Why is PMI-ACP Certification Important?


Lately, I would like to share my views on the most debated certifications on agile methods, depending on experience and observations.

Many different institutions around the world offer agile methods and certification programs for Scrum, the most common of these methods. We may list the most popular ones as follows.

  • Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • Scrum.org
  • Scrum Alliance

PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner): The ACP certificate issued by PMI is a certification to consolidate and measure information on agile approaches and methods.

Although it is not quite right to say exactly which of these three institutions are more important and valid, I think ACP certification is one step ahead because of PMI’s reputation and credibility.

While the ACP certificate addresses all of the agile methods, other certifications are specific to only certain agile methods. One of the important differences that distinguish ACP certification from others is that PMI institutions seek specific prerequisites for candidates who want to be certified.

21 hours of “Agile Project Management” training from a training organization. You can enroll in this PMI ACP Training to satisfy this requirement.
2000-hour general project experience over the last 5 years
1500 hours of agile project experience in the last 3 years
An ACP certificate can be obtained by a PMI accredited testing institute with a minimum of 80% success after a 3-hour exam consisting of 120 questions (indicated by some sources even though this is not disclosed by PMI).

Unlike other certifications; The ACP certification has a 3-year validity period and PMI certificate holders are evolving themselves and bringing a certificate renewal process based on their learning.

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In summary; There are basically two major reasons why PMI-ACP certification takes precedence over other certifications for professionals involved in agile methods.

PMI is given by an institution with a high level of validity and awareness.
PMI-ACP certification exams and trainings are prepared by professionals who are expert in various agile based methods (XP, Lean, Kanban, DSDM, FDD, Scrum, …). A single agile method, such as Scrum.org or the Scrum Alliance, is a non-binding certification.