Earn PDUs by Reading

Ever heard the phrase, “reading is fundamental?” It is true and could be expressed further as “reading is fundamental for PMPs.” The Project Management Institute (PMI) manages the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification process, including the tracking of Professional Development Units (PDUs) to maintain any active PMP credentials. Most PMP credential holders think only of classes or professional training to acquire PDUs, but PMI’s PDU categories also include reading relevant leadership materials.


Free Course on Emotional Intelligence

Free Emotional Intelligence PDU

Develop your Emotional Intelligence as well as your team members in this Free PDU Course!


What is a PDU?

The PMI.org website provides this description of professional development units in the context of PMI credentials:

“Professional Development Units (PDUs) are one-hour blocks of time that you spend learning, teaching others, or volunteering. By accumulating and tracking these over three years you can maintain your certification status with PMI.” 

PDU books for Project Management

Luckily, there is no limit on books about project management. Nevertheless, without an official “Project Management Books for PDU Credit” list, it can be a bit overwhelming. However, the benefit of any topic-relevant book being an option is tha t free books, such as those you borrow from the library, can be a way to earn PDUs and maintain your PMP credential

Which books qualify for earning PDUs?

The PMI website offers no specific list of book titles eligible for earning PDU credit. Yet, before you spend hours reading your favorite Sci-Fi book thinking you can apply them for PDU credit, do know that each book should align with the PMI Talent Triangle®: (1) Ways of Working, (2) Power Skills, and (3) Business Accumen.

A great resource to kick start your project management reading list is the GoodReads’ “Books for PMI PDUs,” with titles focused on project management.

How do you prove you read the material?

The PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Project Management states:

“PMI members have determined that honesty, responsibility, respect, and fairness are the values that drive ethical conduct for the project management profession. PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct applies those values to the real-life practice of project management, where the best outcome is the most ethical one. All PMI members, volunteers, certification holders, and certification applicants must comply with the Code.”

That high ethical standard applies not only to the leadership and practice of project management but also to the work and effort to earn and maintain any PMI credentials, including book reading. When you log the hours spent doing your “PMP PDU reading,” onto the PMI.org website within the talent triangle categories, you are giving your word the work was completed as submitted. Violation of that ethical code can result in PMI rejecting the PDUs claimed.

How to calculate PDUs earned when you read a book

There is not a clock on the PMI.org website in which you need to mark “Start” and “Stop” for the PMI books for PDU reading. A simple calculation is used to determine how many PDUs the books read are worth:

1 hour of learning (reading) = 1 PDU

More details are available in the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Handbook. Of critical importance is knowing that if your PDU claim is audited, you will need to have evidence supporting your reported book reading, including notes and the reading dates.

Studying for the PMP Exam?


How to report reading PDUs to PMI

Reporting book reading for PDUs is the same process as other PDU activity reporting. Log into the PMI.org website and navigate to “report PDUs” within the Continuing Certification Renewal System (CCRS). Have the following information ready to submit your claim for PDU hours for book reading: 

  • author
  • title
  • brief description
  • relevant URL
  • time period for which the activity was completed
  • talent triangle breakdown (ways of working, power skills, and/or business acumen)

You will receive email communication from PMI approving or denying your claim. Within your PMI.org profile, you have access to all PDU submissions and the status of each claim.

PMP PDU reading of Project Management articles and blogs

Books are not the only free resources that can be leveraged for PDU credit. PMI allows for project management whitepapers, articles, and blogs as other materials for maintaining credentials.

Articles and blog posts you read that qualify for earning PDUs

As with book reading, when articles or blogs are read as part of maintaining PMP credentials, there is not a specific list of titles or sources. To qualify, the article or blog content should align with the PMI Talent Triangle: (1) Ways of Working, (2) Power Skills, and (3) Business Acumen.

Proving you read the material

The PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Project Management applies to PDUs submitted for any category, including the reading of articles and blogs.

Anything you submit as “PMP PDU reading,” on the PMI.org website means you are giving your word that the work was completed as submitted. If you are audited and discrepancies or violations are discovered, it can result in PMI rejecting the PDUs claimed.

Reading Books Will Earn Your PMP PDU Credits

How to calculate PDUs earned from the articles and blogs you read

This simple calculation is used to determine how many PDUs any activity is worth:

1 hour of learning (reading) = 1 PDU

As noted in PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Handbook, if your PDU claim is audited, you will need to provide evidence (reading notes, date of activity, etc.) supporting your submission.

How to report articles and blog posts you read

All activity reporting, including the reading articles and blogs, follows the same process. Log into the PMI.org website, navigate to “report PDUs” within the Continuing Certification Renewal System (CCRS), submit the appropriate information including for reading claims: 

  • author
  • title
  • brief description
  • relevant URL
  • the time period for which the activity was completed
  • talent triangle breakdown (ways of working, power skills, and/or business acumen)

You will receive email communication from PMI approving or denying your claim. Within your PMI.org profile, you have access to all PDU submissions and the status of each claim.

Example articles and blogs to read for earning PDUs

A great resource for reading materials is PMI’s publication library. Once you have paid for your PMI membership, all materials in the online PMI publication library are free. Articles, conference white papers, and research reports can be filtered by date, topics, and a source inside this library. The filtering of content can help with targeting the talent triangle areas you need.

Other reading resources include the very article you are reading now! This Project Management Academy blog post is an example of free project management content you can submit as a PDU claim. Leverage Project Management Academy’s free blog and news and articles area for this purpose.

Takeaways

Before you map out your plan to read books, articles, and blogs packed full of project management content, log your PDU credits on the PMI website to assess if you have at least the minimum ways of working, power skills, and business acumen hours for your specific PMI certification. Where you may need hours within the triangle categories is a great way to inform your reading efforts to ensure you earn the required PDU categories first. All additional PDU hours gained through reading (or any other education-focused activity) can be recorded in whatever categories resonate with you. Above all, know reading helps you stay current within the project management profession. Beyond the use of reading to earn PDUs for credentialing, reading industry content can spark ideas, provide insight into any challenges you are facing, and keep you up to date with the profession you practice.


Provides You With 24 of Your 60 Required PDUs to Renew Your PMP

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

Megan Bell
Megan Bell
Project Manager & Writer at Project Management Academy | + posts
Megan Bell