PMI PDU Guide – Requirements, Categories and 100% Free Courses

20 min. read

In this article, we are going to provide you a detailed guide about PMI PDU. So many people nowadays are getting PMI certifications because worldwide employers are looking for certified professionals who have the necessary level of knowledge and skills to be effective at work. Being certified by PMI Institute opens up a lot of opportunities worldwide in project management, business, and related roles. Professionals certified by PMI are preferred by employers and they also get preference when it is time to get a promotion at work.

If you already hold a PMI certification, it gives you confidence at your workplace as well as among your friends and family. Because PMI gives you recognized confirmation of project management knowledge and skills.


After getting a PMI certification, you need to maintain it. Maintenance of your PMI certifications is a mandatory requirement by PMI. It is necessary to keep your certification valid and active. All PMI certification maintenance requires that you earn the required number of Professional Development Units (PDUs) in a three-year cycle. This cycle starts the day you pass your PMI certification exam.

PDUs are basically hours that you actually spend in teaching, learning, reading, creating, working, or volunteering in project management or related roles. You need to earn a minimum number of PDUs for every PMI certification that you hold, over a period of three years. Once you have accumulated the required PDUs against your PMI certifications, you can submit these to PMI and pay a certification renewal fee. PMI PDU submission and fee payment is done at PMI’s website By completing this PMI PDU submitting process, you renew your certification for another three-year cycle.

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100% FREE PDU Pack

Let us send you links for our Free PDU Pack. Package includes:

- Free PDU Training - Worth 4 PDUs
- PMP PDU Requirements
- PMP PDU Resources & How to Earn PDUs
- 8 Steps to Renew PMP Certification

The process to accumulate PDUs, submit them to PMI, and making the payment for every PMI certification is the same. However, how many PDUs you require to vary for some certifications. PDUs can be earned under different categories defined by PMI. The complete detail on PDU submitting process, the certification renewal fee, and PDU earning categories are explained in the headings below.


Certifications provided by PMI have varying PDU requirements and these are described in the table below.

PMI Certifications

PDUs Required

Education PDUs

Giving Back PDUs

Renewal Cost

PMP®, PgMP®, PfMP®,




$60 / $150
(member /





$ 60 / $150
(member /





$60 / $150
(member /

As you see in the table, different PMI certifications have different PMI PDU requirements. These PDUs can be earned under the Education and Giving Back categories. The details on the PMI PDU requirements for each PMI certification and what activities you can do under these categories to earn your PDUs are explained below.

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

Free PDU Training

PMI PDU Requirements

PMI certifications have varying PMI PDU requirements. Below, we explain the PMI PDU requirements for each certification.


If you hold any of these certifications, you need to earn 60 PMI PDUs in a three-year cycle. These 60 PDUs can be earned in the Education and Giving Back categories. Education is the required category while the Giving Back category is optional. The activities you can do in these categories are explained in detail under the next heading in this article, under PMI PDU Categories.

If you hold PMP, PgMP, PfMP, or PMI-PBA certification, you need to earn the PDU in the following way:

  •  35 Minimum PDUs in the Education category: 8 Minimum PDUs required in all its sub-categories: Ways of Working, Business Acumen, Power Skills.
  •  25 Maximum PDUs in the Giving Back category: Maximum of 8 PDUs in Working as a Professional sub-category. Minimum of 17 PDUs in Volunteering & Creating Knowledge sub-category.

Watch Julie’s PMI Certification Renewal Story


If you hold CAPM, you need to earn 15 PDUs in a three-year cycle and these can be earned like this:

  •  9 Minimum PDUs in the Education category: 2 Minimum PDUs required in all its sub-categories – Ways of Working, Business Acumen, Power Skills.
  •  6 Maximum PDUs in Giving Back category: Maximum of 2 PDUs in Working as a Professional sub-category. Minimum of 4 PDUs in Volunteering & Creating Knowledge sub-category.

