“You don’t want to get your PMP yet, it is impossible to get the PDUs you need.” This statement couldn’t be further from the truth and still remains one of the worst pieces of advice I have ever received. Earning the necessary professional development units or PDUs for your PMP Cert is very easy as long as you are continuing to learn.

For those who have earned their Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, you are required to earn 60 PDUs within a 3-year period in order to renew your certification. This is a good thing for many reasons, but I really love that you have to continue learning and are held accountable for it. All professions should push those within to stay current on trends and prevent their members from becoming stagnant. Some industries make this much more difficult than others. Thankfully, PMI (the governing body for the PMP) makes it very easy to do PDUs and to track them.

Membership NOT Required: First question I receive in this area is if the PMI membership is necessary. Currently, the annual membership cost for PMI is $129. There are some great perks that come with the membership like free PMBOK’s, thousands of courses and articles, project templates, job boards, and more. I would recommend getting a membership while you are studying for the PMP and explore it for the first year, but after that, no need to renew.

Track Professional Development: Just about everything you do to better yourself is presented in one of the modes above. A course, reading, mentoring, etc all fall into things you can do to earn PDUs. The items in the left column are education and in the right considered “giving back.” If you watch a video on a leadership or project management concept, you can log it. One hour equals one PDU. Technically, you could claim videos watched on YouTube if you wanted to. They are pretty flexible as long as you make it relevant when you claim the training. As you can see in the picture below, there are minimums and maximums for several categories. When you input these into your PMI account (even for non-paying members), you put the hours into the proper categories.

Read: The biggest chunk of my PDUs come from reading. Take a book like Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time (best first book on Scrum, btw) and you could claim technical, leadership, and strategic. My method is after I read the book, I look at Audible.com and see how many hours the book is and use that for my hours on the PDU claim. This book is 6 hours and 43 minutes or 6.75 hours. Even though it may have taken me longer to read, this is a good way for me to stay consistent and gives me a leg to stand on if I am ever asked about my claim.

You may go to conferences or even college classes in which you could claim…the list really is endless. There is no reason to fear the 60 PDU requirement. Don’t be an idiot like me and put off getting the cert because of the PDUs!

What are some other ways you have earned PDUs?

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