PMI-ACP PDU – Important Points About Renewing PMI-ACP® Cert.

25 min. read

If you are searching for information about PMI-ACP PDU then, this article is an ideal read for you. Most of PMI certifications holders knows that their credentials are subjected to renewal requirement however, not everyone knows exactly how. So if you are PMI-ACP certified and wondering how will you renew your credentials, read this article carefully.

Project Management Institute (PMI) has specific requirements for each of its certifications in order for certification holders to maintain it. Accordingly, PMI assesses the credential holders’ eligibility to keep his credentials in an active state. This follows PMI conditions for certification acquisition requirements as a step for keeping the acquired certifications for a limited time period. Thus, PMI asks certification holders to obtain a level of knowledge, expertise and share this knowledge and expertise with others.

PMI uses PDUs as a measure for this level of gained and shared knowledge and expertise. Each certificate requires a specific number of PDUs for renewal, where the PMI certification holder has to gain, submit and report. Thus certification holders work on obtaining the required number of PDUs which is specific to their held certificate. On the other hand, if PDUs are not achieved, the certificate expires and the certificate holder has to re-certify. This means that the certification holder has to retake the certification exam.

PMI-ACP Certification Requirements

So, if you are already PMI-ACP certified then you already know the PMI-ACP eligibility requirements. However, if you are still in the early stages of applying to the PMI-ACP certification exam then you need to know that there are four main PMI ACP eligibility requirements. These requirements include Educational
Background, General Project Experience, Agile Project Experience, and Agile Practices Training.

The first requirement – Educational Background – involves PMI-ACP applicants must have a minimum of a secondary degree which includes a high school diploma, associate’s degree or a global equivalent.

In addition, an applicant needs to have project work experience of 2,000 hours -12 months– which s/he must have earned during the past 5 years.

As for the third requirement, PMI-ACP applicant has to have 1,500 hours – about 8 months – working on Agile project teams which must have been earned during the past 3 years.

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While the fourth and last requirement for PMI-ACP exam applicants is to attend 21 contact hours of Agile practices training.

Once you pass your PMI-ACP exam successfully and obtain your PMI-ACP certification, you need to maintain your certificate. To do this, you need to obtain 30 PMI-ACP PDU to renew your credentials every 3 years.

Why should I renew the PMI-ACP Certification?

There are as many Agile certifications out there as you can imagine, so what makes PMI-ACP special and why should you renew it? The answer has many aspects that you need to consider. First, Agile practices are trending and growing so fast. This rapid growth gives offers a wide range of job opportunities for qualified candidates. Also, it offers career growth opportunities for those who already work in this career. So what can differentiate those who hunt the right opportunities from the others?.

The answer is the right level of experience, the right level of education and the right level of skills. As a result, any person who seeks to hunt these opportunities has to prove his possession of these different elements. However, companies won’t just take your words for granted. Also, you can’t just wait until your resume passes the screening process in a lucky shot. Luckily for you, there is a way to overcome such a problem. Organizations like PMI offer an independent judgment of its PMI-ACP holders which certifies that you possess these requirements.

So if you are already holding a PMI-ACP certification make sure you keep it active by acquiring the required PMI-ACP PDU. PMI-ACP is a critical Agile project management certification if you are aiming to find better jobs and advance your Agile project management career.

What are the PMI-ACP PDU Requirements?

So if you already decided to renew your PMI-ACP certificate, you must know the requirements for PMI-ACP PDU. In order to renew PMI-ACP certification, PMI requires from you to obtain and report 30 PMI-ACP PDU every cycle of 3 years. Now you need to understand what is PMI-ACP PDU and how to obtain it.

What is PMI-ACP PDU?

PMI-ACP PDU or Professional Development Unit is the one hour of time you spent studying, learning or even teaching. Specifically, PMI-ACP PDU has to be spent on topics related to Agile practices. In addition to those mentioned, you can also earn PMI-ACP PDU by volunteering in Agile project management related work. Through tracking and reporting your PMI-ACP PDU during the three-year cycle, you can renew your credential after reaching 30 PMI-ACP PDU. So how can you collect these 30 PMI-ACP PDU and what are the sources that can help you to gain them? That is what we are going to discuss further in this article.


