What Is the Difference Between PMP and PgMP?

Although they’re both credentials issued by the PMI, there are many differences between the PMP and the PgMP, including:

  • The PMP stands for Project Management Professional, the PgMP stands for Program Management Professional.
  • The PMP is credential sought by Project Managers, the PgMP is a credential sought by Program Managers.
  • The eligibility for the PgMP are much steeper than the eligibility for the PMP (more than double the experience years and hours).
  • The PMP credential is about meeting the eligibility requirements and passing the PMP exam, while for the PgMP, it’s about meeting the eligibility requirements, passing the panel review (which is a verification process of your Program Management experience), passing the PgMP exam, and finally passing the Multi-rater Assessment (MRA), which is an online evaluation survey, that you and 12 of reference contacts (your references) have to take.
  • There are as many as 360,000 PMP practitioners, while there are only 400 PgMP practitioners.
  • The fees for the PgMP certificate are (on average) 4 times more than those of the PMP credential.

As you can see from the above, the PgMP is a much more exclusive credential than the PMP, with so much less certified people, and a (much) more complicated process. It is way easier to become a PMP than to become a PgMP, yet the trouble for the latter is definitely worth it if you’re a Program Manager with the necessary experience seeking a career boost. In case we don’t have a change in PMI’s strategy, the PgMP will remain a credential sought by many and earned by only a select few, who really deserve to be called Program Managers.

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