Master of Project Academy offers Free CAPM PDU Training bundle and earns you 2 PDUs for FREE. Enroll now!


If you hold any of these certifications, you are required to earn 30 PDUs in a three-year cycle. You can earn these PMI PDUs the following way:

  • 18 Minimum PDUs in the Education category: Minimum of 4 PDUs required in all its sub-categories – Ways of Working, Business Acumen, Power Skills.
  • 12 Maximum PDUs in the Giving Back category: Minimum of 8 PDUs in Volunteering & Creating Knowledge sub-category. Maximum of 4 PDUs in Working as a Professional sub-category.

Watch our PMI PDU Requirements Video

PMI PDU Categories

To earn your PMI PDU, you can do a variety of activities under the Giving Back and Education categories. These activities include but are not limited to the following:

1. PDUs from the Giving Back category

Giving Back is an interesting way to earn PMI PDU. You can contribute in many different ways, as explained below to earn your PDUs, while also enriching your professional skills.

  • Volunteering: This involves helping a nonprofit or charity organization in your city. Any help on project management that you will provide will count towards your PMI PDU. How can you help them? Well, there are many ways. For example, you may create some project management templates for them, or create a project schedule in a scheduling tool, such as Microsoft Project or Oracle Primavera, or monitor the progress of their project’s performance.
  • Creating knowledge: There are many things that you can do in this category. For example, you can create useful content related to project management or business analysis and publish online. You may choose to publish it on – a family website of PMI. Other than creating content, you can give a presentation at your organization or mentor or teach someone.
  • Working as a professional: If you are currently working as a professional in the field of project management, you can claim PDUs in this category. You can easily claim these hours working as a professional, as only a few PDUs in this category are required.


2. PDUs from the Education Category

The Education category gives you many options to earn your PMI PDU, such as:

  • Taking an online, live, or classroom-based course.

PMI recommends or you can look up courses at other similar websites for self-paced training, online live training, articles, or guides. The resources that you can search for your learning could be on many different topics related to project management. For example, conflict management, project scheduling, agile, project reporting, stakeholder management, leadership, business analysis, etc.

  • Attending local meetings and events related to project management.

There may be many organizations or groups in your area that run regular events and meetings. The events could earn you anywhere from 2 to 50 PDUs and from the meetings, you can typically earn 1 to 3 PDUs.

  • Read a book or read something online.

You can check the PMI store or other online or local book stores for a book of your interest, related to project management.

  • Informal tea, lunch or dinner cum learning

You can organize an informal lunch and learn session, where you can call your colleagues, juniors, seniors, and even friends for discussions on different topics related to project management or business analysis.

PMI Talent Triangle

PMI has described that the education that you take must fall in one or all of the categories defined in the PMI Talent Triangle:

  • Category 1: Ways of Working

This relates to skills, behavior, and knowledge in business analysis or management of projects, programs, or portfolios. You can learn many things in this category, for example, communication skills, problem-solving skills, conflict management, negotiation skills, emotional intelligence, active listening, leadership, etc.

  • Category 2: Power Skills

This relates to skills that a leader uses to lead his team to successfully manage his projects, such as negotiation skills, conflict management skills, resources motivation, creativity, motivation, emotional intelligence, and team development skills.

  • Category 3: Business Acumen

This relates to the skills and knowledge required to enhance your team, project, and business performance in order to deliver better business outcomes. This includes a vast variety of skills like critical thinking, financial analysis, strategic planning, benchmarking, marketing management, information technology management, operations management,  business analysis, requirement analysis, etc.

Important Things to Remember

Once you have made the renewal fee payment, your new cycle will start from your current certification expiry date, even if you have made the payment before the certification expiry date. For example, your certification renewal date is 1 February 2021 and you renew it on 1 November 2019. Your certification’s next renewal date will be 1 February 2024 (three years from the actual renewal date)

If you have earned more than the required PDUs within your current three-year cycle, it is possible to transfer up to 20 excess PDUs to the next three-year cycle. If you do not earn the required number of PDUs in your current three-year cycle, remember that your credential will no longer remain valid, it will expire! And if this does happen, your PMP credential will be suspended. PMI will allow 1 year of grace period so that you can make up your PMI PDU and make the renewal fee payment. During this grace period, your certification status will still show as suspended though.

