PMI certifications are the most reputable project management certifications. Once you have earned it, do not lose it. There are certain PMI PDU requirements to keep your PMI certification active. One of the most affordable and convenient ways to earn PDUs is attending PDU training programs.
About the PDU training programs:
- PDU Training Programs are ~7 times more affordable than other alternatives.
- No maximum limit for earning PDUs from PDU training activities.
- You can earn all 60 PDUs in a short time and affordably by attending PDU training.
Let’s go over the details now.
PDU Training Requirements
The following table shows the PDU requirements for PMI certifications. There is a minimum requirement for education PDUs, however, there is no maximum limit. You can earn all PDUs by attending Project Management PDU courses.
PDUs Required (Total)
Education PDUs (Min)
|PMP®, PgMP®, PfMP®, PMI-PBA®|
|PMI-ACP®, PMI-RMP®, PMI-SP®|
PMI requires all their certification holders to renew their certifications every three years. You can renew your certification by earning Professional Development Units (PDUs). These PDUs can be earned either by giving back what you know about project management or alternatively by taking PDU training.
Since renewing your PMI certification is the mandatory requirement to keep your certification active, you must earn the required number of PDUs for your certification or it will expire. Once the certification has expired, you cannot renew it. You will need to re-sit in the PMP exam!
How many PDUs you need to earn in the three-year cycle vary from certification to certification. The table above mentions the number of PDUs you need in the cycle of every three years, in order to renew your certification.
Taking PDU training is a very good way of earning the required number of PDUs. By taking PDU training, you not only earn PDUs but also learn something new. If you are currently working as a professional, you may need to enhance your skills and broaden your knowledge, in order to excel in your career. With the help of PDU trainings, you can reach new goals, make a career switch, and be an expert in the job at hand.
PDU Training Activities
PMI has given certain options and also set certain requirements for PDU trainings. The training you will take to earn PDUs must fulfil these requirements. We explain the PDU training options and the requirements, in detail, below.
A classroom or online training:
You may take PDU training physically in class but as more and more online training options have become available to us, you can easily find any take any training of your interest online. The PDU training that you may want to take could be on numerous topics like Agile, project scheduling (e.g. scheduling with MS Project), quality management (e.g. Lean Six Sigma), leadership, business analysis, conflict management, etc. You may even take another certification training. For example, another PMI certification training or certification training from another certification body.
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Other than these PDU training options, PMI also allows you to utilize free training resources. So, if you could find a free training opportunity in your city or online, you can attend that training and earn PDUs as well. There are actually many websites that offer free PDU trainings. These trainings may be short in duration but you can enroll in them to earn some PDUs.
Local or online events:
You will often find seminars and workshops happening in your area. If you research on the Internet, you will find out about the upcoming events near you as well as online. What kind of events you can attend? Well, it could an introductory training workshop on PMP, project scheduling, or Agile for example. You can check with your local PMI chapter also as they run many such PDU training events regularly. Workshops and seminars both allow you to learn something new. Another advantage of attending these events is that they are often designed to be fun, interactive, motivating, and educational at the same time.
This is basically about studying a book, or a guide or articles as a form of training. There are numerous books available on project management and related topics. There is no limit on how much you can read to broaden your knowledge. It is in fact a good opportunity that allows you to benefit yourself through reading activities and earn PDUs at the same time.
Watch our “How can I earn PDUs from PDU Courses” Video
Informal training sessions:
Having supper with your colleagues or friends while discussing project management and learning at the same time is also what you are allowed to do. This will be an informal way of training. So what you can do is you will think of a few topics, for example how to deal with workplace conflicts, or what are the top leadership skills, and call your friends or colleagues at your home. Everyone will give their input and this will be the opportunity for everyone to learn something new.
Among these training options we have mentioned above, attending proper PDU training is the best way to earn PDUs. PDU training is the fastest way to earn many PDUs. Moreover, this is also an opportunity for you to learn comprehensively.
