This blog post was updated in December 2019 to include the current information.
The PMP certification is valid for three years. To renew it you must earn 60 PDUs in three years and report them to PMI. This will complete the CCR cycle and the PMI will extend the validity of your certification for another three years.
Failing to do so may lead to suspension. If you don’t submit your PDUs within one year, your credentials will expire.
The PMI has set out a few guidelines for these PDUs that you must follow. They are complex and sometimes difficult to understand.
Therefore, I am writing this blog post to explain the guidelines in a way that is easy to comprehend. I will explain what a PDU is, PDU categories, and the PMI’s Talent Triangle. There are both free and paid options to consider when earning your 60 PDUs.
What is a PDU?
PDU stands for Professional Development Unit. As per the PMI, “The professional development units (PDUs) are the measuring unit used to quantify approved learning and professional service activities.”
If you are learning skills or participating in relevant events, you can count the time spent and convert it into PDUs. One hour of educational or relevant activity is equal to one PDU.
PMI has divided PDUs into two groups:
- 1Education PDUs
- 2Giving Back to the Profession PDUs
This group has three categories:
- 1Category A covers courses offered by PMI’s R.E.P.s, chapters, communities, and G.A.C.
- 2Category B includes continuing education.
- 3Category C is for self-directed learning.
In the education group, you must earn at least 35 PDUs, but not more than 30 category C PDUs.
Out of these 35 PDUS, 8 PDUs should be in Technical Project Management Skills, 8 in Leadership Skills, and 8 in Strategic Business Management Skills. The PMI calls these three skill sets the “PMI Talent Triangle”.
You can earn your remaining PDUs in any of the three categories.
Giving Back to the Profession PDUs
PMI has divided this group into three categories.
- 1Category D is for creating knowledge.
- 2Category E includes volunteer work
- 3Category F covers working as a professional.
In this group, you can earn a maximum of 25 PDUs, but during the three years, you can only claim a maximum of 8 PDUs from category F.
Now let’s see how you can earn these PDUs.
Here I will help you find 60 PDUs for free so you can complete your CCR cycle. Free Category A and B PDUs
There is no PDU limit here. So if you can attain more than 35 hours in these categories, feel free.
You can find around 30 PDUs on this website. I contacted the IAG about the correct categories of these PDUs, they replied that they are category 2 (under the old classification) PDUs. However, I believe that under they currently fall under category B.
CADENCE Management Corp
CADENCE Management Corp is the oldest training provider for project professionals. It was founded in 1983 and has been serving the community ever since. They have over 18 free webinars to continue and enhance your professional development.
PDUs from ProjectManagement.com
This is my favorite and I use it to earn my PDUs for free.
The PMI provides you with an excellent opportunity to earn free category A PDUs by watching their recorded webinars. I highly recommend you watch them.
Once you have finished the webinar, the PDU will be automatically added to your account. You don’t even have to report it.
You can also take part in live webinars that will also give you automatic credit, once the stream has concluded
This option is available for non-members. However, if you are a PMI member, you will get thousands of webinars, but if not, you can still watch enough recorded webinars to earn your 60 PDUs for free.
Free Category C PDUs
Under this category, you can earn PDUs by reading books on project management.
Note the date and time that you started and completed the book. You must keep records of your notes.
Once you finish reading this book, you can report it to PMI and claim PDUs; one hour of activity is equal to one PDU.
If you don’t enjoy reading, there is another option for the self-directed learning category.
You can watch relevant webinars from any site, record the date and time you watched it, and how long the video was. One hour of a webinar is equal to one PDU.
Please note that you can only earn 30 PDUs from the “Self-Directed Learning” category.
Free Category F PDUs
You can claim 8 PDUs per CCR cycle for just working as a professional in project management.
The links above can help you claim all 60 of your PDUs for free. On the Internet, you will find many resources to earn PDUs but remember–you only need 60 every three years.
Keep in mind that the PDU categories for these links may change; therefore, check the current category before subscribing to any webinar.
Paid PDUs offer you many benefits compared to free PDUs, such as:
In this section, I will provide you with some paid options to earn PDUs. Every listed course is aligned with the PMI’s new Talent Triangle concept.
