Few years ago I looked into getting the PMP and main reason I didn't was that the "experience verification form" required that all hours listed be within the past five years. Looking at their site today I'm unable to find this stated as a current requirement or on the forms to apply; though I am able to find old reference to the "with the past five years" requirement, see:


Was the window for experience removed? Along the same lines, is there a window of time that applies to PM training experience hours required for the "contact hours"?

6 Answers 6


From the PMP online application form:

Project Management Experience

You are required to document experience you've accrued leading and directing projects under general supervision within the constraints of schedule, budget and scope. The project management experience being documented should indicate you can appropriately apply a methodology to projects that have reasonable well-defined project requirements and deliverables.

  • Minimum of 4500 hours of project management experience.
  • Project management experience dating back at least three years from application submittal date.
  • Project management experience not dating back further than eight years from the application submittal date.
  • Minimum of 36 months of project management experience (gaps in experience and overlapping experience will not be counted).
  • Project management experience is required in each of the following process areas when all projects are totaled, but not on each project: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, Closing.

Project Management Education

Minimum of 35 contact hours of formal education in project management (one contact hour is equivalent to one actual hour of training or instruction received). There is no timeframe associated with this requirement, therefore, candidates can document all project management education, regardless of when it was accrued. However, the coursework must be complete at the time of application.

In the next few sections we will be asking you to document your project management work experience and education to meet the above requirements.

  • How do you provide evidence of your experience? Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 12:09

I am currently working on my application, and the paper application no longer includes the quote above. However, I have put in experience ending in Jan 2005 (approx 8 1/2 years ago) which shows zero qualified hours - so clearly the "approved time period" is still in place - although they don't state what it is ANYWHERE on the PMI site (at least that i could find).


A few years ago I wanted to get PMP certified as well. Having always been autodidact at all my undertakings (and being great at each), I figured that this would be a great career move.

To my amazement and surprise, you practically need to be a Project Manager in order to qualify for the PMP. So I wrote their association to let them know my concern about such 'requirements'. I pointed out that I have extensive project management experience, unfortunately which was almost impossible for me to quantify on paper (never officially held the title, but always worn the hat type of scenario). I explained that I had (self) learned SO MUCH in the project management field in the last decade that I know I could pass their exams with flying colors.

I explained to them that it made no sense for me to seek my PMP if I already was a project manager or had so many thousands of hours of project management experience (chicken-&-egg scenario).

Their response was pretty void and a repeat of what they post on their web site.

For some reason they fail to realize that thousands (if not tens of thousands) of individuals could pass their PMP exams with flying colors in order to prove their knowledge. In my opinion they are trying to 'control' who is a member by putting these ridiculous requirements. By doing this, they are essentially locking out SO many qualified candidates.

I've neglected negotiating the formal titles/salaries during the path of my career due to my HUGE passion for actual software development, design and architecture. Now it's hard for me to compete -- having 20+ years of experience under my belt, most of which I lead teams/projects -- with these new graduates that come to the industry and with only a few years experience all they want is to become instant project managers.

I figured that with the PMP, this would give me leveraged, but like I said, PMP refuses to allow individuals like me into their 'club'.

  • 1
    +1 @Jeach: I agree. It's the only cert I'm able to think of that requires such a high level of time logged to meet the requirements as stated. Beyond that, while I exceed the total required time, it's not within the windows on time they provide. In the end it's their choice, they have other cert options too. Gave the +1 for sharing your approach and their response to the issue. Thanks!
    – blunders
    Commented Nov 10, 2011 at 18:46
  • This is a rant that addresses something similar to the OP question. Not An Answer. It does, however, reinforce common incorrect stereotypes about this and most certifications, and shows the answerer's lack of understanding of what a PM does and what the PMP certification's value is. (It has been years, the author probably has figured it out by now.)
    – CWilson
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 14:22
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    @CWilson My answer is supportive of the OP's question. You may not like it but that doesn't change anything for other readers. Secondly, it is not incorrect stereotypes or information, since it is based on FACTS which are easily backed up by the PMP's own literature and stated requirements. Please learn the difference. Now as to lack of understanding of PM and PMP value ... really? Nobody is even discussing that point. You seem to have issues. This is not the place to address them. We are discussing PMP course requirements, not it's practice or value. Stick to the point will you?
    – Jeach
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 18:07

I agree with ssdscott. Same thing happened to me. So, experience within last 8 years is only valid from PMP application point of view.



Please check the requirement from the PMI website again, my understanding is that you don't actually have to have the PM title to get eligibility.

As long as you've done the PM type of work, for example produce WBS/ workplan... define risk management plan, etc etc, and you don't have to be involved in all 5 process groups in the same project. You could have been involved in the planning phase of project A, but Executing phase of the project B... as long as they all add up to 5 process group, you should be able to submit your application.

I encourage you to recall what was your deliverables/ inputs/ output and map those to the 5 process groups and apply.

  • This is both important, accurate, and grossly off topic. Can't vote up, being Not An Answer, but won't vote down because it is probably still relevant to most people asking the OP question.
    – CWilson
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 14:16

Having applied about a 3 weeks ago and taking my test in another week... at the end of August they simplified the forms overall... But essentially (going from memory) you now have to list 3 years worth of relevant experience and it can not be older than the last 5 years. Plus unlike ages ago when you had to have a certain percentage in each process area, now you just have to demonstrate some knowledge in each area. So Project A could apply to 3 areas, while project B could overlap A in areas and apply to 2 other areas.

It's all there, you just might have to dig down in the certification area of their web site.

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    The other answer conflicts with yours, what is your source for the limit being five years?
    – blunders
    Commented Nov 1, 2011 at 20:21
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    was working from memory (as I stated) so just misremembered the max number. - above is direct quote so supersedes my answer. Commented Nov 3, 2011 at 18:23
  • +1 @edgaralgernon: Yes, it was my understanding your answer was from memory, just curious if that info in the answer was the same as what you'd seen when you applied, or if they'd updated it yet again. The print from as far as I'm able to tell doesn't state any of the above requirements, only the online from, which is strange. Honestly think the new requirements are strange, but it's their cert... :-) ...just makes me wonder how solid their logic is with odd rules like that. Anyway, thanks for the follow up. Cheers!
    – blunders
    Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 1:40

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