PMP® Renewal: How to Earn 60 PDUs and Get Recertified

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Posted on Sunday, 20th November, 2016 - 10:00

Along with an annual renewal fee of $119 ($129 for new members), PMI requires you to earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years. They’re acquired from gaining more education and by giving back to the project management profession. One hour of an activity earns one PDU.


You can earn education PDUs from attending training courses and organization meetings. These can be provided by local PMI chapters and Registered Education Providers like ILX. These can be obtained from third-party providers like universities, and even your own organization.


However, reading is one of the easier and most popular ways to earn education PDUs. The PMBOK Guide is PMP’s reference book, so it’s very useful and authoritative. Other PMP-relevant publications you can read for PDUs include articles, whitepapers, and blogs. You can also watch on-demand videos and live webinars for a free and easy way to earn PMP credits.


In 2015, PMI introduced the Talent Triangle. It’s made of three skill areas that form a well-rounded practitioner. You must earn a minimum of 8 PDUs in each of these skill areas:


Technical project management: Specific functions of project, program, and portfolio management, such as data gathering and project governance.
Leadership: Negotiation, conflict management, and other related activities that help an organization achieve its business goals.
Strategic and business management: Skills and knowledge of the industry or organization such as business models and market analysis.


PMP requires at least 35 PDUs in education, so you can choose any skill area(s) for the remaining ones.

Giving Back

As opposed to education, the giving back category is about sharing your own knowledge and applying your skills. There are five ways to accrue PDUs in this category:


• Work as a practitioner – working in your PMP-related role.
• Create content – knowledge resources, such as books, blogs, articles, and webinars.
• Give a presentation – presenting on PMP-relevant topics.
• Share knowledge – teaching and mentoring.
• Volunteer – volunteer services to non-employer and non-client organizations.

Getting the Balance Right

You can claim a maximum of 25 PDUs in the giving back category. That’s a reduction from 45 prior to changes made in 2015. That means most of your PDUs now have to come from education. In fact, you can earn all 60 of your PDUs in education.


Make sure you get the category balance right. Don’t assume you can earn most of your PDUs from your daily work as a project manager. Also balance the time you’re spending on those credits. For example, you could spend an hour each week reading about project management and watch a one hour webinar every two months. That would earn you enough PDUs in one year to last the whole three-year cycle. Don’t make the mistake of trying to earn all 60 at the last minute.


Earning and maintaining a prestigious credential like a PMP certificate isn’t easy. But hopefully with this advice, you have a better understanding of it. For any questions, you can visit our contact us page for queries or customer support.