Hi there! If you were looking for the most comprehensive guide on the PMI-PBA certification exam and its requirements, you are on the right page.
At the end of the reading, you’ll gain a clear understanding of PMI-PBA certification and the process of obtaining and maintaining it.
In other words, you will become aware of:
So, let’s dive in!
What Is PMI-PBA Certification?
The PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PBA) certification is one of the Project Management Institute (PMI)® highly credible certifications for the project management professionals, business analysts, or those specialized in requirements management or product development within the project teams.
It emphasizes the professionals’ skills and knowledge in program management, the competency to perform business analysis and uncover the stakeholders’ business requirements.
The PMI-PBA certification is designed to help successful applicants leverage the principles of business analysis to achieve the desired results in a specific business case.
What are the Benefits of PMI-PBA Certification?
PMI-PBA certification holder becomes a top-rated business analysis professional capable of working in any business industry around the globe.
The PMI-PBA certification is highly valued by hiring managers of the top organizations; thus, a certified professional in business analysis will have a chance to expand his career opportunities.
Statistically, after getting the PMI-PBA certification, the salary of these prospective professionals increases significantly.
Last but not least, while taking practice exams and preparing for the certification exam, the candidates will strengthen their skills and knowledge on business management in an agile environment, business analysis, and requirements elicitation.
PMI-PBA Certification Eligibility Requirements
Before moving on to the application process, it is essential to ensure that the candidate meets the PBA certification eligibility criteria.
The eligible applicants should have either of the following academic and professional credentials:
- Holding a secondary degree (being graduated from an associate’s degree program, or having a high school diploma or a global equivalent degree).
- Having at least 60 months of work experience as a business analyst over the past eight years.
- Having at least 35 completed contact hours of business analysis education.
- Having at least a bachelor’s degree (or holding a global equivalent degree).
- Having at least 36 months of work experience as a business analyst over the past eight years.
- Having at least 35 completed contact hours of business analysis education.
- Having at least a bachelor’s degree (or holding a global equivalent degree) from a program accredited by “The Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC).”
- Having at least 24 months of work experience as a business analyst.
- Having at least 35 completed contact hours of education (the completed GAC course assignments may automatically fulfill the requirement).
PMI-PBA Exam Application Process
Those who meet the eligibility requirements are free to commence the application process.
The applications are submitted via an online certification system.
The application form includes contact information, education, and professional development (including working hours, general project experience, business analysis experience, and reference list).
Notably, the candidates will have 90 days to finish their application and are free to edit the entered information before the final submission.
However, to fill the application in a single session, it is recommended to have all the needed documents and information before initiating the process.
During this whole period, the PMI team will send you email reminders to complete the application.
So, candidates should make sure to enter a valid email address in the application form.
Application review process
After receiving the completed application, the PMI team checks for the validity of the provided information and the candidate’s eligibility for the PMI-PBA certification.
Usually, this process takes around five days, after which successful applicants are notified via email that they can move on to the final steps, the payment, and the exam appointment.
Some applications are selected randomly for the PMI audit process, which typically takes 7 days (in addition to the 5 days application processing period).
The selected applicants are notified via email.
The email also contains detailed information on the audit procedures and required documents.
The prospective test-takers may proceed with the next steps of the certification process only after the audit completion.
To schedule the PMI-PBA exam, the applicant should pay the exam fee.
The latter costs $555 and $405 for non-member and member applicants, respectively.
Those who want to retake the exam pay a reduced fee of $375 or $275 based on their membership status.
Please note, the exam fee is refundable within 30 days of the purchased date, given that the exam has not been scheduled or taken by the applicant.
A fee of $150 and $60 must be paid by a non-member or member applicant, respectively, to renew the Business Analysis PMI certification.
The payments can be made either online (via an online certification system) or through Postal Mail.
Scheduling the exam
After PMI approves the application, a candidate will receive an email with the PMI Eligibility ID and exam scheduling instructions.
Successful applicants will have only a year to schedule and take the exam.
During this exam eligibility period, the applicant can take the exam thrice to get the needed results.
Once the 1-year-period ends, the applicant will have to re-submit the application and go through all the required steps, including payment.
Please note, PMI does not refund the application fee after the exam eligibility period expires.
The exam date and time can be scheduled online (pmi.org) or via phone call (+1 866 241 5527 (toll-free) +1 952 905 7397 (toll)).