During this suspension period, PMI does not permit that you refer yourself as a project management professional. You are then given one year to make up the due PDUs. If you successfully earn the PDUs, your credential will be restored but if you failed to earn the required PDUs, your credential will be canceled and you will have to apply to retake the PMP exam.

PMI PDU Courses

There are numerous PMI PDU courses available online as well as there are in your area that you can take to earn the required PDUs. One advantage of taking a PMI PDU course is that you will learn something new and earn the PDUs at the same time. You can search for good quality courses on the Internet. Or you can also check with your local PMI chapter or PMI R.E.Ps, as they offer a variety of courses. You can find a course of your liking which is related to project management and the one which is also financially suitable to you. Hence you have the option to choose the course that suits your needs, interests and the pocket too.

Other than taking the PMI PDU courses, you can attend events, webinars, or conferences. These could be online or being held locally in your city. To find details of those you can search on Facebook, in your local city Facebook pages, ask a friend, or watch on TV for announcements and advertisements. To earn PDUs, you can also mentor someone or read a book or run your own webinar or contribute to online wikis or discussions about anything related to project management or business analysis.

So, you have so many options to earn the required PMI PDUs. However, attending events, conferences or webinars is not easy to earn PDUs. Because you will end up attending so many of these just for two, three, or five PDUs. So, what should you do? The best option is to attend the PMI PDU courses. This is also a more useful, convenient, and more affordable option. We would recommend some good courses that you may take, such as courses on leadership, business analysis, stakeholder engagement, emotional intelligence, conflict management, project scheduling, and financial accounting.


60 PMI PDU Training Bundle at Master of Project Academy

At Master of Project Academy, we have created the best course option for you to earn your PMI PDUs. We offer a 60 PMI PDU Training bundle. It includes some of the top trainings such as Microsoft Project, IT Service Management certification training, Agile Scrum certification training, and Lean Sigma Green Belt certification training. There are 60 hours of video content on this training bundle.

When you purchase this bundle, you will also get useful downloadable handouts and materials.  You can send your questions and receive answers and support from our instructors within 24 hours. Not only this, you will get a step-by-step guide on how to submit your earned PDUs too. This bundle will be really useful for anybody wanting to submit their PDUs as the procedure is not that simple. With a better understanding, you can complete the process quickly and with ease. Also, with the purchase of this bundle, you will get a 30-day money-back guarantee, too.

Our other PM courses also earn you PDUs! You can check out the number of PDUs provided by Master of Project Academy’s courses on the PDU list matrix.

PMI PDU bundle user reviews:

A review of the free and the 60 PDU training bundle by some of the professionals validates the high quality and usefulness of the bundle. Professionals who have purchased our 60-PDU PMP renewal training bundle have submitted the following feedback on our website:

“I wanted to earn PDUs to renew my PMP credential and was searching online on how to do this. I searched for many options online and found this free PMI PDU bundle. Also, I enrolled in it and watched the free course videos. It met my expectations then I went ahead to purchase the 60-PDU bundle to complete my remaining PDUs. Without this, I could not renew my PMP easily.”

Another PMI certification holder wrote this about the 60 PDU bundle:

“I am aware that I had to renew my PMI PMP certification with 60 Professional Development Units. However, I couldn’t make it until the last year of the renewal period. So, I was looking for PDU seminars, events, and courses. I could earn a few PDUs but this free PDU offer and the 60 PDU bundle was a lifesaving point for my certification renewal.”

