Prerequisites for CAPM® and PMP® certification

Formal prerequisites

Before you embark on your CAPM® or PMP® journey, you should ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria of the PMI® outlined below. (If you book for one of these exam prep courses, you’ll get help with the preparation of your documentation for the PMI®.)

The prerequisites are as follows:

Prerequisites for CAPM®
  • Secondary qualification (e.g. matric or equivalent) plus 1,500 hours of project experience


  • 23 hours of project management education completed by the time you take the exam
Prerequisites for PMP®
  • Secondary qualification (e.g. matric or equivalent)
  • 7,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of Project Management education


  • Four-year degree
  • 4,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of Project Management education

PMI® Exam Audit

The PMI® sometimes checks the credentials of people who enter the PMI® certification process. If you get asked to submit additional evidence, this doesn’t mean that they suspect you’re cheating; the PMI® randomly audits PMI® candidates. Just be sure that what you claim about yourself is true, and have the relevant evidence handy to support your claims.

Additional logical prerequisites

What this means and why it’s important

Although it’s possible to pass the exam without meeting the additional logical prerequisites—and many people do—your studies and certification won’t be very meaningful if you don’t meet these requirements as well.

The additional logical prerequisites are things that should be in place or in motion if you intend to actually use the knowledge which will be tested in your PMP® exam—as opposed to getting a piece of paper and being unable to implement anything.

The additional logical prerequisites fall into two categories: those which lie beyond your span of control, and those which lie within your span of control.

Beyond your span of control

The things which lie beyond your direct control are environmental. Project Management (as envisaged by the PMI®) is an organisational discipline. You can only effectively use or start introducing the processes described in the PMBOK® Guide if you are working in an enabled Project Management environment. If you don’t already work in such an environment and you want to drive the changes needed to create it, you’d need to be in charge of everything: typically, you’d have to be the CEO. If you’re not in charge, you may be able to influence change to some extent (e.g. if you have a good relationship with the boss and other senior roleplayers). But without effective authority, you wouldn’t be able to drive the changes needed. Creating an enabled Project Management environment takes time and much wisdom.

Within your span of control

What does lie largely within your span of control is the ability to develop and nurture are the characteristics described in the Project Manager Competency Development (PMCD) Framework of the PMI®. According to the PMCD Framework, these characteristics include advanced business writing skills, in particular in the creation and maintenance of documents such as the Scope of Work and Risk Register. It also includes the ability to schedule projects using appropriate software (such as Microsoft Project). Besides these Performance competencies, there are also key Personal competencies (such as critical thinking and professionalism), which are essential for project, programme and portfolio managers.

How to develop the competencies in all three dimensions of the PMCD Framework

The PMCD Framework explains what competence means, but it doesn’t explain how to get there. Exam preparation courses do not make provision for competency development. Our Web site provides many articles and a video on how to develop your Project Manager Competency in all three dimensions. All of the modules of our Practical Certification Programme in Project Management (PCP), as well as our custom programmes for teams, are designed to work towards PMCD requirements.

If you have your heart set on going for your PMP® in the near future, we recommend at least doing the online Project Management Concepts course first, to meet some of the logical prerequisites for being a true Project Management professional.

Here’s why.

PMP, CAPM and PMBOK are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
PRINCE2® is a registered Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited. The Swirl Logo™ is a Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited.
All PRINCE2® courses on this site are offered by Accredited Courses Africa (Pty) Ltd.

Tania Melnyczuk

Tania is the Director of Programme Design at and the Collaboration Director of the Autistic Strategies Network. She also works as a project specialist at Marius Cloete Moulds, and as a professional artist specialising in ballpoint and multimedia.


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