PMP vs PMI ACP [Ultimate Comparison 2023]


Are you trying to understand the difference between PMP VS PMI ACP? Here’s the most resourceful expert comparison between them. If you want to get certification on any of them, you must understand about them correctly. Well, that our main goal from this particular article. Let’s check it out.

PMP (Project Management Professional) and ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) are two of the most sought-after certifications in the project management industry. Both certificates are important for your career as a certified PMP. However, there is a difference between these two certifications.

The difference between PMP and PMI-ACP is simple. PMP is focused on conventional project management and has opportunities to be used in all kinds of projects. Contrarily, PMI-ACP is more focused on agile methodology for undertaking a project. So, it’s okay to say that PMP is a superset of the PMI-ACP since ACP is solely focused on the Agile approach.

It’s safe to assume that PMP is the superset between PMP vs PMI-ACP certifications because PMP covers a variety of domain areas, and that includes the agile approach as well. If you’re confused about PMP vs. Agile, then in this article, I’m going to show you everything you need to know about the two so that you can make the best decision.

What is PMI and ACP?

PMI – Project Management Institute:

PMI is an abbreviation for the Project Management Institute, a global organization that serves as the foundation of project management knowledge and skills. It founded in 1969 and has evolved into a thriving professional community with over 500,000 members worldwide.

But what exactly does PMI do? PMI’s fundamental mission is to advance project management practice. It achieves this through a variety of mechanisms, including:

  • PMI creates and maintains the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), a guide that specifies best practices, procedures, and processes in project management.
  • Certifications: PMI provides a variety of certifications that confirm project managers’ abilities and expertise.
  • The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is widely acknowledged and highly esteemed in the industry, making it the most prominent credential.
  • Networking: PMI facilitates networking, cooperation, and experience exchange among project professionals through local chapters, online groups, and events.
  • PMI conducts research and produces papers, journals, and books that promote project management theory and practice.

In essence, PMI is the lighthouse that illuminates the route for project managers, guiding them through the intricacies of their roles with knowledge, support, and a global network of peers.

ACP – Agile Certified Practitioner:

Let’s set sail towards ACP, which stands for Agile Certified Practitioner. The PMI ACP certification is one of several certificates designed exclusively for professionals actively engaged in agile project management.

Agile techniques have grown in favor in recent years due to their adaptability and efficacy in project management, notably in the IT industry.

The ACP certification validates a person’s knowledge of agile concepts and practices. It incorporates a diverse array of agile methodologies, including Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and Extreme Programming (XP). Here are some of the reasons why ACP is a gold mine for project managers:

  • Versatility: ACP holders possess the capability to lead and manage projects using agile approaches, rendering them versatile assets in various industries.
  • Competitive Advantage: The ACP certification distinguishes professionals and shows dedication to staying current in project management trends in a competitive work market.
  • Risk Mitigation: Agile techniques stress early delivery and ongoing improvement, lowering the risk of project failure and assuring customer satisfaction.
  • Adaptability: ACPs excel at adapting to change, a crucial skill in a world where uncertainty is the only constant.

In essence, ACP acts as a compass in the agile sea, leading project managers through the turbulent waves of rapid change and innovation.

PMI-ACP VS PMP: Which is better PMP or PMI-ACP?

All PMI certifications are highly valuable in the project management industry. However, PMP certified professionals are required to have 7500 hours or 5 years equivalent experience as a team leader on different kinds of project. You can say that it covers all the aspects of project management.

However, the time lessens significantly to 4500 hours or 3 years of experience if you possess a bachelor’s degree or more. So, not only would you lead the project, but you would be equally responsible for controlling and regulating all its aspects.

Also Read: PMP Exam Passing Score

Oppositely, PMI-ACP certifies an aspirant who is proficient and experienced in using Agile methodologies. To become a PMI-ACP, you need to exhibit 2000 hours of experience working on different projects. Moreover, you need to show 1500 hours of time delved into projects using Agile methodology and finish a contact training program of 21 hours.

