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History of the PMP® Credential

The Project Management Institute (PMI)® has an extensive history, dating back to 1983 - demonstrating how established the certification is in the global training marketplace. In 1969 PMI®, the accrediting body was founded, however, it wasn’t until 1984 that the first exams were administered and certifications were awarded. The certification came into fruition due to the ESA’s report within the 1983 PMQ (Project Management Quarterly, now referred to as the Project Management Journal), titled “The Project Management Professional (PMP)® Program: Certifying Project Managers”, that suggested "a project management framework and code of ethics was required, to help guide projects, to give Project Managers professional recognition, and to ensure a minimum experiential/qualification entry requirement into the profession".

Three years later in 1987, the first draft of The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) was released, which was rather brief with only eight 6-page sections but provided a valuable foundation on which to build. In 1994, the PMBOK® Guide and exams were updated - the 64-page manual elaborated on the pre-existing 8 sections and the exam was 6 hours in length, with 40 questions per section, a staggering 320 questions! From 1996-2012, the PMBOK® Guide faced numerous enhancements to make it more up to date with the most current project management best practice, including:

  • 1996 - the PMBOK® Guide first edition was published - including the acquisition of the new 9th section, Integration Management, 37 processes, and a much developed 176-page length
  • 2000 - PMBOK® Guide 2000, referred to as the second edition, released in the same nine knowledge areas, 211 pages, and 39 processes
  • 2004 - PMBOK® Guide third edition is published with 290 pages and 44 processes. The examination became much more difficult to reflect the complexity of the third edition, subsequently, PMI® lowered the exam pass rate to 61% to account for the changes
  • 2007 - PMBOK® Guide gains ISO/ANSI/IEC accreditation
  • 2008 - PMBOK® Guide fourth edition is published consisting of 467 pages, 42 processes, and revisions to the exam to reflect the new guidance
  • 2011 - Exam questions are revised to fit the guidelines recommended by the 2011 RDS (Role Delineation Study)
  • 2012 - PMBOK® Guide fifth edition is published consisting of 598 pages, 47 processes, and alterations to the exam to fit in accordance with the new guidance
  • 2016 - Exam questions are revised to fit the guidelines recommended by the 2016 RDS (Role Delineation Study)

Future of the PMP® Certification

In September 2017, the PMBOK® Guide sixth edition is due to be released, consequently, the examination will be altered in March 2018 in accordance with the new guidance. The new alterations include lexicon and terminology changes, in addition to making the processes, tools, and techniques more reflective of the current knowledge advancements. A new chapter is expected from the new PMBOK® Guide, regarding the role of a Project Manager - focusing on leadership competencies and skills in a variety of different scenarios. Two knowledge areas of the PMBOK® Guide are also anticipating a new update to reflect current management elements/terminology:

  • Time Management will now be referred to as Schedule Management
  • Human Resource Management will now be referred to as Resource Management

 

PMI, PMP, CAPM, PMBOK and The PMI Registered Education Provider logo are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013.