So you have decided that it is a good idea to obtain the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification. How are you going to achieve this goal? Unfortunately, there is a bit more to the process than simply attending a PMP® training course and sitting the PMP® exam. Actually being allowed to sit the exam can be difficult and preparing for the PMP® exam takes a bit more than study.
Luckily, Velopi is here to guide you through the entire process. With our unique support package, Velopi will assist with your application to the Project Management Institute (PMI)®, and train you in all the topics that you will encounter in the exam. What’s more, our simulated PMP® exams can help to make sure your PMP® exam preparation gives you the best chance for success. Having supported hundreds of people gain various levels of project management certification, Velopi realizes the importance of one-on-one support and is available to assist all the way to the exam itself.
The first thing you need to appreciate is that the Project Management Professional is a professional accreditation. Therefore, it is only available to practicing project managers. So, when applying for the exam, you must demonstrate that you have significant amounts of project management experience. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you need to show that you have 4,500 hours of hands-on project management experience. Without such a degree, 7,500 hours are required.
Making the Application
Having these bare requirements in front of you, the application sounds very straightforward. You might think: I’ve been working as a project manager for three years; I have a degree; what more do I need? Well, the PMI® wants you to break down your experience in terms of what aspects of the project you worked on. How much time did you spend initiating projects (doing feasibility work, identifying stakeholders, preparing the initial project charter), planning (developing your scope statement, schedule, budget, quality targets, etc.), executing (managing the project work), monitoring and controlling (supervising the work and managing change) and, finally, formally closing projects (holding post-mortems, archiving the project documents, etc.). Velopi has developed a very useful spread-sheet over the years to ensure your PMP® exam application adds up to the correct number of hours.
The PMI® takes these PMP® applications seriously and potential candidates are often audited to ensure they really have done the work they have said they have. Again, Velopi can assist in preparing you for this audit in the event you are selected.
Another requirement for application is that you have 35 hours of specific project management training. Velopi’s four-day project management courses will provide 32 contact hours. However, Velopi's PMP® preparation package has been recognized by the Project Management Institute as providing at least three extra hours of support. Therefore, signing up for one of our courses is all you need to meet the PMP® training requirement.
There is an impression out there that obtaining the PMP® accreditation is simply a matter of studying the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). This is not the case. Remember that you want to establish yourself as a professional project manager. Having an exceptional memory does not necessarily make an effective project manager. What does distinguish the best project managers is the ability to apply the tools and techniques described in the PMBOK® Guide to real world situations.
This philosophy is reflected in the exam questions. While there will be several questions probing precise knowledge – for example: Where are details of all identified risks maintained? – most of the questions will ask you what you would do in particular situations – for example: Two of your designers are arguing over the best design to use. How will you deal with this conflict? This is where Velopi will continue to provide guidance.
Getting the best preparation for the PMP® exam is, of course, vital. Over the years, Velopi has enlisted the help of many professional project managers to develop an extensive suite of PMP® exam-style questions. This question bank now has in excess of 2,000 questions and Velopi students have access to them all.
Velopi also provides specialized exams, covering each of the knowledge areas. If there is an area you feel weak on, then doing one of these tests will support your knowledge and build your confidence. Another unique Velopi offering is our matching quiz, where we get students to relate processes to tools and to inputs and outputs.
At the end of every Velopi PMP® exam simulation, you can review your answers. Each Velopi question comes with the correct answer flagged and an explanation. In this way our project management students literally learn from their mistakes.
If the explanation does not make sense, you can always e-mail your Velopi instructor and s/he will be happy to clarify the explanation further. It is this feedback that has refined our question bank over time. One-to-one support like this is part of the Velopi PMP® preparation offering. Between attending the course and sitting the exam, your Velopi instructor is available to assist you as you come to grips with the PMP® exam material. All our instructors are experienced project managers themselves and all are PMP® certified - so they have been through it and know how to help.
"The PMP exam process is challenging and is to be respected. Seamus Collins and Velopi delivered more than a first class PMP training course. Seamus provided guidance for the application process, for study technique & exam preparation and even logistics advice for getting to the exam centre, not only on time, but being mentally prepared for a challenging exam. Seamus was always just a phone call or email away, helping to maintain one's focus and calm any anxiety. I am more than happy to recommend Seamus' work and the work of Velopi." >- Neal Kirby, Analog Devices
Getting used to the style of question is one thing; preparing for the exam itself is another. Even though the exam can now be taken in the comfort of your own home, it will invove some practical considerations. Having guided so many students through the process, the Velopi instructors will paint an accurate picture of what you need to do on the day of the PMP® exam, whether going to the PearsonVue test centre or staying at home.
The exam itself is a test of character. It involves answering 200 questions in four hours. This is longer than the Leaving Certificate exams and requires a clear strategy on the part of the student. As part of your PMP® exam preparation, Velopi has built up three of these 200-question exams. Students can attempt these as often as they like, learning how long it takes to answer the questions, becoming familiar with how their concentration levels fluctuate and when to take breaks. Psychologically, attempting all three Velopi PMP® exams will give you the confidence to sit the real thing.
So you were right in thinking that the Project Management Professional (PMP)® accreditation is worth pursuing. An even better decision is to commission Velopi to support you through the process. There are many training companies out there that will cover the materials, but our aim is guide you through the PMP® exam process from beginning to end and make sure you achieve your project management certification.
We offer a 4-day PMP® Preparation Course, which is ideal if you have never studied the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) before. For those who are familiar with the subjects, but want a refresher course, we have a 2-day PMP® Preparation Course.
Due to Covid-19, our offerings are currently all online and our virtual PMP® Exam Preparation course is a five-day course over three weeks.
For a short time following an update to the PMBOK® Guide , Velopi offers a unique PMP® Bridging Course, for people who studied for the PMP® exam when an earlier edition of the PMBOK® Guide was current. This course will familiarize you with the changes made in the current edition. So pick up the phone and contact us about our PMP® project management courses.
If your company has a cohort of project managers who need their skills enhanced, we can even organize in-house project management training, tailored to your internal processes.