If you have PMP certification, PMI requires PMP certified professionals to earn 60 PDU hours every three years. There are certain PMP PDU requirements, and earning credits from Project Management PDU courses is one of the most affordable and convenient ways.
What should you know about PMP PDU?
- 60 PDUs needed every three years to renew the PMP certification.
- All 60 PDUs can be earned from Project Management PDU courses.
- The maximum limit for the Giving Back category is 25 PDUs.
- Free PDU courses link throughout the post – do not skip.
Let’s go through one by one now.
Project Management PDU Courses
Before we give any detail here about the project management PDU courses, it is important for you to understand and distinguish between PDUs and Contact Hours. If you already have earned your PMP certification or pursuing it now, you must have heard both of the terms. Well, PDU, which is short for Professional Development Unit, is an hour of effort, which you apply to expand your knowledge and grow continuously. Once you have earned your PMP credential, you need to continuously earn PDUs, in order to keep your certification active. If you do not earn PDUs in every cycle of three years, you will not be able to renew your PMP certification and it will expire. You can earn PDUs by doing many different activities and taking project management PDU courses is one of the best options.
What are Contact Hours then? Well, these are the hours spent in taking project management education, which is one of the prerequisites to sit for the PMP certification exam.
So, as we have mentioned, you need to earn PDUs in order to keep your PMP certification active. Not just the PMP certification, you need to earn PDUs for all the other PMI certifications and certifications by some other certification bodies too.
How many PDUs do you actually need to renew your PMP certification, you may ask? Well, you need 60 PDUs every three years and you must earn these 60 PDUs from either Education or Giving Back. These are basically the two options that PMI has permitted to earn PDUs through.
Watch our “How can I earn PDUs from PDU Courses” Video
What are the activities of the Giving Back Category?
Giving Back involves contributing to earn PDUs. Your contribution can be in many ways. PMI accepts Giving Back PDUs to be earned through volunteering, creating knowledge, or working as a professional. So, basically, working as a professional is about working in the field of project management. You do not necessarily be working on projects entirely. You can be an engineer and be involved in project management activities. Alternatively, if you are working on roles like a project manager or project coordinator, you are already involved in project management activities full-time.
Master of Project Academy offers Free PMP PDU Training bundle and earns you 4 PDUs for FREE. Enroll now!
Volunteering simply involves helping a non-profit organization in its project management tasks. For example, planning their projects, scheduling their activities, monitoring their project progress, etc. are only some of the many things that you can do as a volunteer.
And creating knowledge is about writing content. It could be writing articles on project management, contributing to online project management discussions and forums. Creating a project management course or teaching someone is also included in the creating knowledge category.
All the above-mentioned activities come under the Giving Back PDU category. You may do any of these activities as you want. However, note that PMI has set a limit on how many PDUs can be earned in the Giving Back category. You are allowed to do as many activities as you want but the number of PDUs you can submit to PMI and claim is a maximum of 25.
What Are the Activities of the Education category?
The option to indulge in educational activities is a very productive way to earn PDUs. So, if you like to take further education, there are many things that you can do to grow your knowledge and fulfill the PDU requirements at the same time.
For example, you can read a book on project management or other related subjects. Moreover, you can attend seminars, webinars, workshops on project management to earn PDUs. And if you rather want to learn something thoroughly, you can take a course online or physically in class.
PMI’s Talent Triangle
Your education activities must also fulfill the requirements as mentioned in PMI’s Talent Triangle. The Talent Triangle focuses on three skill sets: technical project management, leadership, and strategic & business management.
The leadership category expects you to learn the skills needed to successfully lead a project to completion. You must possess skills like motivation, emotional intelligence, conflict management, etc.
Technical project management is about knowing how to manage a project from technical aspects. So, you can look for skills like earned value analysis, scheduling, cost management, etc.
The strategic & business management category of PMI’s Talent Triangle expects you to have skills like strategic planning, critical thinking, business analysis, etc.
Where You Can Take Further Education and Earn PDUs?
Now the question is how and where you can take further education to learn these skills and earn PDUs? Well, as we explained above, you can involve in Giving Back or education activities. However, if you choose to enroll in project management PDU courses, you can quickly and easily earn the required 60 PDUs. For example, if you take a course on project scheduling using MS Project, this course will comprise of about 15 to 20 hours and by completing this course you will have earned 15-20 PDUs.
