Five Steps to Achieve the Newest PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner Certification

Five Steps to Achieve the Newest PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner Certification

Today, organizations and companies around the world are seeing the value of agile versus the traditional waterfall methodology, and more and more are making the switch. Though there are several sources for agile certifications, the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® has established itself as the world’s fastest growing agile credential.

The PMI-ACP certification formally recognizes your knowledge of agile principles and your skill with agile techniques. The PMI launched its latest exam in March of 2018, so if you’re considering going for the PMI-ACP certification, you’ll want to be up to date on the five steps in the certification process:

Five Steps to Achieve the Newest PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner Certification

Step 1. Review Certification Eligibility Requirements

The PMI-ACP Handbook sets out a number of requirements for those seeking certification:


General Project Experience

Agile Project Experience

 Training in Agile Practices




2,000 hours of experience working on project teams.

The hours must have been earned within the last five years, and an active PMP® or PgMP® will satisfy the requirement.

1,500 hours working on agile project teams or with agile methodologies.

These hours are in addition to the 2,000 hours of general project experience required, and they must have been earned within the last three years.

21 contact hours that must have been earned in agile practices.


Secondary degree (high school diploma or equivalent).


Step 2. Study Course or Study Materials

Find a study course or study materials to help better prepare for the exam. Using one of PMI’s Registered Education Providers (REPs) is a good way to train and earn PDUs at the same time.


Step 3: Apply for the Certification

PMI encourages you to use the online certification system to apply for your credential. A printable version may be granted on a case-by-case basis, and can be requested through PMI Customer Care. (It takes PMI about five days to let you know if you’ve been approved.) Once you start the PMI-ACP application process, you have 90 days to finish, and you have one year to take the PMI-ACP exam after your application is approved.


Step 4: Schedule and Pass Your Exam

Once your application is approved, you should schedule your exam. You’ll have three hours to complete the 120-question, multiple-choice PMI-ACP exam. If you don’t pass, you’ll have three chances to retake the exam during that year. 

NOTE: I highly recommended that you review the Exam Policies and Procedures portion of the PMI-ACP Handbook, as it reflects changes around paper-based testing versus computer-based testing. Also, it’s important to be clear on the confirmation of your exam date and on the policies and fees that apply if you reschedule or cancel your exam. 

The fees for the exam are as follows:

• Computer-based testing or paper-based testing (PMI members): $435

• Re-examination CBT/PBT (PMI members): $335

• CCR certification renewal (PMI members): $60

The table below outlines the weighting of the domains covered on the exam:


Percentages of Items on the Test

Domain I. Agile Principles and Mindset


Domain II. Value-driven Delivery


Domain III. Stakeholder Engagement


Domain IV. Team Performance


Domain V. Adaptive Planning


Domain VI. Problem Detection and Resolution


Domain VII. Continuous Improvement (Product, Process, People)





Step 5. Earn PDUs for Certification Renewal

Your newly earned PMI-ACP certification is valid for three years, and you must earn PDUs to keep it current. Thirty PDUs in agile project management are needed in each three-year cycle, and the cycle begins the day you pass your exam. (You can find more information about this in PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Handbook.)


Related Training

Agile Training 


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  1. Shanthi Reply

    PMI is now asking for 10 days to review the application. I am on my 5th day and have not heard anything yet.

  2. MAG Reply

    I intend to take the current version of the PMI-ACP exam. If (hopefully not!) I do not pass, would I have to re-take the new version of the exam?

    How similar in content are the two? I have been working in a pretty conformant Agile (Scrum) environment, but there is always book content specific things on the exam – is all of my previous book learning obsolete for the new exam?

  3. John Mark Ivey Reply

    Michael, Thanks for your inquiry. The exam is set to revise on November 1, 2015 so if you take (and fail) the PMI-ACP soon, you could always retake the current version before November. If you wait until after November 1, then you would be required to take the updated PMI-ACP exam.

  4. MAG Reply

    Thanks for the reply. When is the last time that I can schedule a test using the current content? I got the impression it was July 14th, but that could just be my interpretation of the page:

    Is there a period of time (July15th – October 31st) when both tests will be administered?

  5. John Mark Ivey Reply

    Michael, You are correct. We just got an update. It seems the last time to take the current exam is July 14, not November 1. The pilot of the updated PMI-ACP exam will begin running July 15 until August 15 when PMI will analyze data from those scores to judge the effectiveness of the test. There’s a 20% discount. PMI will not administer both exams at the same time. From July 15 until October 14, students will write the exam, but not receive their scores immediately. For further info, please check directly with PMI. http://​www​.pmi​.org/​c​e​r​t​i​f​i​c​a​t​i​o​n​/​e​x​a​m​-​c​h​a​n​g​e​s​/​p​m​i​-​a​c​p​.​aspx

  6. Vinay Reply


    What if I only have Agile experience and no waterfall or PMP related experience for which 2000 hours are allocated? I can show more than 3000 hours of Agile experience as I have been in agile shops ever since I joined the industry 3 years ago.


    1. Kelsey Garner Reply

      The requirement for experience as stated by PMI:

      •2,000 hours of general project experience working on teams. A current PMP® or PgMP® will satisfy this requirement but is not required to apply for the PMI-ACP.
      •1,500 hours working on agile project teams or with agile methodologies. This requirement is in addition to the 2,000 hours of general project experience.
      •21 contact hours of training in agile practices.

      The 2,000 hours of general project experience do NOT have to be on Waterfall or specifically non-Agile projects. You can log 2,000 of your hours as general project experience and then list 1500 hours of specifically Agile project team experience. At a minimum, you will have to have 3500 hours of project experience. If it is all Agile experience, that is fine.

      From the PMI-ACP handbook:

      General Project Experience
      Use the General Project Experience Worksheet in the application to record your general project experience. This includes time spent working on project teams regardless of the methodology. Record each project you worked on individually.

  7. Anu Reply


    I have 4-5 years of project management experience and is PRINCE2 practitioner and Scrum Master.I am on career break for last two years.I want to take up Agile certification now.How can I show my 1500 Agile project working to qualify for it. Please suggest.


  8. asif Reply

    Hi All,
    I applied for the PMP my application has been approved. I mentioned my 4500 hours from March 2013 to may 2016. I haven’t scheduled my PMP exam as of yet.

    Now, I want to apply for PMI-ACP exam. Can I use the 8 months from the above 3 years for 1500 hours of Agile methodology. I am still working on Agile and PROJECT management simultaneously.

    Please help.



    1. Kelsey Garner Reply

      Hi Asif,

      For the PMI-ACP, the 1500 hours can overlap with the 4500 for PMP.

  9. Mora Reply

    Hi, brand new, where does one log those hours or proof of work ?