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Professional Development Units: What Are They And What Is The Best Way To Earn Your PDU

By January 13, 2023No Comments

Do you want to renew your PMP certification and are in dire need of some PDU? If you want to keep your PMI credentials such as the Project Management Professional, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner, PMI Risk Management Professional, Program Management Professional, PMI Scheduling Professional, and PMI Professional in Business Analysis, you’ll need to earn some PDU hours.

If you want to find out how to get those PDU you require, this Brain Sensei article will give you all of the relevant information you will need. Let’s take a look at the various options you have to earn PDU and continue to boost your career as a Project Manager.

What Are Professional Development Units (PDUs)?

If you’re a member of the Project Management Institute and have a Project Management Professional certification, you might be confused as to what the PDU are, and why you need to earn some in order to renew your certification. If that’s the case, don’t worry, it’s quite common!

Many people believe that the thirty-five contact hours they earned before becoming a candidate to take the PMP exam will come in handy after they pass. However, this is not the same as earning PDU after becoming a PMP Certified PM. To understand why, consider the necessity to acquire PDU in order to keep your PMP certification current.

Professional Development Units, commonly known as PDU, are awarded when project managers learn about their field of work in a variety of ways. To be able to apply for the PMP exam, you must complete professional training that is worth 35 PDUs, according to the Project Management Institute. So, you achieved this in order to get PMP-certified.

Why Do You Need PDUs?

If you don’t stay up to date on the latest project management current trends you may end up becoming outdated and unable to perform properly and at the best of your abilities. As a result, the Project Management Institute guarantees that you stay up to date and informed on the new best practices of the industry as well as any developments. This can be beneficial to you, and any task or project you are currently engaged in.

Is it clear now why the Project Management Professional certification has become so important to have in the market?  To demonstrate their project management abilities and skills, Project Managers must obtain PDU hours. Project Managers who stay on top of the game will always be wanted by organizations for their qualifications, as it is obvious they are up to date on project management expertise.

How Many Professional Development Units Do I Need?

We hope that you have a bit more knowledge about PDUs now, but we still haven’t touched on how to obtain them. Let’s first understand how many PDU you will need to get before talking about the steps you need to follow to renew your Project Management Professional certificate and other PMI credentials.

You must be thrilled to learn that you won’t have to retake the PMP exam in order to maintain your certificate. Although it is undoubtedly a huge relief, you must still work on completing enough PDU hours to demonstrate your knowledge. These are the amounts of PDU you have to obtain for each PMI credential.

  • PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification – 60 PDUs Needed For Renewal
  • PMI ACP (PMI Agile Certified Practitioner) Certification – 30 PDUs Needed For Renewal
  • PMI RMP (PMI Risk Management Professional) Certification – 30 PDUs Needed For Renewal
  • PMI SP ( PMI Scheduling Professional) Certification – 30 PDUs Needed For Renewal

How long will I be able to work on earning my PDU in order to keep my certification? When can I begin earning PDUs so I can keep my PMP certification active? The answer to that question is three years. Within three years of receiving your certificate, you can start to gain PDU. So, for instance, if you get your PMP credentials on December 25, 2022, you must acquire sixty PDUs by December 24, 2025, to maintain your PMP certification.

Ways To Earn Your PDUs

So now we’ve arrived at the next question which is: How do you obtain your PDU? Let’s explore the numerous activities you can do to earn your PDU hours. There are several methods you can use. You have a plethora of options from the Project Management Institute to earn your PDU, so you can keep the certification you’ve worked so hard to get.

Here they are:

  • Training Sessions or Courses
  • Digital and Online Media
  • Corporate Events and Meetings
  • Reading
  • Casual Learning

Let’s take a look at each of them and describe them in detail.

Educational Events, Courses, And Training Sessions

The most conventional way of learning is through workshops and seminars or classes offered by your company, the Project Management Institute, or any other relevant organizations. So what kind will be considered for determining your PDU for this particular category?

