What does PDU stand for?
Professional Development Units
PDU Requirement for PMP Re-certification
Once you have earned your PMP, you need to maintain it by re-certifying your credentials every three years. This requires you to earn at least 60 Professional Development Units every three years. There are many ways to do this including practicing project management, attending training, self-taught, seminars and workshops, and doing volunteer work for Project Management organizations.
Why Earn PDU’s
A new certification cycle rolls around every three years. The certification cycle ends on the exact date three years from the date you certified originally. You should try to earn about 20 PDU’s a year for three years. You shouldn’t wait until the last year of your certification cycle to start accumulating your PDU’s. If you wait too long and are not able to get the 60 PDUs in the 3 year certification cycle then your PMP status is set to suspended for up to one year and you must meet the recertification requirements within that time frame.
Earning PDUs is easy if you understand the categories you can utilize to earn them. These categories include taking courses offered by PMI’s chapters or communities, continuing education, self-directed learning, volunteering, working as a professional project manager, and creating new knowledge as a project manager. The categories of creating new knowledge as a project manager, volunteering, and working as a professional project manager only are allowed 45 PDUs per certification cycle. The other categories are allowed unlimited PDUs. A couple of helpful hints to keep you on track is to keep a record of the PDUs you have earned, report your PDUs periodically to PMI so you do not lose track of them, and you are allowed to carry over up to 20 PDUs that were earned in the last cycle year of your certification cycle to the next certification cycle.
How to Earn PDU’s
So now that you know the categories you may earn from and some tips to keep you on track, what are the easiest ways to earn PDUs to re-certify? The easiest way to earn PDUs is to do what you are already doing. You can earn up to 5 PDUs per year being a project manager for an equivalent of 15 PDUs for certification cycle. You can earn up to 30 PDUs per certification cycle by listening to project management podcasts or reading project management related books. You can also work on developing project management related skills such as MS Project.
If you aren’t already a member of PMI, you should join and attend seminars and focus group meetings on project management that will get you about 1 PDU per hour of event time. You may attend one two hour event every quarter which equals 8 PDUs per year and 24 PDUs per certification cycle. You can also attend free webinars and earn up to one PDU per webinar. You may earn up to six PDUs per certification cycle. If you follow the steps outlined here, you should have little problem reaching your required 60 PDUs per certification cycle to renew your PMP.