How does earning PDUs for an ACP Certificate help your professional development?
Most PMI ACP Certificate holders believe that after they obtain their certification, the process is over. Unfortunately, it is not. The certificate is valid for only three years and candidates are required to maintain it. PMI has specific requirements to retain its status. The purpose of this requirement is to examine if the holders of the credentials are qualified to keep them in an active state. As a result, certification holders have to develop a certain degree of knowledge and skill.
PMI uses PDUs as a measure for this level of gained and shared knowledge and expertise. It is a PMI-approved method of measuring individuals’ professional development progress. PDUs, or Professional Development Units, are earned through activities related to their professional development as agile project management professionals. Each PDU they earn gives them credit for one hour spent on professional development activities. ACP Certificate requires 30 PDUs for renewal, where the PMI certification holder has to gain, submit and report. If PDUs are not achieved, the certificate expires and the certificate holder has to re-certify.
How does PDU help in professional growth?
The objective of gaining PDU is to make sure that certified professionals maintain their skills and knowledge. Candidates must earn 30 PDUs to retain their ACP Certificate. These PDUs ought to be obtained through both volunteer work and study. PDUs for education are those obtained through formal and informal learning in the three domains of the PMI Talent Triangle. On the other hand, PDUs acquired through voluntary work that broadens one’s experiences and supports their career fall under the Giving Back category. These PDUs can be obtained through reading, taking a course, mentoring, listening to podcasts, and giving presentations. Let's examine how these PDUs aid professionals in developing their careers.
Enrolling in Agile practices-related courses can be reported and counted as PDUs. This includes classroom, one-on-one, and online instructor-led training courses. ACP Certified professionals receive one PDU for each hour they spend in this training. Enrolling in training provides professionals with expertise in new methods and skills in implementing Agile within their organizations. It can also boost their performance at work and improves their productivity and time management.
Reading can aid in the development of career-relevant skills. ACP professionals can earn PDUs by reading books, blogs, and articles about project management. One PDU is awarded for each hour of reading. Reading can help professionals in their careers by improving vocabulary, boosting creativity, lowering stress, fostering empathy, increasing intelligence, and developing persistence. It also helps in gaining valuable insights into other perspectives, which can improve their ability to relate to their clients and coworkers.
ACP Certification holders can earn PDUs by engaging in structured professional discussions with others, such as mentoring others or participating in a mentoring program within the organization. They may earn a maximum of 45 PDUs for each hour spent in mentoring. Mentoring aids in exposing individuals to fresh perspectives, concepts, and methods. Additionally, it helps in expanding their professional growth record and provides opportunities for reflection on personal experience and goals.
Creating content assists professionals in imparting their knowledge and skills to others. This includes writing articles or blogs, creating webinars, writing books, or even creating presentations for webinars. ACP professionals that work on developing content are exposed to dozens of ideas as they look for fresh prospective subjects to write about, which helps them learn about new development in the agile field. Creating content demands attention, focus, and goal-oriented work, all of which aid in increasing one's productivity in both their professional and personal life.
ACP Certification holders who pass quizzes on project management can earn up to a third of their PDUs. A passing mark of 80% earns them a minimal number of PDUs. Depending on the kind of question they take, individuals might get up to 2.5 PDUs. Quizzes let applicants evaluate their skills objectively while also highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, it aids in tracking their professional development and enhancing personalized learning.
ACP holders can volunteer at PMI-organized events and earn 1 PDU for every hour of service. They will stay in contact with and participate actively in local chapters. The major benefit of volunteering is that it helps candidates increase their project management abilities and enhance their leadership skills through hands-on experiences. It also helps them establish, extend, and retain their professional network. In addition, they will acquire expertise that they may highlight on their CV to improve their chances of getting their next job.
What happens if candidates do not earn the required PDUs?
A candidate will be placed in suspended status for up to twelve months if they do not acquire the necessary PDUs throughout their CCR cycle. After the period of suspension expires, the person will either be able to finish the renewal process or their credential will expire.
Suspended Status: A candidate has a year to acquire the required PDUs and finish the certification renewal procedure. He or she is not permitted to use their ACP Certificate or identify himself/herself as a credential holder during this period.
Expired Status: If a candidate does not get enough PDU and renews their ACP Certification during the suspension period, their certificate will expire. He or she will completely lose the certification and no longer be regarded as a PMI certificate holder. However, individuals should apply for recertification if he/she wish to receive their ACP certification once again.
Exceptions and retired status: If candidates are unable to finish the CCR program within the three-year cycle due to circumstances like military duty, poor physical or mental health, or family leave, he/she can request PMI for an extension. Furthermore, he/she can apply for retired status if he/she has either temporarily or permanently retired from the project management industry. In this scenario, he or she must send a formal request to PMI to obtain instructions and fill out the application.
Maintaining an ACP Certificate is a crucial part of the certification process. It shows the certificate holder is staying up to date with best practices and new developments in project management through continuous learning.
The certification empowers an individual to implement value prioritization schemes. This is a strong reason enough for reaching the required PDU score. Certified individuals can authorize the use of minimally marketable features and the requirements prioritization model. This accreditation makes a professional eligible for backlog prioritization reviewing and involving stakeholders in it, as well. Agile practitioners focus on project processes refinement and incremental product development.
Listening to podcasts or lectures at seminars further polish the active listening skills which certified professionals are valued for. They become adept at 3 levels of active listening namely, global listening, focused listening, and internal listening. Training makes them knowledgeable in the use of simple techniques to involve stakeholders in the decision-making process. Certified individuals also take charge of conflict resolution at its 5 stages by implementing effective strategies.