In this blog, I am going to provide all the information you need to earn PDUs for the CCR(Continuing Certification Requirements) of your PMIs certification. The new CCR changes went into effect on December 1, 2015. Afterward, I observe that there are lots of confusion related to the updated CCR. And these Frequently Asked Questions inspired me to write this post. Let’s begin with answering the basic question – How PDUs helps in maintaining the PMIs certificate?

PDUs (Professional Development Unit) are earned after getting any PMIs certificate. You need to earn them within CCR cycle to continue your PMIs certificate. Earning PDUs ensures that you are up-to-date, competent, and relevant within domains of your certificate. The goal of PMIs is to make sure that you are always prepared to meet the demands of your profession.

For example, if you are PMP® certified you need to earn Sixty PDUs within the period of three years. Here three years represent the CCR cycle of your PMP® certificate.

PMI® CCR Handbook defines for ways of Earning PDUs:

Let’s move to the details of various activities help in earning PDUs. PMI understand that as a professional you may have your own interest and desires in advancing your career. Thus PMI introduced many ways to earn Your PDUs. You may decide activities and participate in them to earn PDUs.

PMI® has divided the acquiring PDU process under ten broad categories which are further grouped under two sections first Educational PDUs and second, Giving Back to the Profession.

PDU Process

Under Educational PDUs we have five categories: These five categories are need to be aligned with the PMI Talent Triangle. Education includes activities in the Technical, Leadership, and Strategic areas of Talent Triangle.

Talent Triangle

Under Giving Back to the Professional group we also have five categories

Professional group

Minimum and Maximum PDUs Requirements for your CCR:

Before moving in the details of these activities, let’s first explore the minimum and maximum PDUs requirements for each category. This information will help you to decide activities in earning PDUs.

Here, one of the interesting point to note that PMI did not constrain the minimum PDUs requirements with ‘Giving Back to Profession’. Thus earning PDUs from ‘Giving Back’ to profession is optional.

If you are PMP® and/or PMI-PBA® certified:

  • As there is no minimum PDU requirements for “Giving Back to Profession”, earning PDUs from them are optional.
  • You are required to earn at least Thirty-Five PDUs from the Education Category. Thus the maximum allowed PDUs from ‘Giving Back to Profession’ are Twenty-Five (60-35 = 25).
  • You have to earn at least Eight PDUs for ‘Leadership’, ‘Technical’ and ‘Strategic’ categories of Talent Triangle. You can earn remaining 11 (35 – (8 Leadership + 8 Technical + 8 Strategic)) across any area of the Talent Triangle.
  • If you choose to earn PDUs from “Work as a Practitioner” from the ‘Giving Back to the Profession”, you can earn maximum of eight in one CCR cycle.
  • You can choose to earn all sixty PDUs from any category of Education.

If you are PMI-ACP® certified:

  • As there is no minimum PDU requirements for “Giving Back to Profession”, earning PDUs from them are optional.
  • You are required to earn at least Eighteen PDUs from the Education Category. Thus the maximum allowed PDUs from ‘Giving Back to Profession’ are Twelve (30-18 = 12).
  • You have to earn at least four PDUs for ‘Leadership’, ‘Technical’ and ‘Strategic’ categories of Talent Triangle. You can earn remaining six (18 – (4 Leadership + 4 Technical + 4 Strategic)) across any area of the Talent Triangle.
  • If you choose to earn PDUs from “Work as a Practitioner” from the ‘Giving Back to Profession”, you can earn maximum of four in one CCR cycle.
  • You can choose to earn all thirty PDUs from any category of Education.

Some other important points to note:

  • All the Technical PDUs earned for PMI-ACP® and/or PMI-PBA® are also counted in your PMP® certificate. But the reverse may not always true. For more details, kindly refer my blog-“Earning Technical PDUs”
  • Once Leadership and Strategic PDUs are earned, they can be applied to any PMIs certification. You can go through my blogs on Leadership, and Strategic for more details.

