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Renewing your PMP certification

PMIs PMP certification is valid for a period of three years. This page explains what is required to renew your hard-earned PMP credentials. PMP certification is extremely respected credential in the industry. The article explains how to extend your certification for another three years.

Validation Period

The PMP certification is valid for three years after the year of certification. As an example, if Joe Smith became certified in July 1st, 2015, the PMP certificate will be valid till July 1st, 2018. The certificate is valid for exactly three years from the day of certification. Extending the certificate for a period of three years requires furnishing proof of sixty PDUs.

If an individual is unable to provide proof of 60 PDUs in the three year period, her certification will be suspended for a period of one year. In the above example if Joe does not provide evidence of 60 PDUs till July 1st, 2018, his certification will be suspended for a period of one year till July 1st, 2019. During the suspension period, the individual may not use the PMP credentials. However during the suspension period, the individual can submit the evidence of 60 PDUs to retain her PMP credentials.

If an individual is unable to provide this evidence during the suspension period, she will be required to go through the process of PMP certification again like a fresh applicant.

Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR)

PMI defines a Continuous Certification Requirement program that describes the requirements for individuals for maintaining their PMP credentials. CCR defines a three step process –

  1. Attain and report to PMI a minimum of 60 PDUs during each three year cycle. This three year cycle is called CCR cycle.
  2. Complete an application for certification renewal and submit the fees.
  3. Reaffirm the PMP Code of Professional Conduct.

On completion of these three steps, PMI renews PMP certificate for a period of another three years.

The most complex part among the above steps is accruing the 60 PDUs. In the remainder of this article more details are provided on how to accrue PDUs.

Acquiring PDUs

A PDU is defined by PMI as a measuring unit for structured learning in the discipline of Project Management. One PDU is earned for one hour spent in a planned, structured learning activity.

PMI defines five different categories in which PDUs can be earned.

  1. Category 1: Formal Academic Education
  2. Category 2: Professional Activities and Self-directed Learning
  3. Category 3: PMI Registered Education Providers
  4. Category 4: Other Providers
  5. Category 5: Voluntary Service

Category 1: Formal Academic Education

PDUs can be earned by completing an academic course related to the discipline of Project Management. The course must be done after attaining PMP certification. One hour of degree credit in a 15-week semester earns 15 PDUs.

Category 2: Professional Activities and Self-directed learning

This category includes activities like writing articles, books and speaking on project management concepts. It also includes providing regular services related to Project Management. The details of the sub-categories are described below.

Sub-category Description PDUs earned
2A Author of article on Project Management in a refereed journal 30 per article (author)
20 for co-authors.
2B Author of article on Project Management in a non-refereed journal 15 per article (author)
10 for co-authors.
2C Speaker on Project Management topic at a conference/symposium/workshop 10 PDUs per activity.
2D Speaker on Project Management at PMI component meeting 10 PDUs per program.
2E Member/moderator on a Project Management panel discussion at a conference/symposium/workshop 5 PDUs per program.
2F Author of a Project Management textbook 40 PDUs (author) 20 for co-authors.
2G Development of contents for a structured project management learning program 10 PDUs per program.
2H Practitioners for Project Management services for 1,500 hours per calendar year 5 PDUs per calendar year.
2-SDL Self-directed learning activities like personally conducted research on Project Management Maximum 15 PDUs in a three year CCR cycle.

Category 3: PMI Registered Education Providers

Training attended at PMI Registered Education Providers (REPs) can be used to earn PDUs. One hour of Project Management training qualifies for 1 PDU. The training advertisements by REPs generally describe the number of PDUs that the training program will provide.

Category 4: Other Providers

Training on the discipline of Project Management provided by other organizations (non-REPs) also qualifies for earning PDUs. One contact hour of structured learning activity or course is equivalent to one PDU.

Category 5: Voluntary Service in the field of Project Management

Maximum 20 PDUs can be earned in a three years CCR cycle by performing Project Management related voluntary services. Qualifying activities are explained in the table below.

Description PDUs earned
Serve as an elected officer at a Project Management organization 2 PDUs for three months of participation, 5 for six months, and 10 for twelve months of participation in a calendar year.
Serve as committee member at a Project Management organization 1 PDUs for three months of participation, 3 for six months, and 5 for twelve months of participation in a calendar year.
Providing Project Management services for a not-for-profit charitable organization 5 PDUs per calendar year.

The PDUs need to be submitted online at PMIs site. After you log-in, the left nav-bar of the site has links to submitting PDUs and renewing the certificate. Once a PMP has submitted information about a PDU activity, it may take up to a week for PMI to acknowledge and register the activity for your profile. After 60 PDUs have been earned in a three year period, the PMP can then apply for renewing the PMP certificate for a three year period. The renewal fee is $60 for PMI members and $150 for non-members. For a small number of randomly selected cases, PMI may request for an audit to verify the information provided during PDU requests. So it is important to retain the evidence of PDU qualifying events. Also PDUs can be submitted up to the end of next calendar year after the completion of three year CCR cycle in which the PDU accruing event occured. So if a PDR accruing event happened in 2015-2016 CCR cycle, the PDU request must be submitted before end of 2018. However it is a good practice to submit PDU requests on regular basis, as the events happen. Also up to 20 PDUs earned in the last year of a CCR cycle can be transferred to the next CCR cycle. So if a PMP has already earned 60 PDUs in a three year period, she can transfer 20 PDUs earned in the last year, to the next three year CCR cycle. To summarize, PMI provides many means of accruing PDUs. Most practicing Project Managers should not find it difficult to earn 60 PDUs in a three year period. However one needs to keep track of accrued PDUs, and submit the same at regular intervals, to ensure that the PMP credentials can be retained.

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