PMP Maintenance – Part 4: Keeping Your PMP Status
Now that you have put in the hard work and passed the PMP exam, take some time to celebrate with a sense of relief and satisfaction! You deserve it! After a while though, you will be faced with the fact that to keep the PMP designation beyond three years after passing the exam, you will have to complete 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs). Each PDU represents one hour of activitiy you are engaged with to continually learn, develop and further the field of Project Management.
PMI has a detailed PMP Handbook that formally outlines the process and procedures of obtaining PDUs to maintain your PMP, but much like the PMBOK, it can be a bit hard to find simple and practical ways to obtain your PDUs.
My goal with this post, is to show you how to obtain PDUs in simple, practicle and most importantly, cost effective ways.
Here’s a summary of the requirements for obtaining PDUs (Please refer to the PMP Handbook for details):
You must earn 60 PDUs within a 3 year certification cycle – This means on average that you need to earn 20 PDUs each year
Make sure you understand and fulfil the PDU requirements based on PMI’s categories (See below for category details)
Make sure you can document your PDU records – PMI periodically audits PDU submissions and you will need to make sure you can produce proof towards your reporting
You can carry over up to 20 PDUs earned in the last (third) year of your certification cycle over to the next cycle – In other words, any excess PDUs earned in your last year can only be carried over up to 20 PDUs in the next cycle
Breakdown and Summary of PDU Categories
Category A: Courses offered by PMI’s R.E.P.s or PMI’s chapters/communities
The easiest way to accomplish PDUs in this category is to join your local PMI chapter and/or one of the numerous online communities that offer things like monthly meetings, weekend seminars, webinars, podcasts, etc. where you can earn from 1 to 8 PDUs. Many of these are offered free or for a cost effective fee.
Other more costly alternatives would be to search for courses offered by PMI R.E.P.s (Registered Educational Providers) where you can pay for and attend courses, training and seminars in person or online. These can cost from hundreds to thousands of US dollars and some offer up to 60 PDUs upon completion (these sessions run for weeks). These would be for those who waited till that very last moment where the cost and time lost going through the PMP preparation process outweighs the high cost of the sessions.
Category B: Continuing Education offered by a University/college, or a training organization NOT registered with PMI
This can be accomplished by those who receive additional education after receiving a PMP such as getting a masters degree or certification from an accredited university or college. A well know and respected program is the Advanced Project Management certificate from Standford University. I believe you an claim up to 120 PDUs upon completion of this certificate program!
Other lower cost alternatives would be to attend project management training sponsored by your employer.
Category C: Self-Directed Learning (30 PDU limit per cycle)
This can be earned by reading a book on project management and briefly describing what you learned from it when you apply online. Other ways would be to view or listen to freely available podcosts and videocasts available online that are about project management. Sites such as The PM Podcast are good resources.
**The categories D, E, F below fall under “Giving Back to the Profession” category, which has a combined limit of 45 PDUs per Certification Cycle.
Category D: Creating New Knowledge
This can be fulfilled by writing project management-related books and articles for professional print or electronic publications, including PMI’s numerous publications. If you’re web savvy, you can write a blog for your company or organization, or present a podcast or webinar much like I’m doing on my site. :)
Category E: Volunteer Service
Earn PDUs by providing your professional services to an organization or group outside of your employer which includes any elected offices you hold for a project management organization. You could volunteer for your local PMI chapter or another non-profit business organization that will enhance your project management skills while giving back to your community.
Category F: Work as a Project Professional
Claim up to 5 PDUs per calendar year by doing what you do best, i.e. Project Management. You can claim total up to a total of 15 PDUs per certification cycle (CC), which is typically 3 years in duration, under this category.
**NOTE – Keep the following in mind as you pick and choose options to obtain your PDUs from PMI’s website:
All activities must be related to project management topics that are substantially consistent with the knowledge areas and processes outlined in the latest edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®Guide) and involve appropriate expert resources.
Author: Don Kim
Article Source: http://pm.donkim.info/pmp-maintenance-part-4-keeping-your-pmp-status/