Renewing Your PMP Certification

A PMP certification is like a VIP pass for an aspiring project manager. If you want a career in project management, achieving this certificate is the first step to attracting an employer’s attention. This credential can definitely secure you a job in your desired industry that pays a competitive salary and other job perks. Unfortunately, the PMP certification doesn’t last forever. After 3 years, the certificate expires with all the amazing benefits that it brought with it.

During this three−year cycle, the holder of PMP certification must finish the 60 Professional Development Units that will renew the certification. Note that if you are unable to achieve these required PDUs by the end of the PMP certification renewal cycle, your certificate will be suspended for a year, after which it will be terminated for good. PMP renewal is much easier than getting your credentials and status back. It’s more about advancing your knowledge in project management.

Keep reading to learn more about the PMP certification renewal.

What is PMP Certification Renewal?

A PMP certification means different things to every project manager. For some people, it’s their pride. For some, it’s proof that they are qualified to lead teams and manage projects of different complexity levels. For some, a PMP certification is their ticket to promotion. While this credential expires three years after acquiring it, you can always renew it and get access to all the great perks that you enjoyed with this certification. PMI, the institute responsible for issuing the PMP certification, provides project managers with a flexible way to have them renewed however and whenever they like.

The Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) presents the detailed PMP certification renewal process and guidelines. It shows you different ways to renew this certificate. For example, you are supposed to continue learning the new strategies of project management, work in project management, handle different types and natures of projects, teach and inspire people, and, most importantly, volunteer. The goal is to keep your skillset and qualifications aligned with the ever−changing business requirements.

The Process of Renewing PMP Certification

Put in other words, you renew your PMP certification to prove that you have the skills and experience to meet the challenging demands of the industry. PDUs (Professional Development Units) that we discussed earlier are used to track your progress on certification renewal. It’s important to track PDUs to get a clear picture of whether you have met the minimum hours of learning as required by the CCR. You can log in your training time in the Continuing Certification Requirements System. Note that it’s considered valid when you have invested your time in the following activities.

  • Education. This involves learning, practicing, and training yourself on all the new areas of management, recent challenges, and trends in this industry. You may also need to hone your technical skills to stay competitive.

  • Working as a project manager. You are supposed to manage various kinds and complexities of projects actively, teach people working under you basic management skills, and volunteer.

For PMP certification renewal, a project manager has to achieve a total of 60 PDUs, 35 from the learning phase and the remaining 25 by honing their skills. Once you have recorded them, the PMI will review the PDUs, which decides whether you are eligible for PMP renewal. You will get a notification about the results once they are declared. However, qualification alone won’t get you a three−year PMP renewal certification. You are supposed to pay the renewal fee, which can be $60 or $150.

PMP Certification Renewal Cycle

As mentioned earlier, you must renew your PMP certification during the three−year period. Not doing it will result in the suspension of your PMP credential. That means you can’t use the project manager’s acronym or won’t be considered a certified project manager. The suspension period doesn’t terminate your credentials forever, so there’s still time to take action and renew the PMP certification by recording 60 PDUs. Now, what if your credentials are suspended, and you don’t do anything during the suspension period to renew them?

If this period ends, your status will change to “Expired.” Note that the expiration of the PMP certification is an end for the project managers. There’s no amount of PDUs that can help you renew the certification ever. Your only option is to re−apply for the PMP certification, which means going over the PMBOK guide all over again, spending sleepless nights studying, and appearing for the PMP examination. Add to this the steep prices for this PMP re−take, and you will know how troublesome the process is. You must track the PDUs regularly to ensure that they are not less than the minimum requirement. Some exceptions are considered valid, like not being able to achieve the PDUs due to physical or financial problems.

How to Know Your PDUs?

The CCRS tool will keep you informed about the total PDUs you have collected through learning and working. It has a dashboard that shows information about the number of days left until your PMP expires and whether the PDUs you have been collecting are in line with the CCR requirements, total PDUs pending for PMP certification renewal, and so on. Note that your renewed PMP certification will have another 3−year cycle. In fact, this keeps going until you work as a project manager. To be called a certified manager, you must collect PDUs throughout your career.


PMP certification renewal doesn’t have to be hectic unless you start working on it when it’s close to suspension or expiration. Remember, it’s not your college test that you can study a night before the exam and qualify for.

PMP certification is given to qualified candidates who show their skills and knowledge in different management areas. After all, managing the entire project, human resources, budget, timelines, and other aspects of a project is pretty overwhelming. The PMP certification test is not easy. So, you wouldn’t want all your efforts and investments to go down the drain just because you couldn’t track the PDUs.

Updated on: 14-Dec-2022


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started