There are two major requirements to appear for the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam – 35 contact hours of formal project management education training and 36 or 60 months of project management experience.
A PMP online training is the easiest way to complete the 35 contact hours requirement. Let us talk about this requirement in detail and answer the following questions in this article:
- What is a contact hour?
- What is the difference between contact hours and PDU?
- Why do you need 35 hours of education training to apply for the PMP certification exam?
- What is meant by formal project management education?
- Do contact hours expire?
You can refer to our detailed article on PMP qualification requirements to understand the eligibility criteria in detail and learn about the other requirement regarding 36 or 60 months of experience as a project manager.
Note: You can also checkout our detailed guide for becoming PMP certified.
35 Contact Hours of Project Management Education/Training
The PMP aspirants must have 35 hours of formal project management education before they can apply for the exam. Here is a quote from Project Management Institute (PMI).
applications must also have at least 35 contact hours of formal project management education unless they are an active CAPM holder.
Here is another quote from PMI.
One hour of classroom instruction equals one contact hour. If you have completed a university or college course on project management that met for three hours per week for 15 weeks, you would record 45 contact hours. If only a portion of a course dealt with project management, only the hours spent on project management can be applied toward the total.
It essentially means that you must have attended one ore more formal project management training courses whose instruction hours total up to 35 hours.
Which Activities Qualify as Contact Hours?
The education requirement can be satisfied by successfully completing workshops, courses, and training sessions that are offered by any of the following type of education providers:
- PMI Authorized Training Partners (ATPs).
- PMI chapters.
- Employer/company-sponsored programs.
- Training companies and consultants (e.g. training schools).
- Distance-learning companies, which include an end-of-course assessment.
- University/college academic or continuing education programs.
PMExperto’s online training is qualified for 35 contact hours under #5.
Which Activities do not Qualify as Contact Hours?
- PMI chapter meetings. However, if at least one hour of a chapter meeting was spent on learning activities then that time can be counted towards your educational eligibility requirement.
- Self-directed learning (e.g. reading books or watching instructional videos that don’t include an assessment at the end of the course).
Important Notes about Contact Hours
- Professional Development Units (PDUs) are not same as Contact Hours. Certified PMPs needs 60 PDUs every three years to keep their certification active whereas PMP aspirants need 35 hours to apply for the exam. You don’t need to collect PDUs unless you are a PMP. You should attend only those course(s) that can can give you a 35 hours certificate.
- Any training institute can conduct a project management training and issue a 35 hours certificate. It is not necessary to get a 35 hours certificate from a Authorized Training Partner (ATP).
- You can attend any project management training course to garner contact hours. Your courses can include content on either predictive or adaptive project management approach.
- It is not necessary to attend a PMP oriented facilitation training to get contact hours but a PMP oriented training is useful for the exam preparation.
- A PMP oriented course may include content related to initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, and closing a project.
- It is useful to attend a project management training course but it is not necessary. Courses on related subjects like quality management can also be used for garnering contact hours.
- Contact hours never expire. You can use your hours regardless of when they were accrued.
- Although we would advice you to attend a training based on the latest pattern of the PMP exam but you can use contact hours from your old course that was based on Knowledge Area based approach of PMBOK Guide 6th edition to apply for the PMP exam.
- You can combine contact hours from multiple training sessions.
- You cannot claim contact hours for reading project management or business books including PMI publications like the PMBOK Guide (A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge) or Agile Practice Guide.
PMP Online Training For Contact Hours
When you enroll into a PMP online training course, you get access to the instructional videos that you can watch on your computer or mobile phone. It is quite easy to enroll into these training courses.
These courses provide you utmost convenience as you can attend the training sessions from anywhere and at anytime.
For a busy professional, these type of courses prove to be the best as they give you a lot of flexibility as a reasonable price.
Out of different type of PMP certification training classes, PMP online training classes are these are least expensive.
Other Ways to Earn PMP Contact Hours
1. Instructor-Led Live Online Training
Instructor-led online training classes (also called as online boot camps) provides you the benefit of interacting directly with the instructor. The classes are conducted over the Internet by using a online learning software.
These training classes have a strict schedule and are more disciplined. These are not suitable for the busy professionals as the classes run at a fixed time.
The main benefit of taking a live class is the fact that with a live teacher and you can ask questions to clarify your doubts. The top drawback is the cost and the fact that you are bound to the class schedule.
2. Classroom Training
The classroom training workshops (also called as boot camps) are similar to live online classes. The only difference is that you have to attend the class in-person.
In these type of classes, you get face-time with the instructor and can mingle with the other students. However, these type of classes come with a little flexibility of place and time. You have to attend the workshop at a designated place and time.
The major drawback of these workshops is that they are very expensive. They can cost you as high as #3000 for a 4 days of training.
Nowadays, after Covid pandemic, training companies have stopped conducting classroom workshops.
You can start your PMP journey by joining a good PMP training course. Enrolling into a course is an essential step for becoming a PMP certified professional.
You can join any of the above three types of training classes. You can choose a training that suits your learning requirements. Irrespective of the type of training that you choose, you will have to remain disciplined and focused. You will have to diligently pursue your goal. A consistent and rigorous effort will help you to successfully crack the PMP exam.
Having sad that, we believe that self-learning PMP online training courses are the best. They give you freedom to attend the sessions at anytime and from any place.
A live or a classroom training is useful because you can ask question to your instructor. But, even if you attend such a training, you are in touch with your instructor only during the period of the training. The instructor cannot help you when you start studying for the exam after the completion of training.
The bottom-line is that you have to study for the exam yourself so it is better to start your PMP exam preparation with a self-learning training.
We would suggest you to consider our PMP 35 contact hours online training course. It is a complete preparation program that comes with every possible study aid. In addition, our course offers unlimited instructor support, which allows you to ask your questions any time during your PMP exam prep.
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We are confident that by enrolling in our training program, you will not miss any of the benefits of a live training program but, instead, get all the flexibility of a online training program.
Additionally, our PMP program is very reasonably priced. You can buy it for as low as USD 149. Our training is unmatched in the industry. It will enable you to pass the PMP exam in your first attempt and, in case you are unsuccessful, we will refund 100% of your training fee.
You can watch the free demo of our training program to understand its benefits and value.
Note: As per PMI’s mandate, ATPs can hold only live or classroom training programs. They cannot sell an online PMP training.
Over to You
Which training mode, in your opinion offers the learning opportunity? And, which one gives you the best value for your money?
We would love to hear from you in the comments below.