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Project Management Recertification by Earning PDUs

written by: Rupen Sharma, PMP • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 6/7/2013

Did you know that PMI certifications expire? All that hard work you put into the exams will be lost and you’ll have to prepare all over again. In order to renew you PMI project management certification, you must earn professional development units (PDUs).

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    Continuous Certification Requirements Program

    After you have received a project management certification from the PMI, you automatically participate in the Continuous Certification Requirements (CCR) program. This program lasts three years and is designed to ensure your ongoing development in the field of project management. Participating in this program is not optional. If you do not participate, your PM certification will be void after three years. After three years, the CCR program begins again and you will need apply for certification renewal and pay the renewal fee.

    Now, that you understand the significance of the CCR program. Let’s have a look at some key details about the program and how you can satisfy the requirements.

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    What Is All This About PDUs?

    Each PMI-approved learning and professional service activity is assigned a professional development unit (PDU). The activity must be related to Project Management. For example, if you write a book on Project Management, you will earn a specific number of PDUs. Each PMI Project Management certification has a specific number of PDUs that you need to earn in a CCR program.

    Recertification Tip: All PM certifications need a specific number of PDUs during a CCR cycle, so plan for them. Don’t leave it for the last minute.

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    How Many PDUs Do You Need?

    The number of PDUs you need to accumulate depends on the PM certification you hold, as shown below:

    • PMP: 60 PDUs
    • PgMP: 60 PDUs
    • PMI-SP: 30 PDUs in project scheduling
    • PMI-RMP: 30 PDUs in project risk management
    • CAPM: No PDUs, but re-exam is required at the end of the CCR.

    CAPM Tip: If you hold the CAPM credential, try and upgrade it to the PMP credential before the end of the CCR program. This way you’ll avoid taking the CAPM exam all over again. Assuming you have the necessary experience to take the PMP exam, read the Top 10 Sources of Project Management Training article and get started.

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    How to Earn PDUs

    The PMI has defined several categories to earn PDUs. Each category has a specific number of PDUs assigned. For example, if you write an article for the Project Management Journal, you can 30 PDUs per article. Or, if you are a speaker on a project/program management topic at a conference or course, you can earn 10 PDUs per activity. There are numerous ways to earn PDUs. For a complete list of PDU categories and their details, go to

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    Submitting PDUs to the PMI Website

    Submitting PDUs for approval is a painless process. The PMI website is very user friendly and the task should take you no more than a couple of minutes to complete. The steps are as follows:

    1. Go to
    2. Enter your Username and Password and then click the Log In button. After logging in, your Membership details are listed in the first column. Under the Membership Details box, the Certification Status is displayed. Here, the renewal date of the certification is mentioned. This date is when the CCR program is going to end for you. You need to submit all the required PDUs by this date.
    3. Click the View PDUs link in the Certification Status box. The page displays the number of PDUs you’ve reported so far in the CCR. There will be no information displayed if you haven’t reported any PDUs.
    4. Click the Report professional development units (PDUs) link.
    5. Select a PDU category and sub-category (if applicable).
    6. Click the Next button.
    7. Complete the form.
    8. Click the Next button.
    9. Enter the number of PDUs that you are requesting for approval.
    10. Click the Next button and then agree to the accuracy of the claim.
    11. Click the Submit button.

    In a couple of days, you will get an email notification upon submission and approval.