How to Earn PDUs Fast in 2024

This blog is reader-supported. When you purchase something through an affiliate link on this site, I may earn some coffee money. Thanks! Learn more.

Is your re-certification cycle coming to an end for your PMI certificate? Do you need to quickly get your PDU total up to the minimum so you can stay certified?

You’re in the right place! Read on for tips on how to earn PDUs fast.

PDUs are the Professional Development Units you need to earn to show that you are invested in continuous improvement and ongoing learning.

The PMI Continuing Certification Requirements guidelines are laid out in the CCR Handbook, which you can download from the PMI website. That’s a good starting point to review what you actually need to earn. There are different requirements for each of the PMI certifications.

But time is ticking… let’s get on with the 7 ways to quickly earn PDUs.

ways to earn pdus fast

1. Review what you are eligible to claim

Have you claimed everything you are already entitled to? Check your PDU totals on the PMI CCRS tool, as you might already have some logged.

Then review your calendar for the past 12 months (or go back further) and see if you have attended anything that you can claim for. Look for:

  • Training sessions or courses (internal or external)
  • Organization meetings like attending PMI Chapter events
  • Seminars
  • Webinars
  • Conferences (virtual or in-person).

Anything internal or external that covered project management topics could count, so make sure that’s on your record.

2. Claim for doing your day job

Did you know that you can claim up to 8 PDUs in the Giving Back category simply for working in a project-related role? Being a practitioner will earn you PDUs, and you’ll definitely want to include those!

Note that you can only claim 8 PDUs towards some PMI credentials like the Project Management Professional (PMP)®.

If you are earning PDUs for CAPM or other certifications, do check the handbook for the exact requirements. Some of the credentials won’t let you claim that many for doing your job. For CAPM, you can only claim 2 PDUs every 3 years for working as a professional, but even so, these are basically free so definitely worth having!

3. Buy The PDU Podcast

The PDU Podcast is a video webinar-based learning tool that I love because it gives you 60 PDUs that you can either watch over the 3-year cycle or binge if necessary!

Of course, that means you then have to find 20 hours to watch a year’s worth of webinars, but if you can give up your evenings for a month, you’ll soon have a big batch of extra PDUs.

People sometimes struggle to earn the required Power Skills PDUs (formerly Leadership PDUs), and The PDU Podcast can help with that too. There is a Power Skills PDU package that just gives you the requirements for that part of the PMI Talent Triangle.

The other great thing about The PDU Podcast is that it is really easy to report the PDUs. There’s a handy spreadsheet that breaks down exactly which episode relates to which area of the Talent Triangle, so you’ll save even more time recording your efforts in the CCRS.

Here are some easy options for earning PDUs with the PDU Podcast, all of which I can recommend as I’ve listened to a ton of Cornelius Fichtner’s resources in the past (and I’m even in some of the podcasts!).

  1. PDUs with the Agile PrepCast
    $129

    Earn 30.5 PDUs by listening to The Agile PrepCast and learning more about agile tools and methods.

    Learn more

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

  2. PDU Podcast Power Skills Package
    $49.00

    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.

    Buy Now

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

  3. CAPM PDU Package
    $49

    The PDU Podcast CAPM Package gives you fast, convenient access to the PDU learning materials you need. Simply add your subscription to your favorite free or premium podcast app, download the webinars and start earning your PDUs.

    With The PDU Podcast CAPM Package you get instant access to 10 high-quality webinars on curated topics, perfectly aligned to the Talent Triangle®.

    Buy Now

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

  4. The PM PrepCast for PDUs
    $199.00

    Earn all of the 60 PDUs you need to renew your PMP certification. It is aligned with the PMI Talent Triangle and includes a certificate of completion.


    Receive $40 off with discount code Feb24PDU for the month of February 2024!

    Buy Now

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

  5. PDU Podcast
    $199.00

    Earn 60 PDUs by listening to these podcasts on your phone, mobile device, or computer. Learn from 25 project management experts when it is convenient to you, covering Ways of Working, Power Skills and Business Acumen.

    Learn more

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

4. Become a PMI Member

It’s worth becoming a member and it only takes a moment (click here to join PMI for free and get the free PMI Kickoff training course in the process).

Not only will you get cheaper certification renewal fees, but you’ll also get access to their own PMI PDU online learning resources – more on those in a minute.

5. Watch webinars

If you are a PMI member, get yourself over to projectmanagement.com and start watching their free on-demand webinars. You could watch one every lunchtime for a month – that’s another 20 PDUs right there.

