What You should Know about PMP PDU?


PDF Download: The Complete PMI PMP Certification Guide can be downloaded as a PDF file.

PMP PDU

Once you have passed the PMP® exam, your 3-year PMP® re-certification cycle begins. You are required to accumulate at least 60 PMP® PDU in order to successfully renew your PMP® status. In general, 1 PDU equates 1 hour of PDU activity participation. But there are limits to certain kinds of PDU activities. This article will tell you all you need to know about PDU.

Important Note: Please refer to the updated PDU Guide as PMI has updated the PMP® PDU Requirements which came into effect 1 Dec 2015

PMP® PDU Requirements

All PMP®s are required to get at least 60 Professional Development Units (PDU) in each 3-year certification cycle in order to renew their PMP® certificate. This is another quality assurance mechanisms to ensure PMP®s keep up with the latest trends and best practices in the ever-evolving field of project management. The PDU is an education system to urge PMP®s to learn and grow continuously.

In general, 1 PMP® PDU equals 1 hour of participation in the PDU activity (though PMI has the ultimate authority to assess the number of PDU one can get with a certain kind of PDU activity). PMI accepts PDUs to be recorded in quarterly increment (in the multiple of 0.25 PDU) for Category A and B PDU activities, for the rest PMP® PDUs must be submitted in multiples of 1 PDU.

Don’t worry PDU in excess of 60 in the 3-year cycle will be wasted as PMI allows you to carry forward a maximum of 20 PDU to the next PMP® certification cycle. The only requirement is that the PDU must be earned in the 3rd year of the cycle.

On the other hand, if you are not able to accumulate 60 PMP® PDU during your 3-year cycle, the PMP® credential will be suspended. PMI gives you 1 extra year to earn the required PDU. But be reminded that the next 3-year re-certification cycle will still be counted from your original credential end date. 

PMP® PDU Categories

Category Description Examples Cap
(required: 60)
Education Categories
Courses offered by PMI’s R.E.P.s,
chapters and communities
– courses by PMI REPs, e.g. Agile PrepCast™ (37 PDU)
– attend PMI events
webinars by PMI
PMI publication quiz
Continuing Education – project management events not organized by PMI
– project management courses by universities
(note: must be directly related to project management)
C Self-directed Learning – discussion about project management
– learn with PM coach/consultant
– read books & watch videos about project management
30
Giving Back to the Profession Categories
D Creating New Project Management Knowledge – write project management books
– blogging (blogging about the PMP® exam is NOT counted)
– give presentations and/or webinars
– develop project management courses
45
(max. 15 for Cat. F)
E Volunteer Service – volunteer for PMI local chapters, etc.
– serve as committee members for PM organizations
– provide PM training to others
F Working as a Professional in Project Management – work as a Project Manager
– involve in project management

The Most Effective Way to Earn PDU

Earning PMP® PDU is not difficult and expensive at all, some of the PDU can be obtained free of charge:

  • Reading books on project management will give you 1 PDU for every hour of reading
  • Working as a project manager will earn you 15 PDU in 3 years
  • [if you are a PMI member] The live/recorded webinars on the PMI website allows you to earn PDU (usually 1 PDU each) through the PMI website free of charge

Initially, I tried to earn my PDU from these sources solely. But, on reflection, I ask myself: why not make the best use of the PDU opportunity to renew and broaden my project management knowledge instead of trying to accumulate PDU only? This is exactly the aim of the PDU requirement after all. I have heard that some PMP® just left the PMI webinars running in the browser and got to sleep. This did nothing good for my career.

