PDU Requirements for Renewing Your PMP Certification
The day you earn your Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI), your Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) cycle begins. This CCR cycle is a three-year period during which you must earn and report Professional Development Units (PDUs) to renew your PMP certification. Learn more about PMI’s PDU requirements for honing your project management skills and maintaining your PMP certification in this Project Management Academy guide.
On this page:
- PDUs for the PMP Exam
- Maintaining Your PMP Certification
- Tips for Meeting Your PMP PDU Requirements
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PDUs for the PMP Exam
Every PMI certification requires the credential holder to earn a minimum number of PDUs to apply for the exam. As one of PMI’s most prestigious credentials, the PMP certification also comes with the most rigorous PDU requirements.
How many PDU are required for PMP Exam?
PMI requires a minimum of 35 contact hours of project management training for the exam, but these hours are not considered PDUs. The difference between contact hours and PDUs is that PDUs are only earned after passing the PMP Exam. In addition, while classroom instruction, seminars, and other forms of project management education can count as PDUs, PMI offers many other ways for you to earn PDUs and maintain your PMP certification.
How many PDUs are required to maintain the PMP certification?
After passing the PMP exam and earning your PMP certification, you must earn a minimum of 60 PDUs over your three-year CCR cycle to maintain active certification status with PMI. Learn more below about the different types of PDUs you can earn and the specific PDU requirements you must fulfill to maintain your PMP certification.
Maintaining Your PMP Certification
If you do not actively maintain your PMP certification, your certification will fall into suspended, expired, or retired status. You can avoid this by completing your CCR cycle and renewing your PMP certification with PMI once every three years.
Continuing Certification Requirements
During your PMP CCR cycle, you must complete the following:
- Earn a minimum of 60 PDUs within your three-year cycle
- At least 35 of these PDUs must be Education PDUs and meet the PMI Talent Triangle® requirements
- At most, 25 of these PDUs can be Giving Back PDUs
Education PDUs include professional development activities that help you learn or master project management skills and concepts, including classes, seminars, PMI chapter meetings, and more. Giving Back to the Profession PDUs can include volunteering, working as a project management practitioner, and sharing your expertise.
PMI Talent Triangle® Requirements
The 35 Education PDUs you earn must meet PMI’s Talent Triangle requirements. The PMI Talent Triangle demonstrates the three skill categories PMI requires of a project manager: Ways of Working, Power Skills, and Business Acumen.
- Ways of Working PDUs encourage mastering as many ways of working as possible – so you can apply the right techniques at the right time, delivering winning results.
- Power Skills include collaborative leadership, communication, an innovative mindset for purpose orientation, and empathy.
- Business Acumen skills include cultivating effective decision-making and understanding how projects align with the big picture of broader organizational strategy and global trends.
As a PMP credential holder, you must earn a minimum of 8 Education PDUs per PMI Talent Triangle category. The remaining Education PDUs you earn can fall under any area of the PMI Talent Triangle.
Requirements for Reporting PDUs
Your CCR cycle work does not end with earning PDUs. Next, you need to report your PDUs to get credit from PMI and have your certification renewal approved. Here are some common questions about requirements for reporting PDUs:
- Where are PDUs required to be reported?
You should track and report your PDUs through the PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS). The online PMI CCRS makes it easy for you to submit PDU claims and monitor changes in their approval status.
- When must PDUs be reported?
You must submit all of your PDUs prior to your certification renewal date (found in your CCR dashboard), but note that PMI may take a few days to review and approve them. We recommend submitting PDU claims as you complete PDUs to make keeping track of your progress easier and ensure PMI approves your PDUs in time for you to submit your renewal application.
- How soon must PDUs be reported?
Your PDU claims do not expire during your three-year CCR cycle, so you can report them as soon as you complete them or compile your PDU documentation and report them all later. However, we recommend reporting your PDUs sooner rather than later.
- How late can PDUs be reported?
Your PDUs must be reported by the time your CCR cycle ends. If you do not report all your PDUs and renew your PMP certification in time, your certification will be suspended until you meet all CCR requirements and complete the renewal process with PMI. This suspension period can last up to 12 months, after which your certification will expire.
Read through our guide to PMP certification renewal to learn more.
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Tips for Meeting Your PMP PDU Requirements
While the PMI wants to set you up for success as you maintain your PMP certification, it can still be challenging to meet your PMP renewal PDU requirements in time. These tips can help you complete your CCR cycle and maintain active PMP certification status with PMI.
Create a Plan & Start Early
Treating your PMP PDU requirements as a project can help. Use the CCR Handbook as your guide as you create a plan for success. Your CCR cycle begins the day you pass the PMP exam, so you can start earning PDUs right away. The sooner you begin, the more time you will have to achieve your goals.
Report Activities After Completion
Submitting PDU claims as soon as you complete the relevant activities can make maintaining your certification easier. Use the CCRS to track your PDUs, ensure they get approved by PMI, and plan for which PDUs you still need to earn. Make sure you keep an organized record of all your PDU documentation throughout your CCR cycle.
Transfer PDUs from One Cycle to the Next
Did you know PMI allows you to transfer some PDUs to your next CCR cycle? If you finish earning all 60 PDUs for your PMP certification, up to 20 PDU credits earned during the last twelve months of your ongoing CCR cycle can count towards your next cycle. Transferring PDUs can make it easier for you to successfully maintain your PMP certification and gives you some flexibility in case of busy periods or unexpected life events along the way.
Earning the PMP certification proves you meet PMI’s high standards and are among the top project managers in the industry. Maintaining it with PMI by earning PDUs and completing the CCR cycle every three years demonstrates you continue to uphold these high standards through ongoing professional development.
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