PDUs are required to renew your PMP certificate every three years.
The PMP certification is valid for three years, and if you are a PMP and want to keep this certification valid for more than three years you must go through the CCR cycle.
This CCR program requires that you take part in some activities to earn the professional development units (PDUs) to maintain your credentials.
The activities can be anything related to project management such as getting training on any course which could help you in project management. For every hour of activity, you will earn one PDU.
As per the PMI “The professional development units (PDUs) are the measuring unit used to quantify approved learning and professional service activities.”
The PDU requirement for each PMI certification is as follows:
From December 1st, 2015, the PMI has introduced the new concept of the Talent Triangle to classify the PDUs. Therefore now you will have to earn PDUs according to this new rule. The Talent Triangle divides PDUs into three categories: technical project management, leadership, and strategic and business management. You will have to earn PDUs in all three branches of the triangle.
Difference Between PDU and Contact Hours
There are many professionals who get confused between contact hours and PDU. In fact, I was very confused between these two when I was searching for a good 35 contact hours training program.
Anyway, let’s understand the difference between them.
You need 35 contact hours to apply for the PMP exam. This is one of the three mandatory eligibility requirements to apply for the PMP exam. Without these contact hours you cannot apply for the exam.
These contact hours must be aligned with the PMBOK Guide and should explain concepts in each knowledge area.
PDUs are needed when you become a PMP and your certificate is about to expire after three years. With the help of these PDUs you can complete the CCR program and renew your PMP certificate for a further three years.
The content area of PDUs is much broader than the contact hours, though they should align with the PMI Talent Triangle.
As you have seen, the PDUs are professional development units which you require after passing the PMP exam to complete the CCR cycle and retain your PMP certification after three years.
NB: Don’t forget to keep records for the PDUs that you have claimed to the PMI for 18 months after the end of your CCR cycle, because the PMI may select you for an audit to prove the authenticity of your PDUs.
Please refer to the PMP Handbook for the latest update.