10 Easy Ways to Earn PDUs

After earning your Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential, you need to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years. Although it would be nice to think we’re all on top of that on a continuing basis and that by the time the deadline arrives, we’re ready with documentation to prove our educational efforts, that rarely happens. The easiest way to earn PDUs is to leverage what you currently do.

In the spirit of helping you gather continuing ed credits, here’s a short list of other PDU-eligible activities that can help you maintain your professional credential:

1. Your day job (PDU Category 2H)

If you work as a project manager, this is probably the easiest way to tick off up to a quarter of the PDUs you’ll need at the end of the recertification cycle. If you’re a practitioner of project management services for at least 1,500 hours each calendar year, you can claim up to 5 PDUs per year for a maximum total of 15 PDUs per three-year period.

2. Take a quiz! (PDU Category 3)

Did you know you can earn up to one third of your PDUs by taking the PMI publication quizzes? The member price is only $15 per quiz. Score a 70 percent or higher and you will earn from one to two PDUs depending on the individual quiz and the CCR requirement you are trying to fulfill.

3. Watch a Movie

Project Movie: A Practical Application of the PMBOK Guide — Fourth Edition delivers 15 PDU’s in the form of a movie via the internet to your home. Its available at PMI.org at a cost of $500 to PMI members. Well, I didn’t say it was cheap. I just said it was easy.

4. Formal Academic Training (PDU Category 1)

Formal academic educational courses related to project management can earn you 10 to 15 PDUs per semester. Its probably the easiest of all the categories, so long as you’re not financially challenged. Even if you are, there may well be project management-related courses being offered at the community college that are far less expensive than four-year institutions or “executive”-style programs. The transcript or grade report is required for confirmation.

5. Turning CEUs into PDUs (PDU Category 1)

Like formal academic training, continuing education (CE) can be submitted for PDUs. Unlike formal academic training, CEs are courses that comply with International Association for Continuing Education & Training (IACET) standards. CE Units can be converted to PDUs; generally at a ratio of one CEU to 10 PDUs. Your best bet is to confirm with the provider that the course you’re interested in complies with the ANSI/IACET 1-2007 Standard.

6. Volunteer Service to Professional or Community Organizations (PDU Category 5)

If you already attend your PMI chapters monthly meeting, youre earning up to 1 PDU for the presentation. Did you know you could be earning additional PDUs for attending that same meeting by joining the registration, finance, internal marketing and/or meeting committees Contact your local chapter for more details. A maximum of 20 PDUs may be earned through professional service or by providing non-compensated professional PM service to non-employer or non-client customer groups.

A letter or certificate from the organization acknowledging the participation is required for confirmation.

7. Knowledge Sharing (PDU Category 2)

Writing or co-authoring an article published in a “refereed” journal, earns you 30 PDUs for the primary author and 20 PDUs for the co-author. If published in a non-refereed journal — such as on MPUG.com — you can earn 15 PDUs for the author and 10 for the co-author.

8. Self-Study (PDU Category 2-SDL)

Discussions or coaching sessions with colleagues or clients that put to use informational materials such as CD-ROMs, articles, books, videos, or instructional manuals can earn up to 15 PDUs per three-year period through self-directed learning. This includes personally conducting project management research or a study or coaching sessions with people in your professional network (such as colleagues, clients, and coworkers). Reading applicable studies, books, blogs, and listening to audio books would all fall under this category as well. Copies of publications, sample education material, or program agendas are required for confirmation.

9. PDUs to go (PDU Category 3)

A growing number of podcasts are offered for your MP3 player that will earn you PDUs. Simply make sure that the company doing the podcast production is a PMI Registered Education Provider (REP). Then provide documentation such as a registration form, certificate, or letter of attendance to comply with PMI requirements. Examples include the PM Prepcasts and the PDU Podcast, both of which my company produces.

So what are you waiting for? No matter what your budget or learning media preference, if you begin this week, you’ll have accumulated the 60 PDUs you need for maintaining that title of yours for another three years. Whichever route you follow, remember: leverage your existing activities, stay consistent, and have fun as much as possible.

10. Maintain your MPUG members and participate! (PDU Categories 2, 3, and 5)

Whether you’re attending WebNLearn sessions or chapter events, volunteering as a chapter officer, writing articles for the website, or giving presentations to share your expertise with others, you can watch those credits tally up in quick order. In fact, MPUG has been called one of the least expensive means for earning your PDUs.

Do you have other ideas for getting easy PDUs? Share your thoughts in the MPUG discussion forum.


Avatar photo
Written by Cornelius Fichtner

Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is a noted PMP expert. He has helped over 47,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam with The Project Management PrepCast and The PM Exam Simulator.

Share This Post

Leave a Reply