PM Professional

How to earn PDUs

Together with the annual renewal fee (assuming you’re not already a PMI member), PMI requires candidates to earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) over 3 years to renew their certifications. PDUs are acquired from further education and by using your talents to give back to the project management community.

One hour of activity earns one PDU, which means you’ll need to plan in advance if you’re to squeeze 60 hours of PDU-related activities into your busy schedule. Here are some ideas that might help you hit your target with little fuss:


You can earn PDUs by attending training courses, workshops and PMI organization meetings. Events such as these are often provided by local PMI chapters and registered education providers. Education PDUs can also be obtained from third-parties like universities, or even your own business.

One of the easiest and most popular ways to earn PDUs however, is reading. The PMBoK Guide® is also the PMP® reference book. Revising this is a great way to earn PDUs, you might even learn something new!

Other relevant publications you might read for PDUs include project management articles, research papers, blogs and case-studies. You can also attend live webinars or watch informative videos online for a free and easy way to earn PDUs

PMI has also introduced the Talent Triangle. It is comprised of three key skill areas that form a well-rounded project management practitioner. Of the mandatory 60 hours, you must earn a minimum of 8 PDUs in each of these areas:

Technical project management:

Education related to specific project functions such as portfolio management, data gathering or project governance.


Education related to team and stakeholder management such as contract negotiation, conflict resolution and other activities that actively help achieve business goals.

Strategic and business management:

Education related to industry knowledge and skills such as market analysis or business models.

Give back

This category of PDU is about sharing one’s knowledge with the wider project management community and helping other PMI candidates acquire their PMI certifications.

There are 4 ways you can acquire PDU’s in this category:

Sharing knowledge:

PDU’s can be acquired through teaching or mentoring. Project managers may seek out opportunities within their own business or volunteer their skills to local PMI chapters.


Working in your PMP-related role counts towards your PDU requirement (keep in mind that only a maximum of 25 PDUs can be acquired through this means, the remaining 35 must be in the education category).

Creating content:

Creating and sharing informative content such as books, blogs, webinars and articles counts towards your PDU requirement.


You can earn additional PDUs by volunteering your services to charities and unaffiliated (ie. Those not related to your current employer) organizations.

PDU allowance

You can claim a maximum of 25 PDUs in the ‘giving back’ category. Most of your PDUs have to come from the education category. There is no such limit in education however and you can earn all 60 of your PDUs in education.

Keep in mind that 8 hours must be invested in each area of the ‘talent triangle,’ for a total of 24 hours

Make sure you get the category balance right. You can’t the majority of your PDUs simply from your daily work as a project manager. Spend an hour each week reading about project management and watch a one-hour webinar every two months. That would earn you enough PDUs over a 3-year period to qualify. Don’t make the mistake of trying to earn all 60 at the last minute.