PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Program

Earning a professional certification such as the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential through the Project Management Institute (PMI) is a great way to enhance your skillset and accelerate your career in project management. Your next step is maintaining your PMP® certification by taking live or online courses, attending activities and events related to the profession, and engaging in other professional development activities in order to accumulate at least 60 PDU credits over three years.

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Introduction to Maintaining Your PMI Certification

Maintaining your PMI certification is an opportunity to upgrade your skills and gain valuable industry knowledge. Besides enriching your project management skills, engaging in professional development reinforces key project management concepts, enhances your resume, and helps you become more competitive in the global market.

PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Program

PMI has developed a framework for maintaining your certification called the Continuing Certification Requirements program. Following this program’s guidelines will provide clear next steps to protect your hard-won status as a PMI certification holder.

What is the CCR program?

PMI designed the CCR program to ensure all PMI credential holders continue to upgrade their project management knowledge and skills over time. The specific professional development requirements to maintain your certification status for each PMI certification are found in their online CCR Handbook.

Certification renewal is required every three years. During this three-year cycle, you must earn a certain number of Professional Development Units (PDUs) and record them online in the CCR system. For example, PMP® credential holders must earn 60 PDUs to renew.

A small percentage of renewal candidates may be audited, which means you need to provide supporting documentation for each PDU you report. PDU courses through a PMI Authorized Training Partner (ATP) such as the Project Management Academy make it easy to submit your PDUs online with reduced risk of an audit.

View Project Management Academy’s online training courses

View Project Management Academy’s live training courses

View Project Management Academy’s recommended PDU courses

The purpose of the CCR program

Earning PDUs to maintain certification confirms your commitment to professional development and demonstrates you possess the critical project management skills organizations demand.

PMI outlines the purpose and benefits of the CCR program as follows:

  • Enhance continuous learning and development among certification holders
  • Provide direction in development areas to ensure relevancy of certified practitioners
  • Encourage and recognize individualized learning opportunities
  • Offer a mechanism for obtaining and recording professional development activities
  • Sustain the global recognition and value of PMI credentials

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PMP® PDU CCR Requirements

PDUs are similar to the contact hours required for PMP® certification and consist of one-hour blocks of time spent learning, teaching, or volunteering. One PDU equals one hour of professional development activities for the PMP® and other PMI certification renewals.  

Number of PDUs Required per Certification

Each certification has different PDU requirements for renewal. For example, the best-known PMI certification, the PMP®, requires 60 PDUs to renew.

Review the table below to see how many PDUs are needed to maintain the PMP® certification and other PMI certifications.

CertificationCertification CycleTotal PDUs RequiredEducation Minimum PDUsGiving Back Maximum PDUs
PMP3 Years603525
PgMP3 Years603525
PfMP3 Years603525
PMI-PBA3 Years603525
PMI-ACP3 Years301812
PMI-RMP3 Years301812
PMI-SP3 Years301812
CAPM3 Years1596
PDU Requirements for PMI Certification Renewal

Earn PDUs through a combination of live classroom courses, online classes, seminars, PMI chapter meetings, and other professional development events (ie: 60 PDU for PMP® Recertification). The Project Management Academy offers a library of video-on-demand courses pre-approved for PDU credit with our Club PDU Annual Subscription to give you all the PDU options you need.

Types of PDUs

In addition to earning a set number of PDUs, the total number of PDUs can be achieved as follows:

  1. Education: these PDUs include any learning opportunities such as live classes, online courses, seminar attendance, local chapter meetings, self-study, and more. Education PDUs are required and must align with the PMI Talent Triangle®, as described below.
  • Giving Back: these PDUs are not required, but include opportunities for you to give back to the profession, such as working as a practitioner, sharing knowledge, or volunteering. Giving Back to the Profession PDUs are optional for recertification.

Each certification has a minimum required number of Education PDUs and maximum allowed number of Giving Back PDUs to maintain your certification:

Earn 60 PDU Credits for PMP® Certification Renewal

These requirements are further broken down using the PMI Talent Triangle®.

The PMI Talent Triangle®

PMI developed the PMI Talent Triangle® to represent the ideal project manager skill set. This skill set is a mixture of technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise – the combination of skills employers value most.

  • Technical: this area includes knowledge, skills, and behaviors related to the technical aspects of your project management role across the domains of project, program, and portfolio management.
  • Leadership: this area includes knowledge, skills, and behaviors related to the interpersonal aspects of your project management role across activities such as guiding, motivating, and directing others to achieve a goal.
  • Strategic and Business Management: this area includes industry or organizational knowledge and expertise to enhance teamwork and deliver business outcomes more efficiently.

A set number of Education PDUs are required from each section of the Talent Triangle to maintain your PMP® or other PMI certification. The following table provides a breakdown of PDUs required by type:

Certification and Education Minimum PDUsTechnical PDUs RequiredLeadership PDUs RequiredStrategic PDUs RequiredRemaining PDUs In Any Area of Talent Triangle
Education PDUs: Minimum Talent Triangle Requirements

Now, let’s put all this information into practice. Look at the requirements below for PMP® credential renewal. To maintain and renew your PMP® certification:

  • 60 total PDUs required
  • 35 Education PDUs required. You may earn all 60 PDUs in this area
    • 8 Technical PDUs minimum
    • 8 Strategic PDUs minimum
    • 8 Leadership PDUs minimum
    • 11+ remaining PDUs can fall under any area of the Talent Triangle
  • 25 Giving Back PDUs allowed. Earning PDUs in this area is optional
    • 8 PDUs working as a Practitioner (maximum)
    • 17+ PDUs can come from creating content, volunteering, or other activities

Consider investing in our library of video-on-demand courses pre-approved for PDU credit with our Club PDU Annual Subscription. All courses align with the PMI Talent Triangle® to help you meet the minimum requirements for certification renewal.

PDU Requirements to Maintain a PMP® Certification

Many certification seekers wonder if earning PDUs for a PMP® certification is different from maintaining any other PMI certification.

The requirements to renew your PMP® certification are the same as those for the PgMP®, PfMP®, and PMI-PBA® certifications: you must earn 60 PDUs over three years. Read through our comprehensive guide to PMP® certification renewal to learn more.

PMP® 60 PDU courses online

Meeting the PMP® renewal requirement can be challenging. It helps to look for courses online to find options that work for your schedule and learning preferences. Project Management Academy offers on-demand online courses so you can accumulate all 60 PDU credits at your own pace to renew your PMP®.

If you prefer in-person courses, Project Management Academy also offers instructor-led, live courses that are pre-approved for PDU credit. View our upcoming courses or consider our recommended PDU learning courses to get started on choosing suitable courses for your learning goals.

Was this guide to maintaining your PMI certification helpful? Let us know if you have any further questions, or check out our online PDU courses and live PDU courses to start earning approved PDUs for your PMP® or other PMI certifications.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective option for earning PDUs, consider the annual Project Management Academy PDU subscription. This subscription comes with a number of our online PDU courses to help you throughout your 3-year renewal cycle.

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With this $690 discount, you can get all three courses to meet the minimum required PDUs for PMI Talent Triangle®.

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Erin Aldridge, PMP, PMI-ACP, & CSPO
Director of Product Development at
Erin Aldridge, PMP, PMI-ACP, & CSPO