The Audit Process

How many times have you fainted thinking about what would happen if your application got selected for an audit?

I believe that this fear is the greatest fear in the minds of all PMP applicants. Sometimes, it even overpowers the fear of not being successful in the actual exam itself.

So, how do we go about getting rid of this overarching fear? As with other phobias, the best bet is to analyze this fear rationally. First, you should know why some applications get selected randomly for an audit. The answer is that this is the
result of an exercise by PMI aimed at ensuring the authenticity of information provided by PMP (exam) applicants. PMI randomly selects a small percentage of submitted applications for audit.

Now, let us proceed with an analysis of the audit process.


I. When might your application get selected for an audit?

In order to answer this question, we need to understand the complete process of applying for the PMP credential exam. Remember that you should register for the exam only after you are sure that you satisfy all the eligibility requirements (discussed elsewhere), including those related to your educational, project management experience and training needs.

Here are the major stages of applying for the exam in a sequential order:

(a) Apply for PMI membership (This is an optional step but is beneficial financially as well as otherwise).

(b) Register on the PMI website, and always specify your PMI membership ID while registering (if you have already paid for membership and obtained it). This way, you will be charged only the discounted examination fees.

Note: You may be charged full examination fees if you apply for the exam after logging in using an ID, with which you did not associate your PMI membership ID.

(c) Apply for the certification exam by filling in the online application form. (Becoming a PMI member after applying for examination is not helpful, so always ensure that you apply for the exam after obtaining PMI membership).

(d) Your application will be reviewed for accuracy and completeness, and you will receive an e-mail advising you to go ahead with submission of examination fees within 5 working days of your having submitted the application.

(e) Submit the examination fees.

(f) You will receive an e-mail within a couple of minutes advising you of your candidate ID (for the exam).

(g) Use this candidate ID in order to register for the exam at a date, time and venue convenient to you, by visiting the Prometric website (http://www.2test.com).

(h) You will receive a confirmation e-mail from Prometric containing the date, time and venue for the exam selected by you.

Now, where does the audit fit into all this? Well, it fits in exactly between steps (e) and (f) stated above, i.e., if your application gets selected for an audit, you will receive an e-mail advising you of the same (rather than an e-mail containing your candidate ID).


II. What should you do if your application gets selected for an audit?

First thing, don't 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 exam again (Even in this case, you are refunded the examination fees submitted by you less a processing fees of $100). So, the sky is not going to fall, right?

As a part of the audit process, you will be requested 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.


III. What happens next?

Upon receipt of your documents, PMI will verify if you have successfully provided evidence of your documented educational, training and experience credentials. If they are satisfied, you will receive another e-mail informing you of successful audit completion, along with your candidate ID for the exam. Otherwise, you may receive a mail with request for more information (or supporting documents). You should then send them the requested documents. Finally, they will either issue you a candidate ID or else, inform you of your failure in having gone through the audit successfully, and refund your examination fees less a $100 processing fees.

Summary:

One of my close friends got selected for an audit recently, and was through with it in less than 10 working days. A colleague of mine was able to get past the audit even quicker. She got the required documents couriered from India to PMI head office in USA on a Friday, and received an e-mail informing her of having successfully qualified in the audit next Wednesday. So, it was not even 5 working days for her!

If you possess documented evidence of all your experience in directing and managing project activities as well as your educational and training qualifications, you have nothing to fear.

So, go ahead full steam in your pursuit of PMP certification, without being afraid of the audit!

29 comments:

Milan said...

Thanks for the information. My application just got selected for Audit - Man! sometimes I feel - was it really random....dunno, anyways, preparing for the dossier to send it across asap.... Hope, if I am able to sent it in 3-4 days, they wont again raise doubts....

Anonymous said...

Hi Milan

Hope you are through with your Audit by now. Can you please let me know what document PMI ask for the experience verification?

Regards
Sam

Raja said...

Dear Sam,

We have not heard back from Milan, but let me answer your question.

If your application gets selected for an audit, you will be asked to send PMI copies of certificates for your educational and training qualifications, as well as your project management experience. Thus, you will have to send them copies of your graduation and PM training (minimum 35 hours) certificates. You will also have to get your documented experience verified by your manager (or someone else who can do it for you) in the format shared by PMI, and send it to them.

Hope this answers your query!

Best Regards,
Raja

Milan said...

Hi ____,

I just got through with my Audit process.

If and when, one's application is selected for Audit, they provide for the details to furnish Audit process. Hard copy of the following documents are a must:
1. 35 PDUs certification
2. Copy of highest degree certificate
3. Signed experience certificate from superior/ colleagues for all the projects mentioned in the application form.

Hope this helps. Thanks - Milan

Milan said...

Dear Raja/ Sam,

Apologies for late reply....

Regards
Milan

Anonymous said...

Hello All

I am planning to do PMP and have started reading all kinds of blog to get others experience.

