PMP Certification: Application Audit

Recently, I successfully passed the PMI PMP certification. My application for the right to take the exam was selected for an audit, and we managed to pass the audit on the second attempt. Under the cut my experience:

Four years long road

The first time I was going to take an exam four years ago. Like many others, I registered on the PMI website, applied for an exam, received confirmation, paid for membership, downloaded PMBoK and ... and immediately received an appointment for an interesting project that took up all my free time. The PMP surrender had to be postponed.
Two years later, I again decided to take up the preparation. Yes, yes, I registered on the PMI website, submitted an application, received confirmation, paid for the membership, downloaded PMBoK and ... received a promotion. New position, a lot of interesting work, lack of time, in general, the surrender of PMP again had to be postponed.
Despite the fact that I did not go to the exam, I spent some time trying to figure out what methods of preparation exist and understand what works well for me and what does not. In particular, nothing categorically “stuck” to me from Rita MulKahi’s book. Even dry PMBoK was easier for me to read.

The third time the spell does not work, the audit application

Last summer, I thought that I had stayed in one place, there were no interesting projects, I was tired of the routine, in general, I had to change something. There is a proven way - you only need to apply for PMP (just kidding). The third time the spell did not work, neither the position nor the interesting project was offered to me. In addition, my application was audited.

This is how PMI’s email informs you that an application has been selected for audit:
Dear Winston Smith,

We have received your application. Your application has been randomly selected for PMI's audit process. Please log in to the certification system to obtain information about the audit process and to download your audit forms.

Please submit your audit materials by 22 Oct 2018.

Please contact the Customer Care Centre in your region if you have questions or concerns.

Audit failed, read handbook before applying

As it turned out, there is nothing terrible in the audit, a special section opens in the PMI site’s personal account, which clearly describes the requirements and the process of collecting and sending documents confirming education, training and work experience (looking ahead, the incorrect description of the experience in the application became the reason is not a successful audit).

Training Confirmation

With training, everything is relatively simple. It is necessary to include in the package of documents copies of certificates of attendance of trainings that give contact hours, and list them in a cover letter. Some course providers issue two certificates, for example in Russian (or another local) and in English, or a certificate from an educational platform (for example, Udemy) and a certificate from the author of the training. In general, you need to attach a copy of the certificate from the author of the training in English.

Sample Cover Letter
Dear PMI Audit team,
This package contains documents to confirm education and experience of Winston Smith (Candidate ID: 777777) as requested to perform audit of application 555555.

Package content:
Project experience
Project experience, confirmed by Big Brother (1 envelop)
Project experience, confirmed by Emmanuel Goldstein (1 envelop)
Project experience, confirmed by James O'Brien (1 envelop)

Project Management Education
PROPS-C for Project Managers, Copy of training certificate (1 page)
Project management based on standart ANSI PMI PMBoK V.5, Copy of training certificate (1 page)

Attained education
Oceania Technical University: Mobile communications Engineer.
Copy of Diploma and transcript (4 pages, Russian language)
General translation of the Diploma and transcript (1 page)

By the way, about the trainings, I already had enough contact hours received due to the training paid by the employer. Later in the process of preparation, I discovered the source of cheap contact hours in the form of trainings on the Udemy example . 35 hours for 10 USD is quite good. The main thing is to carefully read the training summary and make sure that it is provided by a provider accredited by PMI (Registered Education Provider or REP).

Proof of basic education

A little harder. here you need to attach a copy of the diploma and the insert (transcript) and a simple (not notarial) translation of the diploma and the insert.

My example
General Translation to Diploma and transcript
London, Oceania
Federal state educational institution of Higher professional education
DIPLOMA (Honours), AAA 777777
According to state assessment commission on June 7, 1965 mr. Smith Winston was awarded the qualification of Engineer with profession “Mobile Communications”
Signed by the Principal of the University

Mr. Smith Winston
Birth date December 31, 1945
Predecessing education certificate: Highschool diploma, 1965
Entrance examination: passed
Enrolled at Oceania Technical University in 1965 (intramural)
Completed education at Federal state educational institution of Higher professional education «Oceania Technical University» in 1969 (intramural)
Target learning period: 5 years
Profession: Mobile communications
Specialization: n/a
  1. Work experience internship, 4 weeks: passed
  2. Work experience internship, 4 weeks: passed
  3. Pre-degree practice, 6 weeks: excellent
    Final state exams: Cross-disciplinary state exams, excellent
    Military course: 594 hours, excellent
    Graduation work: Wireless Telescreen network rollout in Oceania, 17 weeks, excellent
    Courses attended: 55
    Contact hours: 8426
    Capstone projects: 9

Confirmation of experience

The most important thing here is to carefully, very carefully read the PMP Handbook , a document that describes the requirements for a PMP candidate and the rules for processing an application.
<paphos> The project you led or participated in can reduce the temperature of the earth by two degrees and stop the melting of glaciers, rid the world of hunger and incurable diseases, and finally, just bring good revenue to your employer and benefit customers. </ pathos> These problems are not interested in PMI. PMI is interested in your experience in each project being described in terms and processes of PMI. Unfortunately, I did not read the PMP Handbook well enough and made a fairly common mistake: I described the experience of project work in terms of the value acquired by the company and customers.