So, you can take a few similar courses to earn all your 60 PDUs. This option is not just the most feasible or easy, it is affordable too. Taking a course is an investment in yourself and the best way to learn something new. An online course on MS Project for example would cost about $100 on average. Similarly, you will find many such courses and there are hundreds of websites where you can find affordable courses.
Master of Project Academy offers Free PMP PDU Training bundle and earns you 4 PDUs for FREE. Enroll now!
So, if you take the route of project management PDU courses, you may have to take a number of courses to fulfil your certification’s renewal requirement. But it is a very good thing at the same time because you can earn all your 60 PDUs only by taking the project management courses. As we explained above, you have many other options to earn PDUs too but it is quicker and easier to earn all the required PDUs by utilizing only one PDU earning option. In the three-year certification renewal cycle, spending some money on project management PDU courses is definitely worth it.
What are the options for project management PDU courses?
If you decide to take project management PDU courses, you have a lot of course options that you may consider. For example, you may take a course on Agile project management, MS Project, IT service management, Oracle Primavera, Scrum, etc. Alternatively, you can choose project management courses related to your soft skills. A ton of project management PDU courses can be taken to learn new soft skills. For example, a course on leadership, communication, motivation, conflict management, decision making, trust-building, influencing, etc. There could be an entire big course just on leadership skills and on many other topics, too.
In case you prefer to choose not to take many project management PDU courses but just a few large courses, you can do so. If you wish, you can then take another certification course instead. For example, if you are into project planning, you may want to take PMI-Scheduling Professional (SP) certification course. This is a popular certification and it will earn you 30 PDUs. Similarly, Agile Scrum certification or PMI- Agile Certified Professional (ACP) are also popular certifications. These certifications are about Agile methods of project delivery and their courses are worth 12 and 21 PDUs, respectively. Lean Six Sigma is another course in the list of project management PDU courses. This course is related to quality management and it is also worth 30 PDUs.
So you have many project management PDU course options and you may choose one of your likings or as per your job requirement. If you prefer, you may take the courses which will help you in your career growth or even in switching to a better career. Every course that you will take will count. It will count not only towards your PMI PDU requirements but will also grow you as a professional.
Free Project Management PDU Courses
Besides the project management PDU courses that you will pay for, there are free project management courses available too. You might already have come across hundreds of project management course videos on YouTube. These courses on YouTube are obviously free to watch and you can benefit from them. However, you must remember that these are not comprehensive courses. The comprehensive project management PDU courses are those that give you complete training. These courses would cover all the prescribed training content outline and will prepare you for the certification exam also.
Just like YouTube, you may even find free project management PDU courses on hundreds of other websites. You may watch the free videos there to learn new skills or grow your knowledge. However, as mentioned earlier, these courses will not go into the details and will not focus their teaching on the certification exam.
Taking free project management PDU courses is a good idea to get started at least. You can watch course videos to warm yourself up and get ready for taking a comprehensive project management PDU course. Therefore, we also encourage you to enroll in the available free project management PDU courses. The free courses that several online academies offer will also give you an idea about the quality of their paid courses. So, you may enroll in their free course and if you are satisfied, take their paid PDU course to meet your certification’s renewal requirements.
Maintaining your certification is the certification’s mandatory requirement. By doing the different activities, as mentioned above, you grow your knowledge and also earn PDUs at the same time. You maintain your certification by earning these PDUs continuously, and once you have earned all the required PDUs, you can then renew your certification. The entire process to renew your certification is very simple. You must however make sure that you have started doing PDU earning activities soon after you have earned your certification.
In this post, we explained the different ways to earn PDUs. We also mentioned that there are two main categories of activities that you can involve in to earn PDUs. These are Education and Giving Back. Upon reading this post, you must have realized that among the many activities that you can do for your PDUs, the project management PDU courses is one of the best options. It is because by taking a course, or two, you can easily fulfil all the PDU requirements. Furthermore, you grow your knowledge to allow you to reach new heights and you can also prepare yourself fully for a new certification.
So, with the education route, you have two options to choose from – taking a free or paid project management course. The free courses are good options to get started. But, investing in comprehensive project management courses in the time of three years, to earn the PDUs is definitely not bad at all. In fact, this is the approach that most people follow.