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Step-by-Step of Acquiring PMP Certification with Project Life Cycle Approach 

23 Sep 2022
Step-by-Step of Acquiring PMP Certification with Project Life Cycle Approach 

The PMP Certification proves you are an experienced professional with a broad base of knowledge on how to plan and execute projects successfully in any industry, situation or infrastructure environment.  

The certification is acquired through extensive study and fieldwork related to project management and considerable work experience managing projects from start to finish-large or small. 

To get a PMP Certification, you need to follow a few simple steps, pass the exam and meet other requirements. Below we will explain more about the approach and process of getting the certification.  

What is a PMP® Certification? 

The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers a professional Certification for project managers, known as the Project Management Professional (PMP)®. The Project Management Professional (PMP)® is a widely recognised project management certification. Having PMP Certification demonstrates your ability to manage a professional project's people, processes, and business priorities. 

PMP® Certification indicates your expertise in project leadership and boosts your career in project management across industries. It is applicable to project managers in virtually any industry, including health, construction, information technology (IT), and business. 

Project management has been in demand for a long time in many industries because of the efficiencies it brings to an organisation. The need for project managers is only growing with time.  

Research suggests that employers will be required to fill nearly 2.2 million new project-oriented roles each year through 2027. You will be in demand with project management skills, knowledge, and the PMP® Certification.  

PMP® Eligibility Criteria 

The PMP® requires education and project management experience. Therefore, before you plan to take the exam, make sure you meet the following PMP Certification requirements: 

If you have a four-year degree, you need the following:  

  • 36 months of experience leading projects 
  • 35 hours of education and training focused on project management learning objectives.  

The 35 hours of education can be substituted with a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Certification.  


If you have a high school diploma or an associate's degree (or global equivalent), you need:  

  • 60 months of experience leading projects 
  • 35 hours of education in the area of project management or CAPM® Certification 

Project Approach for Getting PMP Certification 

Since you are in project management, let us apply project management principles and understand the PMP Certification steps in depth.  

Step 1: Initiating 

Project management skills will equip you to take on complex projects and accomplish them efficiently. However, as you begin, knowing why you are taking up this certification is essential. Have you reflected on the reasons to go for certification and the advantages you get? We will explain the essential steps of getting PMP Certification. 

Financial Appraisal: Cost Vs. Benefit 

Getting PMP Certification will involve costs like PMP Exam Cost, 35 hours of project management training, and the resource cost. There will be advantages of PMP Certification.  

Have you done a financial evaluation on the total cost versus the benefits of getting certified? Have you analysed your ROI and payback period based on PMP salary? Do you feel motivated enough to take up the project? Your personal and professional goal determines the decision to get a PMP certificate. 


Like the project, you must have a timeline while pursuing PMP Certification. It is essential to know how much time you have in mind. Is there a timeline from your organisation that you need to complete PMP Certification by a specific date? What will be your critical milestones as you begin? These are vital points to think about when planning to get PMP Certification.  


As you know, there are specific requirements you need to meet to be eligible for PMP Certification, and completing each of these requirements could be a milestone. For example, deciding when to complete 35 hours of project management training could be a milestone.  

You can check IPM's intensive PMP exam preparation course PMP Passport. This online course provides 35-hour of training in project management to fulfil PMP exam requirements.  

This PMP course teaches key concepts, principles, and the project management language you need to make your way through the Project Management Professional® Certification exam through practice exams and industry-focused exercises.  


Have you considered the total projected costs needed to complete a PMP Certification? There are primarily three main costs: 

PMP Certification Training Cost: $50-$3,500 

PMP Exam Fee: $555 

PMP Exam Prep Time: six months 

Learn more about PMP Certification costs. Based on the estimate, prepare a budget. 


Who are the stakeholders involved in getting PMP certification? It could be the organisation that you are currently working at, your investors, your business partners or others. You can create a list of the stakeholders that will benefit from your PMP certification and seek their support regarding your study.  