Pricing of the 60 PMI PDU Training Bundle:

The 60 PMI PDU bundle is available for purchase with monthly, annual, and lifetime subscription options. The monthly subscription is suitable for those who want to complete the courses faster, in a month or less time. They may purchase the monthly subscription for $157 only. Then there is an annual subscription. With only $40 more, you will get access to the complete bundle for the entire year. We recommend this subscription as it allows you to learn slowly to complete the training and during this time you can revisit the lectures and highlights for even better learning. There is a lifetime subscription option too. For $297, you will get access to the 60 PDU bundle for a lifetime, so you pay once and access the material of the course for an unlimited number of years.

Free PMI PDU Options

If you rather like to earn free PMP PDU, then there are many free PMI PDU options available too. These include:

1. Free PMI PDU offers by the Project Management Institute (PMI):

Events by PMI

If you are a PMI member and your membership is active, you can attend any of their virtual events that take place every few months. In these events, various top leaders or famous people are invited to participate. In recent events, some of the prominent figures who participated in the events include Malala Yousafzai, a PMO specialist Abdullah Seflan from Aramco, a senior product marketing manager from Microsoft George Bullock, president of PMI Sunil Prashara, and many more individuals from top organizations and universities.

Every event is different and different topics are discussed every time. For example, there would be a discussion about challenges faced by leaders, a talk on agility, technology, business processes, organization culture, and several more topics that would be part of the agenda in these events.

Watch “How can I earn Free PDUs Video”


Using your PMI membership, you can access 1000s of free webinars on PMI’s family website – There, you will find webinars on topics like dealing with conflicts in projects, risk management, stakeholder engagement, project management fundamentals, and many more subjects like these. Not only this, you can even earn PMI PDU by creating your own webinar on

Wikis and Discussions

If you can write good stuff, then you have the opportunity to earn PDUs by contributing to writing articles, white papers, templates, or by posting to blogs. You can also be involved in online discussion forums on project management. This is a huge opportunity to contribute in an easy way, even by writing a few lines or paragraphs to earn your PDUs.

2. Free PMI PDU course on Master of Project Academy

With the free PMI PDU course of Master of Project Academy, you will get access to a 2-hour PDU podcast, informative downloadable material, and PDU courses worth 4 PDUs. The courses are on the basics of Lean Six Sigma and Prince2, both are very popular courses worldwide.

To get this free PDU package, you do not need to enter your credit card information, in order to access the resources. Once you have enrolled for this free package, you will have access to it for an unlimited time. When you are taking the 4 PDU courses, if you need help or support about the courses that you are taking, you can contact our instructors who will reply to you within 24 hours. Once you have completed the 4 PDU courses, you will also be provided with course completion certificates.

This free PMI PDU package is a part of the paid 60-PDU PMI PDU training bundle, developed by Master of Project Academy, which you may like to purchase after you complete your free PMI PDU courses, to earn some more PDUs, for a fee.

3. Attending another training also earns you PMI PDUs

For example, you may take a free short course on project scheduling, change management, business analysis, agile, quality assurance, leadership, etc. There are many websites that offer free courses and on a variety of topics. If you google about free online courses, you will find websites where you can take a free course to earn some PDUs.


4.  Hosting a PDU in-house seminar

This is another way to earn PMI PDUs. People have successfully organized a seminar in their house, where professionals were invited to discuss or teach a particular topic. This is a very good way not only to earn PMI PDUs but also to have a nice gathering comprising learning, discussions, and some fun time too.

5. Attending a free meeting organized by PMI Chapters

It allows you to earn 1 or 2 PMI PDUs. PMI Chapters often organize a meeting where they talk about a variety of topics. For example, there would be discussion or presentation on the benefits of PMP certification, upcoming changes in PMBOK, or other topics like these. PMI has its chapters in almost every country and every major city. You may check with your local PMI chapter by calling them or visiting their website for a schedule of upcoming such meetings.

6. Mentoring, teaching, or conducting a training

In this way, you can earn many PMI PDUs. If you impart a training, or mentor anyone, maybe your colleagues or employees, all the hours spent on these activities will also contribute towards your PDUs.