Now come to the details of earning these PDU earnings:

Earn PDUs under Education Categories:

  1. Course or Training: This is most popular category for earning PDUs. Under this category, you earn PDUs by doing programs either organized by PMI® REPs (Registered Education Providers) or by other third party providers. If the course is hosted by PMI® REPs, you can find all of their programs listed at the official website of PMI®. For more details, you can refer my blog on “Earning PDUs Against Activity Code”
  2. Organization Meetings: Many REP(s), PMI chapters and third parties host activities that include educational component on a local basis. If the course is hosted by PMI® REPs, you can find all of their programs listed at the official website of PMI®. If you attend educational sessions, it gives you not only opportunity to earn PDUs but also give you chance of networking in your community. Organization meetings are typically limited to 1-2 PDUs.
  3. Online or Digital Media: This is the most interesting category and includes self-paced learnings through pre-recorded webinars, podcasts, and digital media. For more details, kindly refer my blog “How to report Online and Digital PDUs”.
  4. Read: You can earn PDUs by reading materials including (but are not limited to) informational, non-fiction books, articles, white papers, or blogs.If you like reading to enhance your knowledge and skills this could be an interesting category for you. For more details, kindly refer my blog “How to report Read PDUs”.
  5. Informal Learning: You can also earn PDUs by attending activities including include (but are not limited to) mentoring sessions, panel discussions, lunch and learn sessions, or other structured discussions. PMI understand that attending mentoring sessions and panel discussions are good way to take your skills to the next level, attend them and also grab the opportunity to earn PDUs.

Earn PDUs under Giving Back to Profession:

  1. Work as a Practitioner: This is a sure kind of category.If you are working in as per the profession of your certificate. For example, if you are PMP® certified and working as a Project Manager, you can report maximum 8 PDUs.
  2. Create Content: This category is all about creating and spreading knowledge about Project Management and/or business analysis depend on your certificate. This activity involves writing about project management and/or business analysis in the community. The activities listed below can help you get PDUs in this category
    • Authoring Whitepaper / book / blog on project management and/or business analysis
    • Creating a presentation / training on project management and/or business analysis
  3. Give a Presentation: You can PDUs by presenting on topics relevant to the project management and/or business analysis depending on your certificate. You can speak in professional conferences, at a PMI chapter event, or internally within your organization. Give presentation in project management or business analysis concepts and the hours spent in presenting the topic will be counted. If you also created the content of presentation, then any time spent preparing for the presentation can also be counted in the same claim.
  4. Share Knowledge: Mentoring, teaching, coaching or simply applying your knowledge and subject matter expertise also give you opportunity to earn PDUs.
  5. Volunteer: Earn PDUs by providing volunteer, non-compensated project management service to non-employer or non-client customer groups.
    The activities listed below can help you get PDUs in this category

    • Serve as an elected volunteer officer for a project management organization, including PMI® chapters and communities of practice
    • Serve as a volunteer/appointed committee member of a project management organization
    • Providing project management related volunteer services to PMI® or other professional project management association.
    • Provide volunteer project management-related services to a community or charitable group or colleges

Simple ways to earn PDUs:

Not every time you have to pay a hefty sum to earn PDUs, you can earn them for free. Yes, you read it right; PDUs can be earned for free without spending a nickel.

You can subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Watch videos on to earn PDUs under Category Online and Digital Media. You can also read a book on certificate topics and earn PDUs. Attend our Periodic Webinars and earn PDUs under ‘Online and Digital Media.

Earning PDUs can be clubbed with some next level certification you may like to think in near future. In this case, courses from REPs are best way to earn PDUs.

In other words, ‘Read’, ‘Online and Digital Media’ and Course from REPS are easy and popular ways to earn PDUs.

Report PDUs and Renew your PMIs certificate:

As soon as you earn PDU(s), you can report them.For more details on how to report PDUs, you may refer my blog:

You should remember that renewal is not only collecting PDUs but also paying the renewal fee to PMI. Upon earning all these PDUs, PMI will send an email to renew and payments. A new CCR cycle starts after the renewal process.

The renewal fee is different for member and non-member. I see a good number of test takers not renewing their membership after doing certificate. In case you are renewing your certificate, better to take one more advantage and save 90 USD. The renewal fee for member is 60 USD and nonmember is 150 USD. Many of you are unaware that they do not have to wait for complete CCR cycle to renew certificate. As you get required PDUs, you can pay the fee and renew it for next cycle. So, if you renew it in your exam year, you will get the renewal for six years.

In summary, the following are basic steps in the CCR of your certificate:

  1. Earn PMI certificate
  2. Attend or participate in activities to earn PDU for your CCR
  3. Record and Report PDUs.
  4. Upon earning all these PDUs, PMI will send an email to renew and payments
  5. A new CCR cycle starts after the renewal process

I hope this blog has sufficiently answered your all queries related to ‘How to earn PDUs and maintain your PMI Certification’ during your professional career without spending much.

If you have follow-up questions, kindly post them in the comment box provided.