PMP PDUs Requirements.


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How Is Earning PDUs Beneficial For An Individual?

Each hour one spends learning about project management through different mediums gets recognized as a PDU (Professional Development Unit). If that activity exceeds an hour by 45 minutes then it will be considered a 1.75 PDU. So, every minute counts here and not a single second of one’s effort goes in vain.

The two major categories of PDUs are, paid and non-paid. Several courses are available for attaining paid PDUs. So, the next question that occurs to the mind is, how to obtain free PDUs for PMP renewal in 2024?

Well, the number of ways to achieve free PDUs is quite many and fulfills the real intention behind earning PDUs. PMP Certification renewal is an external cause but actually, PDUs help certified individuals constantly update their knowledge. In the process of acquiring PDUs, professionals remain dedicated to their profession by embracing the latest project management trends.

For those who wish to confirm how many PDUs needed for PMP, the answer is 60. A candidate must collect all PDUs within the months that count a 3-year certification validity period. An inability to collect in proper time will suspend a candidate’s credentials for the upcoming 12 months.

How Many PDUs Are Needed For PMP Certification Renewal?

PMI’s broad PDU classification under the heads - ‘giving back ’ and ‘education’ have further categories that need a mention.

PDUs for PMP in the ‘education’ category has further subdivisions, which are:

  • Division A- Candidates earn PDUs by undertaking courses imparted by PMI chapters, communities, ATPs, G.A.C
  • Division B- This refers to continuing project management education.
  • Division C- It comprises self-directed learning.

Candidates should be alert not to cross the count of 30 while acquiring PDUs in the C division. PMI mandates that these three divisions should account for a minimum of 35 of the 60 PDUs one is to earn. Free PDUs are available in all the 3 divisions.

One can earn free PMP PDUs only in the third division of the ‘giving back’ PDU category. This too has 3 divisions, namely:

  • Division D - This includes knowledge creation.
  • Division E - It comprises volunteering work.
  • Division F - It is related to professional experience. Earning free PDUs in this division during the certification validity period is restricted to 8 in number.
Overall, a candidate can collect not more than a total of 25 PDUs from these 3 subdivisions.

How To Earn Free PMP PDUs?

Free PDUs in Divisions A and B: A candidate has to seek the help of online resources for this purpose.

Free PDUs in Division C: This is the easiest way to meet a section of PMI’s PDU requirement criteria for bookworms. Within this category, one needs to read project management books thoroughly. For claiming a PDU, the reader must maintain a track of notes taken while reading along with the respective dates and times of starting and finishing the book. PMI will count the PDUs as per the one-hour activity benchmark.

This division limits the number of earning PMP PDUs to 30. So, avid readers can make the most of it. PMI leaves candidates with a choice between reading and watching webinars. The second option is an opportunity for non-book lovers. An hour of watching a webinar is fit for claiming one free PDU. An individual must note down the video duration and the date of viewing it for producing it to PMI.

Why Prefer Earning Paid Over Free PMP PDUs?

It is certainly advantageous to opt for attaining paid PDUs for the following reasons:

  • It becomes an arduous task to report to PMI each time after earning a PDU from a free resource. That is not the case while earning a paid PDU. It is the responsibility of the training provider to cater to an individual’s PDU needs. He doesn’t have to claim for individual PDUs one at a time and can produce the entire record within the provided timeline.
  • One cannot get an insight into the expertise and knowledge while earning free PDUs. On the other hand, paid PDUs always have new skills waiting for a professional to learn. For example, MS projects, communication techniques, Six Sigma, etc. Unlike in the case of paid PDUs, one needs to keep track of the free PDU claims on one’s own.

How Many PDUs Can One Claim As A Practitioner PMP?

5 PDUs is the earning limit for a year as a practitioner in project management. An individual can gather only up to a total of 8 during every 3-year cycle. The remaining can be earned in the aforementioned categories all of which focus on gaining knowledge.

Here is a list of the other activities directed to making it to the score of 60 PDUs for PMP Certification renewal.

  • A formal PMP Training
  • Reading
  • Organization meetings
  • Informal learning
  • Watch webinars and podcasts to acquire knowledge and take down notes
  • Content creation like informative blogs or white papers related to the concerned field.
  • Professional work experience in project management
  • Offer volunteer project management service to an organization
  • Share knowledge by training others and offering presentations

After all the explanation so far, does still any confusion remain for those pursuing PMP Certification?

