PMI logo. The Project Management Institute (PMI) publishes standards related to project management and manages certification. Its headquarters are in Newtown Square, outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Overview PMI, founded by five volunteers and incorporated in 1969, has published a number of standards related to PM skills, and manages several levels of certification. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge is currently in its third edition, and is the only ANSI standard for managers. The levels of certification are (CAPM), (PMP), (PgMP) and the latter being more advanced.
Membership As of 2006, PMI reported over 220,010 members and over 180,000 PMP certificants in 175 countries. There are more than 250 local PMI chapters located in 67 countries, and 30 Specific Interest Groups (SIGs).
Certification Over 44,000 PMI certification expire annually; a PMP must document ongoing experience and education every three years to keep their certification current. This experience and education is measured in Professional Development Units (or PDU’s) and can be earned from a variety of sources (such as taking or teaching classes focused on the PM discipline).
Not For Profit Status The PMI is self-described as a “not-for-profit” organization. It has been widely questioned if it was established and is currently maintained for the betterment of the PM discipline or for profit. PMI attaches fees to various activities related to acquiring and maintaining the PMP certification (e.g. membership fees, certification fees, materials revenue, class fees, etc.) however there does not seem to be any corresponding monetary outlays related to same. As hinted at above, even the instructors for various classes are volunteers who are paid in the form of PDU’s. This free labor allow the PMI to enjoy significant and continuing streams of income with minimal expenses.
Operational Goals It has been argued that if the organization does exist for the betterment of the PM discipline, it would make its materials (namely, the PMBOK) available free of charge. Instead, it is copyrighted and fees are charged to obtain it (whether directly or indirectly through joining as a paying member of the PMI).
To generate even more demand for the certification, the PMI is pushing an initiative to the professional sector: all project managers should be PMP certified. As firms adopt this ‘ideal’, they are pushing current and prospective employees to get the accreditation.