PDU Requirements PMP Certification Renewal

PDU Professional Development Units Explained
PDU Professional Development Units Explained

The most important aspect of maintaining PMP certification is investing time in acquiring and reporting PDU. It is essential to understand the various categories of these professional development units. Further it is also imperative to know the minimum reporting requirements for each of these categories. This blog post provides and in-depth analysis of break-up of pdu required under different categories. Moreover, this post also helps to understand various activities associated with each pdu category.

What is a PDU

PDU stands for Professional Development Unit. PMI through its Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Program helps PMP certification holders to report time spent in educational and professional development activities.

In fact, each hour spent in a specified activity entitles a pmp certification holder to earn 1 pdu.

PMP Certification Cycle

PMP certification is valid for 3 years and requires renewal upon completion of every 3 year period. Whoever, earns a PMP certification must participate in PMI CCR program in order to maintain the pmp certification.

Moreover, participating in professional development activities allows a pmp certification holder to report pdu under various categories. This not only helps in professional growth but also in fulfilling the certification requirements.

As a matter of fact a pmp certificate holder must earn 60 pdu in order to renew pmp certification.

PMI PDU Categories

In order to maintain any of the pmi certification a professional must earn pdu under the following two main categories.


This category includes time spent on learning activities that allows a pmi certification holder to enhance technical, leadership, or business management knowledge.

Giving back to the profession

This category involves time spent in sharing project management skills and knowledge in order to develop the profession.

Ways to Earn PMP PDU

Earning PDU is not at all difficualt and is also not a very costly affair. However, one needs to plan for all activities that can help you earn professional development units. The following paragraph enumerates activities that can help your gain pdu to renew pmp certification.

Earn Education PMP PDU

The following paragraph enumerates activities that qualify for pdus under the main category education.

  • Educational events held by PMI Chapters.
  • Instructor-led e-learning courses.
  • Educational sessions at industry conferences.
  • Attending webinars, podcasts.
  • Reading books, white papers, and blogs.

Earn Giving Back to The Profession PMP PDU

The following paragraph enumerates activities that qualify for pdu under giving back to the profession.

  • Working as a practitioner.
  • Writing books, white papers, and blogs on project management.
  • Presentations delivered at PMI chapters, conferences, or within your organization.
  • Sharing knowledge as a mentor coach.
  • Volunteering without compensation.

PDU Requirements for PMP Certification Renewal

A PMI certification holder needs to earn a total of 60 PDUS. Following is the breakup of pdu between the two main categories.

  1. Education: A minimum of 35 pdus
  2. Giving back to the profession: A maximum of 25 pdus.

The above break up is also valid for other certifications like PgMP, PfMP, PMI-PBA. For more details on minimum pdu requirements refer to CCR Handbook on PMI website.

Each of the above main category is further divided into subcategories. The following paragraphs enumerate the various subcategories.

Education PDU Requirements

The main category education is further divided into following three sub-categories also known as the PMI Talent Triangle.

PMI Talent Triangle

  1. Technical Project Management
  2. Leadership
  3. Strategic and Business Management

Technical Project Management

This sub-category includes knowledge and skills related to project, program and portfolio management.

In order to maintain the credential a certification holder must earn a minimum of 8 pdus under this sub-category.


Leadership oriented knowledge, skills, and behaviour that helps an organization to achieve its business goals.

A certification holder one must report a minimum of 8 pdus under this sub-category.

Strategic and Business Management

Strategic and business management includes industry or organization specific knowledge and expertise that help to achieve business goals.

Under the sub-category strategic & business management a certification holder must earn a minimum of 8 pdu.

Education Total Minimum PDU Requirements

Education requires a total of 35 pdus under the different skills such as technical, leadership, and strategic. However, 8 pdus per sub-category add up to only 24 pdus.

Therefore, PMI allows certification holders to earn the balance 11 pdus under any sub-category.

As a result it is a good practice to target at least  12 pdus in each sub-category.

Giving Back to The Profession PDU Requirements

The main category giving back to the profession is further divided into two sub-categories namely working as practitioner and Others.

Working as Practitioner

PMP certification holder can report a total of 8 pdus once per 3 year cycle under this category.

PMI allows pdus commensurate with the time spent as a practitioner. For example if the time spent as a practitioner is one and half year then pmi permits only 4 pdus.

Other Giving Back

As shown above working as practitioner allows to earn 8 pdus. Hence the balance 17 pdus can be earned through various activities such as creating content, sharing knowledge, giving presentation and volunteering.

Giving Back to The Profession Total PDU Requirements

In order to renew pmp certification PMI permits a maximum of 25 PDUs.  The break up of these 25 pdu is mentioned in the above paragraph.

Earn Free PDU for PMP Renewal

Many of us assume that earning pdu to maintain pmp certification is a costly affair. But this is not true; If you are a PMI member than you can log in to projectmanagment.com and watch on demand as well as free webinars and earn pdus free of cost.

However, only catch here is that in order to watch on demand webinars you should be a PMI member which costs USD 65.00 per year.

Moreover, PMI also comes with host of other benefits that helps a certification holder to remain updated with the latest editions of PMI standards and publications.

Over the past few years projectmanagement.com has undergone some interesting changes. The following paragraphs enumerates benefits of using projectmanagent.com.

  • Login with your pmi credentials allows viewer to know professional development units remaining under each education sub-category.
  • Projectmanagement.com also recommends webinars based on balance professional development units required for pmp renewal.
  • Login with pmi credentials automatically updates education pdu in the continuing certification requirements dashboard.
  • Projectmanagement.com takes care of all pdus under education category.

How to Claim PDU

The process of reporting and claiming pdu is fairly simple. The following paragraph enumerates this process.

Step 1: Visit pmi.org

Once you have obtained your pmp certificate pmi displays CCR dashboard on your profile page. Click CCRS Dashboard in mypmi or Visit ccrs.pmi.org in order to access your CCR dashboard. The CCR dashboard displays the following details.

  • Certification Status
  • Certification date
  • Renewal date
  • Balance pdus for renewal
  • pdus earned in each subcategory

Step 2: Report PDU

On clicking report PDU a fresh web page opens that has all the subcategories listed under both main categories.

Step 3: Submit PDU

Once you have selected the appropriate pdu to report submit all relevant details. If the chosen category falls under education, you can report the exact number of pdu under different subcategory such as technical, leadership and strategic.

Step 4: PMI Confirmation

On submitting the pdu details pmi will send you two email. The first email confirms submission of pdu claim. If all details are filled in correctly then the second email confirms approval of the submitted claim.

Step 5: 60 PDU for PMP Renewal

Over a period of 3 years one needs to continue steps 1 to 4 until a certification holder acquires 60 professional development units necessary for pmp certification renewal.

PMP Certification Renewal Process

The main criteria for pmp certification renewal is acquiring 60 professional development units. Once you have the necessary criteria all that needs to be done is to visit the pmi.org website and pay the pmp renewal fees.

PMP Certification Renewal Fees

In order to renew the pmp certification a credential holder needs to pay a pmp certification renewal fees. The following describes rewel fees applicable to each category

  • USD 60.00  – for valid pmi member
  • USD 150.00 – for non-members

Therefore, the total cost of maintaining pmp certification is

  • USD 65.00 pmi membership fee payable each year
  • USD 60.00 pmp certification renewal cost payable every third year.
  • The total works out to (65 x 3 ) + 60 = USD 255.00 for every 3 years.

Further Reading

Read the following blog posts for more details on PMP Certification.


The following snapshot presents a summary of 60 pdu requirements in each category in order maintain the pmp certification.

60 pdu for pmp certification
60 pdu for pmp certification

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