There are two major requirements to appear for the PMP exam – 35 contact hours of formal project management education training is one of them.
You can refer to our detailed article on PMP qualification requirements to understand the eligibility criteria.
In this article, let us talk about the 35 hours requirement and answer all of the following questions:
- 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 exam?
- What is meant by formal project management education?
- Do contact hours expire?
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 PMI.
applications must also have at least 35 contact hours of formal project management education unless they are an active CAPM holder.
It essentially means that you must have attended one ore more formal training courses having a total of 35 instruction hours.
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.
Your course(s) may include information on project integration, scope, schedule, cost, quality, resource, communications, risks, procurement, and stakeholder management.
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 PMP 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.
- Only an Authorized Training Provider (ATP) can issue a 35 hours certificate. Any company or institute that is into project management training can issue a 35 hours certificate.
- Only PMP oriented training qualifies for contact hours. No, you can attend any project management training to garner contact hours.
- Contact hours never expire. You can use your hours regardless of when they were accrued.
- You can combine contact hours from multiple training sessions.
Three Ways to Earn PMP Contact Hours
1. Self-Learning Online Training
When you enroll into these type of training courses, you get access to videos that you can watch on your computer or mobile phone. It is easy to enroll into these training courses and you can attend the sessions from anywhere.
For a busy professional, these type of courses prove to be the best as they give you a lot of flexibility.
One of the major benefits of these classes is that these are least expensive.
2. 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.
3. 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 should enroll into anyone of the three kind types of training classes that suits your learning requirements. You should keep in mind that whichever option you choose, you will have to remain disciplined and focused. A consistent and rigorous effort will help you to successfully crack the PMP exam.
Having sad that, we believe that the self-learning online training courses are the best. They give you freedom to attend the sessions at anytime and from any place. Furthermore, even if you attend a boot camp, an instructor can not help you when you start studying. At the end of the day, you have to study for the exam yourself so it is better to start with a self-learning training,
If you are looking for online training then you can look at 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 queries at any time during your exam preparation.
Our PMP program is priced as low as USD 99 in USA. 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% training fee.
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.