Well, the Project Management Institute holds educational activities occasionally and you are always allowed to go to these events that the Project Management Institute has planned if you have the time for it, as well as the commitment, of course. If you are able to spend the time planning for these events, this is a fantastic method to learn.

If you have the money, online e-learning classes can be another great alternative to earn more PDU hours. There is also the option of taking some of the Education Courses approved by the Project Management Institute’s Global Accreditation Center.

The PMI also works with many educational institutions and universities to provide undergraduate and graduate-level project management training and certification programs. So, you may enroll in these classes and receive both the college credential and some precious PDU.

Courses and training by Registered Education Providers and outside providers’ training programs are also widely accessible from many PMI-approved vendors and other sources. You can definitely obtain some PDU by participating in these training sessions.

So, how can I know the amount of PDU I can gain from any of these courses or training? And how can I make sure they are meeting the talent triangle’s specifications specified by the Project Management Institute?

PMP PDU Online And In-Person Webinars

Some training companies give PMP PDU seminars and webinars in conjunction to the Project Management Institute on diverse project management-related themes which are published ahead of time. They arrange and specify the subject, time, and date of these meetings. You are requested to sign up before the date and commit to attending them on time. Usually, you receive 1-2 PDUs for them.

So why aren’t these more well-liked? You might not be able to make the appointed schedule since it could be in a completely different timezone, or for working professionals, they might just not be available on those specific days at all. Plus all the other obligations many have, these types of events can be hard to fit into a busy schedule.

Free Online Courses

To obtain your required PMP PDU you can look at both free and paid courses available online. You might be wondering, if there are such things as free courses available where you can obtain PDU, why would you choose to pay for courses? That is a reasonable question!

The kinds of free courses that you can have access to in order to earn PDU are available via online courses. You may earn PMP PDU from these online training programs on topics relevant to project management at your particular speed and not according to a set timetable. As a result, the drawback you could have with all of the other previously mentioned training alternatives, courses, or webinars is removed in these free courses.

However, you still won’t receive the 60 PDUs just from free courses that you require to renew your PMP certification. But you do have plenty of other options to get there. Let’s take a look at the other opportunities you get to gain your sixty PDU.

Digital Online Media

The best parts of all content can be found in online and digital media, where you can work at your own leisure and get all the information you want. If you’re able to find an online course that hits all of your requirements, it’s like winning the lottery! Thanks to the online media option, you can gain all of your required 60 PDU at once. The greatest thing about it is that there are no restrictions on time, place, learning speed, or the dates of the classes. This option is truly a goldmine since you may earn your sixty PDU from one single supplier for a very affordable fee. Isn’t a fantastic opportunity that you shouldn’t miss.

One of the advantages of earning your PDU online is that you can do it at your own pace. If you choose to purchase a course or training that will get you PDU online, it’s easy to work on them whenever you have the time and as quickly or slowly as you like. The most practical manner of doing so is by purchasing a sixty PDU bundle offered by several training providers. You will end up finishing more courses if you have a better range of time to do them.

Another advantage is that whether you prefer to work on your courses during the morning or at night, online training is perfect since you can do them any time you feel like it. Additionally, since they are accessible around the clock, you will never miss your class. You won’t need to rely on other people or their degree of comprehension, and most of all their schedule. You are in charge! Something a busy Project Manager can really find beneficial.

If you are someone that travels for work a lot, another good point for online courses is that even when you are on the road or traveling for work or even on holiday, you can still participate in PDU events anywhere, anytime. Attending the course won’t require you to travel. If you have a stable internet connection, a computer, and a browser, you can do it wherever and anywhere you choose. Modern devices like Phones and Tablets support this “Learning On  The Go” Method that Project Managers with busy schedules can truly enjoy.

Lastly, digital media can be very cost-effective. Many sixty PDU bundles and packages given by certain training providers are fairly affordable, so working on earning the PDU for your PMP certification renewal won’t put a strain on your pocket. When you consider the cost of your PMP certification and the cost of earning PDU, you may get both for less than a hundred bucks. You will feel like you have struck the lottery with this tempting offer to use less of your time and money while getting a lot of convenience for a low cost.

