Earning PDUs to Keep Your PMP

Posted on December 10, 2009 by

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Congratulations–you’ve earned your PMP® (Project Management Professional certification)! Now you must earn PDUs (Professional Development Units) in order to keep your PMP. One PDU represents about one hour of experience or activity. From the time you earned your PMP, you have three years to earn 60 PDUs. After earning PDUs, they must be reported to PMI (Project Management Institute) using their Continuing Certification Requirements System (www.pmi.org). If you earn more than 60 PDUs in your three-year certification cycle, you may transfer up to 20 PDUs to the next cycle that were earned in your third year. For more details, please see the PMP Handbook at: http://www.pmi.org/PDF/pdc_pmphandbook.pdf.

PDUs are organized into five categories:

Category 1: Formal Academic Education

These PDUs are earned by taking an academic course for degree credit relating to project or program management. One hour of degree credit is worth 15 PDUs.

Category 2: Professional Activities and Self-directed Learning

There are a number of ways to earn PDUs in this category. First of all, you can write an article on a project management topic. If you’re the author of an article published in a refereed journal, you may earn 30 PDUs. If the journal isn’t refereed, your article is worth 15 PDUs. If you’re a speaker or teacher at an event, you may earn 10 PDUs per activity. As a panel discussion member or a speaker at your local chapter meeting, you may earn 5 PDUs. For developing a new project management course, you may earn 10 PDUs. Although you can claim self-directed learning activities for PDUs, you’re limited to claiming 15 PDUs of this type per three-year cycle. For those of you who are working as project managers, you may claim 5 PDUs per year for practicing project management as long as you are working at least 1,500 hours per year.

Category 3: Courses offered by PMI Registered Education Providers/PMI Components

These PDUs are earned by taking courses through providers that are registered with PMI. We at TAPUniversity (www.tapuniversity.com) are a REP (Registered Education Provider) and our subscription courses fall into this category. We have a number of 100% online 4-week courses worth 14 PDUs as well as a subscription program that includes all the courses needed to keep your PMP certification.

Category 4: Courses offered by Other Education Providers

For every hour of learning about project management from education providers that are not registered with PMI nor formal academic institutions, 1 PDU may be claimed.

Category 5: Volunteer Service to Professional or Community Organizations

Getting involved and volunteering with your local project management chapter is a good way to earn these PDUs. You may claim a maximum of 20 of this type of PDUs in a three-year cycle. If you serve as an officer for 12 months for your project management chapter, you may earn 10 PDUs. If you’re on a committee for your chapter for 12 months, you may earn 5 PDUs.