To obtain your PMP(r), 35 Contact Hours of Project Management Education are required. We will explain what they are and how to get them.
How can you tell if your education will help towards your PMP(r), or not? What does “Contact Hours” actually mean? Are they the same as PDUs or Contact Hours? These are common questions we receive from students.
What are contact hours?
PMI requires that you have completed 35 hours of formal project management education before you can take the PMP(r). While they already know you have the experience, they want to see the formal education.
Let’s take a look at the definition.
One contact hour is 60 minutes of project management instructions. If you attend a seminar lasting 8 hours and your class takes a 1-hour break for lunch, you’ll only get 7 Contact Hours.
You must receive education that is structured and related to project management. The preferred method of learning is to follow the PMBOK(r), guide.
Do Contact Hours Expire?
Contact hours have no expiry date. Even if they were obtained 5 years ago, they can still be used towards your PMP(r). You should make sure that you only purchase the most current courseware, as the PMBOK(r), has changed over the past 5 years.
What does not count towards your contact hours
Networking events (even those held by PMI chapters) – It is a common misconception that all events hosted by PMI chapters count towards your contact hours. This is false. This is false. Contact hours must be earned in a formal learning environment with an instructor who periodically assesses your skills.
Study groups or self-study – While we recommend that you join a study group if possible, they do not count towards your PMP(r 35) Contact Hour certificate. These certificates must be issued by an educational provider.
Ask your education provider if you are unsure if your course would count towards your PMP (r) certificate.
How to get your PMP(r), 35 Contact Hour Certificate
The PMI PMP(r), Handbook outlines 6 ways to satisfy your education needs. Contact Hours must be obtained from one of these 6 types of education providers.
PMI Registered Education Providers
Training companies and consultants
Programs for continuing and academic education at universities/colleges
No matter which one of the six types of education providers you choose to work with, the course that you take must meet these criteria:
The instructor must be present during the course.
You have a way of asking questions
Throughout the course, you will be assessed
The PMBOK(r), guideline is followed.
Before you apply for your PMP (r), you must complete the 35 Contact Hours of PMP(r). Your PMP(r), 35 Contact Hours, and certificate must be submitted with your application. If you are audited, however, you will need to be able to show your certificate in order to mail it to PMI.
This article provides more information on PMI audits.
Here’s an example showing what a Contact Hour Certificate looks like:
Get Contact Hours Free of Charge
Your employer – Many companies will sponsor employees to take the PMP(r). Talk to your manager to see if you can get your certification fully paid.
Scholarships – There are many education providers that offer scholarships to students. Before you apply, make sure to check their website for the rules and criteria.
PMI Chapters – Some PMI chapters and PMI offer free preparation courses. Check their websites to find out if there is a free event near or online.
ExamsPM offers a free introductory course, usually once per month. This counts as 1 PDU. Simply fill out the form below to register. We will email you shortly.