The new PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition and RMP Exam change – everything you need to know!

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Every five to seven years, the Project Management Institute (PMI)  performs a “Role Delineation Study (RDS)”. This is basically a big survey among Project and Risk Managers like you and me from around the world with the goal to identify what it is that we do on our projects. As a result of the most recent RDS, PMI now has a pretty accurate picture of the tasks that we Project and Risk Managers perform, as well as the knowledge and skills required for our job. PMI is currently working on the finalization of the PMBOK Guide 6th Edition (A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge – Sixth Edition). As announced by PMI, the PMBOK Guide 6 is expected to be published in September 2017.


So the PMBoK Guide is changing with some significant changes relevant to modern Risk Management practices, and to maintain standards. Here is what the PMI has stated*:

“As a result of the release of the PMBOK Guide – Sixth Edition in September 2017, the PMP exam will change soon. These updates will ensure the exam content is consistent with the PMBOK Guide.”

This appears (6 June) on their website, at: Coming Soon: PMP Exam Update


Why is The RMP Exam Changing?

PMI wants to ensure that the RMP Exam is an accurate reflection of the tasks, knowledge, and skills Risk Management professionals actually perform and need on a daily basis. If PMI  didn’t regularly add new methods and remove outdated ones, then RMP  aspirants like yourself would still be tested on obsolete tools and techniques that were used 30 years ago.

Here is an overview of the major changes that will happen:

Agile and other iterative practices

As some of us already heard there will be some new content to emphasize the importance and relevance of Agile and other iterative practices.

PMI Talent Triangle™

Will the new PMI Talent Triangle™ find its reflection in the upcoming PMBoK Guide Version? Of course!


Processes, Process Groups, and Knowledge Areas

The Process Groups and Knowledge areas remain the same in the Sixth Edition, although there is one Process concerning Risk Management:

Implement Risk Responses, which is part of the Executing Process Group and Project Risk Management knowledge area.

Also, the Control  Risks process is renamed to Monitor  Risks and a number of Inputs, Tools & Techniques and Outputs have changed.

The RMP Exam Structure Isn’t Changing

The RMP Exam is a computer-based exam. You have to answer 170 multiple-choice questions in 3,5 hours. There is no change in this aspect of the RMP Exam.


What PMI is stating after contacting Customer Care about RMP exam

I have contacted at the middle of June 2017 with the Customer Care of PMI in order to ask about the changes that might happen due to the PMBOK 6th edition. You can read my question and the answer of PMI at the below link:

Communication with PMI Customer Care


Why Getting RMP® Certified in 2017?

If you would like to get certified in 2017, you are highly advised to take action NOW as a kind of risk management:

  • the current edition of the PMBOK Guide and the exam are very familiar and aspirants can find lots of lessons learned and study resources/materials readily at their hands(i.e. no changes to the exam in 2017). As the PMBOK Guide is not changing until the 3rd quarter of the year and the exam will be based on the current PMBOK Guide version (i.e. PMBOK Guide 5) until 1st quarter of 2018 — there is still plenty of time to study and prepare for your exam based on the current exam version.
  • theRMP® Exam fee may see a hike in 2018 following the introduction of the new exam
  • the publishers of the RMP online courses and exam prep books may not be ready to release the update versions of their study resources with the introduction of the new RMP Exam. This will not happen for Human Asset courses because we already started to work in order to be ready for PMBOK 6th edition!


  • some of the previously highly recommended study resources/materials may not live up to expectation for the new exam as the depth of their understanding of the new exam. Also, may not be the same as before (owing to change of the authors/editors, etc.) — it would take more time to search for the best exam prep materials
  • major exam prep books will take time to get published — if you would like to get RMP certified in the first quarter of 2018, you may NOT even be able to find a book for your exam study and you would be forced to delay getting certified for 3 months or more
  • the exam prep courses may be more expensive!. This will not happen for Human Asset courses because we will keep our prices stable!


  • for the new exam version, all the exam prep books and mock exams will see a price increase FOR SURE (maybe over 15% or more) — if you begin now, you can lock in the current price level without worrying about requiring to spend more for the same title

Talking about the push factors:

  • lots of tried and tested exam preparation materials (based on PMBOK Guide 5) are around now, with many available for FREE — it really takes time to build up such a wealth of resources for the new RMP Exam version
  • according to many RMP aspirants, it usually takes around 2 – 3 months to complete the exam preparation — if you begin now, you will almost certainly get certified in 2017


  • don’t worry and take action, if you are qualified for the experience requirements, why not get the required 30 contact hours of Risk Management education right away? (as a bonus, the 30 contact hours are VALID FOREVER — meaning that you will not be required to take another Risk Management course even if the exam has changed).

Conclusion: Begin Your Preparation Now

The first step to success is BEGIN. If you don’t even try, your success rate is 0%.

If you are taking your RMP exam before January 1, 2018, you should continue to study from and prepare for your examination using the Fifth Edition of the PMBOK® Guide along with the examination content outline PMI makes available. If you are taking your exam after January 1, 2018, the RMP Exam will be changed and you should plan to study from and prepare for your examination using also the Sixth Edition of the PMBOK Guide.


Don’t worry too much if you have begun your preparation in 2017 but cannot finish it. The bottom line is: if you have understood PMBOK® Guide 5 well and you will find the structure of PMBOK Guide 6 very familiar — just learn several new project management processes and changes of the naming of the processes/knowledge areas. And as the RMP Exam is not just restricted to the PMBOK Guide only, your training, knowledge, and experience in Risk Management will still be useful for clearing the RMP Exam whatever the version of PMBOK Guide it is based on.

Note: “PMI”, “PMP”, and “PMBOK Guide” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.



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