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Introduction

Introduction

The PMP Examination Specification provides the basis for the PMP credentialing examination. Developed through a certification-industry standard practice, known as a Role Delineation Study, this Examination Specification provides the detail necessary for trainers to develop training materials, and serves as a guide to students as they focus their preparation studies.

The major function of the PMI credentialing program is to ensure competence and professionalism in the field of project management. Certification for individuals who lead and direct project tasks provides assurance that they have met specific criteria designed to ensure competence in the provision of services.

The development of a quality credentialing or licensing program must follow logically sound and legally defensible procedures based on psychometric literature and law. These principles and procedures are outlined in international standards such as ISO 17024 (Conformity Assessment—General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons) and in federal regulation (Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures) and manuals, such as Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (published by the American Educational Research Association, 1999). PMI’s credentialing examinations are developed with global processes aligned to these standards.

Before a content-valid examination is developed, the knowledge and skills necessary for competent practice in the profession must be determined. The process for identifying these competency areas is a role delineation, or job analysis, which serves as a blueprint for examination development. The role delineation also helps to determine the type of examination, such as written or practical, to be developed in order to assess competence.

The primary reason for conducting a role delineation study is to ensure the content validity of an examination. Content validity is the most commonly applied and accepted validation strategy for establishing certification programs today. In psychometric terms, validation is the way a test developer documents that the competence to be inferred from a test score is measured by the examination. A content-valid examination in project management, then, appropriately evaluates knowledge or skills required to function as a competent individual who leads and directs project tasks.

Thus, the role delineation study is an integral part of ensuring that an examination is content-valid and that the aspects of the project management profession covered on the examination reflect the tasks performed in practice settings. For both broad content areas and tasks, the study identified their importance, criticality, and frequency. These ratings play an important role in determining the content of the examination.

In the fall of 2004, four regional panels of project management experts assembled by the Project Management Institute (PMI) met with representatives of CASTLE Worldwide, Inc., to delineate the role of individuals who lead and direct project tasks. The panels met separately in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, and Buenos Aires to analyze this role in the four regions of the world; North America, Asia and the Pacific Rim, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and Central and South America, respectively. A fifth panel of experts met in Los Angeles to review the work of the four regional panels and to extract a single role delineation for global use. The fifth panel contained two representatives from each of the four regional panels, as well as individuals from each global region who had not participated in the earlier meetings.

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