First, we will start by breaking down each category of PDUs that you can earn your PMI-ACP PDU from. In addition, we will also highlight any limitations to the category so you can be aware of it. Mainly there are two main categories of PMI-ACP PDU, PMI-ACP Education PDU, and PMI-ACP Giving Back PDU. Each of these two categories has some subcategories which in turn may have some limitations of their own. Now, let’s move to the first category requirements.

PMI Continuing Certification Requirements Program

To have a good understanding of the whole idea of PMI-ACP PDU, we need to explain how the idea fits into the PMI qualification scheme. We already described how the scheme ensures the qualifications of the exam applicants through exam eligibility requirements. Now how does the Project Management Institute ensures the certification holders are following its standards? The answer is with the PMI Continuing Certification Requirements program.

According to this program earning PMI-ACP PDU must follow the framework which PMI designed to maintain specific requirements. PMI designed this program to ensure the ongoing educational development of its credentials holders and also to ensure their ongoing professional development. Through this program, PMI desires that the certification holders become well-prepared for the demanding nature of the dynamic and complex environment of today’s business. In the following section, we summarized the PMI Continuing Certification Requirements program’s main objectives:

  • The enhancement of the certification holders’ continuous learning in addition to their development.
  • Providing a clear direction for the needed development areas and to ensure the relevancy of the certified elite to the market need.
  • The recognition of opportunities for learning and motivating certification holders to take them.
  • Offer a professional development recording mechanism.
  • The sustainability of PMI certifications value and their relative global recognition.

PDU requirements for PMI-ACP

While the PMI renewal cycle duration is the same, each group of certifications has its own PDU requirements for certification maintenance. PMI requires PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PMI-SP certification holders to earn and report 30 PDUs unlike other certifications like PMP, which requires 60 PDUs for renewal and certification maintenance.

These PDUs are distributed across both education and giving back to profession categories. Accordingly, PMI requires certification holders to report a maximum of 12 Giving Back PDUs and a minimum of 18 Education PDUs. The distribution of education PDUs between talent triangle skills is a minimum of 4 Power Skills PDUs as well as a minimum of 4 Ways of Working PM PDUs and a minimum of 4 Business Acumen PDUs. While setting a limit of a maximum of 4 PDUs for reporting working as a professional / practitioner of the giving back PDU category.

You can check out how many PDUs you can earn with Master of Project Academy’s courses on the PDU list matrix.

Check our PMI-ACP PDU Training Video

PMI-ACP Education PDU Requirements

Education PDUs are mandatory and PMI-ACP certification holders must earn the required minimum in order to renew their certificates. In the PMI-ACP Education PDU category, you can earn PMI-ACP PDU through the attendance of professional seminars and webinars in addition to the attendance of classroom training courses as well as studying through self-paced PMI-ACP PDU courses.

PMI-ACP Education PDU category offers a wide variety of options for earning PDUs, which in turn makes it one of the easiest ways for gaining PDUs. In terms of limitations, you must earn at least 18 Education PDUs to main your PMI-ACP certification. Also, you have to earn at least 4 PDUs per each of the skill areas of the PMI Talent Triangle. These skills are Ways of Working, Business Acumen, and Power Skills. Also, you can earn the entire 30 PMI-ACP PDUs from education since there is no limitation over this category.


PMI-ACP PDU and Talent Triangle

Another important thing to highlight about the CCR program is that PMI-ACP education PDUs are divided according to the PMI talent triangle. This distribution follows the three key skill categories of project managers:

  1. Ways of Working
  2. Business Acumen
  3. Power Skills

To explain them more, Ways of Working refers to the knowledge, behaviors, and skills relevant to Project Management domains as well as Program Management and Portfolio Management domains. Meanwhile, the Business Acumen include the knowledge and expertise related to the company or its industry which improves the performance to delivers improved business results. Power Skills refers to the skills and behaviors as well as the knowledge related to leadership activities which help the company achieve the intended business objectives.

