Make a Plan to Earn Your PDUs

This forum is for members to share and gain knowledge of Project Management. Got a question about project management? Need help with a problem? Wish to offer tips and advice? Post here.
Post Reply
User avatar
cornelius.fichtner
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri 05 Mar 2010 11:19 pm

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 The PDU Podcast at www.pducast.com 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 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 Smartphones 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 The PDU Insider Newsletter at www.pdu-insider.com 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. The PDU Insider 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 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 the PDUs you need to maintain your PMP® certification are as easy as understanding the PDU categories. Make earning PDUs a habit, develop a plan, set up reminders, execute the plan, report earned PDUs, and finally apply for credential renewal.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP
User avatar
dhaughey
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 462
Joined: Sat 19 Dec 2009 4:39 pm
Location: London

Today, I have received an email advising me that I should, “Begin the renewal process” for my PMP (step 7 above). The email instructs me to click on the click on the “Begin the renewal process” link under the credential I am renewing. However, this link is not on the page.

My overview page shows 49 PDUs earned, although there are more than 60 listed for the current cycle. I am unable to find the renewal link anywhere on the PMI website.

Has anyone else had this problem? What did you do?

I've emailed PMI and await a response.

Duncan
User avatar
dhaughey
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 462
Joined: Sat 19 Dec 2009 4:39 pm
Location: London

No reply from PMI Support yet and I'm still not able to begin the renewal process for my PMP. I'm waiting to see if my second support request is more successful.

Duncan
Post Reply