What is the difference between the PMP and ACP exams?

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PMP test and ACP test belong to the PMI test, the test time, registration time, and so on are basically the same. However, the differences between the two are quite big. Although they are both certification exams for project management, compared with PMP, ACP exam focuses more on the ability of project managers to adapt to changes quickly, which is also known as agile management.

Introduction to the exam

PMP: PMP (Project Management Professional) certification is a global certification system for Project managers launched by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in the United States. Since 1984, PMI has been committed to comprehensive development and maintains a rigorous, exam-based expert qualification certification program to advance the project management industry and recognize individual achievements in project management.

PMP certification has been carried out in China since 1999. The Training Center of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs is authorized by PMI to be responsible for the registration and examination organization of PMP certification in China. The PMP certification is conducted in two ways (qualification examination) to determine whether the applicant will be awarded a PMP certificate.

ACP exam: The PMI-ACP exam is a test for Agile project management that was introduced by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in 2011. After years of investigation, PMI found that the requirements of many projects are constantly changing. With a team with less than 10 members, the previous thinking of “making plans before doing things” simply makes it impossible to push the project. Therefore, PMI advocates an Agile approach to managing projects that are full of change and has officially launched PMI Agile Certified (PMI-ACP) certification since 2011, which gives project managers the ability to react to changes quickly. The PMI-ACP certification validates a practitioner’s ability to understand, apply agile principles, and put them into practice on a project.

PMP Examination Registration Requirements

  1. Candidates must have more than 35 hours of project management training experience covering ten knowledge areas in the project management body of knowledge.
  2. Applicants must have one of the following two conditions:
  • Applicants should possess a bachelor’s degree or above, required by the applicant in the application of six years, has at least 4500 hours of project management experience, which include the five project management process groups (start process, plan, implementation process, control process, and finishing process), the cumulative participating in project management for at least 36 months.
  • Applicants do not have a bachelor’s degree or the following: required by the applicant in the application of eight years, at least 7500 hours of project management experience, which include the five project management process groups (start process, plan, implementation process, control process and finishing process), the cumulative participating in project management for at least 60 months.

Note: when the number of project management months is accumulated, the overlapping months of each project cannot be counted twice.

Registration requirements for the ACP exam

  1. Educational background: Secondary education (high school diploma, associate degree, global equivalent, or above)
  2. General Project Experience: 2000 hours of project work (12 months) within the first 5 years from the application date
  3. Agile project experience: 1500 hours (8 months) of Agile work in the project team in the first 3 years from the application date, in addition to the 2000 hours of normal project experience
  4. Agile Practice Training: 21 hours of training in Agile Practice

To sum up, the ACP exam requires practitioners to understand and practice agile management principles and practices in project work, while the PMP certificate requires practitioners to demonstrate the ability to lead and guide project teams.

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