PMI-ACP Giving Back PDU Requirements

Giving Back to Profession category includes the activities where you contribute to the advance of the project management profession. This includes all the voluntary activities you perform, the teaching and the presenting activity. In addition to the previous, it includes any other activity with the same nature. For simplification, we will provide further detailed information about both categories options in the following section. Unlike the education category, Giving Back to Profession category is an optional PMI-ACP PDU category. This means that although you can earn some PDUs from this category options it is not a must to earn any for your certification renewal. At the same time, Giving Back to the Profession is limited to 12 PMI-ACP PDU per each 3 years renewal cycle. In addition to the prior limitation, there is another sub limitation of 4 PMI-ACP PDU for working as a professional option.

PMI-ACP PDU Categories

Now let’s dig deep into the options of each PMI-ACP. Each one of the two PMI-ACP PDU categories has its own list of options. Through exploring these different options, you can set your PMI ACP PDU acquisition plan easily by deciding which option is more suitable to you. Without further talking let’s move forward.

Education PDU categories

As we mentioned before PMI-ACP education PDU category contains a wide variety of options. Thus, we have listed down these options with a detailed description of each option. Each hour you attend or spend in learning through these options count as one PMI-ACP PDU. Now let’s discuss them one by one.

Course or Training

Your normal classroom training courses can be reported and counted as PMI-ACP PDU as long as these courses are related to Agile practices topics. This includes all sorts of instructor-led training courses whether it is a classroom, one-to-one or even online. Each hour you attend in these trainings counts as one PMI-ACP PDU.

Master of Project Academy offers Free PMI-ACP PDU Training bundle and earns you 4 PDUs for FREE. Enroll now!

Free PDU Training

PMI instructor-led courses, seminars, and webinars

PMI offers face-to-face and instructor-led courses, webinars, and seminars. If you attend these activities, you can report every hour you spent as one PMI-ACP PDU.

On-demand e-learning courses

Demand for self-paced learning is growing so fast due to its time and location convenience. If you don’t want to bound yourself with a trip to a training class or limit your learning time. This option is the right one for you so you can earn your PMI-ACP PDU easily. There are a variety of options where you can learn as you go or self-paced model all over the internet. In addition to this PMI has a list of accredited Academic Education Programs by PMI Global Accreditation Center as well as PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) training courses. Also, PMI approves the other non-accredited training programs as long as they offer relevant training courses.


Still, as a piece of general advice, you need to be careful while dealing with these other providers. Since we are talking about your career and professional development, you need to ensure that you gain the right knowledge and the right level of knowledge.


Organization Meetings

Moving to easier earning options, attending a project management profession related meeting, event or activity grants you PDUs. Earning PMI-ACP PDU through this option is limited to 1 to 2 PDUs. Also, this option is not limited to PMI specific events or activities. Still attending or organizing meetings related to PMI is easier to report and prove. To earn PMI-ACP PDU through this option, navigate and view the PMI events calendar or check with your nearest PMI chapter.


The easiest option for earning PMI-ACP PDU is through self-directed learning which includes reading books, material. This option also accepts reading project management related articles as well as Podcasts and other material that offers similar content.

Informal Learning

PMI even accepts informal learning as PMI-ACP PDU. Thus if you had a mentor or someone guided, instructed you in activity or work related to project management, and also if you went into the discussion over a project management-related topic, you can also report this as PMI-ACP PDU. Even your typical professional discussions with your coworkers for improving your project management practices counts.

Giving Back to the Profession PMI-ACP PDU

In the Giving Back to the Profession category, PMI offers a special opportunity to earn PMI-ACP PDU by reporting your normal activities. Thus giving you the opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills while growing personally as well as professionally. Giving Back to the Profession allows you to grow steadily in line with the dynamics of today’s business environment while staying relevant to changing demand. In fact, PMI does not mandate you to report any giving back to the profession PDUs for renewal. However, it still a good option for earning PMI-ACP PDU at the same time as expanding your skillset. Unlike Education PDUs, to report the PMI-ACP PDU you have gained, you have to follow each option’s own rule. Now, let’s move on to different options.

