PMP PDUs Explained

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What is a PMP® PDUs?

A PMP PDU is a personal development unit collected by project management professionals (PMP: If you don’t know what a PMP is please read this article now). PMPs need to collect PDUs to renew their certification. One PDU is earned per one hour spent in structured learning activity. Originally the purpose of PDUs was to keep PMPs up to date on latest project management methodologies and standards. Now as of of 1st December 2015 they are more aligned with employer-identified skills to ensure PMP designation holders are equipped to remain relevant and competitive by developing these employer demanded skills.

PMP PDUs Renewal Process

The renewal process is defined by the PMI as a Continuous Certification Requirement Program (CCR) which describes the requirements for individuals for maintaining their PMP credential. CCR defines a three step process….

  1. Attain and report to the PMI a minimum of 60 PDUs within three years
  2. Complete an application for certification renewal and submit the fees
  3. Agree to the PMP Code of Professional Conduct

On completion of these 3 steps the PMI will renew your certificate for a period of another three years. It difficult part of the process is earning PDUs.

PDU Requirements

You need to acquire 60 PDUs in each 3 year cycle as a minimum to renew your PMP certification. There are two PDU groups you can gather which are then broken into 6 categories.

  1. Education PDUs
  2. Give Back to the Profession PDUs


pdu requirement

Group Category Description
Education PDUs A Activities offered by PMI R.E.P.s, chapters, or communities
Education PDUs B Continuing education
Education PDUs C Self-directed learning
Give Back to the Profession PDUs D Creating new project management knowledge
Give Back to the Profession PDUs E Volunteer service
Give Back to the Profession PDUs F Working as a professional in project management

For more details on each category check out this article where we go into detail explaining each PDU category.

New PMP PDU Changes

The new changes put priority on specifically Education PDUs which now are based around the PMI Talent Triangle. The Talent Triangle consists of three knowledge areas Technical, Leadership and Strategic/Business skills of PMI project managers. For more information on the PMI Talent Triangle click here.

talent triangle

These 3 skill areas make up the PMI talent triangle which Education PDUs need to work towards improving in project managers. This is completed by ensuring Project Managers have a minimum of 8 hours of education in each area. Project Managers can complete the remaining 11 hours in any area they choose and there is no maximum for education PDUs accumulated.

When Can I Start Earning PDUs?

You can immediately log on to your PMI account and click “renew” to begin your PMP / PMI-ACP re-certification process. The process is in fact quite a simple one in which you are asked to check your information, agree to the terms and conditions and pay the required re-certification fee of US$60 for a PMI member and $150 for a non-member. Then you will have your certification extended for 3 years from the original expiry date of your certification. For example if your new PMP certificate expires on July 2019 and you complete the all the required PDUs in 2017 you will have until July 2022 to complete another 60 PDUs to renew again.

Submitting PDUs

You have two options for submitting a PDU claim you can either do it online or download the PDU activity reporting from (PDF) to complete and submit to PMI electronically. Step by step instructions provided by PMI here!


For a small number of randomly selected cases, PMI may request for an audit to verify the information provided during PDU requests. So it is important to retain the evidence of PDU qualifying events. Also PDUs can be submitted up to the end of next calendar year after the completion of three year CCR cycle in which the PDU accruing event occurred.

It is highly recommend record all audit requirements as you earn PDUs just as a precaution to getting audited. All requirements are highlighted above under each category decomposition in the PDU category article here.



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