Utilizing digital media the way that will benefit you the most will allow you to gain PDU. Just make sure to check that the courses you pick adhere to the Talent Triangle’s standards, though! Each part of the talent triangle has a specific minimum number of Professional Development Units  that must be reported to the PMI.

The Talent Triangle And Its Relation To PDU

As you are aware, the Project Management Institute is the leading organization promoting project management. In an effort to better serve the needs of the project management industry, the Project Management Institute conducts some studies and research to determine the capabilities that project managers should have. According to this study, project managers require more than simply technical expertise to deliver a comprehensive perspective. So what are some of the suggested skills by the PMI?

Technical Skills, Leadership Skills, and Strategic And Business Management Skills are the components of each side of the talent triangle. You must receive a minimum of eight Professional Development Units for each side of the talent triangle components in order to earn your PDU in accordance with the Continuing Certification Requirements.

Technical Skills (8 Min.)

This component, which is unique to whatever PMI credential you have, consists of the knowledge and abilities you will need in order to manage all of your projects successfully. These include: Earned Value Management, Life Cycle Management, Scope, Risk, and Time Management, Governance, Estimation, Data Gathering, Agile Practices, and Performance Management.

Leadership Skills (8 Min.)

You must take the initiative and make absolutely sure that the team you are working with is aware of the project’s overarching objectives as the project manager. Your leadership job includes keeping your project team focused on the objective and giving them the assistance they need when it comes to problem-solving, persuasion, and empathy. Coaching and Mentoring, Team Building, Problem Solving, Emotional Intelligence, Brainstorming, Conflict Management, Influencing, Interpersonal Skills and Listening are some of these.

Strategic And Business Management Skills (8 Min.)

Understanding the project’s potential commercial advantages and how they relate to your organization’s mission and portfolio is more crucial than ever. You must manage client relationships while keeping a close eye on the competition and your part in raising the value of your organization as the project manager.

Therefore, the following are a few of the talents you should develop: Good Relationships with Clients and Customer Satisfaction, Legal and Regulatory Compliance, Benefits Realization, Strategic Planning and Analysis, Business Acumen, Operational Functions, Competitive Analysis, Business Models & Structures, and Market Knowledge.

Now that we have talked about the PMP certification renewal needed for PDU that you can acquire via courses, training, and online media, you know all of these fall under the education category. We have also touched on the amount of free online courses that you can find available all over the internet and over at some project management training companies. So, what else can you do to earn PDU?

Partaking In Various Events And Meetings

If you attend a one or two-hour meeting or event that has a course associated with one of the talent triangle’s components, can that count as earning PDU? Absolutely!  For events of that kind, it is possible to earn from one to two PDU. Just remember, any educational activity that includes a talent triangle component may be submitted to gain PDU in this option.

Reading And Personal Study

PDUs may be earned by reading about project management. Project managers can keep their knowledge up to date, and the Project Management Institute will let them report them as PDU equivalent to the amount of hours they spent reading. However, the amount of PDUs you can gain from this category is always limited. So you can satisfy your reading appetite by picking a book or two up or even get the digital edition on any skill triangle-related project management-themed book.

Casual Learning Across Mediums

As an additional option to the online one, any kind of informal session or conversation where you may learn from mentors, other professionals or experts can be reported as PDUs. This is a great way to earn your PDU in a more passive and relaxed way.

Give Back To The Community

Another way to gain PDU is by giving back to the industry by using the ‘Giving Back’ category. So what are some of the options in this situation? If you are currently working in a PMP role, that can be a contribution in and of itself. As a result, if you work as a PM, you are already earning PDU. However, there is something to keep in mind: this option only allows you to earn up to 8 PDU. So, you’ll need to come up with another condensed technique to gain PDU if you don’t want to have to keep track of all of these little details.