Work as a professional / practitioner

The first option of giving back to the profession is to report your work as a professional or practitioner. Yes, you read that right. PMI believes that applying the knowledge and practices in a project management role within a practical context, allows your skillset to grow. Not just yours, but it allows you to contribute to the development of others around you. Unfortunately, this option is limited only to 4 PMI-ACP PDU per your 3 years renewal cycle. Another limitation is that PMI does not allow you to report it more than once per the three years cycle. Also, you can not transfer the extra PDUs to the next cycle.

Create Content

Next in line is creating knowledge content so other practitioners can use it. When you develop a content where you share your knowledge and expertise, you can earn one PMI-ACP PDU per hour you spent developing the content. This option includes writing articles or blogs, creating webinars, writing books or even creating presentations for webinars. Also, this can be applied to developing content for PMI associated websites and projectmanagement .com.

Give a Presentation

Also giving a formal presentation which includes sharing project management knowledge with others allows you to earn PDUs. Each hour you spend performing these types of activities grants you one PMI-ACP PDU that you can report to PMI.

Share Knowledge

Sharing informal knowledge with others also allows you to claim PMI-ACP PDU. This includes the case of mentoring someone else for the sake of developing his project management skills. This means that you can report 1 PMI-ACP PDU per each hour you act as a mentor for a person in the context of project management work. In addition to mentoring, teaching or instructing others are also considered in this option as well as providing subject matter expertise to benefit others from our perspective of experience.


Offering your volunteer services to an organization that is not your employer or a client without compensation grants you PDUs. PMI has its own community of volunteers who support the Institute and the profession in a variant ranges of roles. The one-hour of voluntary service grants you 1 PMI-ACP PDU.

5 Steps to Renew PMI-ACP Certification

Now let get to the action. How can you renew your PMI-ACP certification? There are four main steps for PMI-ACP certification renewal. We have listed them below in the same real-life order:

Earning PDUs

Gain your 30 PMI-ACP PDU and keep your evidence in your possession for later use. As we mentioned before you need to collect at least 18 Education PDU and by max 12 Giving Back PDU. This can be done as we described before through any mix of options as long as you meet the criteria.


Reporting PDUs

The first step you need to do is to report them to PMI. You can do the reporting for PMI-ACP PDU by entering your PDUs into the PMI online Continuing Certification Requirements – CCR – system. Keep reporting your PDUs as you go, don’t wait until you reach your final days of the renewal cycle. This way you grantee you won’t miss reporting your earned PDUs and you won’t have to think a lot about what to report. Also, there is an important note that you need to keep your PDUs related documents for later audits.


Applying for renewal

Once you have reached your 30 PMI-ACP PDU you can now request a renewal.

Paying fee

Once you’ve successfully applied, you need to pay the fees in order to complete your renewal. Once you’ve done the payment, congratulations! You have now renewed your PMI-ACP. The renewal fees vary between PMI membership subscribers and non-members. Thus, PMI members can pay $60 to renew their PMI ACP certification while non-PMI members should pay $150 to renew their PMI ACP certification. Once you renew your certification, we highly recommend you take a break from earning PDU for the new three-year cycle.

You can pay the renewal fees and complete the renewal process at any point in your cycle just after you complete your PMI-ACP PDU requirements. At the same time, you have to process your renewal payment within 90 days after your cycle end date. The reason behind this advice is to give you a room to celebrate your achievement and have proper rest for a while. Later on, you can start a new journey with your new plan for the next three years cycle.

Audit process

After certification renewal for PMI’s PMI-ACP certification, you may be subjected to the PMI audit process. All PMI certification holders are subjected to this audit. Since you are one of these certification holders, you agreed on your compliance with PMI terms of use and conditions. The terms and conditions state that you should adhere to the terms of the PMI audit process. If you are selected for the PMI audit, PMI will only allow you to renew your PMP certification after you complete the audit. Which in turn means you have to pass the PMI audit successfully and meet all of the PMI audit requirements.

The PMI-ACP PDU audit process randomly selects a percentage of certification holders who applied for renewal for the audit process. The selected certification holders have to submit evidence and supporting material to validate their reported PDUs. Thus, you have to keep evidence for all your reported PMI-ACP PDU for at least 18 months after the end of the CCR three year cycle.