Step 2: Planning 

Now that you are familiar with the approach to getting PMP Certification, you will learn about the process. The following is a planning guide on how to get a PMP Certification.   

Create a PMP Study Plan 

Preparing for the PMP exam requires serious effort and a personal commitment. It would help if you managed your path to becoming a certified PMP like you would manage a project, which involves creating a plan. It would be best if you planned your studies to know what to do, when, and how to do it.  

Plan to Manage Stakeholders 

There are many stakeholders, for example, your organisation head, the instructor, and your co-worker in this project. Are you aware of what their expectations are? Have you aligned with their expectations?  

As you know, you may need to commit specific time for PMP preparation. Therefore it is crucial to manage your stakeholders and communicate directly what help you need from them.  

For example, you may seek financial support or time off on days you have training at an early stage. Hence, you need to consider your organisation’s finance and HR as stakeholders. 


Dig into the PMI credentials handbook on PMP Exam and check the scope of the PMP Exam questions. This handbook will provide a broad understanding of the scope of the PMP Certification exam. 

The next step in your how-to-get PMP Certification journey could be planning the phases and then detailing the task in each phase.  

What do you want to focus on in the first phase, PMBOK or the PMP Study guide? Which method would you like to approach? Plan-driven or change-driven? 

You may consider the PDCA cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act). This will help you achieve your goal.  

Schedule & Cost 

Based on the task planned in each phase, prepare a schedule. Divide the tasks into activities and decide which activity comes first. Go through the PMBOK pdf or a study guide, and then assess yourself by taking a test. 

Now that you have the activities, analyse their relationship or dependencies: (FS), Start-to-Start (SS), Start-to-Finish (SF), and Finish-to-Finish (FF). 

What resources will you use, and how long will each activity take to complete? For example, to see how long it will take to complete the study guide.  

Combine the activity, dependency, and estimate to arrive at a schedule.  

Identify details like how did you score? Where did you go wrong? Why? What should you do to improve? 

What aspects are you going to track in the plan? Time, your work, and the progress you are making.  

Did you include them for tracking and controlling the study plan when you started your preparation? 

A well-defined schedule is a determining factor in PMP Certification. 


From the beginning, you need clarity on whether you have a high-level budget. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the different cost components of the PMP Certification cost.  

The PMP Certification cost components include training costs, depending on where you take training, and the PMP Exam Fee. Thus, budgeting and knowing the tolerance limits you have for the budget is vital in how to get PMP Certification planning.  


In your journey to get PMP Certification, there could be uncertainties. Knowing the potential risks and hurdles in your way will be crucial to earning your PMP Certification in time.  

Identify risks and plan: What red flags do you see in completing the PMP Certification? 

Impact on schedule: What if you fell ill and missed your planned training session? How is it impacting your schedule? 

Impact on Cost: OR, if the training provider does not provide you with all the resources? Would you need to increase your budget? 

Remember to keep extra time and cost as a contingency.  

Risk Management in PMP Certification Process 

Awareness of potential risks and a response plan to address them in your how-to-get PMP Certification process is essential.  

To be well prepared for risk management, consider all the critical tasks carefully. There will be tasks in your control and some beyond your control, controlled by externals, that might need an immediate response.  

For example, the quality of your trainer is beyond your control. Thus, before enrolling, research various training providers properly, and ask any questions you may have to the training providers.  

Check out the PMP Passport course designed for you to sit and pass the PMP® exam. IPM provides world-class faculty with unparalleled proficiency and knowledge. Don't believe us? Hear our students' first-hand learning experience with us.  

Still have doubts? We are there to address them. Get in touch now for any queries.  


As part of procurement, accessing the resources or training needed to get PMP Certification could be overwhelming because of multiple training providers available.  

