Maintaining your Project Management Professional (PMP) certification requires earning and reporting Professional Development Units (PDUs). In this article, we will dive into the PMP PDU requirements to ensure your PDUs are 100% valid. From understanding the PDU categories to meeting the minimum requirements and exploring tips for earning and reporting PDUs, this guide will help you stay compliant with the PMP recertification process.
Are Your PDUs 100% Valid? These Are The PMP PDU Requirements You Need.
If you have a PMP certification, you must know about this: you have to renew your PMP certification every 3 years, or it will expire. If that happens, you will need to retake the PMP certification exam, which is much more effort than just going for a renewal. As long as you earn sixty PMP Professional Development Units (PDUs) during the course of 3 years, you’ll be good to go, but keep in mind that there are specific PMP Renewal requirements you need to cover when you are earning PDUs.
We’ve put this blog together to help you with all the details you need to know about PMP PDU requirements, their categories, and their limits. Make sure you keep reading before you go on to earn and submit your PDUs!
What Are The PMP Personal Development Unit (PDU) Requirements?
The PMI (Project Management Institute) requires everyone with a PMP certification to renew it every 3 years. The way to do so is to earn sixty Personal Development Units (PDUs) within that time frame before it expires. Once you acquire sixty units, you need to submit them through the Project Management Institute’s website so you can apply for a PMP certification renewal.
A few years ago, PMP certified professionals often prepared by taking courses, attending activities, training, and working as practitioners to be able to renew their certification. Until the Project Management Institute presented the new Project Management Institute’s Talent Triangle and with this came new requirements to be able to submit Professional Development Units (PDUs). These changes introduced new categories for the PMP Units, their breakdown, and limits for every category.
The new PMI Talent Triangle poses the idea that the optimal skill sets for project managers should include technical project management skills, business and strategic management skills, and leadership skills, meaning a certified Project Management Professional needs to get PMP PDUs that coincide with all 3 categories of the PMI Talent Triangle.
Now that we have the facts, let’s get into the specifics of each category.
1. PMP Project Development Units (PDU) Requirement: 35 Minimum Units in Education PDUs
The biggest PMP Unit requirement is that you need to earn a minimum of 35 educational Units, while the rest can come from the giving back category, the majority of your units must be from the education category for you to qualify for renewal.
You can earn your Education PDUs from these sources:
- Organization Meetings
- Digital Media
- Informal Learning
If you’re a working professional with limited time, the Education category will always be a better choice for you to earn the majority of your PDUs.
Additionally, the PDI favors a balanced approach and as such for the PDU renewal you must obtain a minimum of 8 Development Units in the three categories of the talent triangle. After completing those, the rest of the Education PDUs (11) can be earned on any PMI talent triangle category you prefer.
An important thing to notice is that the 35 PDUs that come from the Education category are the minimal PMP PDU requirement. If desired, you can earn the 60 PMP PDUs needed for your renewal exclusively from the Education category.
If you’re looking for a way to passively earn your required PDUs, we suggest earning the 60 required PDUs all within the Education category, as you can easily do so by assisting courses, training and meetings. The next PMP PDU categories we will explore ask you to do tasks like volunteering and presenting and preparing content, thus taking more time and effort to be completed.
2. PMP Project Development Units (PDU) Requirement: Max 25 Units from the Giving Back Section of tasks.
The next category is called “Giving Back” which allows you to support the PMI in various ways to earn some units. This however is limited, and you can only earn and submit 25 maximum Personal Development Units from this avenue.
These are some of the ways you can earn your Giving Back PDUs:
- Give Presentations
- Make Content
- Work As A Practitioner (Max 8 PDUs)
- Share Your Knowledge
It’s important to notice that out of the mentioned sources, the only one with a limit is for “Working As a Practitioner”. This has a maximum allowance of 8 PDUs. That means that whatever project management activity you complete at your current job will be covered here, and it can be submitted for your PDUs every 3 years for your renewals.
3. PMP Project Development Units (PDU) Requirement: Activities Cannot Be Repeated For More Than One CCRS Cycle
This one might be self-explanatory, but let us break it down for you. If you completed a PMP certification course that was used during your Project Management education requirements to take the exam, this activity cannot be used again when it comes to the certification renewal. Meaning, that for every CCRS Cycle, you need to assist in new training and courses to get your PMP PDUs.
This applies to any PMP PDU courses or materials you have used for your past CCRS cycles. It always needs to be a new activity.
What Are The PMI (Project Management Institute)’s PDU Categories?
As we previously mentioned, the two PMP PDU categories are Education and Giving Back. Now that you know the requirements for your PMP renewal, we can go back to the PMI PDU subcategories so we can expand on the activities each of them contain, and describe all the details. Let’s start with Education.
First Category: Education PMI PDU
The activities on the Education side focus on increasing the project management skill set of a PMP certified professional, and consist of 5 subcategories that can help you earn the PMP PDUs you need for renewal.