Each online video comes with a description that tells you exactly what you can claim in each of the different PDU categories.

You don’t even have to spend time updating the CCRS: anything you earn by watching PMI webinars is automatically credited to your PDU balance. You should get a confirmation email a couple of days later confirming that your PDUs have been added to your account.

If you aren’t a PMI member, you can still find PDU webinars online. Here are some of mine to get you started:

Online resources really are a fast way to earn free PDUs.

6. Use your commuting or gym time

Look for time in the day when you could (safely) multi-task on some professional development.

For example:

  • Commuting on the train: read a book
  • Working out at the gym: listen to a podcast
  • Waiting for the children to finish swimming lessons: read a professional journal, many of which are available online if you log in to the professional body’s website
  • Cooking dinner: play another podcast
  • Driving to work: play another podcast.

There are so many options to squeeze in a bit of learning. If you need some more inspiration, check out my 15 easy ways to earn PDUs.

Digital media gives us so many options! This might feel like informal learning, but it still counts. Remember, you can claim PDUs in increments of 15 minutes, so even if you spend a quarter of an hour reading a book, you can claim that time.

Tip: Use wifi headphones to play podcasts while you do other things. I have these wifi headphones in a headband. These aren’t the most pretty to wear during waking hours but they mean I can move around the house and still listen to podcasts playing on my iPad. I also wear them in bed and they are really comfy.

You’ll maximize your time and earn PDUs quickly if you look for pockets of time where you can be learning and doing something else.

7. Take an online course

I get it, you don’t have time to study for a new certification right now. But what if you could find the time to do at least a few lessons on a self-study timetable? You don’t have to take an exam for the study time to count towards your renewals.

There are loads of courses available, through platforms like LinkedIn Learning and Coursera, as well as micro-credentials from PMI like the Citizen Developer course.

But how do you select something quickly without spending ages browsing through the huge selection online?

I’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Here are some places to get started:

Another option for PMP® certificate holders wanting to quickly earn more PDUs is The Agile PrepCast for PDUs. It’s different enough from ‘normal’ project management to be interesting, so you’ll learn something new. Plus, it’s delivered totally online, so you can watch and listen whenever it suits you. Binge as you please to fill up your PDU hours!

And if you want to go on and take the PMI-ACP® at any point, you now have the foundations down.

Earn PDUs
PDUs with the Agile PrepCast
$129

Earn 30.5 PDUs by listening to The Agile PrepCast and learning more about agile tools and methods.

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

Check with your company: they may reimburse you for educational materials.

Tip: Check if your company offers study leave for professional development and formal training. The biggest challenge with finding time to earn PDUs is having to work as well. Use your allocated study leave time to catch up on your PDU balance.

Create a plan

You’re short of time, and the best way to get lots of things done in a short period of time is to have a plan.

Look at the suggestions above and choose how you are going to earn your PDUs the fastest way in the time you have available. Block out the time in your calendar to watch webinars and listen to podcasts.

Review what you need to get — specifically — because not all PDUs are created equal! For example, people often say that it’s hard to find ways to earn Power Skills PDUs. So if you need them, plan a way to get them.

Also, block out time to report PDUs.

Gather your evidence

If you are earning PDUs fast, you’ll have a lot of similar dates in the CCRS. That’s not necessarily bad – let’s face it, many people leave their PDU recertification requirement to the last minute, so I’m sure PMI has seen it all before!

However, it might make you more susceptible to being audited. I have no evidence that this is the case, but if it was me sitting in PMI HQ reviewing your application for renewal, I’d want to make sure that you actually did do all the professional development in the few weeks when you said you did it.

That’s why it’s important to gather evidence to support your renewal. Prioritize learning providers who can give you a certificate or claim code for participating in their learning.

PMI-registered training providers are more likely to have a way of auto-certifying you for consuming their educational content, like those projectmanagement.com webinars.

Make sure your evidence is all there – you might need to earn them fast, but don’t scrimp on your PDU documentation because you’ll only be causing yourself a headache and a whole lot of extra work if you don’t have your records in order.

Change your approach going forward!

The whole ‘cram as many PDUs as I can in the shortest possible time’ approach isn’t sustainable long term! It’s a lot of stress, and re-certification doesn’t have to be like that.

Think now about how you are going to pace yourself for the next cycle, for example, considering what Chapter events to attend next year. Make a plan to earn and report PDUs on a regular basis, so you avoid the last-minute rush.

Read next: How to make time for professional development.

Pin for later reading:

How to Earn PDUs Fast