PMI-ACP Certification: Everything You Need to Know

A Comprehensive Guide to Achieving the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner Certification

PMI-ACP Certification Overview

The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification, offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), is a globally recognized credential that demonstrates a professional’s expertise in agile practices and principles. This certification is ideal for project managers and team members who work in agile environments or those who want to adopt agile methodologies in their projects.

Key Features of PMI-ACP Certification

  1. Comprehensive Agile Knowledge: The PMI-ACP certification covers a wide range of agile methodologies, including Scrum, Kanban, Lean, Extreme Programming (XP), and Test-Driven Development (TDD). This breadth ensures that certified professionals have a holistic understanding of agile practices.
  2. Practical Focus: The PMI-ACP certification emphasizes practical application of agile principles and techniques. It requires candidates to demonstrate their experience and knowledge in real-world scenarios, making the certification highly relevant to day-to-day project management.
  3. Global Recognition: As a PMI certification, the PMI-ACP is recognized worldwide. It signals to employers that the holder is proficient in agile practices and capable of managing projects in dynamic, fast-paced environments.

Value of PMI-ACP Certification

  1. Increased Earning Potential: PMI-ACP-certified professionals often command higher salaries than their non-certified peers. This certification is seen as a mark of proficiency in agile practices, making certified individuals valuable assets to organizations that use or are transitioning to agile methodologies.
  2. Enhanced Career Opportunities: The PMI-ACP certification opens doors to a variety of career opportunities in agile project management. Certified professionals are often sought after for roles such as Agile Project Manager, Scrum Master, Agile Coach, and Product Owner.
  3. Validation of Agile Expertise: Earning the PMI-ACP certification validates a professional’s expertise in agile methodologies and their ability to implement agile practices effectively. It demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and professional development in agile project management.
  4. Adaptability and Flexibility: PMI-ACP-certified professionals are equipped to handle the complexities of modern project environments. Their knowledge of multiple agile frameworks allows them to choose the best approach for each project, enhancing their ability to deliver successful outcomes.
  5. Professional Recognition: The PMI-ACP certification is highly regarded within the project management community. It showcases a professional’s dedication to agile principles and their ability to lead and manage agile projects effectively.

The Impact of PMI-ACP Certification on Earning Potential and Job Competitiveness

Boosting Earning Potential

Obtaining the PMI-ACP certification can significantly increase your earning potential. According to industry salary surveys, PMI-ACP-certified professionals tend to earn higher salaries compared to their non-certified counterparts. This increase is attributed to the specialized knowledge and skills that certified individuals bring to their organizations. Additionally, the PMI-ACP certification is recognized globally, allowing certified professionals to command competitive salaries in various regions and sectors.

Enhancing Job Competitiveness

In today’s competitive job market, distinguishing yourself from other candidates is crucial. The PMI-ACP certification provides a distinct advantage by validating your expertise in agile practices. Employers prioritize candidates with PMI-ACP credentials because they have demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of agile methodologies and their application in real-world scenarios. This certification indicates that you possess the necessary skills to manage agile projects, foster collaboration, and deliver high-quality results.

Moreover, the rigorous process of obtaining the PMI-ACP certification, which includes passing a comprehensive exam and adhering to a strict code of ethics, showcases your dedication and professionalism. This commitment is highly regarded by employers who seek reliable and trustworthy individuals to lead their agile projects. As a result, PMI-ACP-certified professionals often find themselves with more job opportunities, career advancement prospects, and the ability to negotiate better employment terms.

Steps to Get Certified

1. Meet the Eligibility Requirements

Educational and Professional Experience:

  • General Project Experience: A minimum of 2,000 hours (12 months) of general project experience within the last five years. Candidates with an active PMP or PgMP certification are exempt from this requirement.
  • Agile Project Experience: A minimum of 1,500 hours (8 months) of experience working on agile project teams or with agile methodologies within the last three years. This is in addition to the 2,000 hours of general project experience.
  • Training in Agile Practices: 21 contact hours of training in agile practices.

2. Prepare for the Exam

Study Resources:

  • PMI-ACP Exam Content Outline: Review the PMI-ACP Exam Content Outline to understand the domains and tasks covered in the exam.
  • PMI-ACP Handbook: Read the PMI-ACP Handbook, which provides detailed information about the certification process and exam policies.
  • Training Courses: Enroll in PMI-ACP training courses offered by PMI Registered Education Providers (REPs) or other accredited training organizations.
  • Study Guides and Practice Exams: Utilize PMI-ACP study guides and practice exams to reinforce your knowledge and assess your readiness for the exam.

3. Apply for the Exam

Application Process:

  • Submit an Application: Create an account on the PMI website, complete the application, and submit your experience and training details. PMI will review your application and notify you of its status.
  • Payment: Pay the exam fee once your application is approved.

4. Schedule and Take the Exam

Exam Format:

  • Multiple-Choice Questions: The PMI-ACP exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions to be completed in three hours.
  • Scheduling: Schedule your exam at a Pearson VUE testing center or choose the online proctored option.

Exam Day:

  • Preparation: Arrive at the testing center or log in for your online exam with valid identification and any required documents.
  • Exam Completion: Complete the exam within the allotted time and submit your answers.

5. Maintain the Certification

Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR):

  • Professional Development Units (PDUs): Earn and report 30 PDUs in agile topics every three years to maintain your PMI-ACP certification.

