The Practice Standard for Project Risk Management

    PMI-RMP Exam Prep

  •  Minute Read

In this article, let's discuss why risk management standards exist and which Project Management Institute (PMI) standard you should study in preparation for the Project Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) exam (until the updated PMI-RMP® exam comes into play April 2022).

Why Standards Exist

"A PMI practice standard describes processes, activities, inputs, and outputs for a specific Knowledge Area. It provides information on what the significant process, tool, or technique is, what it does, why it is significant, when it should be performed or executed, and, if necessary for further clarification, who should perform the process." –Practice Standard for Project Risk Management (2009)

Other than the PMI risk management standards, you should also be aware of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 31000 Standard.

Which PMI Standard Should You Study?

There are two PMI risk management standards: 

  • The Practice Standard for Project Risk Management (2009) 
  • The Standard for Risk in Portfolios, Programs, and Projects (2019) 

Project managers ask, "Which one should I use to prepare for the PMI-RMP exam?" Surprisingly, PMI continues to reference the Practice Standard for Project Risk Management (2009) which may be accessed here. Be aware that this Standard (2009) is aligned with the PMBOK® Guide – Fourth Edition.

Furthermore, the PMI-RMP Exam Content Outline and Specification is the blueprint for the PMI-RMP exam. Think of the Practice Standard as one of many resources used to prepare for the exam. Here is a complete Reference List.

Which PMBOK® Guide Should I Use?

So, which PMBOK® Guide should one use in preparation for the PMI-RMP exam (since the Standard (2009) aligns with the PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition)? I contacted the PMI Support Desk with this question. The answer I received was the Sixth and Seventh Editions are good references to study for the exam. Again, keep in mind the PMBOK® Guide is not the basis for the exam. Rather, the PMI-RMP Content Outline and Specification is the blueprint.

PMI-RMP® Exam Updates

Just as I was about to publish this article, I discovered that PMI will update the PMI-RMP® exam with updated terminology and processes, as well as enterprise-level risk management. There will be new multiple select questions. Additionally, predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches will be included in the exam. The updated exam is expected in April 2022. 


The PMI-RMP Updated Pilot Exam Content Outline includes a Reference Materials section that includes but is not limited to:

  • The Standard for Risk Management in Portfolios, Programs, and Projects
  • A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), Sixth edition

Introduction to the PMI-RMP Course

The PMI-RMP exam is challenging, but you can pass it on your first try. This course provides you with an overview of the PMI-RMP, the necessary resources, how to complete your studies and save time, and how to earn the required contact hours.

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