By Marcia L Ingino, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA, CBAP

If you are thinking about earning the Project Management Professional, or PMP® certification, you may have heard about changes coming to the test in the near future. You may be wondering how this will affect the LeaderQuest PMP® certification prep courses in the next few months. Or maybe you’re wondering if you should delay taking a project management course until next year. I will now try to demystify these changes.

Should I Wait to Take a Project Management Course?

As the instructor and content provider of the PMP® prep course, I am watching and keeping up with the changes to the exam as they are released in real-time. During this period of transition, I will keep students updated and apprised of the changes when students take the project management course. There is no need to “delay” taking the course or worry about the changes.

Remember the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification is the most important and valuable industry-recognized certification for project managers. The PMP® certification demonstrates that you understand the global language of project management and allows you to network with professionals, organizations, and experts worldwide. The terminology in the project management world is constantly changing and being updated. This has been true since the PMP® the certification was created in 1984. These changes are not intended to cause challenges to obtaining the PMP® cert, but keep the certification relevant.

What is Changing with PMP® Certification?

The main thing that you need to understand is that there are two types of changes coming in early 2016.

The first type of changes involves the Role Delineation Study (RDS). Changes to the RDS provide an updated description of the project management professional role which included updates to domains, tasks, knowledge, and skills. The RDS serves as the foundation for the PMP® certification exam and ensures its validity and relevance. Exam changes caused by the update to the RDS will cause a new version of the PMP® exam to be administered after January 11, 2016. What does this mean to you?

There are minor changes to the exam content outline. The weighting of the exam topics will be changing. Changes to the RDS introduce new topics to the exam. A summary of the tasks being added is shown below:

  • Initiating – 3 tasks added
  • Planning -1 task added
  • Executing – 2 tasks added
  • Monitoring and Controlling – 2 tasks added
  • Closing – No new tasks added

All of the LeaderQuest Project Management classes taught from this month forward will include the changes listed above so that students can be ready for the new PMP® exam.

The second type of change involves the creation of a new version of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide. The current version is the PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition. The Project Management Institute (PMI) is currently in the process of developing the PMBOK® Guide—Sixth Edition. The PMBOK® Guide is the leading global standard for project management. The PMBOK® Guide contains the processes that project management experts agree are necessary for most projects in most environments. The PMBOK® Guide reflects the evolving knowledge within the profession. Processes are presented by Process Group and Knowledge Area. Publication of the PMBOK® Guide—Sixth Edition is expected in Q3 2017.

Changes to the PMBOK® Guide may cause project management terminology and process group changes. The new exam will not go into effect until several months after the release of the new PMBOK®, therefore the LeaderQuest PMP® certification Prep Course will be changed in plenty of time before the date of the exam changes. Also, remember that the PMP® course is based on other references other than the PMBOK® Guide.  Therefore, the prep course has a great deal of content that will not be changing.

Given that the exact date of the sixth edition of PMBOK® Guide is not known, the exact date for project management course changes cannot be determined at this time. These changes will go into effect in the same month that the new guide is released to ensure that students are ready to take the new PMP® exam when it goes into effect.


As you plan to earn the PMP® certification, you will be prepared for the changes coming to the test in the near future. You can be assured that the LeaderQuest PMP® preparation courses will be updated at the appropriate times in the next few months, and you should not delay taking a PMP® prep course. I hope this helps you to understand the changes to the PMP® exam and I hope to meet the project managers that are wanting to earn their PMP® certification in the future! If you are not sure whether you need a PMP® prep course, read on here.