Those who reside in a region other than North America should visit the official website of Pearson VUE for further instructions.
The PMI-PBA exam covers the most critical aspects of business analysis, namely:
- Needs Assessment
- Traceability and Monitoring
The applicants mainly take their PMI-PBA certification test at one of the Prometric computer-based testing (CBT) sites located all over the USA.
The candidates should answer 200 multiple-choice questions during their exam.
The exam score is determined by the 175 questions out of 200 included in the test.
Whereas, the remaining twenty-five questions that do not affect the final result are coming before the scored questions and are included to evaluate the validity of upcoming questions. The
PMI business analyst certification exam is taken in either computer-based or paper-based delivery type.
The latter is available only in case of:
- The candidates who reside over 150 miles away from the nearest Prometric CBT site.
- The unavailability of Prometric CBT sites in the country where the candidate resides, given that the candidate cannot make an international trip.
The candidates have 4 hours to complete the test.
Please note that there is no break during the entire exam period.
However, candidates may take a break on their own, bearing in mind that the time will continue to count down.
The printed report containing test results will be available at the testing site immediately after the candidate finishes their computer-based exam.
The official exam report containing applicants’ certification status will be available on the online certification system as long as ten business days after exam completion.
Those who took a paper-based exam may learn about their certification status and exam results via an online certification system after 6-8 weeks of exam completion.
No printed report will be available for these test-takers.
The information on the PMI-PBA exam passing rate is not disclosed.
There are some estimated percentages mentioned in various blogs that PMI does not officially recognize.
No one knows the passing score for the PMI-PBA exam.
Each candidate’s test is evaluated via “sound psychometric analysis,” which determines whether the exam results hit the needed score threshold or not.
The latter is determined by the proficiency level demonstrated in each section.
The candidates will have 30 days to appeal the certification status.
Maintenance of PMI-PBA certification
Any PMI certification requires renewal every three years.
Those who fail to renew their certification within the mentioned period will no longer identify themselves as PMI certification holder.
Then, the credential holders will have another year (suspension period) to renew the certification status; otherwise, they will lose the credential and need to reapply for the certification.
To prevent this outcome, the credential holders should participate in the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Program, enabling them to maintain the certification status.
The PMI-PBA certificate holders need 60 Professional Development Units(PDUs), “35 Education PDUs, “and 25 “Giving Back to the Profession PDUs,” respectively, earned within the three years from the certification or its last renewal.
The “Education PDUs” is gained through participation in learning activities that expand the knowledge and develop the skills of business analysis, leadership, and management.
PMI offers many specialized courses that help the certification holder get Educational PDUs and maintain their PMI-PBA certification.
On the other hand, the “Giving Back to Profession PDUs” are gained via initiatives to share practical and theoretical knowledge with colleagues and the younger generation.
What is the difference between PMI-PBA and other certifications?
The availability of a wide variety of business certifications confuses professionals seeking further development and career growth.
As discussed earlier, the PMI-PBA certification is specifically designed for business analysts practicing project management and business or requirements analysis.
In the table below you will find a brief summary of similar certifications and the benefits they offer.
Name of the Certification
The salaries of PMP certificate holders are, on average, 25% higher than the salary of project managers without this certificate.
PMP is the top-rated certification in North America
This certification is solid evidence of professionals’ leadership and project management competency.
Portfolio management professionals
This certification is evidence of professionals’ competency effectiveness
Managing business portfolios and achieving core business objectives.
PMI risk management professionals
This certification is evidence of professionals’ competency in risk management, identifying strategies that decrease the burden of potential threats, and prioritizing the project’s needs.
Program management professionals
This certification is evidence of professionals’ competency in coordinated actions towards managing the projects and achieving the desired business outcomes.
PMI Scheduling professionals
This certification is evidence of professionals’ ability to effectively schedule business projects and manage those timeframes.
Project management associates
This certification is evidence of professionals’ competency in effectively managing working in project teams that makes you an outstanding professional
The PMI-PBA is a globally known certification that expands practicing business analysts’ professional opportunities and capacities.
The hiring managers and business organizations value this presence of certification and prioritize the credential holders from their non-certified colleagues.
So, if you want to take your professional career to a higher level and be recognized as a certified business analyst globally, you should consider the PMI-PBA certification.