Have you ever been curious about the distinctions between PMP and PMI-ACP certifications?

It’s a question that comes up frequently, particularly among working professionals who want to develop their careers. You might be wondering why there is such a buzz around these credentials.

For starters, the Project Management Institute (PMI) indicated that organisations are increasingly acknowledging the value of project management. In fact, by 2027, employers will require approximately 88 million people to have project management responsibilities.

With such high demand, it’s no surprise that credentials such as PMP (Project Management Professional) and PMI-ACP (PMI Agile Certified Practitioner) are gaining popularity.

 But here’s the catch: which one is right for you? 

This blog aims to provide you with all the facts, helping you understand the difference between PMP and PMI-ACP certification.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

The PMP certification is the gold standard for project management. It is a globally recognised credential that demonstrates a project manager’s ability to lead and direct projects across several industries.

Here are the Pros and Cons of PMP:

the Pros and Cons of PMP


1. Broad Applicability

The PMP framework applies to a variety of project management methodologies, including traditional, agile, and hybrid approaches. The framework is deliberately built to be extremely versatile, allowing it to be integrated into a wide range of project management approaches. 

This versatility is especially useful in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing corporate landscapes, as project managers may need to negotiate traditional, agile, and hybrid project contexts. 

2. Enhanced Credibility

Aside from its practical applicability in various project management methodologies, the PMP certification is a mark of distinction that indicates a professional’s dedication to career growth and commitment to meeting an industry-recognised level of excellence. 

Achieving PMP certification requires a rigorous examination procedure that assesses a candidate’s knowledge and application of project management principles. Employers frequently see a PMP certification as proof of an individual’s skill in managing complicated projects, resulting in increased trust in the professional world. 

3. Increased Earning Potential

The benefits of holding a PMP certification extend to financial incentives as well. This is owing to the high demand for competent and accredited project managers in industries around the world, as well as the recognition of the value they add to organisations through their thorough understanding of project management processes. 

As a result, PMP-certified project managers generally command greater wages than their non-certified counterparts, indicating the enhanced value of their certification in their employment.


1. Time Commitment

The process of acquiring a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification requires a significant investment of time and effort. Candidates seeking this certification must first meet certain qualifications, which include particular experience and educational requirements. 

These prerequisites ensure that applicants have adequate knowledge of project management procedures before sitting for the exam. The PMP exam, which lasts nearly four hours and covers a wide range of project management topics, demonstrates the certification’s discipline.

2. Focus on Traditional Project Management

While the PMP certification covers a wide range of project management concepts, including agile principles, it is worth noting that its primary focus is on traditional project management approaches. This focus reflects the PMP’s origins and goal of establishing a standardised body of knowledge in project management. 

3. Renewal Requirements

Keeping a current PMP certification demands ongoing professional development. The Project Management Institute (PMI) requires PMP-certified professionals to complete a specific number of Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years to renew their certification. 

This requirement is intended to guarantee that PMP holders keep up with changing approaches to project management and continue to improve their skills. 

The PMI-ACP Certification

The PMI-ACP certification is designed exclusively for project managers working within the Agile project management framework. It demonstrates your ability to lead and deliver projects utilising iterative, adaptive methodologies such as Scrum, Kanban, and Lean.

Here are the Pros and Cons of PMI-ACP Certification:

Pros and Cons of PMI-ACP Certification


1. Agile Expertise

The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification is a testament to a professional’s proficiency and knowledge in agile processes, an area of work that has experienced a sharp increase in industry usage. 

It equips professionals to meet the dynamic demands of modern project management by teaching them how to effectively navigate the difficulties and quick changes that come with working in agile project environments. 

2. Increased Demand

The increasing demand for agile methodologies in project management has increased the need for experts who can not only understand these practices but also apply them successfully. PMI-ACP certification is highly regarded because employers are looking for agile practitioners who can guide teams through the complexities of agile projects.

3. Shorter Exam

A noticeable advantage of choosing the PMI-ACP certification is the comparatively shorter exam duration. Compared to the four-hour PMP examination, the three-hour PMI-ACP exam is less intimidating.

For some candidates, this feature makes the PMI-ACP exam seem more manageable, which could lessen exam-related anxiety and preparation time.


1. Limited Scope

However, the PMI-ACP certification comes with its own set of limitations. It does not go as thoroughly into traditional project management concepts because its main focus is on agile project management approaches, even if it covers a wide range of agile operations. 

Its application to professionals working in contexts requiring a more thorough understanding of both traditional and agile approaches may be limited due to this focus. 

2. Less Recognised

Despite its growing acceptance and recognition, the PMI-ACP certification does not yet enjoy the same level of worldwide recognition as the PMP certification. The PMP has become the de facto global standard for project management, accepted in all nations and industries.

Even if the PMI-ACP is becoming more popular, particularly among businesses that have embraced agile approaches, it might not be as well-known or respected in other professional settings. 

Which One is Better? 

The answer genuinely relies on your project management background and career objectives. Here is a brief guide to assist in your decision:

Which One is Better- PMI-ACP and PMP

Essential PMP Certification Preparation Tools

Jumpstart your PMP exam preparation with these essential resources tailored to help you succeed:

PMP Exam Prep Course: With our extensive PMP Exam Prep Course, you may go deeply into every exam topic.
PMP Real Practice Exams: Test your knowledge with our PMP Real Practice Exams, which are made to replicate the real exam setting.
PMP Flashcards: Use our helpful PMP Flashcards to quickly review important topics and ideas.
PMP Weekly Quiz: Use our  PMP Weekly Quiz to stay on top of things and evaluate your progress.

Boost Your PMI-ACP Exam Preparation with Key Resources

Enhance your PMI-ACP exam preparation with these essential study tools that will help you prepare as much as possible:

PMI-ACP Exam Prep Course: With the help of our PMI-ACP Exam Prep Course, you can acquire a thorough understanding of agile practices and principles.
PMI-ACP Real Practice Exams: Use our PMI-ACP Real Practice Exams to assess your readiness and familiarise yourself with the exam style.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s go over some frequently asked questions from working professionals about PMP vs PMI-ACP certification.

1: Can I hold both PMP and PMI-ACP certifications?

Of course! Having both certifications can greatly increase your employability and appeal to businesses across a range of industries.

2. Where can I take these certification exams?

Both exams are offered by PMI and can be taken at designated testing centres or online.

3. Do I need a PMP to get a PMI-ACP?

No, a PMP certification is not a prerequisite for obtaining the PMI-ACP. However, holding a PMP can fulfil part of the experience requirement for the PMI-ACP exam.


We hope that this blog has helped you understand the distinctions, pros, and cons of the PMP and PMI-ACP certifications.

Whichever approach you prefer—traditional project management methods or agile methods—both certificates provide avenues for improving your career and growing your possibilities.

Ready to take your project management skills to the next level? Enquire now to learn more about how we can help you on your journey.

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