study courses as part of the specialized training. Sorry.

No Time Like the Present

You’ll complete and submit your application online through the PMI website. The application is a bit tiresome as you’ll have to document all the projects in which you’ve accrued your scheduling hours over the last five years. You should also be ready to show evidence of your scheduling hours should PMI audit your application for authenticity.

Once you complete the application, PMI will review it for completeness, accuracy, and eligibility for the exam. If your application does get selected for an audit, as a fair percentage of applications do, you’ll have some extra work. PMI will provide you with work verification forms for the people you referenced as your supervisors in the application. These folks will have to complete the form to verify your experience, sign it, seal the form in an envelope, and then sign their name across the seal on the back of the envelope. And yes, you should play the soundtrack to “Mission Impossible” during the audit process.

You’ll also have to provide photocopies of your college or high school diploma or transcripts, depending on which you referenced on the exam application. The scheduling training also has to be documented—certificates of completion or course transcripts are needed. Once you return the materials to PMI verifying your application information and they approve it, you’re on your way. Not every application gets audited, and PMI reports that it’s a random selection process—so be prepared.

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