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7 Step Project Management Plan to Earning PDUs


As a Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holder, you must earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years in order to maintain your certification status in good standing. Not obtaining the required 60 PDUs within your certification cycle will lead to your credential being suspended. That is the last thing you want to happen, but life being what it is, you probably have family commitments, work-  and social-organization commitments, to name just a few, that are also important to you and probably a little more in the forefront of your life than earning PDUs. If you are anything like most others, as soon as you passed the PMP® Exam, you knew earning those 60 PDUs would be easy and you were going to start on it as soon as you got home, but time passes quickly, sometimes too quickly. So, it is not at all unusual to get well into the third year of your certification cycle and suddenly realize you are nowhere close to obtaining the 60 PDUs you need to ensure your certification stays in good standing.



So what do you do to make sure you do not find yourself struggling to earn PDUs late in your certification cycle? What can you do to make sure earning PDUs is as much in the forefront as other aspects of your life? Well, being a project manager you have the necessary tools to approach earning PDUs as a project by making a plan. Below are some steps to keep in mind when developing a plan to help make sure you earn those required 60 PDUs.

Step 1: Understand the PDU Categories.

Read over the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Program section in the PMP Handbook to learn about the six categories in which PDUs can be earned. Set a goal for how many PDUs per category you would like to earn over the next three years. Keep in mind that for the PMP® certification some categories limit the maximum PDUs you can earn per three-year certification cycle.

Step 2: Make earning PDUs a habit.

Identify repeating PDU activities that you can participate in. Maybe attending dinner meetings with your local PMI Chapter works best for you. This is a good option especially if you have been thinking of networking and meeting other PMP® credential holders. Or maybe subscribing to Progress Academy’s PDUs maintenance program to receive a new webinar to watch every month works better with your busy lifestyle. If the cost of earning PDUs is a factor for you, there are also options for earning free PDUs available.

Step 3: Develop a project management plan.

After you have decided what categories you would like to earn PDUs in; found local chapter meetings to attend; or subscribed to monthly webinars, develop a plan to earn those 60 PDUs. Make sure to take into account such things as planned vacations and other times when you will not be available to earn PDUs. There may be some months where you will need to earn more than the 1.67 PDUs needed per month to keep on track to earn the 60 PDUs. Planning for those events now and determining when you will make up PDUs in later months will help you make sure you do not fall behind in your plan for earning PDUs

Step 4: Set up reminders for yourself.

With the prevalence of smart phones and other hand held devices your calendar can be at your fingertips. Set up reminders for yourself to earn PDUs based on your plan. In addition to adding events to your calendar, another good option is to subscribe to Progress Academy Newsletter at which is all about earning PDUs. This newsletter is issued every three to four weeks and can serve as your reminder for needing to earn PDUs. Progress Academy Newsletter will also give you information on earning PDUs that maybe you had not thought of that you can add to your plan.

Step 5: Execute your plan.

As a project manager you should be an expert at executing plans, and this one is personal, so it should be an easy one to achieve.

Step 6: Report your PDUs.

Each time you earn PDUs, immediately log on to http://ccrs.pmi.org and take care of two things. One, input the PDUs you have earned, and two check the number of PDUs you have earned to make sure you are on target with your plan.

Step 7: Apply for credential renewal.

Once you have earned the 60 required PDUs, don’t forget to apply for credential renewal before your certification cycle ends.


Earning PDUs can be easy; the hard part is remembering to do so regularly. The steps to earning PDUs that you need to maintain your PMP® certification are as easy as understanding the PDU categories, making earning PDUs a habit, developing a plan, setting up reminders, executing the plan, reporting earned PDUs, and finally applying for credential renewal.

 23 Real methods to get your FREE PDUs for PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI-SP, PMI-ACP etc.

Project management institute (PMI) requires the certified professionals, to renew their credentials every 3 years. You need to collect PDUs in different categories. This applies to all professional certifications, namely PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI-SP, PMI-ACP , PgMP and so on. I have tried to collate all the possible sources to get Free PDUs.

These free webinars are good for anyone who wants to become better at project and program management, it’s not just a tool for PDUs, but will help you become a better Project manager.

23 Free PDU Webinars

It’s unlikely that you will need any more sources than the ones listed below.  Feel free to refer this page to your friends.

