Earning High PMP PDUs for Your PMP Certification

Passing the PMP test is just the first step in building your career in project management. If you have been working as a project manager for some time now, you must know that maintaining the project management credentials requires you to earn PDUs. Professional Development Units are essential to retaining our PMP certificate and status. You get three years to achieve the required PDUs and keep your status.

These PDUs are recorded in Continuing Certification Requirements systems and are evaluated at the end of three years by supervisors who decide whether or not you qualify to keep your PMP credentials. If you miss the deadline or cannot score the required numbers of PDUs, your PMP is suspended, and you get one year to retain them, or they will expire permanently. The question is, how do you earn PMP PDUs? In this post, we’ve shared some tips that may help. Let’s take a look.

What are Professional Development Units (PDUs), and Why are they Important?

You are required to earn 60 PDUs in three years, which doesn’t look like a big deal. If you have done it before, that’s certainly something you can do all over again to keep your PMP credentials. However, many project managers fail to fulfill this requirement and lose their certification. That doesn’t mean they have to quit their job, but they can no longer use the PMP status for getting new jobs, promotions, or any career-related benefit.

That’s why most PMP holders start working for the certification as soon as the three-year duration begins. Also, you can transfer up to 20 PDUs from the previous year’s cycle, i.e., if you had extra earned. Proper planning and starting early can make the process of attaining PDUs much easier, but that’s not what most professionals want. People look for faster and easier ways, possibly shortcuts, to earn the required PDUs quickly. Let’s see how you can do that.

6 Ways to Earn PDUs

1. Practice Project Management

You can earn 25% of the PDUs by practicing project management. This means a quarter of the PDUs, i.e., 15 of them, 5 credited to your CCR annually, can be earned by managing projects. However, to qualify for this, you must have delivered project management services for 6 months every year. Check out the Project Management Professional Handbook for more information about the PDU requirements. This will show you the detailed process of collecting 15 PDUs in three years.

2. Participate in the PMI Quizzes

If you are good at quizzes, you can participate in the quizzes published by PMI. These are general questions used to test the knowledge of a project manager and their specialization. You can score one-third of the PDUs, i.e., 2.5 PDUs if you score 80% on the test. This may vary depending on the quizzes you attempt and the requirements set forth by the CCR for the year. However, this comes at a small fee. Each participant has to pay $10 for each quiz.

3. Volunteer Services

The fastest way to rack up your PDUs in the CCR system is by volunteering for the PMI. You can either work as the elected officer or take the association’s project. Either way, you will earn 1 PDU for every hour of service up to 45 PDUs. You should research the latest PMI projects and take on an opportunity that fits your interest. You will need a letter of acknowledgment from the PMI or the association you have volunteered for.

4. Get PDUs for Listening

Project management podcasts offer free lectures to all project managers and aspiring candidates. Project management experts deliver these from all over the world to all subscribers. These podcasts might be on different subjects, depending on who’s speaking. However, they are mostly less than one hour (the minimum requirement for earning one PDU).

So, you will have to listen to many such podcasts to earn 1 PDU. Fortunately, there are over 200 free episodes available, so you can easily collect a bunch of these units. The best part is that these lectures will help you increase your project management knowledge and learn new things that will make your job easier. You can earn a maximum of 30 PDUs from this category.

5. Get PDUs for Learning

Have you been reading articles, books, and other study materials that are relevant to project management? Or, have you recently received coaching from an expert in project management that increased your knowledge or helped you hone your management skills? Well, anything educational in the project management field will contribute to the PDUs earned.

You can add every hour spent on learning as one PDU in the CCR. This allows you to earn up to 30 PDUs. You could also earn PDUs from training. PMI allows up to 15 PDUs per semester if you have taken coaching from private or public institutes. You need to show your grades as proof of completing the training and an acknowledgment letter from your coach showing the number of hours you spent on training. Then again, this must be relevant to project management.

6. Write an Article, Blog, or a Book

Another way to earn PDUs is by writing an article or a book about project management. This will be considered “giving back to the community” and is counted. the maximum you can earn is 45. Every hour of writing the article will earn you one PDU. Or, there’s another easier option. Instead of writing, you can simply buy a book related to project management and read it till you score 30 PDUs. You get 1 PDU for each hour of reading. Make sure you keep track of the number of hours you read and what you learned.


There are dozens of ways to rack up your Professional Development Units within three years. Even if you are doing it in a hurry, simple steps like reading books, writing notes, or volunteering can help you fulfill the PDU requirements and retain your PMP credentials for the next three years.

Updated on: 18-Jan-2023


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