February 21, 2018


Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Are you ready to take your PMI Agile Certified Practitioner Exam?

This article is about identifying your eligibility to take your PMI-ACP exam.

Do you work in an environment where you use one or more Agile methodologies regularly? Do you have both general project experience as well as Agile project specific experience? If either of these scenarios apply to you and you are interested in earning your Project Management Institute Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification, then use these steps to discover if you are eligible to take the PMI-ACP® Exam.

Many people/companies see holding the PMI-ACP® certification as a demonstration of professionalism in one or more Agile methodologies. To determine whether you are eligible to take the PMI-ACP® Exam, just follow the simple 4-step approach outlined below.

Step 1: Read the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Handbook

Click here to download the PMI-ACP® Handbook produced by Project Management Institute (PMI)®.

Pay close attention to sections that cover eligibility requirements and the application process. It is in the eligibility requirements section that you will find information regarding the exam requirements as they pertain to educational background, general project experience, Agile project experience, and Agile specific training requirements in order to take the PMI-ACP® Exam.

In the section covering the application process you will find out how your experience is counted when applying to take the PMI-ACP® Exam. The thing to remember about experience is you must account for Agile project experience and general project experience separately. You cannot record the same project under both Agile and general project experience, and you cannot count hours associated with general project experience towards your Agile project experience hours.

Step 2: Read the PMI-ACP® Examination Content Outline

Click here to download the PMI-ACP® Examination Content Outline produced by the Project Management Institute (PMI)®.

As you review the Tools & Techniques, Knowledge & Skills, and Domains & Tasks sections you should recognize many of them as those you use or have relied upon as part of your own activities when working on Agile projects. Half of the PMI-ACP® Exam covers Agile Tools & Techniques and the other half covers Agile Knowledge & Skills. Domains & Tasks are not specifically covered as part of the PMI-ACP® Exam; however, this section can provide you with insight as to how Agile project management is understood across different industries.

You may not have utilized all of the tools and techniques, or even have all of the knowledge and skills discussed within the outline; but you should have experience with or utilized the majority of the tools, techniques, knowledge, and skills listed in order to meet the eligibility requirements to sit for the PMI-ACP® Exam.

Step 3: Compare Your Agile Education and Experience with Your Resume

After working through steps 1 and 2 to gain a clear understanding of the education, experience, and Agile specific training requirements required to sit for the PMI-ACP® Exam, grab a copy of your resume and look for areas of overlap. If you are like many people who don’t typically update their resume at the completion of each project, take some time to create an experience list to document all of your project experience since your last resume update. Remember, you cannot overlap your general project and Agile project experience; so you may want to make to separate lists.

If you have copies of project charters or similar documents from the projects you have worked on and they have a clearly defined responsibilities section they can be very helpful when trying to recall and accurately document your experience. Plus you will need all of this information to complete the application for the PMI-ACP® Exam. Next, based on your resume and/or experience lists you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do I have the required experience hours on both general projects and Agile projects?
  • Do my resume or experience lists reflect experience with the majority of the tools, techniques, knowledge, and skills in the outline?
  • Do I honestly meet the criteria?

If your answer to all three is “Yes”, then you are most likely eligible.

Step 4: Contact PMI Customer Care

If you have any doubts concerning your eligibility, contact the Customer Care department at PMI. They have knowledgeable and helpful staff who will be happy to answer your questions.

Following the simple 4-step approach outlined here will allow you to determine for yourself if you are eligible to sit for the PMI-ACP® Exam. In addition, all of the information you have gathered such as education, general project experience hours, Agile project experience hours, and Agile specific training hours will all be very valuable when you start the application process.