Project Management

Make a Plan to Earn Your PDUs

From the Certification Insider Blog
by
Cornelius Fichtner help you with your PMP Exam Prep (https://www.project-management-prepcast.com) as well as earn free PDUs (www.pm-podcast.com/pdu). Passing the PMP Exam is tough, but keeping your PMP Certification alive is just as challenging. Preparing for the exam requires an in-depth study of the PMBOK Guide and dedicated study discipline. And once you are PMP certified, then you are required to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every 3 years to keep your certification alive. Let me help you make this journey easier with tips and tricks on how to prepare for and pass the exam as well as efficiently earning your PDUs once you are certified.

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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 smart phones 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 http://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, making earning PDUs a habit, developing a plan, setting up reminders, executing the plan, reporting earned PDUs, and finally applying for credential renewal.

Posted on: January 07, 2015 04:13 PM | Permalink

Comments (5)

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Here''s another one, Cornelius:

Surf ProjectManagement.com for many fabulous webinars and watch them from start to end. Your PDUs get awarded automatically as long as you have used the PMI Login using your PMI.org credentials.

I have often had PPPMPs (Progressively Panicked PMPs) contact me to find out how they can get PDUs quickly when they are only a few weeks away from their deadline, and they suddenly wake up to the fact that a PDU generally represents an hour of effort. One PMP-holder actually took a week of vacation so she could watch enough webinars in her area of interest on the former Community of Practice sites - not something I would want to do, mind you!

Another way to earn PDUs, one that also helps build critical mass for PMI Chapters, is to volunteer for a committee of the local PMI chapter board, or to run for the board. This not only gets you heavily involved in the local PMI chapter, it also gets you rubbing shoulders with PMs from your area and, for those of us not previously involved in volunteer activities, adds many skills to your collection, some of which you may not even realize you need.

Many chapters are finding that most people rate networking very highly on their list of reasons for joining and staying with PMI and its chapters. So while you might have all your PDUs for a cycle, keep on going to those chapter events - the networking is priceless, PDU needed or not!

Hi Mike,
Thanks for sharing your findings on ProjectManagement.com. Is it free for everyone or someone has to be a PMI member.

Network:4638
Thanks Cornelius. Nice post.

I really appreciate this blog and I agree - making a plan and maintaining PDU's all the way through the allotted time is the best approach. It is easy to reach your PDU's doing it this way and I have really enjoyed continuing education along this journey!

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