PDU Requirements for Maintaining Your PMI Certification

PDU Requirements for Maintaining Your PMI Certification

PMI uses Professional Development Unit (PDU) requirements aligned to the PMI Talent Triangle® for their Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS). This is used to manage certification status for all credential holders.

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Maintain your PMI certifications like the PMP®

Once you have earned a PMI certification you must maintain a certain number of PDUs in PMI-determined categories and pay the renewal cycle fee to remain certified. PMI PDU requirements are included in the PMI CCR Handbook.

The CCR streamlines the maintenance of multiple PMI certifications through the sharing of PDU credits across certifications. For more details, go to the PMI CCR Handbook’s Maintaining Multiple Certifications section. While PDU credits can be applied to multiple PMI certifications, each separate certification must have all renewal fees paid to remain active. For example, a person with both PMP and  PMI-ACP® certifications can apply PDU hours to both, but each requires a separate renewal fee within each respective renewal cycle.

The PMI Talent Triangle
The PMI Talent Triangle

PMI Talent Triangle® PDU requirements

All PDU hours must fit within the PMI Talent Triangle® categories for project management education: (1) technical project management, (2) leadership, or (3) strategic and business management.

PMI PDU requirements

PMI PDU requirements, including those for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, fall into two broad categories:  1) Education 2) Giving back. How many required PDU hours within the renewal cycle varies by PMI certification type. If you are new to PMI certifications, be sure to view the breakdown and requirements by certification.

PMI PDU Requirements | PMP®, PgMP®, PfMP®, PMI-PBA®

The PMP certification is one of the most well-recognized professional certifications. And while the PMP credential is likely what motivated you to learn about the PMI PDU requirements, it is by no means the only one. Take note of the table below including the PMI Talent Triangle® PDU requirements.

PMI CertificationsCycle
PDUs per CycleTalent Triangle
Transferrable PDUs
PMP, PgMP, PfMP, PMI-PBA3-Year60Minimum of 8 PDUs per Talent Triangle Category Minimum of 35 Education PDUsMaximum of 25 Giving Back PDUs20
PMI Certification Renewal – Certifications that Require 60 PDUs per Cycle

If PMI Continuing Certification Requirements are not met within the 3-years, the certification is suspended and potentially could be voided after a grace period, and then you will have to take a new exam with a passing score to obtain certification again. This means that if you earn a PMP certification, but do not reach PMI PDU requirements for 60 approved PDUs within 3 years of the issuance of the certification, you will no longer be an active PMP holder and would be put into suspended (or eventually voided) status.


The PMP has a 60 PDU over a 3-year requirement. But other PMI-managed certifications, such as the PMI-ACP or PMI-SP, require only 30 approved PDUs every three years.

PMI CertificationsCycle
PDUs per CycleTalent Triangle
Transferrable PDUs
PMI-ACP PMI-RMPPMI-SP3-Year30Minimum of 4 PDUs per Talent Triangle Category Minimum of 18 Education PDUsMaximum of 12 Giving Back PDUs10
PMI Certification Renewal – Certifications that Require 30 PDUs per Cycle

PMI PDU Requirements | CAPM

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® credential is the entry-level project management certification. There is no experience requirement and the covered content is very clearly defined. If the 30 or 60 PDU requirement every three years seems a bit daunting for you right now, you could consider the PMI CAPM certification with a 15 PDU per cycle requirement. The 15 PDUs must align with the PMI Talent Triangle® PDU requirements.

PMI CertificationsCycle
PDUs per CycleTalent Triangle
Transferrable PDUs
CAPM3-Year15Minimum of 4 PDUs per Talent Triangle Category Minimum of 9 Education PDUsMaximum of 6 Giving Back PDUs5
PMI Certification Renewal – Certifications that Require 15 PDUs per Cycle

Ways to earn PDUs

For any PMI certification, know there are categories of PDU credits: Education and Giving Back. All PDU claims must be submitted via the PMI CCR online portal with the best practice of submitting as soon as possible after the activity is completed.

Education PDUs

For the PMP or any other PMI-issued certification, PDU hours must be earned and documented across activities that fit PMI requirements. Training that can be applied to the Education PDU category includes:

  • course or training
  • organization meetings
  • online or digital media
  • reading
  • informal learning

Education PDUs include training you complete to deepen and broaden your project expertise.

Giving Back PDUs

As with Education PDU credits, there are different ways to earn your PDU Giving Back hours. Activities PMI will accept for Giving Back PDU claims include:

  • work as a practitioner
  • create content
  • give a presentation
  • share knowledge, mentoring
  • PMI volunteer activity

For your PDU claims, have the contact information for someone who can verify the work was performed as described.

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Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS)

PMI PDU requirements are tracked within the CCRS. Each PDU claim has a corresponding record in the PMI CCRS. It is through the CCRS that each PDU Claim has a record, where certification holders can get a PDU report, and where the review process of each PDU claim is documented. For example, if you have a PMP and submit a PDU claim for Work as a Practitioner, the CCRS will list the status of that PMP PDU claim and if it can be applied to your PMP certification status within the current PMP renewal cycle.

If you take a course through an Authorized Training Partner, like Project Management Academy, the CCRS will automatically assign the hours to the correct portions of the PMI Talent Triangle® across all your certifications!

Submit PDUs in CCRS

You can access the CCRS through your PMI account. As new PDU hours are earned, report PDU claims to the PMI via the CCRS as soon as possible after completing the training and/or work.

CCR renewal fee

In addition to obtaining PMI approval for submitted PDU claims, each certification renewal requires a renewal fee. It is separate from the PMI membership fee. Note that PMI membership does reduce the certification renewal fees PMI Member = $60 and Non-Member = $150.

CCRS claim and fee: PMP example

The PMI provides this example of PMP certification renewal:

  1. To renew your PMP  certification, earn 60 PDUs per 3-year cycle.
  2. Enter your PDUs in the online CCR System (CCRS).
  3. Pay the renewal fee.

PMI audit process

All PDU claims are subject to the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Project Management. When you submit a PDU claim to the PMI, you give your word for the accuracy of the work reported. Any violation of the PMI ethics code can result in a PMI credential being rescinded .

Just as PMI randomly selects certification applications for audit as part of continuous governance and quality standards for PMI credentialing, so too can PDU claims be audited. If your PDU claim is audited,  you will need to provide specific documentation to support the claim. Learn more about the audit process on the PMI’s Certification Resources FAQ page.

Extenuating circumstances

Per the CCR Handbook, “If there are other extenuating circumstances that prohibit you from completing the certification renewal process, then reach out to PMI Customer Care. PMI will review all claims on a case-by-case basis. “


Continuing education is central to PMI’s global professional certification program. To keep any PMI certification active, you need to understand PMI PDU requirements and how a PDU credit can count toward a specific PMI certification type.

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