1.       http://www.iag.biz/resources/webinars/on-demand-webcasts.html  You must watch the entire webinar event to be eligible to claim a PDU.  Those that do not view the full recording will not be given credit in the event of an audit. Easy to use and claim PDUs.

2.        PMTM002 Time Management Activity Sequencing 15 PDUs  Participants will master concepts required in the Time Management Knowledge Area. Key tools and techniques as well as example templates are discussed and provided.  This course must be completed within 10 days. http://pmwisesolutions.mindflash.com/PublicCoursePage.aspx?CourseId=112827237

3.       You can earn up to 30 PDUs per cycle in self paced learning, for example by listening to project management podcasts. I can highly recommend PM Podcast http://www.project-management-podcast.com/index.php/component/content/article/14-faqs/faq/50  valuable topics which qualify for PMI PDUs

4.       Here's a website for at least 6 PDUs with free recorded presentations called "PDU for Lunch" by Pam Stanton, who has a blog called "the Project Whisperer" at this url: http://www.pamstanton.com/PDU_for_Lunch_Pam_Stanton_Project_Whisperer.html  There are six recorded ~ 1 hr. presentations from 2011 which can be downloaded and viewed. After viewing them, one can then download a certificate per recorded webinar which is used to claim your PDUs.

5.       Website PDU Of the Day at http://www.pduotd.com has ways to get free PDUs. There is a schedule of several online 1 hour chats and webinars on project management, most in category A for 1 PDU each, although some are category C. Most of these webinars are related to PM Profession. They are specific for the 12 noon - 1 pm EDT timeframe. There are articles also referenced which can be downloaded and used for category C, self-directed learning.

6.       To those who are seeking free Webinars / Web presentations to earn PDUs of category A & C, I use following websites and they are very helpful: http://cadencemc.com/cadence-training/online/http://www.project-management-podcast.com/pdu

7.       Roeder Consulting offers free monthly webinars (1 PDU) http://www.roederconsulting.com/webinar.php

8.       PMI Communities of Practice. Many offer free monthly webinars (1 PDU) http://www.pmi.org/Get-Involved/Communities-of-Practice.aspx

9.       https://www.offpeaktraining.com/free-pdu/

10.   IIL.com organizes Project Management Day every year. It's online event. You can get 12 PDU's. Here's the link to this event: http://engage.vevent.com/index.jsp?eid=1022&seid=665

11.   http://www.projectmanagementbookstore.com/webinars/author-webinar-series.html The PMB has implemented a "Author Webinar Series," where we offer the authors represented in our store an opportunity to promote their books by delivering an online presentation to PMB customers. The Webinars are 45 to 50 minutes in length (plus 10 to 15 minutes of Q&A), and all events—even the recorded ones—qualify for one Professional Development Unit (PDU) toward retaining a PMP® certification.

12.   If testing is your area of interest, check out Software Testing Training Events . http://www.rbcs-us.com/news-and-events/events They have a yearly calendar and you can attend their sessions to get PDUs.

13.   http://www.qpmusa.com/Connect-With-Us.html join their webinars on designated days and you can get 1PDU per webinar

14.   http://www.esi-intl.com/resources/webinars-on-demand  ESI offers Webinars on Demand, an extensive library of complimentary seminars. Project managers, business analysts, human resource professionals, contract managers and program managers will find these online presentations valuable to their professional development. Available any time and as often as you choose; many offer valuable PDUs.

15.   Huge number of webinars by industry experts who regularly share their knowledge and experience . Watch for live webinars each month on the latest industry trends covering existing and emerging product technologies. You may also select from our extensive library of popular on-demand webinar topics, which are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week http://www.globalknowledge.com/training/category.asp?pageid=9&catid=248&country=United+States , register and get your PDUs

16.   From quick information-packed insights on the next generation of technology innovation to learning new ways to handle old problems, ASPE Web Seminars are a resource to our customers to stay on top of the curve. Each hour-long session is free, so sign up for as many as you like. Experience the ASPE advantage: proven technical professionals who can teach. Click on the seminar you are interested in attending and fill out the attached form. You will be confirmed into the session instantly. ASPE will follow up your registration with an email detailing how to log onto the seminar within 48 hours of the seminar start date. http://www.aspe-sdlc.com/webseminars/

17.   http://www.simplilearn.com/webinars - Scheduled webinars, which will give you PDU credit.

