A short guide for PMI’s professional development units

Those certified by PMI as project managers or other professional names must report Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years. This is what you need to know.

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If you have obtained one or more references from the Project Management Institute (PMI), this is an important achievement. Maintaining your Project Management Professional (PMP) or other certification in accordance with the PMI Continuous Certification Requirements Program depends on reporting from Professional Development Units (PDUs). PDUs help professionals to keep up with the latest technical skills and to share their knowledge with others.

SEE: Scrum meetings: the do’s and don’ts (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What are the minimum PDUs for your certification?

To maintain a good reputation, PMI requires each reference holder to report its minimum PDUs over a three-year cycle. The minimum PDU hours vary from 12 to 60 PDUs, depending on the type of login data you have (Table A.).

Table A.

Certification type

Renewal cycle

Total required PDUs

Teach minimum PDUs

Return maximum PDUs

PMP

3 years

60

35

25

PgMP

3 years

60

35

25

PfMP

3 years

60

35

25

PMI-PBA

3 years

60

35

25

PMI-ACP

3 years

30

18

12

PMI-RMP

3 years

30

18

12

PMI-SP

3 years

30

18

12

What are the types of PDUs?

PDUs are divided into two buckets: education and giving back.

  • Education: These PDUs keep reference holders informed of changes in the profession and best practices.

  • Return to the profession: These PDUs help professionals to share knowledge and grow personally and professionally.

There are many reporting options under these two categories for people with different goals and interests within different industries.

How do I report my PDUs?

Education PDUs: There is a minimum requirement of 35 education-based PDUs. Education PDUs can be earned by reading, following courses or training, organizing meetings or learning online.
The PMI talent triangle is defined as a “combination of skills that employers value most, namely technical, leadership, and strategic and business management.” It has been developed from the recognition that a combination of skills and knowledge is needed to be successful.

  • Technical – The technical knowledge and skills for performing your position or function.

  • Leadership – The knowledge and skills needed to guide motivated professionals.

  • Strategic and business management – Industry knowledge and expertise that helps your organization deliver better performance.

Return to the PDU profession: A minimum of 25 hours’ return is required. Although it is not necessary for the PMP, it is a great way to challenge yourself and develop a sense of belonging to others inside and outside the profession. You can earn PDUs by working as a practitioner, writing content, doing webinars, videos or podcasts that can help others teach or give presentations. You can also increase your reach by doing volunteer work.

Don’t wait too long to report your PDUs

Maintaining your PMI data means you earn PDUs through training or by giving something back to the profession of maintaining your PMP certificate and expanding your knowledge of the industry. It can help you get ahead in professional life and create a balance. Consult the PMI CCR manual (PDF) for more information.

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