Creating Content For the PMI

Do you want to share your precious project management knowledge?  Do you publish articles, give presentations, publish blogs, or even host webinars? These actions can also earn you PDUs. However, finding time for them can be quite difficult in practice.

Talk At The Project Management Institute’s Events

PDUs may be earned by creating and giving a presentation at Project Management Institute seminars, events, and other gatherings. Project management is addicting, and you find yourself using it in a variety of personal endeavors as well. As a result, your cost-benefit analysis comes in, and you’ll need to look at other options for earning PDUs.

Volunteering At PMI Events

Do you want to contribute to project management activities as a volunteer? The Project Management Institute is managed entirely by volunteers from all around the world. Therefore, their website contains a plethora of options from which you may pick. Again, this can be feasible when you have free time, but for the majority of project managers that are on their way up the professional ladder, time can be a precious commodity.

Earning And Reporting Your PDUs

We’ve looked at many ways to earn PDUs so you can continue with your PMP certification renewal once you’ve earned your Project Management Professional certification in several areas defined by the Project Management Institute. Now, the next step is to figure out how to report your PDU to the PMI. After earning PDU, you may complete the renewal procedure via the Project Management Institute’s CCRS system, which is available online.

The first thing you need to do is log into their system with your PMI-issued ID. Since you gained PDU from many categories, consequently, you need to report them to the appropriate category. Make sure to keep in mind the various category caps, if you don’t, your PDU could be rejected. If you choose to earn PDU from a 60 PDU training package, the vendor will also advise you on the categories you have to pick for your renewal, which is a bonus. You will be able to simply finish the PMP renewal procedure.

By completing the online PMP renewal request you agree to abide by the Project Management Institute’s code of ethics. Actually, when you filed for your PMP certification, you were already agreeing to follow their code of ethics. Once you’ve paid the renewal fee, you’ll keep your PMP certification updated and active.

To summarize, earning PDUs may be accomplished in a number of ways, the easiest of which would be to get a comprehensive package that will give you sixty PDU, which eliminates any additional hassles and allows you to focus on other professional goals while also permitting you to leverage your newly acquired certificate.

Want a refresher of your core project management skills and knowledge AND earn 35 PDUs?  Why not take a self-directed online PMP exam prep course?  If you haven’t already submitted a specific course as part of your PMP application or a past renewal, you can use that course towards earning PDUs.

Read Our Reviews

Brain Sensei is rated 4.65 out of 5.0 stars based on 109 review(s).

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- Mohammad Ali

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Quick and helpful response. Thanks!!

- Laura

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Absolutely Fantastic learning software. Highly recommend it! Very well thought out and creative. Really enjoyed my study time. Excellent mock tests and mock exams. So so helpful. Thank you Brain Sensei Team for being part of my PMP journey!

- Tracy

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Need improvement in presenting more relevant real exam type questions. The practice exams are too simple and easy and do not prepare you for the real exam. Otherwise, good concept presenting material

- Amir

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The prep materials provided plenty of content which prepared me well for the PMP exam. The questions were packed with information.

- Cameron

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Teaches the PMP in a solid manner, some things you need to know as a potential consumer: -The Samurai backstory is extremely short, and didn’t really assist me with recall in any in-depth way. It only gave broad brush-strokes as to what each phase entailed. -MOST of what was on the test was covered in the lessons, however if I had zero real prior PM knowledge prior to the test, I would have failed. -The first practice test forces you, as the student to actually read into the PMBOK, which was a benefit in the long run as it assisted me with quickly referencing what I needed to find. -The course will likely cover wave tops and subjects, forcing me to self-study for a week before my test... not a bad deal all things considered. -Brain Sensei’s course has incorporated Agile into one of their practice tests, and this test IS mandatory. This may seem strange, and I didn’t get a satisfactory reason why I needed to take a purely Agile test when I only wanted to take the PMP, for anyone else in this scenario, this is the reason: In June, PMI is revamping the PMP test to include Agile as a significant portion of the PMP. Brain Sensei is just ahead of the curve trying to get students prepared... fret not. Their customer service is extremely responsive and does take care of their members. My program had a couple bugs, and the customer service fixed my problems within 24 hours. All in all... it was absolutely worth the money for me.