18.   15 PDUs can be claimed in Self-directed learning checkout http://pm411.org/ and start listening to their free podcasts. 1 hour of listening qualifies for 1 PDU. Remember you can claim up to 15 PDUs from this type per each 3-year cycle. Keep a record, just in case you get audited.

19.   http://www.corpedgroup.com/resources/webinars.asp CEG‘s webinars are free informational programs that are available in both live and on-demand formats. During these 1-hour sessions, CEG‘s subject matter experts will bring you up-to-speed on timely themes in project management, business analysis, management, leadership, and business process management

20.   http://www.itmpi.org/ITEducationalCollateral/LiveWebinars.aspx  - FREE PDUs for watching free $2.99 fee ONLY needs to be paid if you ask the provider for the code Their Rep # 2733 which can be obtained from pmi.org for free.

21.   Earn 0.5 PDU* and 0.5 CDU* for Every Live Webinar you Attend. Join their weekly at 12:00 PM Eastern. Webinar presentations 30 min. long and followed by a live question and answer session with the SME. http://www.pmcentersusa.com/KnowledgeCenter/LiveWebinarsSchedule/tabid/123/Default.aspx

22.   The website PDU4FREE.com has an index with other sites that provide free webinars


23.   http://gantthead.com  has annual virtual conference called "PMXPO" and all of the sessions qualify for PDUs.  The sessions are not only great but they pre-register the sessions with PMI so claiming your PDU is simple! The virtual setting obviously eliminates travel time/expense. If you are unable to "attend" the live event you can view them on-demand through 08/17/12 (I think, check the date on their website). The basic account is free and you can opt-in for newsletters and other informational emails. From time-to-time they'll offer other podcasts for PDU credit through the year.

Frequently Asked Questions about PDUs

I participated in an activity in which only part of the program focused on project management. How do I determine the number of PDUs?

In this situation, you should estimate the percentage of time that was directly relevant to project management. For example, a 15-hour course deemed 50 percent relevant would earn 7.5 PDUs. Be prepared to justify your estimates in the event that you are selected for an audit.

Are there any restrictions on the method of earning my PDUs?

There are no minimum requirements for the number of PDUs earned in any specific category. PMPs may earn their PDUs through any combination of the various categories. There are, however, some categories in which there is a maximum number of PDUs that you can earn:

·         PMP® and PgMP® credential holders can earn no more than 30 PDUs in the Self-Directed Learning (Category C) per cycle nor exceed 45 PDUs in total for PDUs earned in Category D, E and F together.

·         PMI-SP® and PMI-RMP® credential holders can earn no more than 15 PDUs in the Self-Directed Learning (Category C) per cycle nor exceed 20 PDUs in total for PDUs earned in Category D, E and F together.

• PMP and PgMP credential holders can earn no more than 30 PDUs in the Self-Directed Learning (Category C) per cycle nor exceed 45 PDUs in total for PDUs earned in Category D, E and F together.
• PMI-SP and PMI-RMP credential holders can earn no more than 15 PDUs in the Self-Directed Learning (Category C) per cycle nor exceed 20 PDUs in total for PDUs earned in Category D, E and F together.

What are CEUs and PDUs and what is the difference between the two?

The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a nationally recognized measure of participation in an approved non-credit continuing education program. One Continuing Education Unit (1.0) is defined as: Ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction.

The Professional Development Unit (PDU) was established by PMI as the educational metric for project management educational activities. One PDU is earned for each contact hour spent in structured learning, which is relevant to project management. For conversion purposes, one (1) CEU equates to 10 PDUs.

How do I claim PDUs on the PMI® CCRS Website?

To claim your PDUs you need to input the information on www.https://ccrs.pmi.org/ - This tutorial shows you how it's done:

I've just attended a 3-day event. Do I submit this to PMI as 1 event or as 3 events?

Ask the organizers of the event for the "Activity Code" and then submit this as one activity in the PMI® CCRS system with the total PDUs. However, you should mention the individual activities under "Program/Activity Title."

What Supporting Documentation is needed for PDUs?

You do not need supporting documentation at the time when you report your PDUs online. Just should complete the online forms.

NOTE: PMI recommends you maintain a personal folder for all PDU-related documentation and keep this documentation for at least one year after your CCR cycle has ended. If you are randomly selected for an audit, you will need to provide this documentation.

How soon after passing the exam can I begin earning PDUs?


You can start earning and reporting PDUs immediately after you have passed your exam.

PDUs Maintenance