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What Are PDUs and How Do They Work?

How to get PDUs?

What are PDUs and how do I get them?

What Are PDUs And How Do They Work?

PDUs are short for Professional Development Units. Once you become certified with any of PMI’s certifications, you must continue your professional development. This is part of the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR). 1 hour of a learning activity is the equivalent to 1 PDU. Each test has a different amount that need to be obtained per cycle (per three years). The following tests require 60 PDUs:

  • PMP® – Project Management Professional
  • PfMP® -Portfolio Management Professional
  • PgMP® – Program Management Professional
  • PMI-PBA® – PMI Professional in Business Analysis


Other PMI tests require 30 PDUs per cycle:

  • PMI-ACP® – PMI Agile Certified Practitioner
  • PMI-SP® – PMI Scheduling Professional
  • PMI-RMP® – PMI Risk Management Professional

Once you have acquired the amount of Professional Development Units necessary to remain certified, you will pay a small fee to re-certify.


Where Can I get PDUs?

There are several ways that you can get the necessary professional development units to re-certify. For the education section, you can participate in:

Courses or training sessions

  1. These can be done in-person or online.
  2. There are several events held by PMI and its chapters across your country.
  3. PMI also has seminars.
  4. Registered Education Providers (R.E.P) offer many courses. They provide certificates which can be applied toward PDUs.


Organization Meetings

These are networking, educational, and keynote events.


Online or Digital Media, and Reading

There are several self-paced learning courses across the net.

  1. – is a part of PMI and has plenty of recorded webinars that you can watch to grab PDUs.
  2. Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s) – offer plenty of additional courses that you can take to grab the necessary PDUs. Just make sure you read how many PDUs will be offered and in which category of the talent triangle.
  3. There are plenty of websites about project management on the web, and more popping up each day. The PMI store sells many books and the website has many articles to read. You don’t have to just focus on these sites. There is a myriad of other good content across the web with articles, whitepapers, blogs, vlogs, and other books. Also, many practitioners have their own blogs and publish a lot of articles.


Giving Back

Work as a Practitioner

If you are currently working as a PM, you qualify for this. You will need to describe your tasks and what you do as a PM.

Create Content

You can develop more resources for the platform.

Give a Lecture

If you are invited to speak at an event about project management, this can be used as PDU credit. These presentations can be at PMI chapter events, conferences, or at your own organization.

Sharing Knowledge

Helping disseminate the knowledge of project management will land you PDUs. If you mentor, teach, or apply your expertise in a PM area, you can use it toward PDUs.


You can volunteer at PMI or at other non-for-profit organizations. There are many opportunities here.

For more information on getting professional development units, access PMI’s Handbook. 


Not Certified Yet?

Then you do not need to be concerned about PDUs. You only need to start accumulating PDUs once you are certified. Any activities that you participate in before your certification will NOT count towards your certification. If you have any questions, comments, or think I should add something to the text, please feel free to contact me. For more articles on project management certifications, please access our Get Certified Articles. 

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