I then focus on finding useful and meaningful PDU opportunities. Below are some of the suggested ways to get the best from the PDU efforts I have been doing personally:

  • Agile project management is a heated topic in project management these days and PMI is now offering the PMI-ACP® Certification to provide project mangers and practitioners to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in Agile projects. One of the PMI approved courseware, the Agile PrepCast™ (US$179.99 as downloadable video lectures), will provide you with the required 21 contact hours for the PMI-ACP® exam AND 37 PMP® PDU (Category A) for your PMP® re-certification. Even if you do not intend to take the PMI-ACP® exam, gaining knowledge in Agile project management will benefit you as a project manager in the long run as you can understand the best of both worlds. Agile project management is now being practiced by projects in the area of software, web, pharmacy, manufacturing, product development, and so on. In fact, most startups make use of Agile.
  • If you are into blogging, why not post your insights about project management online to build up your reputation and earn PDU (Cat. D) at the same time? You will just need to register for a domain, set up the hosting and blogging software and you can start blogging (follow this beginner’s guide to have all these done in under an hour, only US$4.99 per month for the hosting service). Your online reputation in project management expertise will open up a lot of opportunities for you!
  • Or, if you are working in the IT Service industry, the ITIL® certification will be your definite choice for further studies and earning PDU. Preparing for the ITIL® v3 Foundation Certification will earn you around 17-25 PDUs for your PMP® re-certification (depending on your education provider) as well as the ITIL® v3 Foundation credential.

How to Submit PDU?

PMI supplies you with an online “Continuing Certification Requirements System” to record your PDU. After you have attended PDU activities, you can submit the PDU activity details through the Continuing Credential Requirements System (CCRS). If you participate in a real-time webinar by PMI, your PDU will be automatically recorded and there is no need to enter it manually.

A screen capture of the CCRS is included below:

Claim PMP PDU

After you have submitted the PDU request, PMI will take some time to review and approve the PDUs. You will receive an email and the PDU will be added to your account once PMI approve your request. Note that PMI reserves the right to change (usually reduce) the number of PDU you can get with a particular activity and PMI may require you to submit supporting documents with reference to the particular categories of PDU you are claiming within 5 days in order to evaluate your claim.

Renew Your PMP® Credential

After you have collected enough PDUs in your PMP® re-certification cycle, PMI will send you an electronic notification (in the form of an email) asking you to complete the form and pay for credential renewal. The PMP® renewal fee is US$60 for PMI members and US$150 for non-members. The renewal application and payment process must be completed in 90 days after your credential end date in order for your to keep your PMP® status. PMI will send the new PMP® certificate to you within 6 to 8 weeks.

Occasionally, PDU audits may be requested by PMI at random before you are approved for PMP® renewal. You will need to present proof/documentation for all the PDU claimed during the 3-year cycle to PMI for verification.

Important: Documentation for PDU

Just like the PMP® Certification audit, you may be required to submit supporting documents for the PDU  you have claimed or selected for an audit process of your claimed PDU by presenting documentation for verification after submitting your renewal request. PMI requests PMP®s to keep the documentation at least 18 months after the 3-year cycle.

Documentation for the PDU can be one or more of the following:

  • attendance certificate or letter of attendance
  • registration confirmation letter
  • written notes (handwritten or electronic) when attending seminars, webinars, self study or during discussion about project management
  • authored books / presentation materials / podcasts / record of webinars
  • blog posts
  • transcript or grade report of academic courses

What’s Next?

Begin collecting your Professional Development Units (PMP® PDU) from the date you are a PMP®! Take on a new adventure in PMI-ACP® Certification, ITIL® v3 Foundation 2011 Certification or setting up your own project management blog to develop continually in your career.

 

Most Popular Articles about PMP and PMI-ACP Certification

50% discount coupon code for GreyCampus ITIL, PMP, PMI-ACP online training courses

Support website running for FREE, thanks!

If you find this post helpful and if you are thinking of buying from Amazon, please support the running cost of this website at no extra cost to you by searching and buying through the search box below. Thank you very much for your help!

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.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

15 Responses

  1. Ajay says:

    I want to thank you such a great blog. It was of great Help during my PMP, PMI-ACP exams. I am PMP, PMI-ACP, Pricne2 Practitioner and ITILv3 Foundation certified. I did all this one certification last year and all are valid for PDU.

