Things You Need To Know About PMI-ACP Certification

written by Aleem Khan on September 20, 2016 in PMI-ACP with no comments

Project managers can choose from various agile certifications, and one of them is the PMI-ACP® . The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner exam tackles a wide range of methodologies that include scrum, lean, kanban, and XP, just to name a few.

This certification has been developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI)® for the purpose of being able to screen people who are practicing agile approaches in their work. It is meant to show the employers that the individual has the ability to demonstrate agile practices in the job. In addition, (PMI-ACP)® is also meant to provide a framework for the development of the profession. This certification is an important part of the career development goals of interested professionals in the field as it makes them more competent than other people who do not have the certification.

Project Management Institute is the largest non-profit membership association for project managers. Its PMI-ACP certification is accepted in every country across the globe. The organization promotes standards and certification programs through communities of practice, professional development opportunities, and market research and academic programs. At present, there are around 260 Chapters around the world, with more than 700,000 members and certification holders.

PMI is a credible organization when it comes to the certification of project managers because its certification process requires an individual not only to pass the exam but also have at least 2,000 hours project experience. And employers look for project managers who have PMI-ACP certification.

PMI Global Standards

The global standards of the PMI are divided into three categories, which are foundation standards, practice standards, and frameworks, and practice guides. The categories show far-reaching nature of project management. The profession continues to evolve and grow, and that’s why PMI-ACP training is also evolving each year.

Foundation standards set the foundation for project management knowledge. It represents the four areas of project managing, which are Project, Program, Portfolio, and organizational approach to project management.

Practice Standards serve as guides that can be used as techniques; processes or tools found in the PMBOK® Guide or any other foundation standards. There are various Practice Standards for different topics that include Project Risk Management, Earned Value Management, Project Configuration Management, Work Breakdown Structures, Scheduling, Project Estimating, and more.

Lastly, there’s the Practice Guides. They provide information and instructions that will help a project manager apply PMI standards. These guides can also help in the PMI-ACP Training. Some of the practice guides include Business Analysis for Practitioners, Implementing Organizational Project Management, Navigating Complexity, and Managing Change in Organizations.

Benefits of Obtaining Certification

The PMI-ACP was designed to show a practitioner’s level of competence in Agile practice, as well as the individual’s versatility when it comes to project management techniques and tools. A person with the certification is also competent to lead basic agile project teams or basic knowledge to be part of an agile team. The certification program was also designed to provide a framework for PMI-ACP training, as well as professional development initiatives.

The PMI-ACP is the fastest growing certification from the Project Management Institute. In its first year alone, it has overtaken the Risk, Scheduling, and Program Management certifications. It has also become the gold standard for agile competence a seen by the employers. There are many reasons why people aim to be recognized as PMI-ACP, including the following:

High Demand: There is a high demand for agile in the past couple of years, and a certification allows employers to determine whether a project manager is knowledgeable on agile principles, techniques, and tools. The PMI developed the certification for project managers who are utilizing agile practices in their projects or for PMs who belong to organizations that adopt Agile methods to project management.

Coverage: Like other Agile certifications, PMI-ACP is not limited to a single method. Rather, it covers a broad range of agile methods (Scrum, Kanban, XP, FDD, Crystal, DSDM, etc.)

Higher Compensation: It is a given fact that people with better skills earn more than those with average. In the same way, if you have more certifications, including PMI-ACP, you also have the right to demand a higher salary. Therefore, if you want to be more financially stable in your career, obtaining such certification may prove to be necessary.

Professional Growth: In most instances, PMI-ACP is not just all about the possible monetary increase from your work. The certification program will help you to learn more about various Agile methods, and you do not need to be worried about the obsolescence of what you now. Through their certification maintenance program, you can stay updated in spite of the changes introduced in your line of work.

Job Opportunities: Having this certification will also make you a more bankable employee. In fact, employers may even be chasing you because you are highly qualified in the field of project management and other related fields. It can open up opportunities for your career advancement.

Given the benefits that have been mentioned above, there is no wonder why many people are interested in having PMI-ACP certification.

Who is Eligible for PMI-ACP

Educational BackgroundSecondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree of global equivalent
General Project Experience2,000 hours working on project teams>br>
These hours must be earned within the last 5 years

Active PMP® or PgMP® will satisfy this requirement
Agile Project Experience
1500 hours working on agile project teams or with agile methodologies

These hours are in addition to the 2,000 hours required in “general project experience”

These hours must be earned within the last 3 years
Training in Agile Practices21 contact hours

Hours must be earned in agile practices
ExaminationTests knowledge of agile fundamentals
Fees (CBT)US$ 435 for members and US$495 for non-members

Given the many benefits of PMI-ACP, there is no wonder why a lot of people are interested in obtaining such. Prior to taking it, however, it is important to be first aware of the different eligibility requirements.
First of all, you need to have a secondary degree. That means you need to have a high school diploma or an associate’s degree of global equivalent.

The certification program also requires the individual to have at least 2,000 hours as part of a project team. The hours should be earned within the last five years. Those with active PgMP or PMP have already satisfied the general project experience requirement

Aside from the General Project Experience, the individual must also have 1,500 hours as part of an agile project team or with agile methodologies. Keep in mind that these hours are in addition to the general project experience, and must be earned within the last three years. The individual must also have 21 contact hours of training in Agile practices. 360PMO is PMI’s Registered Education Provider (REP), specializes in Agile training, offer public and private courses to meet this requirement.

Lastly, there’s the PMI-ACP examination. The individual must be able to pass the test. One can get a PMI-ACP Exam Prep program to be prepared for the test. This will ensure that one can pass the exam with ease.

The PMI-ACP Process

PMI-ACP Certification Process

The first step is to submit the application form. Once you have started the application, you will be given 90 days to submit the application form to PMI. If you failed to complete the form within 90 days, the PMI will close the application in their system. However, you have the option to re-open it in the future.

Then the PMI will review the application form to ensure that all it is complete. This step could take up to ten days if the application form was submitted online. Once the application is approved, then you need to submit the payment of certification fees. The PMI will not provide a schedule for the exam until you have paid the fees in full.

However, there are times when the application for PMI-ACP is selected for audit. When that happens, you have 90 days to submit the required materials. The PMI can process the materials in five to seven days. Eligibility starts after the completion of the audit.


Once the application is accepted, you have a year to pass the exam. The exam is composed of 120 multiple choice questions, and 20 of them are pretest questions. They are placed randomly through the test and used by the PMI for research purposes. The pretest questions will not be considered when calculating the results. That means you are only evaluated on 100 questions. The test will only take three hours. There are only two results of the exam. It is either pass or fails. You have three chances to pass the PMI-ACP examination within the year.

If you are interested in taking the PMI-ACP, it is paramount to demonstrate preparedness. You should review key terms and concepts, keeping in mind that the exams have been developed by people who are experts in the field of Agile practices.

These are the things you need to know about PMI-ACP. This will help you determine if PMI-ACP training for the certification is the career path that you need to take. If you are an agile practitioner, then the answer is definitely a yes.

To know more about PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), please read our PMI-ACP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Aleem Khan, M.S, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, CSP is an Agile Coach and Trainer. He brings nearly two decades of experience in leading high-performance teams, managing Lean/Agile change to increase performance and deliver business results. He has helped a large number of students prepare for the PMI-ACP Exam with his classroom-led courses, online exam prep trainingstudy notes, exam simulator, and Flashcards