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Maintaining Your PMI Certifications

Becoming a PMI certification holder is no small feat but is just the beginning of your journey. Maintaining your certification is the next step to protecting your hard-earned status and requires an ongoing commitment to furthering your professional development through PMI PDU reporting.

What are PDUs?

Professional Development Units (PDUs) are PMI-approved increments of time required over a 3-year cycle to maintain your PMI Certification without needing to retake your exam. 1 PDU = 1 hour of learning/activity. PDUs are intended to ensure you are learning the latest skills to help you enhance your knowledge and stay current in your career.

Project Management Academy offers several ways to help you obtain and report your required PDUs to maintain your certification based on your preferred style of learning:

Live Training PDU Classes

Live Training PDU Classes

For those who thrive in a classroom setting with instructor-led training and interactive Q&A, check out our upcoming schedule of virtual, live pre-approved PDU training that aligns with your professional interests.

Online Training with Club PDU

Online Training with Club PDU

For those who prefer to learn on their own time, check out our Club PDU, video-on-demand, self-paced learning library and annual subscription option.

Not sure where to start Notice

Recommended PDU Courses

For those not sure where to start, check out our Recommended PDU courses, which provides six unique training clusters based on common student interests and the latest project management trends.

What are ways I can earn PDUs?

PMI allows for two types of PDU reporting – Education Units and Giving Back to the Profession Units.

Education PDUs

Education PDUs

These can be obtained through online courses available on-demand, virtual real-time (live) instructor-led courses, attendance at PM-related learning events*, local chapter meetings*, or independent reading of online or digital media*. Education PDUs need to be in alignment with the PMI Talent Triangle®. Project Management Academy's training courses, both on-demand and virtually, are pre-approved for PMI Education PDUs with pre-determined alignment to the PMI Talent Triangle®.

Giving Back to the Profession PDUs

Giving Back to the Profession PDUs

These are not required for recertification but provide another option for individuals seeking to expand their PM knowledge and skills. These types of PDUs can be claimed by work as a practitioner*, creating content*, giving a presentation*, sharing knowledge*, or volunteering*. Project Management Academy's PMAccelerate Program offers ways to achieve PDUs in this category – learn more.

What are ways I can earn PDUs?

*Note: Limits exist on the number of PDUs you can submit in alignment to these categories and must be thoroughly documented for submission in the case of an audit by PMI. For more information, review PMI's CCR Handbook.

What is the PMI Talent Triangle®?

As a certification holder, you must earn a minimum number of PDUs in each of the three skill areas of the PMI Triangle® -- Technical, Leadership, and Strategic & Business Management. The PMI Talent Triangle® was designed to ensure credential holders fulfill their continuing education in a combination of areas employers most value.

Technical Branch Technical

Knowledge, skills and behaviors related to specific domains of project, program, and portfolio management. The technical aspects of performing your job/role.

Technical Branch Leadership

Knowledge, skills and behaviors involved in the ability to guide, motivate and/or direct others to achieve a goal.

Strategic Branch Strategic & Business Management

Knowledge of and expertise in the industry/organization, helping you align your team in a way that enhances and better delivers business outcomes.

What is the PMI Talent Triangle

A PMP credential holder must report a minimum of 8 PDUs in each leg of the PMI Talent Triangle® to fulfill their requirements to maintain their PMP Certification.

Project Management Academy training courses all have PMI pre-approved PDU credits with pre-determined alignment to the PMI Talent Triangle to minimize hours allocation confusion and reduce the risk for PDU submission audits.

How Many PDUs Do I Need?

Depending on the certification you are seeking to maintain, PMI PDU reporting requirements differ but must be obtained within the 3-year cycle. For PMP®, PgMP®, PfMP®, and PMI-PBA® credential holders, you must earn 60 PDUs within the 3-year cycle and while there is no limit on the number of Education PDUs, you must earn between 35-60 hours of Education PDUs.