While choosing 35 hours of project management education, it is crucial to consider which type suits you best, classroom and online classes, which training institute you learn from, and other critical aspects in the decision-making process.  

The factors to consider to decide on the training type depend upon whether you want flexibility and self-paced learning or if you want to attend classroom training and complete it within a short span.  

IPM offers online and classroom sessions that cover the preparatory work and project management educational requirements needed to sit the PMP® exam. 

This year’s PMP preparation and training courses at IPM are happening from September to December in Classroom and online. Check out the date and details. Enrol now to take your career to new heights.  

Source selection criteria for 35-hour training program 

What are the source selection criteria? While preparing a list of project management PMP training providers, you may look for the following criteria

Does the trainer provide videos? 

What does the study guide contain?  

Whether the training fee is cost-effective based on your budget? 

Will the training institute provides a certificate after the 35-hour course? 

Look for credible training providers, like how many students have learnt, their testimonials, the faculty's experience, and knowledge.  

Step 3 & 4: Execution, Monitoring & Control 

Attend the course 

It is time to implement the plan for how to get PMP Certification. First, begin your learning with the training provider and start with completing the 35-hour course.  

PMP Application Process 

The next important step in executing the getting PMP Certification plan is to begin the application process.  

You have to fill out the application form online or paper-based, which PMI will later review. After your online application has been assessed and determined to be complete, you will receive an electronic notification to make payment of the credential fee by PMI. 

To submit a payment, you need to select your examination delivery method and request any special facilities on the online certification system. 

After making your payment, you will receive examination schedule instructions from PMI. You have one year to sit and pass the exam from the date the PMI confirms the approval of your application. 

PMP Exam Prep 

You might have divided your exam preparation into phases as part of your How to get the PMP Certification planning process. Based on preparation activities in each stage, start learning. 

Some tips for PMP Exam Prep: 

  • Review: Review the PMP Examination content online. 
  • Build your knowledge: study the guide module by module and answer the questions based on each chapter.  
  • Assess: Test your learning with PMP exam questions. IPM's student pack provides 600+ Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) exam samples. 
  • Revise: Strengthen the areas you did not do well in the tests and revise what you did well. 
  • Study your PMBOK.  
  • Set the monitoring and control parameters by setting a target score, then assess if you reached your score. If not, then modify your learning approach if needed.  
  • Be attentive and regular with training classes, hone your knowledge, take practice tests, and clear your doubts with the faculty. Continuously track your scores.  

After the planning, you are executing, monitoring, and control of getting PMP Certification. Appear for the exam.  

Step 5: Closing 

Now that you have completed your PMP Certification, communicate to your stakeholders. Reflect on your process, what was helpful, what worked well for you, what was the key learning, and what the best learning practices were.  

These could be useful for others in your organisation or network considering getting PMP Certification.  

 PMP Renewal 

By earning your certification, you have already taken a big step. However, have you thought about how to maintain it? You have to renew your credential every three years, and you are required to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) in a 3-year cycle.  

Read more about PDUs on our resources.  

What are the benefits of Achieving a PMP® Certification? 

The PMP Certification is an international and globally recognised certification that proves the knowledge and skills of project management. 

PMP Certification is globally recognised, which means it can be accepted in any country for a job position that requires project management skills.  

The demand for certified PMPs is growing; thus, it provides professional development opportunities to its holders. 

The PMP Certification is a lifelong credential, meaning that it will not expire as long as the holder continues to work towards renewing the certification.  

IPM is Ireland's premier certification authority. As part of their PMP student pack, you will receive the following: 

  • Access to PMP® online exam simulator for 90-days 
  • 35 contact hours are vital to take the exam 
  • Tips on answering exam questions successfully 
  • Exam application guidance 
  • 600+ Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) exam samples 

Check out the PMP Passport course designed for you to sit and pass the PMP® exam. This online course provides 35 hours of project management training to fulfil PMP exam requirements. 

We are there to address them. Get in touch now for any queries.