The 5 main subcategories are the following:
- Organization Meetings
- Online and/or Digital Media
- Courses or Trainings
- Informal Learning
The Education category PMP PDU limit, which is a minimum of 35 PDUs, while each PMI Talent Triangle category needs 8 PDUs.
Here are some of the different ways to earn the PDUs you need for the Education PMI PDU category.
1. Organization of Meetings
Assisting a project management meeting, activity, or local event will earn you PDUs as well. It’s worth noting that these are usually restricted to 1-2 PDUs. PMP PDUs can be earned through educational sessions at PMI events.
2. Online and/or Digital Media
PMP PDUs can be earned through online learning or many forms of digital media. Educational webinars, PMP PDU podcasts, and other related materials can be used. The best way to earn PMP PDUs is by taking an online PMP Project Development Unit course or training, that way you can forget about having to take the time for it, and you can slowly finish it at home, in your own free time.
Once you finish a course, you can go ahead and obtain your earned PDUs. Any online PMP PDU course belongs in the online learning subcategory of the Education PDU category. If you want, you can also obtain PMP Development Units by joining any program accredited by the Project Management Institute’s Global Accreditation Center, PMI Registered Education Provider along with third-party education providers.
3. Courses or Trainings
Joining a course or training that relates to project management is a sure way to earn PMP PDUs. Not only will a course help you learn more about project management and expand your knowledge, but they are also the easiest, and best way to get PDUs. Another thing to keep in mind is that the Project Management Institute has chapters in many countries, which means you can attend any meeting, seminar, event or conference all over the world, and each activity you attend will help you earn PMP PDUs.
The courses provided by the Project Management Institute Seminars World are led by professional instructors that will also give you PMP PDUs. The only problem is that of course, you have to be there in person, and that will take a lot of time out of your schedule.
Just as you might be able to guess from the title, reading project management-related blog posts, books, articles and more can help you earn PMP PDUs too.
5. Informal Learning
Interaction with others can help you learn in some cases. PDUs can be earned by participating in professional dialogues with people, such as while being coached or attending one of the many learning & lunch sessions hosted by your organization.
Second Category: PMI PDUs via “Giving Back”
Contribution to project management knowledge is the emphasis of the Giving Back PMI PDU category activities.
The way to earn PDUs in the Giving Back category is divided into five subcategories.
- Creating Content
- Sharing Knowledge
- Giving Presentations
- Working As A Practitioner
Reminder: As mentioned earlier, the PMP PDU Giving Back category has a hard limit of 25 max units allowed from this category. The majority must come from the educational side. Now let’s take a look at each subtype of the PMI PDU category.
1. Creating Content
Creating content might sound like you have to write a whole book, and while you absolutely can submit writing a book as a way to earn PDUs, you can also go smaller and write an article or a blog post. As long as the focus is on creating content that educates people on project management, the medium is up to you. The PMI approves content creation as a way to obtain PDUs..
If you want to find the perfect volunteering activity that fits your style and schedule, checking out the opportunities the PMI has for you is a great way to get started. Every time you join them for any activity or event, you will be earning PDUs. Since your presence and experience will be expanding not only others abilities and supporting their growth as a PM, it will also be supporting your own personal development. You will be contributing more than you think.
3. Sharing Knowledge
Want to show your expertise as a project to others? This subcategory will give you the opportunity to do so while some earn PDUs! From training junior project managers, teaching your coworkers, or even serving as an expert on a particular theme, all of these activities will be eligible to earn PDUs through the Share Knowledge subcategory.
4. Giving A Presentations
Reaching out to PMI chapters to organize a presentation you might be able to give, either in a seminar or a conference, can be a great way to earn some PDUs. If you want something of a smaller scale, you can even give a small talk to your coworkers at your company related to project management. Any of these activities will earn you PMP Development Units.
5. Working As A Practitioner
You can submit your project management activities for PMP PDUs if your job entails them. Engaging in project management tasks will improve your knowledge and expertise in the field and as such is seen as a worthwhile and valid way to grow as a Project Manager. Nonetheless, as we said before, no more than 9 units can be obtained from this subcategory.
Properly report your earned PDUs to the Project Management Institute (PMI) to maintain the validity of your certification. Familiarize yourself with the PMI’s online Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS) and accurately enter the required information for each PDU activity.
Tips for PMP PDU Success
Maximize your PDU earning potential with these tips: plan your professional development activities in advance, seek out relevant and high-quality learning opportunities, keep track of your PDUs regularly, and leverage resources provided by PMI and other professional organizations.
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Try the first two modules of Brain Sensei’s story-based PMP and CAPM Exam Prep courses and a mini practice exam and see how it all works
Understanding and meeting the PMP PDU requirements is crucial for maintaining your certification. By familiarizing yourself with the PDU categories, meeting the minimum requirements, earning and reporting PDUs effectively, and following the tips for PDU success, you can ensure your PDUs are 100% valid. Stay proactive in your professional development and continuously enhance your project management knowledge and skills to thrive in your career as a certified PMP.
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