PMI-SP® Credential Process

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
The PMI-SP credential certifies a project manager's ability to manage schedules and complete projects on time. Read on to learn about the process by which you may earn this certification.

The Process for PMI-SP Credentialing

To earn the Project Management Institute's Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) credential, you must meet eligibility requirements, complete the application process, pass the PMI-SP certification exam, and maintain professional standards. This credential can pave the way to improved employment opportunities and higher salaries for project managers. Learn more about PMI certification, along with other groups for project managers, in these Project Management Organizations and Certification lessons.

PMI-SP Credentialing Step One: Eligibility

Before applying for the PMI-SP credential, you must meet education and experience prerequisites. The PMI provides two eligibility options:

  • Option A. A four-year college degree, 30 hours of education in project scheduling, and professional project scheduling experience totaling at least 3,500 hours
  • Option B. A high school diploma or 2-year college degree, 40 hours of education in project scheduling, and professional project scheduling experience totaling at least 5,000 hours

PMI-SP Credentialing Step Two: Application

If you meet eligibility requirements, you may register to apply for the PMI-SP credential. Keep in mind that:

  • Once you register and begin the application process, you must submit your application within 90 days.
  • Online applications are reviewed within 5 days, at which point you must pay the appropriate fee ($520 for PMI members and $670 for non-members) before being eligible to take the certification exam.
  • Random applications are selected for audits. If you are chosen for an audit, you must submit requested materials within 90 days. These materials typically include documentation verifying your educational background and professional experience.
  • Once your application (or audit materials if you are selected for an audit) is approved, you must pass the PMI-SP certification exam within one year. If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, you may retake it twice within this one-year eligibility period.

PMI-SP Credentialing Step Three: Certification Exam

The PMI-SP certification exam is a 3.5-hour multiple-choice test that has 170 questions focusing on the five project scheduling domains: schedule monitoring and controlling, schedule planning and development, schedule strategy, stakeholder communications management, and schedule closeout.

Test takers, even those who have extensive project scheduling experience, are advised to thoroughly prepare for the PMI-SP certification exam. Suggested prep resources include the free handbook and content outline that may be downloaded from PMI's website (, study classes offered by local PMI chapters, and prep courses that are available both in-person and online.'s self-paced online PMI-SP Exam Study Guide course is a prep option that allows you to thoroughly review all the PMI-SP content areas at whatever pace and timeline works best for your schedule.

PMI-SP Credentialing Step Four: Maintaining Certification

The date you pass the certification exam is the start of your initial three-year certification period. During this and every subsequent three-year certification cycle, you must meet professional development requirements in order to renew your certification. These include 30 PMI-approved professional development units (PDUs) in the area of project scheduling. PDU options include giving presentations, taking courses, volunteering services, and reading relevant books.

If you do not meet these requirements within three years, your certification will be suspended for one year. If, after this one year suspension, you still fail to meet the professional development requirements, your credential will expire.

The Project Management Institute's Scheduling Professional Exam (PMI-SP) is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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