A quick guide to PMI's Professional Development Units

Those certified by PMI to be project managers or other professional designations are required to report Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years. Here's what you need to know.

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If you've acquired one or more credentials from the Project Management Institute (PMI), it's a significant achievement. Maintaining your Project Management Professional (PMP) or other certification in accordance with PMI's Continuing Certification Requirements program is contingent on reporting Professional Development Units (PDUs). PDUs help professionals keep pace with the latest technical skills and share their knowledge with others. 

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What are the minimum PDUs for your certification?

To remain in good standing, PMI requires each credential holder to report their minimum PDUs during a three-year cycle. The minimum PDU hours range from 12 to 60 PDUs, depending on the type of credentials you have (Table A).  


Table A

Certification type

Renewal cycle 

Total required PDUs 

Education minimum PDUs 

Giving back maximum PDUs

PMP 

3 years

60 

35 

25

PgMP

3 years

60 

35 

25

PfMP

3 years

60 

35 

25

PMI-PBA

3 years

60 

35 

25

PMI-ACP 

3 years

30

18

12

PMI-RMP 

3 years

30

18

12

PMI-SP 

3 years

30

18

12

What are the types of PDUs?

PDUs are divided into two buckets: Education and giving back. 

  • Education: These PDUs keep credential holders current with changes to the profession and best practices.

  • Giving back to the profession: These PDUs help professionals share knowledge and grow personally and professionally.

There are many reporting options under these two categories to accommodate individuals with different goals and interests within various industries.  

How do I report my PDUs? 

Education PDUs: There is a minimum requirement of 35 education-based PDUs. Education PDUs can be earned through reading, taking courses or training, organizing meetings, or online learning. 
The PMI talent triangle is defined as a "combination of skills that employers value most, namely, technical, leadership, and strategic and business management." It was developed from the recognition that it takes a combination of skills and knowledge to be successful.

  • Technical – The technical knowledge and skills for performing your job or role.

  • Leadership – The knowledge and skills required to guide motivated professionals.

  • Strategic and Business Management – Knowledge and expertise in the industry that helps your organization deliver better performance. 

Giving back to the profession PDUs: A minimum of 25 hours of giving back is required. Although it isn't necessary for the PMP, it's a great way to challenge yourself and develop a sense of connection with others inside and outside the profession. You can earn PDUs by working as a practitioner, writing content, doing webinars, videos, or podcasts that can help teach others, or giving presentations. You can also expand your reach by doing volunteer work.

Don't lag in reporting your PDUs

Maintaining your PMI credentials means earning PDUs either by education or giving back to the profession to maintain your PMP certificate and expand your knowledge base of the industry. It can help you move forward in professional life and create a balance. Refer to the PMI CCR handbook (PDF) for more information. 

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