To earn PDUs from training, you cannot just take any training. The training must fulfil the requirements as mentioned in PMI’s Talent Triangle. This Talent Triangle basically focuses on three skill sets. The training content must be from these skill sets and these are explained below.
Skill Set 1: Technical Project Management
The training you take can be about the skills needed for technical project management. Unlike general project management, technical project management focuses on project management from technical aspects. A person who has to deal with a project from technical aspects should possess skills like earned value analysis, cost accounting, project scheduling, agile project management, contract management, etc.
Skill Set 2: Leadership
A leader should possess a large variety of skills. The skillset of a leader includes but not limited to active listening, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, team development, negotiation, decision making, motivation, and creativity. You can find many PDU trainings that teach you these skills.
Skill Set 3: Strategic & Business Management
Having leadership and technical project management skills is important but if you are not aligned with your organization strategy, your direction may be wrong. So this skill set expects you to gain skills on how to better understand your organization strategy and make sure all the projects are in alignment with it. Some of the strategic & business management skills you can gain from PDU training include financial planning, strategic planning, marketing and sales management, business analysis, and operations management.
Attending a typical training often costs a lot of money. In contrast, the PDU training option is more affordable. To give you an idea, on average, a typical one-day training will cost you around US$ 500. From this training, you will earn 8 PDUs. Earning just 8 PDUs from a US$500 course is not worth it, is it?
PDU training options are more affordable. So, to earn 60 PMP renewal PDUs, which are required to renew the PMI-PMP certification, you may have to pay from US$ 200 to US$ 400. Depending on the topics that the 60 PDU training covers, the price will vary. Similarly, to earn just 15 or 30 PDUs, required for the renewal of other PMI certifications, you will be paying much less for the PDU training.
Free PDU Training Options
You may earn all your PDUs from a paid and comprehensive PDU training. But, if you like, you can utilize as many free training options as you like. It will be difficult for you though to earn free PMI PDUs as the free trainings are often short in duration.
So, where can you find free PDU training options? Well, you have numerous options to access free PDU trainings. YouTube is one big ocean of information. There, you will find trainings on virtually everything. For example, if you search for a training on leadership or conflict management or communication, you will find many training there.
Other than YouTube, you can use Google to find other websites where free courses are available for you to utilize. Even, if you look at the paid course websites, they often sell some courses for free. There are in fact many online training academies that offer free PDU trainings. So, with a little search on the Internet, you can find many free Project Manageement PDU courses.
Remember, however, that since these free courses are not comprehensive, you will not get to learn a lot. Also, as we mentioned above, these free courses are mostly short in duration, so only a few number of PDUs can be earned from each course that you will take.
Now that you have earned your PMI certification, you must renew it every three years. Do not mistake being one of those who delay earning PDUs and the time to renew the certification is over.
We recommend that once you have earned your certification, start to look for PDU trainings soon. Whether free or paid, you have to take some trainings to earn the required number of PDUs. So, why delay? Whenever you get free time, enroll in PDU training.
Always remember how many PDUs are required to renew your certification. We have mentioned in this post the PDU requirement for every PMI certification. You can go slow and earn the required number of PDUs in three years. Or if you wish, and if you get the opportunity, you can earn all the PDUs even in only one year. PMI allows you to earn all the PDUs before the three-year renewing cycle completes. And, if you have earned all the PDUs earlier, you can renew your certification. Don’t worry, if you renew your certification earlier, the new three-year renewing cycle will start from your certification’s original renewing date.
In this post, we have mentioned that you can earn PDUs from typical training and also from PDU training. We also mentioned that PDU trainings are much more affordable than the other training options. So, utilizing the PDU training option has the advantage when it comes to cost. There is another benefit of taking PDU trainings and it is that PMI will always accept PDUs claimed from these trainings. It is because these trainings will deliver content, which will be aligned with PMI’s Talent Triangle.