In recent times, PMI-ACP is getting more acceptance among employers in the technological space. This means, as a project manager with a PMI-ACP certification, potential employers will highly evaluate your credibility in the tech industry to run a project efficiently throughout its lifecycle.

PMP vs PMI-ACP: What are the Differences in Roles?

Both PMP and PMI-ACP work as managers in their respective projects but in different capacities. Then again, it greatly depends on the current demands of the organization. If your organization is looking for a qualified and experienced Project Manager, then PMP is the right certification.

Check Also: How Difficult is the PMP Exam

In such cases, a PMP certification presents you with the capacity of end-to-end coordination, control, and regulation of a project. Plus, it establishes the ground that you possess the knowledge and experience to handle different kinds of project management methodologies used by the organization.

On the other hand, PMI-ACP is very essential in an organization that strictly deals with every project using Agile methodology. The Agile approach is flexible and dynamic.

It is a good fit for the tech industries. Most tech companies prefer to use Agile over other methodologies because of significant leverages over others. So, if your organization demands a manager with Agile expertise and experience, PMI-ACP is the way to go for you.

Also Know: Benefits of PMP Certifications

As a PMI-ACP, your role requires you to understand all the Agile methodology tools and focus on adapting to the changes and preferences of the project, proper coordination with the rest of the team, and more.

PMP vs. PMI-ACP: What are Differences in Exam Pattern?

PMP Certification exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. 25 of these questions are considered as pre-test questions whose marks are not included with the final score. Your total time to answer 200 questions is 4 hours or 240 minutes. You can attend the exam from the online platform only.

Read Now: Free PMP Exam Simulator for Beginners

PMI-ACP Certification exam consists of 120 multiple choice questions, from which 20 questions are given as pre-test questions. The marks of the pre-test questions are not added with the final score. Also, your time limit to answer the 120 questions is 1 hour or 60 minutes. You can attend the exam from an online platform or physically on pen and paper.

Our Free PMP & PMI Question Sets

PMP vs PMI-ACP: What are Differences in Course Content?

PMP certification comprises a comprehensive exam covering all 5 process groups of a project lifecycle and the 9 knowledge areas. To learn more about the PMP certification course, check out the PMP exam syllabus. The exam is comprehensive as you will know it from the exam time and the number of questions you need to attend.

PMI-ACP certification is solely focused on the PMBOK Guide. According to the given outline, the course consists of 7 domain areas that are necessary to pass the Agile Certified Practitioner exam.

Besides, the PMI-ACP aspirants also need to learn about Agile Tools and Technologies to master the PMI-ACP exam. To know more, you can check the PMI-ACP syllabus.

PMP vs. PMI-ACP: What are the Requirements for Eligibility?

PMP vs PMI Requirements

Both PMP and PMI-ACP exams offer different requirements in terms of study materials, job position, exam pattern, and more. So, there is a contrast in the eligibility of the two certifications.

PMP Requirements

  1. Must have 7500 hours or 5 years of working experience in a project manager role for individuals with a High School Diploma degree.
  2. Candidates Must have 4500 hours or 3 years of working experience in a project manager role for individuals with a bachelor’s degree or better.
  3. Must complete a 35-hour training on project management under a Registered Education Provider that is certified by PMI.

Check Out: How to Fill Up PMP Application?

PMI-ACP Requirements

  1. Must carry 2000 hours of regular project management experience in a managerial capacity.
  2. All Candidates must carry 1500 hours of dedicated experience on project management on Agile methodologies.
  3. Must complete a 21-hour training program on Agile practices.


On considering all the contrasting points on PMP vs PMI ACP, it is fair to conclude that certification choice depends on the career plan and on the track he/she is applying. As a part of these certifications, you will learn invaluable concepts such as – interpersonal skills, conflict relationships, time management, risk management, and much more.

So, it’s only fair to say – what one wants to get into is what can help decide which certification to go for. If are still having issues understanding, please read PMP vs PMI ACP comparison again. You will get it, and can decide which one will be best for you.


Take the Next Step – Register for PMP