Recently, I've been a bit vocal about my concerns of the volume of people getting the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification. I often ask if quality is being sacrificed in order to certify more people. Don't get me wrong, if being a PMP means you are a "quality" project manager, I think the more the merrier. But, what if more PMPs means the Project Management Institute (PMI) doesn't have the necessary people to conduct proper audits? I decided this question warranted a telephone call to PMI. Though they would not give specific numbers, they stated
The number of audits have remained consistent over the last few years
Ah-ha! Just the incriminating statement I was expecting, to support my theory! Clearly the increased rate of people getting certified would mean a lower percentage were being audited. Since numbers don't lie, I went back as far as I could and compiled the monthly PMP certification rate. September 2006 was the earliest (easily accessible) date I could find.
Once I charted all of the data to date (June 2010), I was left scratching my head. With the exception of June and July of 2009, the rate has been relatively consistent.
Average certifications per month (2006-2010): 4,401
Average certifications per month (2010): 4,350
Highest certification rate (June 2009): 13,920
Lowest certification rate (July 2009): 689
In reality, the average number of people getting the PMP certification is down in 2010.
Have I judged PMI unfairly? Is the quality of the certification the same as it ever was?