Need advice? Call: +353 1 6614677 or Contact Us

Professional Development Units (PDUs)

22 Sep 2019
Professional Development Units (PDUs)

Have you heard about PDUs before?

What are PDUs?

PDUs are abbreviations for Professional Development Units, which are one-hour blocks of time spent learning, volunteering, or tutoring; in another term, one PDU is one contact hour. Collecting these PDUs is required to maintain your certification status. Different certifications have different requirements for accumulating or maintaining their PDUs.

We can categorise PDUs into two categories as following:

  • Education PDUs: These can be earned at professional project management seminars, webinars, classes, or self-directed learning, which allow the project professionals to enhance their project management skills as PMP exam candidate requires 35 PDUs to be able to apply for the exam and PMP certification maintenance requires 60 PDUs every three years to keep the PMP certification active after getting it.
  • Giving Back PDUs can be earned by volunteering, mentoring, working with professional groups, and more. They allow project professionals to use their knowledge and skills to build the profession, maintain their certification, and stay updated with the latest trends and practices in this field.

Why are PDUs important for project managers?

Obtaining a Project Management certification is a significant achievement for any project manager, demonstrating an essential level of knowledge and expertise in this field. As the profession of project manager grows and changes quickly, continuous improvement and maintaining relevancy is necessary to keep your ongoing commitment to your professional development. By investing effort in sustaining your certification, you have booked a seat as a candidate to compete vigorously, with a significant advantage for any vacancy.

You can raise your professional resume to get a better position and move forward in your career, where you have a higher chance to provide your skills and knowledge to any organisation, solve problems, and move toward its objectives. Moreover, PDUs are units that measure the professional advancement of certified project managers and guarantee that they keep their knowledge up to date to continue providing the best services and results, each one in their domain.

What are the ways to earn PDUs?

To stay certified, you must get the required PDUs for project management certifications. You can earn PDUs by performing many various activities such as:

1. Through Education

  • Attending a project management course or training in person or online where could provide a structured and interactive learning experience. Each one attending hour corresponds to one PDU.  
  • Self-paced learning is conducted online or through various forms of digital media and platforms, such as online courses, videos, and webinars, where you can engage yourself in learning on your own schedule.
  • Attending meetings or local events could provide valuable opportunities for learning and expanding the network. These kinds of activities include an educational component about project management topics such as presentations and workshops.
  • Reading project management books, articles, whitepapers, eBooks, or blogs related to your certification as the eBooks and blogs provided by the institute of project management, in goal to stay informed and updated to support your ongoing professional development.
  • Learning informally by having educational opportunities focused on structured discussions with mentors and colleagues.
Professional Development Units

2. Through Giving Back

  • Work as a practitioner in your certified role where you could apply your skills and knowledge in project management.
  • Create content such as authoring books, blogs and articles or creating presentations for a large public use by practitioners.
  • Deliver presentations within the organization or outside, as in project management professional conferences.
  • Volunteering with an organization that practices project management activities where you can support and help its team by practising your knowledge and skills.

To be a certified project manager, it is a lifelong commitment toward your ongoing professional development where you need to renew your certificate every three years. This three-year cycle starts the day you pass your PMP exam.

As per the Project Management Institute, PMI, to maintain your PMP certification, you must earn a total of 60 PDUs, of which at least 35 must be education and a maximum of 25 must be giving back PDUs, as per the table below.

Professional Development Units Chart

Suppose you are not able to earn the required PDUs within three years of getting your certification. In that case, your status will be suspended for one year until you choose to renew your certificate during this period, or you will lose your credentials.

In the end, earning your project management certification is one of your excellent and challenging achievements in this rapidly transforming world. Maintaining your versatility and professionalism through ongoing development is a priceless advantage and asset. For that matter, you can earn PDUs by taking our project management courses and submitting your membership with the Institute of Project Management (IPM).