How to Earn Power Skills PDUs for PMP Renewal in 2024

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If you are like many Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification holders, you might be finding it hard to source enough quality learning materials for your Power Skills PDUs. Panic no more, I have all the details you need below.

In this article we’ll look at what Power Skills PDUs are and how many you need, and what activities count towards your PDU total in the Power Skills category.

What are Power Skills PDUs?

Power Skills is one side of the PMI Talent Triangle, along with Ways of Working and Business Acumen. Power Skills used to be known as Leadership Skills in the Talent Triangle but it was re-badged in 2022 to make it more relevant to the profession.

Power Skills is also broader and in many ways more vague than ‘leadership’ but I would argue that’s a good thing for professional development and also for PDUs!

Power Skills PDUs form part of the Education requirement for recertification.

The table below shows how many Power Skills PDUs are required for each PMI certification. Overall, as you can see, it’s not very many per certificate. Even the certificates with the highest requirement still only need you to collect 8, which you can probably do in a day.

CertificationPower Skills PDUs Required

What does ‘Power Skills’ mean?

The PMI website defines Power Skills like this:

These interpersonal skills include collaborative leadership, communication, an innovative mindset, for-purpose orientation, and empathy. Ensuring teams have these skills allows them to maintain influence with a variety of stakeholders – a critical component for making change.

But what does that actually translate to, as tasks we can do for PDUs?

The PMP® exam content outline has some more information on what leadership looks like. In fact, I’d say that the PMP exam has been aligned to structure perfectly to the Talent Triangle, with everything in the People section being fair game for collecting Power Skills PDUs.

Below, we’ll look at what project management tasks count as power skills so you can easily tick off a few quick wins.

What project management tasks count as power skills

Let’s take the exam content outline for the PMP as that’s a good guide to what PMI thinks power skills means. And after all, we care what they think as they are assessing us.

Here’s the list of activities in the People domain.

  • Manage conflict
  • Lead a team
  • Support team performance (this is about appraisals, team development, giving feedback and identifying areas for individual improvement)
  • Empower team members and stakeholders
  • Ensure team members and stakeholders are adequately trained
  • Build a team
  • Address blockers for the team
  • Negotiate project agreements
  • Collaborate with stakeholders
  • Build a shared understanding (this is about facilitating conversations to reach consensus)
  • Engage and support virtual teams
  • Define team ground rules
  • Mentor relevant stakeholders
  • Promote team performance using emotional intelligence.

That’s quite wide-ranging, and there’s a lot in there you can turn into PDU opportunities.

Get a head start with my guide to 15 easy ways to earn PDUs this year.

Examples of qualifying activities for Power Skills PDUs

We all use leadership skills, and many other ‘soft’ skills in project management which means there are plenty of opportunities to claim PDUs in this area as long as you are learning about related topics.

Even if you feel like you’re not in a ‘leadership’ type job, for example, you’re after PDUs for CAPM because of the role you do, you can still find ways to evidence your learning.

To be honest, I enjoy developing my leadership and interpersonal skills more than I do learning technical techniques. However, much of project management education is based on technical skills, so you do have to keep an eye out for qualifying activities that count towards your Power Skills PDU total.

power skills pdu topics

For example:

Any kind of formal or informal training, webinar or podcast on the topics of:

  • Conflict management
  • Negotiation skills
  • Influencing
  • Empathy
  • Engagement
  • Collaboration techniques (reading my book on collaboration tools would also count)
  • Knowledge transfer tools and techniques.

Video courses on Coursera or LinkedIn learning count. Check out my recommendations for the best online learning courses for project managers. You can easily rack up a few hours with those!

Any reading, research time or learning about:

  • Managing virtual teams
  • Emotional intelligence (start with this book)
  • Team engagement and team building activities like a scavenger hunt.

The easiest way to earn Power Skills PDUs

If all that seems too difficult, then the easiest way to earn your Power Skills PDUs is simply to buy a bundle of curated training materials specifically designed to meet the PMP certificate’s requirement for 8 hours of professional development in that field.

There aren’t many resources specifically designed purely for this segment of the Talent Triangle, so the one I recommend is The PDU Podcast Power Skills Package.

I like it because:

  • It instantly means you earn 8 relevant PDUs (of course, you have to watch the webinars, but you can do that over a lunchbreak, on your commute or in the evenings)
  • If you don’t need 8 PDUs in the Power Skills domain, you can carry them forward to the next recertification cycle
  • The PDUs come from OSP International LLC, a training provider with a long history of creating PMI-compliant training materials
  • They come with a spreadsheet that shows you exactly how many PDUs you earn per webinar, so you save time entering your claim into the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) system.
15 PDUs
PDU Podcast Power Skills Package

Get instant access to 10 high quality webinars on leadership and specialist topics to help you earn the difficult 'Power Skills' PDUs. The PDU Podcast Power Skills Package is perfectly aligned to the PMI Talent Triangle and gives you 15 PDUs.

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Another way to earn Power Skills PDUs

Another way to earn Power Skills PDUs and tick off that section of the Talent Triangle is to get the curated bundle from Brain Sensei. This bundle of PDU video training will give you PDUs in the other categories as well, but you can still get verified Power Skills hours with a ready-to-submit PDU certificate in those bundles.

The 15 PDU Brain Sensei bundle gives you 5 Power Skills PDUs. The 30 PDU bundle gives you 10 Power Skills PDUs and the 60 PDU bundle gives you 15. Given that you only need 8 as a minimum, that’s more than enough to see you through a recertification cycle.

These bundles are a good choice if you want to get a rounded selection of PDUs although they are a little more expensive than the PDU Podcast package I mentioned above.

PDU Bundles Tailored for Easy Renewal - Brain Sensei

Grab a bundle of 15, 30 or 60 PDUs tailored to topics like stakeholder engagement, team performance, agile, value delivery or adaptive planning.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you #ad

I also have another article with tips on how to earn PDUs fast, so if you’re coming up on your time limit, you can quickly get what you need.

Next steps

Ready to earn those elusive Power Skills PDUs?

Here are your next steps:

  • Make sure you have a copy of the CCR handbook so you can double-check exactly what you need
  • Log into the CCRS and see what you’ve already logged against the Power Skills side of the Talent Triangle – it might be more than you think!
  • Work out how many more PDUs you need
  • Learn how to make time for professional development and then make a plan to earn the PDUs you need using the resources discussed above.
  • If you are short on time, buy the Power Skills package and play the webinars over a weekend to be done with this area of the Talent Triangle.

See, simple! You can do it – as we’ve seen, as long as you identify the right learning opportunities, you’ll soon have a full quota of relevant claim codes to add into your record.

Want to learn more about leadership? Check out the Ultimate Guide to Leadership in Project Management.

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how to earn power skills pdus