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Certification for a PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)

by Steve Lander

The Project Management Institute awards six different certifications and credentials in the project management field. To get any PMI certification or credential, you'll have to establish a mixture of education and experience, prove your knowledge through testing and commit to ongoing training through continuing education. The PMI Risk Management Professional credential certifies your talent in weighing risks and opportunities.

PMI-RMP Introduction

Earning the PMI-RMP credential can help you distinguish yourself from other project managers on the basis of your risk management skills. Certified risk management professionals can look at a project and quickly identify and analyze its risks. As a part of this process, they know how to build a strategy to get around risks and threats while also enhancing project opportunities.

Qualifying for the Certification

You need to achieve certain educational and career milestones before you can test for the certification. If you do not have a four-year college degree like a bachelor's, you need at least 4,500 hours of professional project management experience, focused specifically on risk management over the preceding five years. You'll also need 40 contact hours, also referred to as continuing education units, of specialized formal education dealing with project risk management issues. With a four-year degree, the experience requirement drops to 3,000 hours and the education requirement drops to 30 hours. One contact hour is equivalent to one hour of classroom training.

The Process

Getting and keeping the credential is a multi-step process. Once you start the application, you have 90 days to finish and submit it. Then, PMI has five days to review it, after which you can pay for and schedule your examination. You'll have to take the exam within one year to be eligible for certification and you get a total three tries if you don't pass. Once you pass your exam, you get your certificate and must, within three years, complete 30 more units of professional development. After that, you can renew for another three years and do 30 more units. This continues for your entire career. Some applications are selected for auditing when the application is submitted. If this is the case, you have 90 days to send in your supporting materials and you will have to wait five to seven days for PMI to audit your information before you can register for the exam.

The Test

Regardless of how you take the test, it consists of 170 questions. Twenty are unscored pretest questions and 150 questions count for your examination. You'll have 3.5 hours to take the examination and, although you're allowed to take a break, the clock won't stop running. PMI doesn't specify a passing score, leaving it to be determined by their own psychometric reading of the test. The examination consists of five sections with multiple choice questions covering simulated tasks that a risk management professional might encounter.

About the Author

Steve Lander has been a writer since 1996, with experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology. His work has appeared in trade publications such as the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." Lander holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia University.

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