Ways to Earn PDUs for PMP Certification

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Jan 31, 2024

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What is PMP PDU?

Project management institute (PMI) offers PMP certification for professionals who attend training and pass the PMP examination. To maintain the PMP certification one must renew it once every 3 years. There is no need to write an exam for renewal, however, for renewal, there is a process and that includes continuous learning. For every one hour of learning 1 PDU is awarded. PDU stands for Professional Development Unit. One must accumulate 60 PDUs. The 60 is broken down into PDUs earned from education and from giving back respectively. All the details related to the PMP PDU will be discussed in this blog.

PMIs certification is indeed a feather in your hat. But are you aware that you need to stay updated to become a professional project manager? By this do I mean that you need to get certified frequently? Hey not really and don’t worry. PMI. has made it clear that individuals who earn 60 PDUs and 30 PDUs can claim for the renewal of the certification. 60 is applicable for pmp certification as well as PgMP certification. 30 is applicable for PMI-SP and PMI-RMP. You can spend 3 years to collect these 60 points and then apply for a renewal.

In this blog, we will help you understand the best way to earn 60 PDUs for fulfilling the CCR of PMIs certification.

Before getting to understand the ways to earn PDU, let me brief you about how these PDUs will allow you to maintain the certification. You must attend a PMP Course to appear for a pmp certification exam. Upon clearing the same you are awarded the certificate. In order to constantly update your skills, you must earn these PDUs. Every one hour of time spent on attending the seminar, learning or even teaching others you get one PDU. Likewise, you can earn 60 PDUs by participating in different programs. Those details are given in the later part of this blog.

How to earn PMP PDUs?

To answer how PDUs will allow you to maintain certification you need to understand that these times spent on various activities will let you enhance your knowledge. Thus you will be awarded one point for each one hour spent. Over a period of 3 years if you can spend 60 hours on enhancing your skills, then you can renew your pmp certification validity. It is simple, isn’t it? Yes, it is, as well as meaningful.

We are sure that you are convinced about the need for PDUs. Now let us see in detail about to earn them easily in parallel gain knowledge as well. There is no hard and fast rule to take part in one activity. But you have a choice and based on your interest you can spend your time earning these PDUs and apply for pmp certification renewal.

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The two ways to earn PMP PDUs are

1) Educational – No maximum limit to earn PDUs

  1. Course offered by Communities, Chapters, or PMIs representatives
  2. Self-learning
  3. Continuing Education

2) Giving Back to the profession – 45 PDUs in a maximum can be earned

  1. Creating naive PM skills
  2. Volunteering
  3. Working as a professional in managing projects

These two ways are further categorized as given below. This will widen the choice to the individual who wants to renew the certification.

Let us look at each category in detail.

         Way to earn PDUs for PMI certification

Ways to Earn PDUs:

Category A – Course offered by communities or chapters or PMIs registered education providers

All these people are aware of the basic mandate created by PMI. They will abide by the rules and will help you earn PDUs. Look for PMI chapters, govt agencies, prof associations, and training departments. Alternatively, you can also attend conferences and seminars offered by these institutes to get PDUs. Do you know? Now you can take a quiz and if you give 70% correct answers, then you can earn PDU.

Every one hour you participate in the events mentioned above you will be awarded 1 PDU. Also, you can add PDUs in ¼, ½, and ¾ increments. Which means attend a minimum of 15 mins to get 0.25 credits.

Collect the attendance letter or a certificate for submitting as proof.

Category B – Continuing Education

By taking part in an academic course or attending an educational course offered by training institutes. Even though not registered with PMI the training institutes can certify your completion with them. Even a webinar attendance with these organizations will help.

1 hour, of course, attended on project risk, scheduling or management will gain you with 1 PDU. Here again, you can report credits in an increment of ¼.

Grade report or transcript must be submitted. Course material or a brochure also will be accepted if it is a community course.

Category C – Self-learning

You can learn on your own by referring to books, articles, and manuals. Also, watch videos or podcast. Discuss with colleagues or learn from superiors. Serve as a trainer or a coach and note this under volunteering service.

1 PDU for every 1 hour time spent on project management, risk, or scheduling.  You are allowed to earn only 30 PDUs under this category for PMP or PgMP certification.

Submit learning materials which you documented while discussing with a date.

Category D – Creating naïve PM skills

You can make new things including writing books, articles, or blogs. The present webinar, podcast, etc. Create a course or serve as an instructor. Work as a moderator or SME during discussions related to PM skills.

Only 45 PDUs at the maximum can be earned in this category. You can submit your course content or provide a link for blogs as proof. Preparation time and presentation time is included for PDUs and every one hour will account for 1 PDU.

Category E – Volunteering

Here you can provide any teaching or help or mentoring but not paid for the same. This will be counted in volunteer service. You can work for a PM organization that is legally registered as a not for profit organization. Volunteer as a committee member or serve in the PMI advisory board. Work on the PMI standards or do some PMI research work.

PDUs can be earned depending on your participation level. Maximum of 45 PDUs can be earned and one-hour non paid work will reward you with 1 PDU.

Category F – Professional Work Experience

This is your work experience. Yes, it counts as well. You can work as a project manager and get PDU points. If you work for a maximum of 12 months as a PM, then you can earn 15 PDUs. These will be counted in the give back section and will be accounted among the 45 PDUs.

Employment letter, job description or a bonafide certificate from the employer is accepted as proof.

The table given below summarizes the points we discussed so far about the categories.


CategoryHow to EarnHow much to earn


  • Conference
  • Seminar
  • Training
  • Classes
  • Quiz

1 hour = 1 PDU


70% Correct answers = 1 PDU

Certificate Registration form Attendance Letter

  • Academic Course
  • Training
  • Webinar
1 hour on project risk, scheduling, management topic  = 1 PDU

Transcripts Marks card Course Material


  • Reading
  • Listening to audio
  • Watch Video
  • Discussing with SMEs
  • Providing coaching to others
1 hour on project risk, scheduling, management topic  = 1 PDUDetails recorded with date
  • Write books
  • Co-author books
  • Submit articles
  • Publish blogs
  • Present webinar
  • Present Podcast
  • Creat course
  • Be an instructor, moderator, or SME on project management topics

1 hour = 1 PDU

It includes both preparation and presentation


Submit books, course contents and provide the link for articles published
  • Volunteer work including training, mentoring, providing materials, guidance, etc
  • Carry out research
  • Be a member of PMI advisory board
1-hour contribution =1 PDULetter from the not for profit organization to confirm volunteer service
  • Work Experience as a PM
Maximum 15 PDU for 12 months of work experienceEmployment letter, job description, a bonafide certificate from the employer


Table – PDU points earned from different categories

Points to remember

  1. There is no need to be a PMI member to retain pmp certification. However, you can get a discount of USD 60 for renewing the certification.
  2. You can claim PDUS in the same educational activities in more than a single skill area
  3. You can earn all 60 PDU from the educational activity itself and giving back activity is optional

We are glad to provide you with all the details and wishing you good luck to earn PDUs for pmp certification renewal. Feel free to contact us for attending the PMP certification Training.


PDU – Professional Development Unit

PMP – Project Management Professional

PMI – Project Management Institute

CCR – Continuing Certification Requirements

PM – Project Management

PgMP – Program Management Professional

PMI – SP – PMI Scheduling Professional

PMI – RMP – PMI Risk Management Professional

R.E.P – Registered Education Providers

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