PMI-ACP Relevant Education or Certifications Held

pmp certification

4 Yr College Degree or Equivalent

You can substitute a maximum of one year of work experience if you hold one of the following:

  • A four-year college degree or regional equivalent
  • An advanced degree in information security from the U.S. National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE)
pmp certification requirements

ISC2 Approved Credential

You can satisfy one year work experience if you hold one of the approved credentials on the ISC2 approved list.

ISC2 Approved Credential List

AWS Certified Security – Specialty
Certified in Governance, Risk and Compliance (CGRC)
Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
Certified Computer Examiner (CCE)
Certified Ethical Hacker v8 or higher
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
Certified Protection Professional (CPP) from ASIS
Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP)
Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP)
Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate/Professional
Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Security
Cisco Certified Network Associate Security (CCNA Security)
Cisco Certified Network Professional Security (CCNP Security)
CIW Web Security Professional
CIW Web Security Specialist
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)
CompTIA Security+
Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)
CSA Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)
EC-Council Certified Security Specialist (ECSS)
EC-Council Certified SOC Analyst (CSA)
GIAC Certified Enterprise Defender (GCED)
GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)
GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA)
GIAC Cyber Threat Intelligence (GCTI)
GIAC Global Industrial Cyber Security Professional (GICSP)
GIAC Information Security Fundamentals (GISF)
GIAC Information Security Professional (GISP)
GIAC Security Essentials Certificate (GSEC)
GIAC Security Leadership Certification (GSLC)
GIAC Strategic Planning, Policy, and Leadership (GSTRT)
GIAC Systems and Network Auditor (GSNA)
HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP)
Information Security Management Systems Lead Auditor (IRCA)
Information Security Management Systems Principal Auditor (IRCA)
Juniper Networks Certified Internet Expert (JNCIE-SEC)
Microsoft Identity and Access Management
Microsoft Security Operations Analyst
Microsoft Certified Cybersecurity Architect
Offensive Security Certified Professional/Expert (OSCP/E)
Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)

Ready to Get Started?

project management education

If your work experience and education meet the qualifications and requirements, we’d love to help you get started on your application and on the way to passing your exam by enrolling in one of our public PMI-ACP Boot Camp classes. We offer classes in over 20 cities and online, usually once a month.  Our instructor led courses cover all aspects of the examination as well as extremely helpful test taking strategies and exam simulators to make sure you are fully ready.

Frequently Asked Questions About PMI-ACP Certification

1. What is PMI-ACP certification?

Answer: PMI-ACP (PMI Agile Certified Practitioner) certification is a globally recognized credential awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI) that validates a professional’s expertise in agile methodologies and practices.

2. What are the eligibility requirements for the PMI-ACP certification?

Answer: To qualify for the PMI-ACP certification, candidates must have 2,000 hours of general project experience, 1,500 hours of agile project experience, and 21 contact hours of training in agile practices.

3. Can I take the PMI-ACP exam before meeting the work experience requirement?

Answer: No, you must meet the experience requirements before applying for and taking the PMI-ACP exam.

4. How do I prepare for the PMI-ACP exam?

Answer: Preparation for the PMI-ACP exam involves reviewing the PMI-ACP Exam Content Outline, reading the PMI-ACP Handbook, enrolling in training courses, and using study guides and practice exams.

5. What topics are covered in the PMI-ACP exam?

Answer: The PMI-ACP exam covers seven domains: Agile Principles and Mindset, Value-Driven Delivery, Stakeholder Engagement, Team Performance, Adaptive Planning, Problem Detection and Resolution, and Continuous Improvement (Product, Process, People).

6. How is the PMI-ACP exam structured?

Answer: The PMI-ACP exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions to be completed in three hours.

7. What is the passing score for the PMI-ACP exam?

Answer: PMI does not disclose the passing score for the PMI-ACP exam. Candidates receive a pass/fail result based on the overall performance.

8. How do I register for the PMI-ACP exam?

Answer: You can register for the PMI-ACP exam by creating an account on the PMI website, completing the application, submitting your experience and training details, and paying the exam fee once your application is approved.

9. What is the cost of the PMI-ACP exam?

Answer: The cost of the PMI-ACP exam varies depending on whether you are a PMI member or non-member. Check the latest fee structure on the PMI website.

10. What should I bring to the exam center on the exam day?

Answer: On exam day, bring a valid government-issued photo ID and any other documents required by the testing center. Check the exam confirmation details for specific instructions.

11. How long does it take to receive my exam results?

Answer: Exam results are available immediately after completing the exam. You will receive a pass/fail result on the screen, and detailed results are available in your PMI account.

12. How do I maintain my PMI-ACP certification?

Answer: To maintain your PMI-ACP certification, you must earn and report 30 Professional Development Units (PDUs) in agile topics every three years.

13. What are acceptable PDUs for maintaining PMI-ACP certification?

Answer: Acceptable PDUs include attending relevant training courses, webinars, conferences, teaching agile practices, and participating in professional organizations.

14. Can the PMI-ACP certification help in career advancement?

Answer: Yes, the PMI-ACP certification is highly regarded and can lead to advanced career opportunities in agile project management, higher earning potential, and increased job competitiveness.

These FAQs provide a comprehensive overview of what candidates need to know about earning and maintaining the PMI-ACP certification, helping them navigate the process with confidence.