Note: The PDU categories, structure and policies have changed in 2012. Please refer to the latest PMP Credential Handbook at http://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/Certifications/pdc_pmphandbook.ashx to find the updated information.
As per PMI's Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR), every PMP needs to re-certify his/her credentials every 3 years. In order to re-certify, a PMP needs to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every 3 years. There are numerous ways to earn these PDUs such as Practicing Project, attending trainings, seminars, workshops, self-learning, or doing voluntary work for PM communities.
After I passed my PMP exam, there was a sense of relief and satisfaction. Three months of rigorous preparation had turned into sweet success. I also received good recognition for my achievement, from my employer. I was on a high and time whizzed by. Before I knew, six months had passed. That's when it struck me that PMP Certification is not forever. I need to re-certify by earning 60 PDUs every three years. But I was left with not three, but only two and a half years to achieve this target.
I started searching for information on earning PDUs and found a lot of it. So much so that I was totally overwhelmed and confused. I had no idea where to begin from and where these 60 PDUs would come from. I found several courses, which offered 20-30 PDUs, but costed hundreds of dollars. I certainly did not want to spend this amount of money every year on earning PDUs. I thought to myself that with 250 thousand PMPs out there, there ought to be some easier and cost-effective ways to get these PDUs. So, I decided to dig further.
Gradually, the hard work started paying off. I started finding several good and effective ways to earn these PDUs, without burning a hole in my pocket. Just to give you an idea, I managed to earn 35 PDUs within just 5 months using the sources listed below, and without spending too much money.
I shared these ideas with many of my fellow PMP friends and colleagues. Their positive response encouraged me to create this article.
With this article, my aim is to help familiarize fellow PMPs with the 'simplest' and most 'economical' means to earn the 60 PDUs, which will qualify for PMI's Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR).
Following is the list of several such sources of PDUs:
Category 2H: Practice Project Management
- Claim upto 5 PDUs per calendar year => Total upto 15 PDUs per certification cycle (CC), which is typically 3 years in duration.
Category 2-SDL: Self-Directed Learning activities
- Claim upto 15 PDUs per CC. This includes:
- Read project management related books
- Listen to free podcasts available online. Some sources:
- International Institute for Learning: Currently offering a free podcast from project management Guru, Dr. Harold Kerner that is worth 2.5 PDUs
- The PM Podcast
- ESI International
- Develop skills in project management tools such as MS Project.
Category 3: Join your local PMI Chapter (such as Singapore PMI Chapter - SPMI)
Also, attend PM seminars and focus group meetings. Attendance to these events fetch upto 1 PDU per hr of the event. Moreover, registration for these events is free (most of the time) for the chapter members. If you can attend one 2-hr event (worth 2 PDUs) per quarter, you can earn about 8 PDUs per year => 24 PDUs per CC.
- Note: There is no limit to the number of PDUs that you can earn in Category 3.
Category 3: Attend free Webinars
Even if you attend 2 Webinar per calendar year, you can achieve 6 PDUs per CC. Some sources of free webinars:
- International Institute for Learning: Currently offers upto 11 free PDUs
- ESI International: Offering several On-Demand webinars, which can be downloaded for free.
- RMC Project Management: Currently offering 1 free webinar worth 1 PDU; more webinars will be available in future
If you do your math, you can earn 60 PDUs (15 + 15 + 24 + 6) without much sweat, by following the 4 simple steps listed above.
There are several other ways of earning PDUs in several other categories. I suggest that you refer to PMI's CCR Handbook for more details.
For more information about PMP Recertification, check out Deep Fried Brain - PMP Certification Blog