I have a question.

If my application gets audited then,

1) for 35 PDU's, can I show that I did a course in Project Management during my masters ? Is that valid enough ? My last sememster I took , software management and Project management course. Can I send my transcripts to show this ?

2) For the experience letter, should it be on some company letter head ?

3) Also do we need to send copies or original ?


Thanks for your reply.
Karthick

Milan said...

Hi Karthick,

Even if your application gets selected for Audit- dont panic. Its a process and if you have given correct details in your application - then furnishing audit requirements wont be an issue. BTW, I cleared Audit and PMP exam just recently.

Regarding your queries:

1. They accept project management course as part of ur curriculum, given that its over 35 hours and you need to furnish a transcript from the college for the same.
(Better still, talk to PMI Delhi to get further details - they are quite helpful - I had contacted them)

2. For experience: If your application gets selected for Audit, PMI will provide you with experience forms - separate form for each project that you have submitted in the application. You need to get these printed, get hand signed and sealed in signed envelope by your respective supervisors and send to PMI in hard copy format- ORIGINALS. In case, you are not able to contact your earlier supervisors, your current supervisor can also sign the earlier experience. (Again, get more details by talking to PMI Delhi)

3. Already answered - PMI is very clear - they want originals. In my case, one of my earlier supervisor was in Netherlands and other in Dubai. So, I got the hard copies couried from these places (many thanks to my supervisors) to my address - then consolidated all of them and sent to PMI, USA. And dont open the envelope sealed by your supervisor - PMI needs sealed envelope.

PMI hardly takes 3 working days for confirmation after they have recieved the dossier. After Audt gets cleared, you may schedule your exam after 72 hours. So, All the best for that.

Hope this clarifies. Do revert in case of further queries. May by Raja can add more, in case I missed something.

Also, have shared some of my experience of PMP exam at http://kumarmilan.blogspot.com

Regards
Milan Kumar

Raja said...

Thanks, Milan!

Please accept my heartiest congrats on becoming a PMP!

Karthick,

I believe that Milan has answered all your queries. However, I would just like to clarify that you do not have to provide documentation of your work experience on the company letter head. As Milan said, in case your application is selected for audit, PMI will send you separate experience forms for each project specified in your application. You need to get these forms printed, hand signed and sealed in signed envelope by your respective supervisors and send to PMI in hard copy format.

Best Regards,
Raja

Milan said...

Thanks Raja.

Believe me, your initial post on 'All about PMP' did help me garner confidence to face audit and finally to clear the exam. So, thanks for that too.

- Milan

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch Raja and Milan for your replies.

Unfortunately I am not in contact with all of my supervisors and I don't know if my current will sign for previous exp.

But I am still in contact with my team members,will that do ? If I get the exp letters signed by them ? I will call PMI Delhi too.

Did you all apply for PMP and then studied for the exam or studied first and then applied ?

What is the usual trend ?

Thanks for all the helpful replies.

Van said...

Hi everyone, I just have a couple of questions

1. I am about to take PMI exam too. I have just enough experience to fullfill the requirement of PMI exam, but some of them were in EU while I am living in US now. Some of my supervisors has changed their company, so it's really hard for me to get them signed my application. So what can I do about that?

2. In the exam, how many correct questions out of 200 questions we need to have in order to pass the exam ?

3. Do you think the exam is difficult? In average, how long did it take you to prepare the exam?

Thank you so much

Sincere

Anonymous said...

Hi Raja,

I am a PMP aspirant and your blog is giving me valuable insights on the overall process. I just have a quick question: I have 40 months of experience as a Business Analyst and I am really interested in the PMP certificatio. The eligibility is 36 months. All the PMP's I know have had atleast 7 years of experience. I am just curious if this is the right time for me to go for certification. Should I go for CAPM instead?

I am also worried about the audit. Since my experience is just above the threshold, I an curious if the audit process is really RANDOM.

Appreciate your help!

VT

Raja said...

Dear Van,

I am not sure how I missed out on replying to your queries earlier. Anyways, if you are still to appear in the exam, following responses should help you out:

1. I am about to take PMI exam too. I have just enough experience to fullfill the requirement of PMI exam, but some of them were in EU while I am living in US now. Some of my supervisors has changed their company, so it's really hard for me to get them signed my application. So what can I do about that?

A) If you are not able to locate your earlier supervisors, you need to get hold of some colleague or peer who can validate your documented experience. This may be some person who worked with you or may even be some client representative. The person who has to validate your work experience need not necessarily be your manager.

2. In the exam, how many correct questions out of 200 questions we need to have in order to pass the exam ?

A) The pass % used to be 61% earlier but as of now, PMI is silent on this issue. I tried following up with them but the only thing they would say is that the passing score is determined by sound psychometric analysis. So, the exact number of questions you need to answer correctly in order to be successful in the exam, is not known as of now.

