How to Categorize PDU According to PMI Talent Triangle

[from 1st December 2015] PMI Talents Triangle — Technical Project Management, Leadership, Strategic and Business Management

How to Categorize PDU According to PMI Talent Triangle for PMP / PMI-ACP

Beginning 1st December 2015, the PDU requirements for PMI Certification holders will be updated to align with the employer-identified skills depicted as the PMI Talent Triangle with 3 key aspects:

  • Technical Project Management
  • Leadership
  • Strategic and Business Management

These 3 key aspects of talents for Project Managers nowadays are identified after extensive market research and feedback from Certification holders. The changes to the PDU requirements will allow Certification holders to focus on the needs of the project management profession.

The PDU Requirement Changes

In the past, PMI just required holders to get educational PDUs in order to fulfil the continuing education requirements of the certifications without specifying which skills areas the educational PDUs should be focused on (i.e. PMP or PMI-ACP® holders could determine in which area they would like to get continuing education on).

With a view to helping Certification holders to acquire skills the employers and market as a whole value, PMI has defined 3 key aspects which are the focus of changes in the updated PDU requirements.

There is, however, no changes in the total amount of PDUs required nor the certification renewal fees.

New PMP / PMI-ACP® Educational PDU Requirements

In a nutshell, PMI requires PMP and PMI-ACP® holders to get at least a total of 35 PDUs from education from the following 3 skill areas:

  • Technical Project ManagementKnowledge, skills and behaviors related to specific domains of Project, Program and Portfolio Management
  • LeadershipKnowledge, skills and behaviors specific to leadership-oriented, cross-cutting skills that help an organization achieve its business goals
  • Strategic and Business ManagementKnowledge of and expertise in the industry or organization that enhances performance and better delivers business outcomes

The minimum amount of PDU for PMP/PMI-ACP® in each skill area is 8 PDU/4 PDU.

Beginning 1st December 2105, PMI Certification holders will be able to report PDUs and their categorization on the online CCR reporting webpage. PDUs gained before this date may need to be added to a skills area, the details would be announced by PMI in due course.

How to Categorize the PDU Activities According to the PMI Talent Triangle?

Fortunately, for most premium educational courses and seminars, the education providers would do the hard work for you. If you are attending PMI seminars, the PDUs will even be reported automatically to your PMI account with the appropriate skill areas tagged for you. There is no differences for the reporting steps.

However, for other education courses that are not targeted solely at PMP or PMI-ACP®, the Certification holders would need to categorize the activity themselves. PMI has issued a flyer that provides many examples of the kinds of activities that would be counted towards a particular skill area of the PMI Talent Triangle:

  • TechnicalDomain expertise; the same PDU not applicable to all Certifications
    • Agile practices [PMP, PMI-ACP®]
    • Earned value management [PMP, PMI-ACP®]
    • Governance (project, program, portfolio) [PMP]
    • Lifecycle management (project, program, portfolio, product) [PMP, PMI-ACP®]
    • Requirements management and traceability [PMP]
    • Risk management [PMP, PMI-ACP®]
    • Schedule management [PMP]
    • Scope management (project, program, portfolio, product) [PMP]
    • Time, budget, and cost estimation [PMP, PMI-ACP®]
  • LeadershipCompetency in guiding and motivating; the same PDU applies to all Certifications
    • Brainstorming
    • Coaching and mentoring
    • Conflict management
    • Emotional intelligence
    • Influencing
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Listening
    • Negotiation
    • Problem solving
    • Team building
  • Strategic and Business ManagementBusiness oriented skills; the same PDU applies to all Certifications
    • Benefits management and realization
    • Business acumen
    • Business models and structures
    • Competitive analysis
    • Customer relationship and satisfaction
    • Industry knowledge and standards
    • Legal and regulatory compliance
    • Market awareness and conditions
    • Operational functions (e.g. finance, marketing)
    • Strategic planning, analysis alignment

(Reference: PMI Talent Triangle Skill Examples)

Can a PDU Activity be Reported in More Than 1 Skill Areas?

Yes, just as PMI allows Certification holders to report PDU to be reported in multiples of 0.25 PDU.

For example, if you attend a course (with 2 PDU) with focuses on Technical Project Management (3/4 of the course) and Leadership (1/4 of the course), you can claim:

  • 1.5 PDU for Technical Project Management
  • 0.5 PDU for Leadership

Further Reading

If you would like to understand the new PDU requirements of PMP / PMI-ACP® in more details, please click here for the Highlights of Changes in PDU Requirements. A infographic is included for easy visualization of the PDU changes.

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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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8 Responses

  1. Laeticia says:

    I have done numerous soft skills trainings: coaching & management, negotiation skills, conflict management, etc. … Can I claim Leadership PDU?
    Thank you!

  2. Larry Gagnon says:

    Is the classification of ‘Technical, Strategic or Leadership’ a subjective assessment when attempting to report PDUs for listening to podcasts? I have been listening to the PMI Projectified podcasts and went to report on this and the reporting form directs you to claim PDUs in one of these areas.


  3. Tom Gordon says:

    Hi Edward,

    How do books get categorized? I have read multiple books on project management , agile practices, Kanban, Scrum, etc. over the past few years. How do I categorize these in the Talent Triangle?

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Tom,

      The categorization really depends on the subject matters of the books. Take Agile practices as an example, I would term it as “Technical Project Management”. Thanks!

  4. Vesh says:

    Hi, I have been to and logged in – when i select a webinar – I get this message:
    Session ID: 2017-08-01:5c99d07aa49c04e95defbfe3 Player ID: BCvideoPlayer

    Did you perhaps encounter something like this?


    • Edward Chung says:

      Oh, that’s strange. I tried and could play the webinars smoothly. Perhaps you had encountered temporary technical issues. Please try again a bit later.