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

May 24, 2018
Global Knowledge

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:

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.)


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