How to Keep Your PMP Certificate Current with MPUG: A Guide for Project Managers

A photo of a business person next to the headline: "How to Keep Your PMP Certificate Current with MPUG: A Guide for Project Managers"

Congratulations on earning your Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification! As a college graduate or project manager, you have demonstrated your expertise in the field of project management by successfully completing the rigorous certification process. However, your professional development journey doesn’t end here. In a constantly evolving project management landscape, it is crucial to stay relevant and up-to-date with the latest trends, best practices, and methodologies.

The Project Management Institute (PMI)® recognizes the importance of continuous professional development and has established a requirement for PMP® certification holders to earn Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years. PDUs are the currency of professional development, and earning them ensures that you remain at the forefront of the project management profession.

Maintaining your PMP certification is a commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth. By earning PDUs, you not only extend the validity of your certification but also enhance your skills and knowledge, making you a more valuable asset to your organization and the project management community.

In this article, we will explore the significance of earning PDUs and the requirements you need to fulfill to maintain your PMP certification. We will also introduce you to the concept of PMI’s Talent Triangle, which provides a framework for earning PDUs in various areas of project management.

Step 1: Understand the significance of earning PDUs and how it contributes to your professional growth and the recognition of your expertise.

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the PDU requirements for maintaining your PMP certification, including the total number of PDUs needed and their distribution across different categories.

By the end of this article, you will have a solid understanding of the importance of earning PDUs and the specific requirements you need to meet to keep your PMP certification current. This foundation will prepare you for exploring the various ways to earn PDUs and the process of tracking and recording your professional development activities.

Significance of Earning PDUs

Earning Professional Development Units (PDUs) is crucial for maintaining your Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. The PMP certification is a globally recognized and respected credential that demonstrates your expertise in project management. However, to ensure that your knowledge and skills remain relevant and up-to-date in the ever-evolving field of project management, you need to continuously engage in professional development activities.

PDUs serve as a measure of your commitment to ongoing learning and professional growth. By earning PDUs, you demonstrate to employers, clients, and the project management community that you are dedicated to staying current with the latest trends, best practices, and methodologies in the field.

Here are some key reasons why earning PDUs is significant:

  • Maintain Certification Validity: Earning and reporting 60 PDUs within a three-year cycle is a mandatory requirement to renew your PMP certification and maintain its validity. Failure to meet this requirement can result in the suspension or revocation of your certification.
  • Stay Relevant and Competitive: The project management landscape is constantly changing, with new methodologies, tools, and techniques emerging regularly. Earning PDUs ensures that you stay informed and adaptable, enhancing your competitiveness in the job market and positioning you as a valuable asset to your organization.
  • Expand Knowledge and Skills: PDUs provide an opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills in various areas of project management, such as leadership, risk management, stakeholder engagement, and agile practices. This continuous learning helps you become a well-rounded and effective project manager, capable of handling diverse projects and challenges.
  • Career Advancement: By demonstrating your dedication to professional development through earned PDUs, you increase your chances of career advancement. Employers and clients often seek project managers who are committed to staying current and improving their skills, as it reflects positively on their ability to deliver successful projects.
  • Networking and Professional Connections: Many PDU-earning activities, such as attending conferences, participating in PMI chapter meetings, or volunteering for PMI committees, provide opportunities to network with other project management professionals. These connections can lead to valuable knowledge sharing, collaboration, and potential career opportunities.

PDU Requirements

The PMP certification requires you to earn and record 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years to maintain your credential. This 60 PDU requirement is divided into two main categories:

  • Education Category: You must earn a minimum of 35 PDUs from educational activities.
  • Giving Back to the Profession Category: You can earn a maximum of 25 PDUs by giving back to the project management profession.

The formula for calculating PDUs is simple: One hour of learning or qualifying activity = One PDU.

