PDU Alphabet Soup: So what is a PDU? Why should I care?
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.
For those of us who have achieved our PMP credential obtaining the 60 PDUs to maintain your credential over 3 years can be a daunting task. I'm here to tell you not to worry, it is actually pretty easy if you do a little planning-fancy that, a project manager who can plan.
PMI (Project Management Institute) provides a variety of ways in which you can achieve this elusive goal and I'm going to tell you a few simple ways to do it.
First, did you know that you can earn 5 PDUs per year for just managing projects? For those of us who have the title of project manager, that should really be a no brainer! Category 2H states: "Practitioner of project management services for a minimum of 6 months in a calendar year. This includes work in a project management office. 5 PDUs can be earned per 6 - 12 month period with a maximum of 15 PDUs per renewal cycle." You may even qualify if you are a team member acting in a leadership role within a project.
Participate with your local PMI Chapter. Two very easy ways to earn up to 20 PDUs are:
Attend a dinner meeting 5 times per year you can claim 1 PDUs for meeting attended. (assuming you stay to listen to the speaker) Typically these will be identified as Category 3 events as long as the chapter is considered an Registered Education Provider. If not, report them as Category 4.
* Volunteer a couple hours per month-Category 5C. You can earn 5 PDUs per year maximum for volunteering. (Ask your chapter how they determine a volunteer can earn the 5 PDUs, but generally it is related to continuous service even if just 1 hour per month.
* Finally, Category 2SDL is Self-Directed Learning. There are a lot of free or "near" free content on-line that you can read and capture within this category. It may include formal or informal activities such as reading articles, books, instructional manuals (how about reading the next updated PMBOK® Guide cover to cover?), watching videos, discussion sessions with colleagues, even being coached can count. You are limited to a maximum of 15 PDUs in this category over the renewal period.
So in summary, the chart below demonstrates that you can earn your 60 PDUs with hardly even opening up your pocketbook. All you need is a little commitment to being involved and a little PLANNING and SCHEDULING, Mr./Ms. Project Manager. It's not too hard to reap the rewards.
Category Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
2H - Project Manager Practitioner 5 5 5
3 - Attend 5 dinner meetings per year 5 5 5
5C - Volunteer a couple hours per month 5 5 5
2SDL - read articles, talk to a coach, etc. 5 5 5
About the author:
Diane Altwies is the Chief Executive Officer of Core Performance Concepts Inc. (CPC), a training and consulting firm with a proven track record of delivering completed projects to the marketplace through effective leadership of multi-disciplinary teams with a strong customer focus. She has more than 20 years managing software development projects, and over 15 years experience in the insurance, financial services, mortgage lending, and healthcare industries. She is an author of three books Achieve PMP® Exam Success, Achieve CAPM® Exam Success, and Program Management Professional and has developed PMP® exam preparation materials which are licensed to PMI Chapters throughout the U.S and to individuals and corporations around the world.