Earn PDUs to maintain the PMP certification


Introduction: This is the first part of my PDU for PMP series. Here I will document my journey of earning PDUs with the lowest cost. You may also be interested in my PMP exam journey.

Note: PMI has updated the PMP PDU Requirements from 1 Dec 2015, please click here for the updated requirements.

PDU – When and How?

As soon as you have passed the PMP examination, you can begin accumulate your PDUs to “maintain an active certification status” through the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program.

Each PMP certification cycle lasts three years, calculating from the date you passed the examination. During each cycle, at least 60 professional development units (PDUs) are required to renew your PMP certification status. The cycle begins anew after each cycle of three years (20 units earned during the 3rd year can be brought forward to the next certification cycle). A payment of US$60/US$150 (member/non-member) is required for the renewal of PMP and the updated certificate will be sent out by PMI.

Each hour of professional development activity earns you 1 PDU (PDU earned in Category A & B can be counted in increments of 0.25 PDUs while the rest can only be recorded in increments of 1 PDU). All PDUs can be reported on the online certification system on PMI website. PMI will randomly select credential holders for audits and it is required to keep the documents (attendance certificates, study notes, etc.) for at least 18 months after each certification cycle.

Record PDU for PMP

If you do not get 60 PDUs by the end of three anniversary of your PMP certification, your credential would be suspended for 1 year after which your PMP credential will no longer be valid. Also note that the next certification cycle is calculated from the end of the 3rd anniversary of the last cycle irrespective of whether your status is suspended or active.

PDU – What, Which and Where?

PDUs are classified by PMI into the following categories:

PDU Requirements for PMP
Category Description Examples Cap
(required: 60)
Courses offered by PMI’s R.E.P.s,
chapters and communities
– attend PMI events
– courses BY PMI REPs
– webinars by PMI
Continuing Education – PM courses by universities
– PM events not organized by PMI
C Self-directed Learning – read books, watch videos
– listen to podcasts
– discussion about PM
– mentor by coach/consultant
D Creating New PM Knowledge – author PM books
– blogging
– give presentation
– develop PM course
(max. 15 for Cat. F)
E Volunteer Service – volunteer for PM organization (e.g. PMI local chapters)
– provide training to others
F Working as a Professional in Project Management – work as a Project Manager

The easiest way to earn PDUs is by working as a project manager (Cat. F), you will get 5 PDUs each year (i.e. 15 in total for each 3 year cycle). That leaves 45 PDUs for the rest. The following is my plan for my first certification cycle:

My PDU Plan
No. Description Category PDUs
1 Working as a project manager F 15
2 Reading books, listening to podcasts and watching webcasts C 30
3 Online webinars at pmi.org A 15
Total: 60

There are lots of pre-recorded webinars on Projectmanagement.com which allow you to earn Category A PDUs.


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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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5 Responses

  1. Latha says:

    This is a very helpful site, Edward. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Brian says:

    The link for the “50 recorded webinars for earning Category A PDUs” doesn’t work anymore since PMI changed it to “projectmanagement.com”. Do you know where those webinars are now?

    Thank you,