The answer is yes. Individuals must be familiar with the PDU earning limitations set by PMI in the different categories. A clear picture of it should be there in their mind, which is as follows:

  • One can’t earn more than 25 PDUs in the second major category named ‘giving back to profession’.
  • As discussed earlier, an individual is free to obtain 35 PDUs or more in the first broad category termed ‘education’.
  • Of these 35 PDUs, 8 each must belong to strategic, technical, and leadership skill areas. The remaining 11 can belong to any of these 3 areas that form PMI’s Talent Triangle.
  • Candidates can choose any subdivision under the ‘education’ head to acquire all their PDUs for PMP recertification.

Thus, it is clear that one doesn’t need to be a highly experienced professional for gathering the required PDUs.

Instead, they can keep educating themselves and work as certified professionals simultaneously, to scale heights in this domain.

The PDUs earned through education also belong to the technical, strategic, and leadership skill areas. A candidate who is required to achieve PDUs has to gather at least 8 of them from each of these areas. leadership skill is one of them.

PDUs enrich PMP Certification holders with sufficient knowledge to maintain their global recognition through their credentials. Besides, these motivate candidates to explore more learning opportunities as a professional.

The validity of PMP Certification starts right from the date of passing the exam. This period lasts for 3 years during which one has to produce the total PDU count. One should start with the different activities right away to finish them on time.

Yes, it is. Those who aren’t much of a bookwork can resort to this innovative way of acquiring a certain amount of PDUs. It involves attentive listening to podcasts or webinars and taking down notes as felt necessary. As evidence, one only needs to keep a record of the duration and dates of watching.

For instance, an individual engaged in reading a project management journal for an hour will amount to 1 PDU. If the time exceeds by 45 minutes for that specific reading session then the corresponding PDU figure will also change.

Candidates have the choice of earning free PDUs in both the broad categories - ‘giving back to the profession’ and ‘education’. In such a case, one has to take full responsibility for meeting PMI’s PDU criteria within the suggested deadline.

The ‘education’ category alone is sufficient to help a candidate attain all the PDUs needed for PMP recertification. So, one can keep working and continue with PMP education at the same time. This will enhance their eligibility as professionals to reach higher ranks in the future.

Candidates are allowed to earn not more than 8 PDUs through working a full-time job as PMP. One can earn the remaining 17 of the maximum 25 PDUs in this category by offering volunteer project management service.

‘Content creation’ is one of the subdivisions of the ‘giving back to profession’ PDU class. This involves the preparation and publishing of white papers, case studies, or informative blogs in this domain. Other aspirants and professionals also benefit from these.

Firstly, a candidate is free from the tension of completing his PDU account for the 3-year CCR cycle. Most importantly, individuals can avail in-depth learning through the different educational activities and come across new skills.

‘Giving back’ and ‘Education’ are the two PDU categories that include all these 60 PDUs. The former category ensures the practical application of what one has learned. Nevertheless, these 2 classes are equally important in recognizing one’s expertise.

Falling under the ‘Giving back’ head, PDUs earned through volunteering service are eligible for PMP Certification renewal. This means that the aspirant has to offer project management services to any organization other than its recruiter company.

The 35 contact hours needed to fulfill PMP Certification Exam criteria form a part of the total number of PDUs. One needs to earn 60 PDUs for renewing this certification every 3 years.

The candidate gets time to acquire the required number of PDUs starting from the first date of exam passing. This duration ends at the 3rd year completion of the same date. Only then can the PMP Certification be renewed.

Every activity related to PDU earning can be easily tracked on the PMI website. The website provides a special form created for this purpose supported by CCR (Continuing Certification Requirements) system.

A day-to-day job in project management fetches a certain number of PDUs. These come under the ‘Giving back’ listing of PDUs. The idea is to check if the certified professional is capable of using his skills properly.

Yes. PDUs earned above the required 60 for PMP in the last year of the 3-year certification cycle can be applied to the next cycle. However, PDUs earned during the first two years of the cycle cannot be applied to a future cycle.

The PMI Talent Triangle outlines three key areas:
  • Ways of Working
  • Power Skills
  • Business Acumen