I would appreciate if some visitor can throw more light on this topic.

3. Do you think the exam is difficult? In average, how long did it take you to prepare the exam?

A) I won't say that the exam is difficult. It is a challenging exam which presents you with scenario based questions. Thus, with real PM experience under your belt, you should not face any issues. However, for a candidate who has only theoretical knowledge of PM practices, it is going to be difficult.

On an average, candidates have studied from 2 to 6 months, along with their full-time jobs, to be successful in this exam.

Best Regards,
Raja

Raja said...

Dear VT,

I am glad to hear from you. Thanks for appreciating my work!

Before answering your question, I would like to correct you. In order to be eligible for appearing in the exam, a candidate holding a bachelor's degree (or higher educational qualification) needs at least 4500 hours of experience in leading and directing project activities spread across at least 36 months (and not only 36 months of experience). Please refer to the section on 'Eligibility Conditions' in my blog for more details.

If you are eligible to appear in the exam, you can go ahead and apply for it. However, it is advisable to have some good real PM experience before appearing for the exam. Given this information, you are the best person to take a decision on whether you would like to apply for the PMP exam straightaway, or attempt CAPM certification first.

Hope this answers your question!

Best Regards,
Raja

Anonymous said...

This is indeed very helpful!!! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

This looks like a very active and helpful forum - kudos for sharing!

I have a question though. I have a Bachelor in IT degree and during this university course, I did two semesters of advanced IT project, which I studied project management basics. Can these be used for the 35 contact hours?

Since graduation from my bachelor degree, I have worked full-time as a programmer for just over two years now. Now I feel like applying for PMP. Can I include my university project hours into the required 4500 hours? Or is the 4500 hours only counted AFTER graduation?

Thanks in advance!

D

Anonymous said...

Just a quick question: As mentioned in the above post that audit happens between (e) and (f) so does that mean as you submit the fees and you immediatley get a mail informing of your candidate id. alternately, In this case as you submit the fee you might immediately get a mail informing about the Audit?


(e) Submit the examination fees.

(f) You will receive an e-mail within a couple of minutes advising you of your candidate ID (for the exam).

Anonymous said...

HI,
found this thread very useful. I'm about to take PMP exam too. Few days back finished my 35hours of training. now in the process of filling up the application. As i have only theoretical knowledge of PM practices, can you please provide guidelines on how to fill up the application and exam preperation.

-PK

Parag Mehta said...

Hi All,

thank you for sharing the details regarding the audit process as it has helped me a great deal.

I am currently selected for audit and the email says I have to send 35 hours training certificate. I am not sure if I have to send the original or a copy. Does PMI return any of the original certificates submitted to them?

Kindly advise.

Thanks,

Parag

Anonymous said...

what happens if your selected for an audit, you eft the company where you obtained the work experience and the records are no longer available?

Anonymous said...

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

Midnight Monk!! said...

last saturday I paid the fee and was notified that my application will be audited. Monday, I spoke to my boss, tuesday got the documents signed, thursday PMP received it. And here is the best part, within 2 hours from the time the shipment was delivered, I got an email confirming that I cleared the audit. However, I was targeting to take the test end of August, but now there are no open slots during that time. :)

Ideally, when you start thinking of PMP, check if you will be able to get your experience verified. If you can, then take the next steps. saves you a lot of time.

Rahul said...

Hi Milan,

I am planning to take the PMP exam and is in process of filling up the application form. Will PMI contact my managers/supervisors straight away after i submit the application or they will contacted only if my application is chosen for audit. In case they will contact them even if not selected for audit i will need to explain to my supervisors the things i have put in the application.

Anonymous said...

Hi All...

Hope this blog is still active. Can someone please tell me what exactly is available (fields) in a PMP Audit Form?

Thanks
B

Anonymous said...

Hi again...

I have one more question.

I have started filling the application form (haven't completed it yet).

Can I now apply for the membership so that I could get the discounted exam fee?

Thanks
B

Roshan said...

Hi,

My application is now selected for audit. My doubt is, do we need to get every document attested by college, supervisor and the PM trainer or just send the photo copy of degree certificate and PM education certificate along with the signatured PM experience audit letters?

Does SEAL and Signature needed? If yes, it is a very big exercise. Please advice.

Regards,
Roshan

Nooshi said...

I have also been selected for an audit..
My question is..does the person signing the audit forms have to be the same person as the contact you have put in the application? for some of my projects, I have entered a client as my reference..
audit form states that it needs to be signed by a manager or colleague..can I get a manager to sign it or does the client have to sign it since the client was the contact in the application?

Anonymous said...

Hi,
My PMP application just selected for audit.Is is require to send orignal certificate of PM Training or xerox/copy of certificate should be sufficient???

Anonymous said...

Hi There,

Could you please let me, if ITIL certification is considered as a replacement of 35 hours PM training?

Thanks
Asim

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