Understanding PMI’s New PDU Category Structure

If you currently hold one of the PMI credentials, you already realize that you have to adhere to the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program in order to renew your certification every three years.  At the heart of the CCR program is the requirement to earn professional development units (PDU’s).  The specific number of PDU’s varies by credential; PMP and PgMP require 60, whereas PMI-SP and PMI-RMP require 30.  There are a number of different ways to earn PDU’s, but PMI recently discovered that the 18 categories of activities in the current CCR program led to a fair amount of confusion, so they’ve taken steps to simplify the structure.

Beginning on March 11, 2011 the various ways to earn PDU’s will be grouped into six categories, which will be further grouped into two divisions.  The Educational Division will include: courses offered by registered education providers, chapters, and communities; continuing education; and self-directed learning.  The Giving Back to the Profession Division will include: creating new project management knowledge; volunteer service; and work as a professional in project management.  Note that all of the activities that were previously eligible for PDU’s are still included – this is just a different way to report them.

Also note that while there are no limits to the number of Education PDU’s that can be applied in a three year renewal cycle, PDU’s from Giving Back to the Profession are limited to 45 for PMP and PgMP, and 20 for PMI-SP and PMI-RMP.  For most activities, one hour equates to one PDU.  The following table lists example activities for each category and the maximum number of PDU’s for each credential, where PMP and PgMP are in column A and PMI-SP and PMI-RMP are in column B.

Category Examples A B
Courses R.E.P courses, seminars, conferences, PMI Publication Quiz No limit No limit
Continuing Education University of college courses, relevant education courses presented by organizations not registered with PMI No limit No limit
Self-directed learning Reading articles, books, instructional manuals, watching videos, interactive CD-ROM or online podcasts, being coached or mentored 30 15
Creating new PM knowledge Authoring textbook, article, presenting in webinar or podcast, creating a course, serving as a speaker, moderator, or panel member 45 20
Volunteer service Serve as elected or appointed officer or member of a project management organization for at least three months, mentoring 45 20
Working in the profession 5 or 2.5 PDU’s for each 12 month period in which you worked in the profession for at least six months, based on credential 15 7.5

For more details, see the explanation on the PMI website.

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About Dave Gordon

Dave Gordon is a project manager with over twenty five years of experience in implementing human capital management and payroll systems, including SaaS solutions like Workday and premises-based ERP solutions like PeopleSoft and ADP Enterprise. He has an MS in IT with a concentration in project management, and a BS in Business. In addition to his articles and blog posts, he curates a weekly roundup of articles on project management, and he has authored or contributed to several books on project management.