PDU courses from PM Simplify
PM Simplify is a leading training provider for project management courses. They have a variety of programs to help you gain new skills.
They offer many courses that MP certificate holders can take to earn PDUs and maintain their CCR Cycle. All of their courses are PMI approved for the category A PDUs and they are aligned with the PMI Talent Triangle.
Some popular PDU courses from PM Simplify are provided below.
Business Analysis Fundamentals
The course content is aligned with the BABOK Guide, third edition. It will teach you the fundamentals of Business Analysis.
You will get one year’s access for this course and upon completion, you can download the certificate.
For 200 USD, you will earn 25 PDUs.
(Use coupon code PMSC to get 20 USD off.)
Six Sigma Overview
This course teaches you the basics of Six Sigma; e.g. an introduction to Six Sigma, the barriers in implementing Six Sigma, and the similarities and differences between DMAIC and DMADV.
You will have access to the course for one year and once you complete it you can download your certificate.
For 100 USD you will earn 15 PDUs.
(Use coupon code PMSC to get a discount of 10 USD.)
Principles of Leadership
This course will help you understand the basic leadership concepts such as principles of leadership in project management, various leadership models, team building, performance appraisals, communication, and innovation.
Upon course completion, you can download your certificate; you will have access for one year.
(Use coupon code PMSC to get 7.5 USD off)
This course will teach you various communication models, types, and nonverbal communication like body language, gestures, and eye contact.
Access will be for one year, and you will get a certification of completion at the end of the course.
For 75 USD you will earn 10 PDUs.
(Use coupon code PMSC to get a discount of 7.50 USD.)
This course gives you an introduction to ITIL. Access will be for one year and upon completion of the course, you can download a certificate.
(Use coupon code PMSC to get 15 USD off.)
For PMPs, this course has 35 PDUs, and for PMI-RMPs it has 20 PDUs.
This course helps you understand project management fundamentals.
Access is for one year. Upon course completion, you must pass a quiz, and then you can download your certificate.
Buy this course if you have passed the PMP exam based on an old edition of the PMBOK Guide and want to update yourself with the 6th edition.
For 150 USD you will earn 35 PDUs.
(Use coupon code PMSC to get a discount of 15 USD.)
Bundled Courses from PM Simplify
PM Simplify offers bundled courses of two or more at a reduced price.
60 PDU Bundle @ 300 USD
This bundle combines two courses: PM Fundamentals and Business Analysis.
55 PDU Bundle @ 270 USD
This bundle contains three courses: PM Fundamentals, Leadership Principles, and Nonverbal Communication.
50 PDU Bundle @ 240 USD
This bundle includes two courses: PM Fundamentals and Six Sigma Overview.
45 PDU Bundle @ 210 USD
This bundle contains the courses: PM Fundamentals and Nonverbal Communication.
40 PDU Bundle @ 180 USD
This bundle has two courses: Business Analysis and Six Sigma Overview.
PDU courses from OSP International
OSP International offers two courses that can provide you PDUs. OSP International was founded by Mr. Cornelius Fichtner.
Agile PrepCast, 40.5 PDUs @ 229 USD
This program has two advantages.
The first is that you will get 40.5 PDUs.
The second, this course fulfills the 30 contact hours requirements for the PMI-ACP certification exam.
You can use these hours when applying for the PMI-ACP certification exam.
PM PrepCast 60 PDUs @ 229 USD
You can earn 60 PDUs from this course, if you passed your PMP certification exam before March 26th, 2018.
The price of this program is 229 USD and it gives you 60 PDUs.
This program will help you align your knowledge with the sixth edition of the PMBOK Guide if you passed the exam based on the old edition of the PMBOK Guide. This is a good deal for anyone who passed the exam before March 26, 2018, and wants to stay up to date with the latest edition of the PMBOK Guide.
These PDUs play an important role in your career development. If you are a PMP, you are encouraged to earn PDUs. You can do so by learning new skills, sharing your experience, volunteer work, etc; anything that helps you grow your career. A good plan and continuous accumulation will make completing the PDU requirements for your certification renewal very easy.
Some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking. Please understand that I recommend these resources because they are useful, not because of the commissions I make. Please do not make a purchase unless you feel you need the materials or that they will help you achieve your goals. Read the disclaimer.