Education Category (Minimum 35 PDUs)

To ensure that your knowledge remains broad and balanced, PMI requires you to earn PDUs across the three areas of the Talent Triangle:

  • Power Skills: Earn at least 8 PDUs
  • Ways of Working: Earn at least 8 PDUs
  • Business Acumen: Earn at least 8 PDUs
Diagram showing the PMI Talent Triangle with three connected hexagons, labeled "Power Skills" with a people icon, "Ways of Working" with a group icon, and "Business Acumen" with a person and checkmark icon.
The PMI Talent Triangle outlines the three key skill areas for project management professionals: Power Skills, Ways of Working, and Business Acumen.

The remaining 11 PDUs can be earned in any of the three Talent Triangle areas, allowing you to focus on your areas of interest or need.

Step 1: Assess Your Needs Reflect on your current skills and identify areas where you need to strengthen your knowledge or develop new competencies.

Step 2: Plan Your Education Activities Choose educational activities that align with your goals and the Talent Triangle requirements. Some examples include:

  • Attending courses, seminars, or workshops (in-person or online)
  • Participating in PMI chapter meetings or other educational events
  • Self-paced online courses or e-learning modules
  • Reading books, articles, whitepapers, or blogs related to project management

Giving Back to the Profession Category (Maximum 25 PDUs)

Contributing to the project management profession by sharing your knowledge and expertise is a valuable way to earn PDUs. Here are some examples of qualifying activities:

  • Authoring books, articles, or training materials
  • Presenting at conferences, chapter meetings, or other professional events
  • Volunteering on PMI committees or task forces
  • Providing project management services to non-profit organizations
  • Mentoring aspiring project managers or colleagues pursuing their PMP certification

Work Experience PDUs: You can claim a maximum of 8 PDUs per three-year cycle for applying project management practices and methodologies in your work.

Diagram showing PMI PDU requirements with a hexagon on the left stating "Min 35 PDU's Education Category" and a hexagon on the right stating "Max 25 PDU's Giving Back Category".
PMI PDU requirements outlining the minimum of 35 PDUs needed for the Education category and the maximum of 25 PDUs allowed for the Giving Back category.

To ensure proper documentation and verification, it’s essential to record your PDUs and upload supporting evidence in your My PMI Account. As you approach your three-year renewal date, PMI will send you reminders to complete your PDU requirements or make up any shortfall.

MPUG Success Story: “MPUG has been an invaluable resource to not only learning specific, actionable information (such as leveraging MS Project in Scrum & Kanban scenarios), but also has been a ‘go to’ for accumulating PDUs for PMI. Over the years I’ve earned some 120+ PDUs through MPUG, but frankly the PDUs are a bonus - MPUG’s feature-rich content and as a utility for Project Managers is what sets it apart. I have long encouraged my PM peers to dive deep into MPUG, and it sits near the top of my utilities and resources working as a PM." Chris Wren, Newburyport, MA

Ready to Get Started?

MPUG offers ample opportunities to earn PDUs on your terms. Explore our 1500+ articles and read about relevant topics to earn PDUs for free!

MPUG Members get access to weekly live sessions on Wednesdays at 12:00 ET, worth 1 PDU. Replays are available on-demand in our archive of 600+ lessons, so you can earn PDUs anytime on any topic. Annual members also get access to our entire course library, where you can earn multiple PDUs and certificates.

mpug logo

Elevate your project management skills and propel your career forward with an MPUG Membership. Gain access to 500+ hours of PMI-accredited training, live events, and a vibrant online community. Watch a free lesson and see how MPUG can teach you to Master Projects for Unlimited Growth. JOIN NOW

Written by The MPUG Community
MPUG has a global network of over 200,000 project management professionals across 170+ countries. For over 25 years, it has served as a premier platform fostering connection, knowledge sharing, and professional development within the project management community. MPUG champions the use of technology to optimize project management processes. It offers a comprehensive suite of resources and services, including live sessions, accredited training courses, informative lessons, industry articles, and interactive discussion forums. Committed to empowering its members to "Master Projects for Unlimited Growth," MPUG equips our members with the latest industry trends and propels their career advancement. Whether you're a budding project manager or a seasoned practitioner, MPUG provides an invaluable platform to hone your skills and bolster your project management expertise.
Share This Post
Have your say!

Leave a Reply