- Kevin

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I am very impressed with this learning system. The content is laid out in a way that will make any learner understand all the process groups and ITTOs in order to understand Project management and be equipped to excel in the test. The learning system is engaging and fun at the same time. It's very different than other learning material which is composed mostly of videos. Some improvements are needed, but in my opinion Brain Sensei is great value for money

- said durra

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At first, I was attracted to Brain Sensei training for their original learning program using a Samurai's story. And indeed it made the whole learning experience funnier - so easier. I felt like the Samurai. Then, I was amazed by The Brain Sensei Team's reactivity and help when I reached out through contact@brainsensei.com Their support was constantly reliable and efficient. I appreciated their professionalism and didn't feel on my own. At last, the course and the practice exams proved to be efficient since I passed the PMP exam - with 'Above Targe't in all Domains. So thank you so much Brain Sensei Team !! Charlene

- Charlene LU

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Overall very good. Got stuck a few times trying to find resources which I should have downloaded the before starting the program. Customer service has been great.

- Jonathan Williams

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SO far I am thoroughly enjoying the Brain Sensei PMP prep course. I have taken a Project management class as a part of my degree which I recently completed and project management has always interested me. I find the course to be educational and easy to follow. I am grateful that this course has been designed in such a way that is simple to understand all of the complexities in project management and that allows me to study at my own pace.

- Eric Browne

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The content is good and easy to understand

- Glenn

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This review is based on completing all course work through module 102. The story and interactive nature of the course are helpful for learning and relating the material. It would be nice to have the page numbers to the PMBOK guide where references are made to it. Other information that will be helpful, are the explanations to the practice questions at the end of each module. These are provided only after immediately answering the questions. Having these available in the score summary from the 'history' tab will be helpful to refresh why the answer is correct and other options are not.

- Rohan Punit

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Overall I would rate this course an 8/10. I liked how there were exams towards the end of every module and I felt that it was very useful having it laid out in different scenarios. I rate it only an 8/10 as I had some glitch/software issues and lost my progress resulting in me having to re-do modules/exams multiple times. All in all, that was maybe useful in the end as it was a way for me study or 're-learn' the course material. Thank you!

- Nikki Cordy

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Clear and precise explanations of how things work. I was never lost navigating the course.

- Gary Nicol

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A smart approach to present the information which makes it fun and engaging while at the same time preparing for the PMP exam. Brain Sensei differentiates itself from other PMP exam preps in that it delivers the knowledge through the use of storytelling technique. I recommend this course because it will help you pass your PMP exam on the first try.

- Jamal

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Loved the story telling and the practice exams. I felt very prepared when the actual exam came around.

- Josh

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One of a kind training that was truly engaging!

- Claire

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Excellent course for preparing for the PMP exam in a fun and engaging way! The practice questions resemble the actual questions on the exam making it a completely worthwhile experience.

- Rossetta

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I passed the PMP exam after taking Brain Sensei's Online PMP Certification Exam Prep. The practice exam questions were so similar to the questions that appeared on the exam. On exam day, when I sat down to take the test and started running through the questions I felt so relieved! The practice exams are also timed so you get more comfortable with the exam experience and feel better prepared when you sit down to take the test. The other differentiator was the video content throughout the modules. The concepts are taught through a story of a young samurai defending her kingdom. This will probably be the only PMP prep course where you can learn all the knowledge areas and feudal Japan at the same time. I'd recommend this course not just because of the videos but because it helped me pass my exam on the first try.

- Jackie

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Good course, but a few grammatical errors with how some questions were worded.

- Sonia

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It was good!

- Sergei

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Loved the unique approach and it still had all the info I'd expect from a full PMP exam prep course. Very responsive on questions too.

- Chris