Here is the wrong description of the experience
MTS, Russia, RAN rollout

Other: Project acceptance manager

The purpose of the project was to roll out UMTS RAN (3G mobile cellular communication network) for Mobile TeleSystems across the Russia. I was responsible for acceptance and closure activities at handover and closure phases towards customer and suppliers in South and North-Caucasus districts of Russian Federation.

As it turned out, PMI does not audit the application until it receives a package of documents. The audit confirmation form for each project is generated automatically in the personal account on the PMI website. The form must be downloaded, signed by the contact person indicated in the application who can confirm your experience (for example, the director of the employer or client or your direct manager). The experience description in the confirmation form is copied from the application.
In my case, an incorrect description of the experience was copied from the application. PMI checked my experience for the first time only after receiving a package of documents. The experience was described incorrectly, and PMI rejected my application.
By the way, the cheapest way was to send documents using EMS. Sending from Moscow cost about 1,700 rubles. The package went to the addressee about 10 days, 2 days from the entry point in the USA to PMI by ordinary American mail and 8 days in Russia by express mail EMS.

This is how PMI notifies that a package of documents has been received.
Dear Winston Smith,

We have received the requested documentation for the audit of your Project Management Professional (PMP) application.

Thank you for submitting this material. PMI's audit process allows us to maintain the integrity of our credentials.

In five business days, we will notify you about the next steps of the process.

Please contact the Customer Care Centre in your region if you have questions or concerns.

Thank you,
PMI Customer Care

This is how PMI notifies that an application has been rejected.
Dear Winston Smith,
Thank you for submitting your complete audit materials.
After thorough review of your application, it has been determined that your application does not meet the minimum eligibility requirements. At this time your application has been closed.

Eligibility Not Met: Domains are not included
It is required that candidates show that they led and directed the project as identified with the tasks, knowledge, and skills specific in the PMP Exam Content Outline. The PMP candidate is not required to show experience leading and directing projects in all five project domains for each project, but must have this experience within the total number of experience hours and in their project deliverable descriptions.

Review Feedback:

For all experience — Project domains (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, Closing) and domain-specific deliverables are incomplete; project management methodology used is unclear; without clear project domains we are unable to determine if a project is valid. Wherever work hours are claimed within a domain, elements of that domain as detailed in the PMBOK Guide or the PMP Exam Content Outline must also be conspicuous in the description.

Additional Comments:
  1. We have reviewed your education documents. Your attained education and project management education is approved and will be waived for your next audit.
  2. Should you choose to submit a new application, please note that for best results, project descriptions should be formatted as noted below:

  • A brief, one-sentence project objective
  • Project deliverables summarized by process areas (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing — abbreviations are acceptable IN, PL, EX, MC & CL)
  • A brief, one-sentence project outcome.

If you wish to submit a new application, you may do so at any time. Please note, if you choose to submit a new application for this certification, your application will again be audited. For your convenience, please visit Things to Consider When Applying for tips and guidelines on how to better present your experience.

Additional information regarding the application requirements, as well as related policies and procedures can be found in the respective Handbook and Exam Content Outline online at

If you have specific questions regarding the closing of this application or the certification eligibility requirements, please email the PMI Program Administration Team at

We appreciate your patience and diligence in complying with the certification application audit process, and look forward to reviewing your new application once submitted.

@@@@@@ | Program Administration
Project Management Institute
Phone: +1-610-###-#### (Option ##)

Those. Experience needs to describe experience with standard terms indicating PMIs pointing to process groups.

Here is how the experience on the same project was described in the following application, which was also audited but accepted.
MTS, Russia, RAN rollout

Other: Project acceptance manager

Objective: Modernization and expansion of cellular network of MTS-Russia
Role: Acceptance manager in South region
Deliverables by process areas:
IN: Contribute to scope analysis
PL: Plan quality management
EX: Manage quality (ensure customer standard fulfillment)
MC: Validating and controlling scope. Control procurement and quality (acceptance of subcontractors' work)
CL: Ensure that completion is documented
Outcome: Network has been upgraded and expanded. Work has been accepted by the customer/

PMI notifies of a positive decision about the application here

by letter
Dear Winston Smith,

Congratulations! You have successfully met the requirements of PMI's audit process.

You may now proceed to the next step of the application process – payment.

Log In and Make Payment
Please contact the Customer Care Centre in your region if you have questions or concerns.
Thank you,
PMI Customer Care

I really hope that my experience will be useful to future PMP candidates. I wish your applications were accepted without an audit. And once again: read the PMP Handbook carefully, very carefully before submitting the application.

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