PMI-ACP PDU Important Notes

While reporting your PMI-ACP PDU you need to avoid ending up reporting wrong PDUs. So what makes your reporting right? What advice you should take into consideration while reporting your PDUs? We will list them below:

PMI-ACP PDUs are subjected to audits

Since we already mentioned this point earlier in this article, we won’t discuss it in-depth here. The PDUs evidence differs from one PDU option to another, based on the type and nature of the reported PDU option. One last note is you have to make sure that you don’t report any fake PDU or submit a PDU that you are not able to prove.

PDUs can only be reported after being certified

You should not report any activities you have performed before getting your PMI ACP certification since PMI only considers activities as PDUs after you earn your PMI ACP certification. Thus any activity you performed before this point is not accepted as PMI-ACP PDU.

PDUs are only claimed once

Make sure you don’t report any PMI-ACP PDU more than once whether intentional or by mistake. If you do so, PMI may take serious actions against you up to removing your certification.

You can carry over PDUs from one cycle to another

Your earned extra PDUs within the three years cycle, which you can carry over to the next cycle. This option is limited to PMI-ACP PDU earned within the last 12 months of the three certification cycle. Also, you can carry over up to 10 PMI-ACP PDU to the next cycle.

You can not carry over Working as a Practitioner PDUs

The above-mentioned rule of carrying over 10 PMI-ACP PDU does not apply to Working as a Practitioner option. This exception is applied whether they occur in the last 12 months of the current cycle or not. This restriction only applies to this type of activity. While this applies to Working as a Practitioner option, the other Giving Back to Profession activities treated the same way as Education activities. Thus, they may carry over when they occur in the last 12 months of the current cycle to the next cycle.


You can maintain multiple PMI Certifications with the same PDUs

PMI offers a benefit for certification holders where they can benefit from the same PMI-ACP PDU to maintain other PMI certifications. When you hold more than one certification and report a PDU, you can use it to maintain all your certifications. But this rule has its own restriction. Accordingly, reporting Education PDUs that falls under the Power Skills type applies to all certifications at the same time. For example, if you attend a Power Skills course for 5 hours, you can report it for PMP and PMI-ACP certifications. In that case, you can report 5 PMI-ACP PDU and at the same time apply the same 2 hours to PMP PDUs. The same concept applies to Business Acumen PDUs. The logic behind this merit is that Business Acumen as well as Power Skills concepts are wide educational topics and not bound to one specific certification.

However, this rule does not apply to Ways of Working due to the fact that this knowledge is specific to the certification knowledge domain, they only apply to their respective knowledge. But on the other hand, the PMI-ACP PDU relevant to Giving Back to the Profession PDUs apply to all certifications. This is due to the fact that practical experience and its associated activities are more broadly applicable to all certifications.

Certification Status

You need to track your certification status regularly, as you may find it unexpectedly in a bad status. There are multiple different statuses for certification we have listed them below. CCR program defines certification status through the fulfillment of CCR program requirements. These certification statuses include:

  • Active Status: This means you fulfilled all CCR certification requirements.
  • Suspended Status: This means your certification does not satisfy CCR certification requirements within the last running cycle. Suspended status lasts 12 months after the cycle ends. You can fulfill the CCR requirements and your certification can change to active.
  • Expired Status: This happens once the suspension period ends without satisfying the CCR requirements of your certification. Accordingly, certification status changes to expired. Thus you need to apply for a new exam in order to regain your certification.
  • Retired Status: A certification holder with good CCR standing can decide voluntarily to retire his certification. This status only applies to those who have been certification holders with good standing at least for 10 consecutive years.

PMI-ACP PDU Online Courses

Earning PMI-ACP PDU is easy when you decide to utilize online courses. There are as many options for online courses as you can think of. Although the options are many, only a few stand out as worthy options. You should not think of them as a means to just for you to collect some PMI-ACP PDU without contributing to your personal development.


One of these focused worthy programs is our 30 PMI-ACP PDU course bundle. This bundle is specifically designed to offer a full-cycle 30 PMI-ACP PDU which helps you to earn all the required PMI-ACP PDU at once. In addition to this one-shot gain, the bundle is also designed to help you sharpen your skills and develop them. Also, it provides the whole experience online at your own pace without any need to waste your weekend or taking a leave from your work.