    My sequence for Certification & time spent is as below:
    1. PMi- ACP – 2 month
    2. PMP – 3 months
    3. ITIL v3 -3 weeks
    4. Prince2 Practitioner – 1.5 month

    Can you please help me update my PDU ? I am not sure how to split those PDU for hours sent in training & studying for this certification. Can you help me with PDU seperated by category?

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Ajay,

      You may need to ask the training providers for your PDU categories as the training would need to be validated by PMI for acceptance. The PDU categories are to be determined by lots of factors and your training providers are the ones who are in the best position to provide the information. Thanks!

  2. Srini says:

    I am now in suspension period of my PMP. I have been a practicing Program Manger during this time. However, I have not earned enough Study PDUs. If I complete required PDUs and submit, will I be able to renew my PMP? Please clarify.

  3. John says:

    I just renewed my PMP certification prior to the 5/16 expiration date and carried over 20 PDUs. I am now certified through 5/19 but I have earned many more than the 20 additional PDUs that I can carry forward. I was told by a colleague that if a PM has enough PDUs that he/she can certify ahead as far ahead as possible as long as they are willing to pay the certification cost. Supposedly, this would save the need of categorizing all the PDU’s into the new CCR system if you enter and pay before December, 2015. Do you know if a PM can certify ahead numerous cycles if willing to pay? And how would I do it?

    • Edward Chung says:

      Dear John,

      “PMI allows you to carry forward a maximum of 20 PDU to the next PMP certification cycle. The only requirement is that the PDU must be earned in the 3rd year of the cycle.” This would mean that you can only carry forward a maximum of 20 PDUs that are earned in the 3rd year. You will need to earn the rest 40 PDUs in your next PMP 3-year cycle.

      Thanks!

  4. vishal says:

    Hi,

    Can you please tell me how to check my PDU, I remember taking ITIL examsand attending some sessions in 2013. I reported them and got approx 30 pdu’s , but now when I login I dont see my PDU score, how many I need to get more in order to maintain my certification.
    can you please guide me on checking my PDU score.

    Thanks

  5. Sudhan says:

    Hi Edward. Can my preparation for the PMI-ACP examination (30+ hours) be counted towards PMP PDUs against category C – Self directed Learning ? I have already claimed the 21 PDUs against the certification requirement ? Also, will this be simultaneously applied towards PMI-ACP PDU requirements as well ? I have passed the PMI-ACP examination a couple of days back. Thanks

    • Edward Chung says:

      1) You may try, but it all depends on PMI whether to approve your claimed PDU.
      2) No, you need to get certified before you can get any PDU for the certification (i.e. the PDU activities need to be done after your PMI-ACP certification exam day).

  6. Clark says:

    Hi Edward, I’m a PMP entering the 3rd year, and have been earned more than 60 PDUs, and received the renewal email from PMI also.
    As mentioned by you that max 20 PDUs earned in 3rd year can be carried forward, so now can I still report the PDUs before the renewal?
    Also if I have around 6 months before the current cycle end, if I renew now, will the expiry date of next cycle be shortened? Or will add 3 years after then end of my current cycle? Many thanks.

    • Edward Chung says:

      Yes, you can still report PDU and get the PDU carried forward to your next PMP re-certification cycle. However, since PMI is changing the PDU structure this December (http://edward-designer.com/web/new-pmp-pdu-requirements/), you will need to take necessary actions to ensure the PDU reported complies with the new requirements (the info for this is not currently available, you will need to pay attention to news from PMI in the coming months).

      If you renew now, the expiry date will NOT be shortened but follow the expiry date of your current cycle. So, you can renew any time before the expiry date.

  7. Duane says:

    I have seen some confusion on the recording of Category C. The way I understand it, Category C must be recorded in full hour increments. Not allowed to record Category C in quarter hour increments.