Here is a breakdown of PDU requirements by credential type:

Certification Renewal Cycle Total PDUs Min. Education PDUs Technical Branch
Technical
Leadership Branch
Leadership
Strategic Branch
Strategic
Talent Triangle
Any Category*
PMP / PgMP / PfMP / PMI-PBA Every 3 Years 60 35 8 8 8 11-25
PMI-ACP / PMI-RMP / PMI-SP Every 3 Years 30 18 4 4 4 6-12
CAPM Every 3 Years 15 9 2 2 2 3-6

*Remaining PDUs can be fulfilled through additional Education PDUs across any Talent Triangle category or Giving Back PDUs. Note: PMI limits the number of Giving Back Hours you can submit as PDUs - For PMP / PgMP / PfMP / PMI-PBA, not to exceed 25 PDUs; For PMI-ACP / PMI-RMP / PMI-SP, not to exceed 12 PDUs; For CAPM, not to exceed 6 PDUs.

How Do I Report My PDUs?

Once you've completed PDUs, you are required to submit them through PMI's Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS). This system allows you to track your PDU accumulation over the 3-year cycle to ensure you are on track for maintaining your certification.

As an Authorized Training Partner (ATP), Project Management Academy and its sister brand, Watermark Learning have pre-approved PDU course credits, so reporting your PDUs is expedited. Upon completion of a training course with us, you will be provided a unique course identification number on your certificate of completion. Simply enter our company name and that course number, and our pre-approved course will enable you to quickly report your PDUs with reduced risk of an audit.*

Check out this article that tells you how to report your hassle-free, pre-approved PDUs.

How Do I Report My PDUs?

*Reduced risk of an audit for pre-approved PDUs from an ATP vs. self-submitted PDUs without clear documentation.

PDU Accumulation Best-Practices

For over 10 years, Project Management Academy has been helping individuals obtain and maintain their PMI certifications through our extensive PDU programming. Along the way, we've picked up a few tips to set our students up for success:

Developing a PDU Plan

Developing a PDU Plan

You can start earning and reporting PDU activities as soon as you earn a PMI certification. Attempting to earn all 60 PDUs in the last few months of your 3-year cycle can be stressful, so we advise our students to take a thoughtful approach – earn approximately 20 PDUs each year or roughly 5 PDUs per quarter. This approach makes the sometimes daunting task of achieving 60 PDUs more manageable.

Harness the PDU Opportunity

Harness the PDU Opportunity

Some may choose to see the PDU requirement as a nuisance, while others choose to see it as an opportunity. PMP holders can seek additional certifications, such as the PMI-ACP®, PMI-PBA®, PMI-RMP®, or even non-PMI credentials such as IIBA's CBAP, CCBA, or Scrum Alliance's CSM or CSPO courses for PDU credit. This can be a great way to enhance your credibility and marketability, all while maintaining your initial certification.

Force PDU Accountability

Force PDU Accountability

Telling yourself you're going to obtain a few PDUs each year and actually doing it are two very different things. Some students prefer enrolling in scheduled, instructor-led, virtual training sessions to hold themselves accountable. Those who wish to train on their own schedule often find the Club PDU video-on-demand training library annual subscription is a great resource. It’s a great practice to block time your calendar to hold yourself accountable.

Submit PDUs As-You-Go

Submit PDUs As-You-Go

It can be tempting to complete a training for PDU credit and mentally note you've accomplished your goal, but it is best practice to immediately report your hours through PMI's Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS). As-you-go PMI PDU reporting enables you to have confidence PMI is aware of your completion with the appropriate documentation, which is provided to you immediately upon course completion with Project Management Academy.

Ensure Pre-Approved PDUs

Ensure Pre-Approved PDUs

While there are many great ways to obtain PDU credit, it can often be a hassle to demonstrate the accrual of hours without proper documentation in the case you are randomly selected for an audit. It would be a shame to invest time and effort into learning if you're not totally sure you'll get credit for your efforts. Fortunately, all of Project Management Academy's courses, both live and on-demand, are pre-approved by PMI for PDU credit.

For more detailed information on PMI's Continuing Certification Requirements, please consult the CCR Handbook here.