Do you need PDUs for the Certified Associate in Project Management (
In this article I’ll explain what this means for
Spoiler: If you already know you need them and don’t want to read on, here’s my recommended all-in pack of PDUs for CAPM certificate holders.
What’s the story about PDUs for
As of 1 October 2020,
Either way, it doesn’t matter anymore. The requirement to take the exam again has gone!
Why did the renewal requirement change?
PDUs are a way to prove that certification holders are continuing to build their professional skills. This goes for all kinds of professional organizations, not just PMI. Many professional bodies have a requirement for members holding designations and post-nominal letters to maintain their knowledge at a current standard.
I think the switch was a good thing. It’s easier to manage (for us and for PMI) and also shows that people are taking an active interest in the project management profession.
In other words, you can no longer take the test, do nothing in project management for 5 years, and then take the exam again. That doesn’t convince an employer that you are interested and committed to the project profession.
And let’s be honest, the
Also, there are plenty of easy ways to earn PDUs — more on that below.
How many PDUs do you need for
You need 15 PDUs over 3 years.
There is a transition period. If you passed your exam on or before 30 September 2020 your expiration date will not change. Your certificate expiration date stays the same and you have until that time to earn your 15 PDUs.
Once that date has passed, you’ll be on the 3-year cycle. As time passes, fewer and fewer certificate holders are going to fall into this category. When we get to 29 September 2025 everyone will be on the 3-year cycle.
How are PDUs calculated?
PDUs are calculated by the hour. One
You have loads of time to earn your PDUs. It’s going to be easy, trust me. And if you are up against a deadline for your recertification, I have an article on how to earn PDUs fast.
What type of PDUs do you need?
- a minimum of 9 Education PDUs including two in each Talent Triangle area: Ways of Working, Power Skills and Business Acumen.
- a maximum of 6 Giving Back PDUs with a maximum of 2 for working as a professional and 4 for volunteering and creating knowledge.
Education PDUs are made up of formal and informal learning opportunities.
Giving Back PDUs relate to time spent contributing to the profession in various ways such as volunteering or creating content to help others learn.
How to earn PDUs for
Let’s look at some ways you could earn 15 PDUs for your
|Doing your day job and working in a project-related field
|Attending a day-long project management training course run internally by your company
|One hour of self-directed reading on leadership and business topics related to project management each year e.g. a relevant book or industry magazine or journal
|3 hours of listening to The PDU Podcast
|Doing your day job and working in a project-related field – let’s continue to claim the easy PDUs!
|Study for your PMP exam with a course that gives you 35 contact hours AND counts as PDUs for your current credential
This option only includes opportunities to earn free PDUs for
|Doing your day job and working in a project-related field – this is a free way to get your
|Volunteer for your local project management organization, for example the PMI Chapter closest to you. You should be able to manage 4 hours over 3 years doing things like signing in and welcoming visitors to an event, co-ordinating a seminar, introducing a speaker at a webinar etc.
|Earn 2 Ways of Working PDUs for 2 hours of project management mentoring. Ask a more experienced manager to meet with you and talk to them about areas where you need clarification or support with regards to technical PM skills.
|Earn 2 Power Skills PDUs for running or participating in a structured
|Earn 2 Business Acumen PDUs for 2 hours of reading. Look at your company’s strategic plan or industry magazines (not specifically project management related – ones that relate to the industry that you work in).
|Watch webinars. Get started with these:
Tips for managing multiple projects
What it takes to be a successful project manager
Practical strategies for managing your work
|Give a presentation. Prepare your material, rehearse and present. Respond to questions and follow up with attendees by sending out your slides, a satisfaction survey and any other reference material you referred to. That’s easily 2 hours of work for a 30 minute presentation.
The presentation could be to your internal team about a project success and what you learned from the experience. Or you could give a keynote at an international conference… it’s up to you!
This is the easiest way to collect your PDUs on auto-pilot!
|Subscribe to The PDU Podcast and get video podcasts delivered to your device. That covers ALL your
Watch them over time or binge them all in a weekend, depending on how quickly you need to collect the units!
Whatever route you choose, it’s really important to learn ways to find time for continuous professional development at work so you can fit it in.
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®.
Next steps for
Ready to take the next steps in earning your PDUs for
- Download the CCR Handbook from PMI. It’s got a lot of useful information and you should familiarize yourself with what’s required.
- Sign up to The PDU Podcast
- Put time in your calendar every 3 months to record what
PDUactivity you have done in the CCRS, so you stay on top of your professional development over the re-certification cycle.
Top tip: People often say that the Power Skills requirements are the most awkward ones, so here are some tips for earning Power Skills PDUs.
With a bit of thought and preparation, you’ll find it super easy to maintain your certification!
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