As one of the few Global Registered Education Providers for PMI® (Project Management Institute), Ten Six has a unique insight into how the PMP® credential process works, and how training companies can help you manage your recertification requirements. Holders of the PMP credential need to collect 60 professional development units (PDUs) in a 3-year period. Let’s take a look at how formal training can help you build your PDUs.
What can I claim?
Attending a training course offered by a PMI Registered Education Provider (REP) is a sure-fire way of boosting your PDUs. One hour of instruction equals one PDU and you can also claim in 15 minute increments, so if your course is 7.5 hours per day you can claim that extra 30 minutes. To give you a real example, our Advanced EVM Workshop would net you 28 PDUs over four days.
REPs are groups and companies accredited by PMI. These training providers have agreed to stick to strict quality criteria so you know that the training you’re getting is the best. Seminars and conferences offered by PMI nationally and globally, plus local Chapters and online Communities of Practice also count towards your PDU total in this category – which, for reference, is category A.
The good news is that there is no maximum amount of PDUs that you can claim for training, so if you wanted to, you could collect all your 60 PDUs from attending training courses and PMI educational events.
What about pre-course work?
Many training providers send you electronic workbooks or reading materials prior to the course (or paper equivalents, although this is a lot less common). Working through these materials in preparation for your training counts towards Category C PDUs as they qualify as self-directed learning.
You can only claim for 30 hours of self-directed learning in your whole 3-year recertification cycle – but that’s a lot of self study! Make a note of what you have done and what you learned, and keep your notes in case you need them to evidence your study later.
What about training others?
What about if you are the trainer? Creating a project management course or contributing course content is a great way to earn PDUs. These fall into Category D: Creating New Project Management Knowledge. That doesn’t mean you have to come up with fantastic new ideas that no one has ever thought of. Instead, it’s about creating new resources, so your new training materials would qualify.
If you then go on to deliver the course you can also claim PDUs for that time. Again, it’s one PDU per hour of activity. There are limits on how many you can claim. Category D PDUs fall under the umbrella of ‘Giving Back to the Profession’ and you can only claim 45 of those in a 3-year period.
Many companies make it a policy to have the delegate who has attended a formal training course deliver a brief overview of what they learned during the next team meeting. Everyone benefits, and if you are that delegate you can count the time preparing and delivering that presentation towards your PDU record.
Maybe you’ll then be asked to coach someone in the skills you learned on the course. This might be informal, but it still counts. If you are coaching or mentoring someone else you can claim PDUs for this activity under Category E: Volunteer Service.
How do I claim PDUs?
Your REP will issue you with a PDU certificate or explain how you can claim your PDUs for attendance online with a code. If you have to prove your attendance as part of a PDU audit you can use the certificate, a letter of attendance or registration form as evidence.
Use the online Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) system to log and record your personal PDU activity. Did you know that you can also use the CCR system to search for courses and events that will help you earn PDUs? You can even search by provider so if you know that you want to get your training from a particular company it will show you exactly what’s on offer and how many PDUs that course equates to.
We’d recommend that you update the system as soon as you can after earning the PDUs, otherwise it’s too easy to forget or to lose the codes you need! If that happens, you might not be able to claim and while you won’t have wasted your time (as you will have learned something useful during the training) it’s disappointing not to have your efforts recognized with PDUs.
It can also give you a boost to see how you are doing against your objectives. When you start to put together your attendance at local and national PMI events, formal training courses like the ones we offer, self-directed study and volunteer time coaching others you can see how quickly you could reach your PDU target. They do add up quickly but it’s important to track your progress over the 3 years so you don’t feel like you are rushing to collect them all in the last 6 months before the deadline!
PMI and PMP are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.