7. Getting involved in course assignment work

Maybe you decide to take a course and your tutor sends you an assignment, the time that you will spend on doing that assignment will count towards your PMI PDUs.

8. Reading a book

So, if you have read a book to learn something, it must have taken a lot of time, record those hours; these too will contribute towards your PMI PDU requirement.

Yes, so you see, there are many ways to earn free PMI PDUs. Earning 60 PDU’s has been made easy by PMI, even if you used the free options, you earned PDUs!

There is a catch though! The free options to earn PMI PDUs will earn you a small number of PDUs so you will need to find and utilize so many PDU earning options. This might be a difficult thing to do for many. Therefore, we also encourage you to spend some money on paid resources to quickly earn enough PDUs. We have mentioned above the paid options to earn PMI PDUs and we invite you to look at the details of our 60-PDU course bundle, here. This training bundle is available with monthly, annual, and lifetime pricing packages, and you may purchase the one that suits your needs the best.

PMI PDU Reporting

The process to submit the required PMI PDUs is easy. The day you passed your exam, the PMI’s continuing certification requirement (CCR) cycle begins and it lasts for a period of 3 years. The following are the steps you will need to go through to report your PMI PDUs:

Option 1: Report PDUs Online

1. Participate in activities detailed above to earn PDUs.

2. Login with your login credentials, at

3. Click headings under Education and Giving Back categories and fill in the form to submit your PDUs.

4. Once you have submitted the required PDUs for your PMI certification, it is now time to make the fee payment. Go to and click on ‘Renew Now’, a new page will open. There, the certification renewal fee will be showing. At bottom of the page, click ‘Continue to Checkout’. On the next page that opens, enter your credit card information and click ‘Place Order’ to complete the certification renewal process.

That’s it, you have renewed your certification! From this point, another CCR cycle starts and you will need to perform the same steps again to renew your certification, every three years.

Option 2 – Report PDUs by fax or postal mail:

You can also submit the required PMI PDUs by fax or postal mail. To do it this way, fill in the form available here and submit by post or fax. Mailing address and fax number are written on the form.

PMI Certification Renewal Fees

PMI certifications have different renewal fees and are described in the table below.

CertificationMember FeeNon-Member Fee
PMI – ACPUS$ 60US$ 150
PMPUS$ 60US$ 150
RMPUS$ 60US$ 150
PgMPUS$ 60US$ 150
PfMPUS$ 60US$ 150
PMI – PBAUS$ 60US$ 150
PMI – SPUS$ 60US$ 150
CAPMUS$ 60US$ 150

PMI membership fee is US$ 139 and the annual renewal fee is US$ 129. If you are currently studying for a degree, you will pay the student membership fee of only US$ 32 a year. If you have retired from employment, the retiree fee is US$ 65 a year. So if you are a PMI member, you will be paying much less certification renewal fee than those who pay as a non-member. If you hold more than one PMI certification, then paying the renewal fee for all of the certifications being a PMI member will save you a big amount of money.

There are other benefits of being a PMI member too. For example, you can download 1000+ free project management templates and tools, you can find jobs on PM Job Board, you can download free PMBOK and get free opportunities to earns PDUs as well.

Summary – PMI PDU Guide

In this article, you have learned about PMI PDUs, requirements, and the cost to renew PMI certifications. You have also learned about the activities that you can do to earn the required PDUs and the procedure to submit the PDUs to PMI.

If you hold a PMI certification, it is important that you renew it before its expiration date to prevent certification suspension. We know many people who delayed renewing their certification too long and their certification was permanently canceled by PMI. Be not one of those ones and start earning your PMI PDUs soon after you pass your PMI exam. Earning 30 PDUs or 60 PDUs sounds easy but as you have learned above, there are many categories under which you need to earn your PDUs. So, look for the activities online and in your local area, participate in them, and submit them to PMI.

Remember, it is possible to earn some PDUs and submit them and then earn more PDUs and submit them later. If you choose to do it this way, remember, you will only be able to pay and renew your certification once you earned the total required PDUs.