Mudassir Iqbal

In the ever-evolving world of project management, staying up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices is crucial for success. Earning a Project Management Institute (PMI) certification validates your skills and knowledge, but it’s just the first step. To maintain your credential’s active status you may have come across the term “PDUs” in your journey.

But what exactly are PDUs, and why are they essential for your career advancement? Let’s delve into the world of Professional Development Units (PDUs), a crucial aspect of maintaining your Project Management Institute (PMI) certifications; Yes! they are needed for all PMI certifications. In this blog, we’ll explore what PDUs are, why they are essential, the various forms they take, and how you can earn them.

What are PDUs?

PDUs, or Professional Development Units, are a measurement used by the Project Management Institute (PMI) to quantify professional development activities in the field of project management. 

One PDU represents one hour spent on approved activities that enhance your skills and knowledge base by investing your time in learning, teaching, or volunteering. Think of them as building blocks that solidify your expertise and demonstrate your dedication to the profession.

Why are they needed?

The project management landscape is constantly changing. New methodologies emerge, technology advances and industry best practices evolve.

PDUs serve multiple purposes in the project management realm in addition to certification maintenance.

Firstly, they ensure that certified professionals continue to expand their knowledge and skills, thereby staying current with industry trends and best practices.

Secondly, PDUs contribute to the continuous improvement of project management practices. By participating in relevant learning activities, professionals can gain new insights, tools, and techniques that can be applied to their projects, leading to enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in project delivery.

Furthermore, maintaining PMI certifications through PDU demonstrates a commitment to professional growth and excellence, instilling confidence in clients, employers, and colleagues.

The PMI Talent Triangle and PDUs

The PMI Triangle, also known as the Talent Triangle is a framework that outlines the three essential skill sets required for successful project management. These skill sets are constantly evolving, and PDUs can help you ensure your development aligns with the latest industry demands.

Talent Triangle
PMI Traingle

PDUs are closely aligned with the PMI Triangle, as they offer opportunities for professionals to enhance their skills across these domains

  1. Ways of Working (formerly Technical Project Management): This area focuses on the technical aspects of project management, including tools, techniques, and methodologies.
  2. Power Skills (formerly Leadership): These skills encompass leadership, communication, negotiation, and team management.
  3. Business Acumen (formerly Strategic and Business Management): Understanding business context, financial acumen, and strategic thinking are essential in this domain.

Different Forms of PDUs

PDUs fall into two main categories:

A. Education PDUs

  • Professional Seminars: Attend workshops, conferences, or webinars related to project management. These could be Live or recorded sessions. 
  • Formal Classes: Enroll in courses that enhance your skills. 
  • Self-Directed Learning: Read books, articles, or research papers relevant to project management.
  • Online Courses: Participate in e-learning programs. So if you are certified on PMBOK 5 or 6, attending sessions for PMBOK 7/ ECO 2021 would give you 35 PDUs here. Youtube recordings could help you quickly gain these PDUs

B. Giving Back PDUs

  • Volunteering: Spend time volunteering for PMI chapters, local communities, or professional groups.
  • Mentoring: Share your expertise with aspiring project managers.
  • Working with Professional Organizations: Collaborate with industry bodies or associations. This also covers your job.
  • Create Content: Writing a blog, or creating a presentation on a project management topic would earn you 0.5 or 1 PDU

Claim your PDUs

Remember, there’s no limit to the number of Education PDUs you can earn, but there is a limit under each category which is counted towards your recertification.  The details can be found in the CCR Book.

For Example;

Project Management Professional (PMP)®

  • Total PDUs Required: 60 PDUs in a three-year cycle.
  • Minimum Education PDUs: 35.
  • Maximum Giving Back PDUs: 25.

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®

  • Total PDUs Required: 15 PDUs in a three-year cycle.
  • Minimum Education PDUs: 9.
  • Maximum Giving Back PDUs: 6.

How to Report PDUs

Reporting your PDUs is a straightforward process:

  1. Log in to your PMI account on the PMI website (
  2. Click on My PMI and navigate to the Dashboard.
  3. Locate the Report PDUs button and click on it.
  4. The system will guide you through the reporting process depending on the type of PDU you earned (Education, Experience, or Giving Back).
  5. You may need to provide additional information, such as course completion certificates or documentation for claimed experience.
  6. Once you’ve entered all the details, review your submission and submit your PDU report.

Maintaining Multiple Certifications

For project management professionals who hold multiple PMI certifications, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP), Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), or Program Management Professional (PgMP), maintaining all certifications can be both rewarding and challenging. It is important to note that you don’t need to get ALL PDU’s individually. PDU’s can be shared across multiple certifications.

Some quick tips are;

  1. Plan Strategically and Seek Cross-Certification Opportunities: Look for opportunities to earn PDUs that are applicable to multiple PMI certifications simultaneously. For example, attending industry conferences or completing advanced project management courses may fulfil requirements for both PMP and PMI-ACP certifications.
  2. Diversify Your Learning: Explore a diverse range of learning opportunities to fulfil PDUs for each certification.
  3. Stay Organized: Maintain detailed records of your PDUs earned for each certification, including activity descriptions, dates, and supporting documentation. Most Importantly keep the record of renewal dates. Different certifications may have different renewal dates.
  4. Stay Current with Requirements: Stay informed about the latest certification renewal requirements and guidelines issued by PMI for each certification.

Earning PDUs

PDU CategoryHow to Earn?
Course or TrainingTypes of activities include
– Educational events held by PMI chapters,
– Instructor-led e-learning courses,

Courses offered by:
– PMI Training,
– PMI Authorized Training Partners (ATPs) / China Registered Education Providers ( China R.E.P.s),
– Programs accredited by the PMI Accreditation Center (GAC),
– general training organizations

These are the courses that you take Online/Onsite ;
check our PMP training Simplified and Leadership Course
Organization MeetingsActivities include (but are not limited to)
– Educational sessions at industry conferences
– PMI chapter or local events
– Meetings focused on areas of the PMI Talent Triangle.

If you are a PMI Local Chapter Member, then you may get almost 12-24 PDUs options available by attending their sessions.
Online or Digital MediaActivities include self-paced learning activities that were conducted online or offered through different forms of digital media like webinars, podcasts, interactive CD-ROM, and videos.

YouTube sessions on Project Management would cover these
ReadReading is a good way to enhance your knowledge on the topic. Reading a book, Blog and article on the topic would easily give you .5 to 1 PDU per activity
Informal LearningActivities include (but are not limited to) mentoring sessions, panel discussions, lunch and learn sessions, or other structured discussions.
Work as a PractitionerThe number of PDUs claimed once per cycle should be generally equivalent to the amount of time you were actively working within the profession ; i.e on JOb Hours
Create ContentActivities that enable you to share and apply your knowledge and skills as a means to contribute to and help build the profession. Some examples include:
– Writing books, articles, white papers, or blogs
– Creating webinars or presentations
Give a PresentationActivities include presentations you delivered at a PMI chapter event, other professional conference, or internally at your organization, which relate to your certification.
Share KnowledgeActivities in which you shared project management knowledge with others through serving as a mentor, teacher, coach, or simply applying your subject matter expertise.
VolunteerActivity that relates to your certification and contributes to advancing knowledge or practice within the profession.


In conclusion, PDUs play a vital role in the professional development of project management professionals. By earning PDUs, you can stay current with industry trends, enhance your skills, and demonstrate your commitment to excellence. Whether through formal education, volunteering, or self-directed learning, there are numerous opportunities to earn PDUs and advance your career in project management. So why wait? Start earning PDUs today and unlock new possibilities for growth and success in your career journey.