The course also offers you end-to-end PMI-ACP PDU submission guidelines to help you report your earned 30 PMI-ACP PDU as well as offering additional study material for further knowledge enrichment.

Free PMI-ACP PDU Options

If you care for a free ride of PMI-ACP PDU we can guide you through all the possible options for it. There are multiple opportunities for earning free PMI-ACP PDU without paying fees. Accordingly, we will provide you with an overview of this wide range of free options offered through the internet.

As you may already know the internet offers plenty of project management related content that you can benefit from and use it as a way to earn your PDUs. However, you need to remember that there are many issues within these free content because of their credibility issues. One of the biggest issues with these options is that they might harm your knowledge and understanding of project management. Thus we have shed some light over each option’s credibility so you can select carefully without harming your knowledge.

PMI webinars, events, activities

Participating in PMI webinars, events, activities is an extremely good option as there are no doubts it’s a credible source as well as an easy one. Accordingly, you can follow PMI’s updated calendar which contains its upcoming webinars, events, and activities. Also joining many of these activities won’t cost you any money. These webinars, events, and activities are credible and trustworthy.

Also in most cases, PMI reports most of these webinars, events, and activities automatically on your behalf as an added bonus. As a result, if you are selected for audit you can easily skip these activities from the audit. Although this option is one of the best free options it has some limitations including the limitations over PMI-ACP PDU categories requirements and the relevancy of the available webinars to your remaining PMI-ACP PDU.

PMI Volunteering programs

Volunteering with the PMI community is another good chance for a free ride. With the PMI volunteering system, you can select a volunteering opportunity that matches your preference. Accordingly, PMI notifies you with any volunteering opportunity relevant to this preference. Although this option is PMI related, PMI does not by necessity report your activity automatically. Thus, you need to track your activities yourself and keep the related evidence so you can report it. Accordingly, you will need to keep volunteering related letters or certificates until you pass a possible audit. With similar benefits to the prior option, it also has its own limitations as well.

Reading and Self-studying PMI material

PMI offers a wide range of free content for non-PMI members which includes articles, recorded webinars, and other materials. Thus, you can read, listen or watch these materials and earn some PMI-ACP PDU, keeping in mind the limitations of this option.

Blogs and Youtube

Another rich source with high availability of free content and a massive number of contributors. However, there is a dark side of this beautiful moon and this dark side has a scary name: amateurs. Although some content writers and video bloggers are real experts who offer accurate information, the majority of the content providers are amateurs and do not offer worthy information. Nevertheless, some of them are providing inaccurate and false information as well. This is not only harmful to your knowledge, but they’re also not credible and PMI may not accept them in the first place. Thus, we do not really recommend such an option at all and if you decide to use it we advise you to try to verify the content first.

At the same time, it is extremely difficult for you to verify any content with new information. Although we have listed this option here, we highly recommend you do not go for it anyway.

Credible blogs

Out there, there some blogs that are associated with credible sources and training providers. The mentioned institutions and training providers offer written content belongs to authors who have the pulse of the profession. Such content has its credibility provided through the institutions or training provider credibility itself. Accordingly, knowing the credibility of the institutions or training provider, allows you to judge the credibility of the content. On the other hand, this option has its own limitations specified in the lack of a structured approach for learning. At the same time, it requires you to search for many articles to read in order to achieve your 30 PMI-ACP PDU.

Free project management courses

Remember the previous option? The same training providers including The Master of Project Academy offer free introductory-level online courses. Great news huh?! That’s not a joke, you can earn free PMI-ACP PDU and learn from a course that a reputable training provider offers. Surprised?! I’ll make it a bit more simple and specific, The Master of Project Academy provides a 4 PMI-ACP PDU for free through free PDU renewal training course. Attend this course and earn 4 PMI-ACP PDU without paying any course fees!

No, I’m not kidding, it’s real. Remember when I mentioned that many training providers offer introductory level courses for free? They offer these as a complement for their students in addition to potential students as well. Thus, new joiners who are not sure yet if they want to follow the project management track can use it to make their mind. At the same time, those who seek PMI-ACP PDU use it as well for their renewal. This comes with the benefit of the breakdown of PMI-ACP PDU per category.