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Cornelius Ficthner: PDU Tip: The maximum PDUs you can earn in a category

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As a holder of many Project Management Institute (PMI) credential you are required to earn a specified number ofProfessional Development Units (PDUs) to maintain that credential. The number of PDUs to be completed for each three year cycle is dependent upon the type of certification held. Each PDU is equivalent to one hour of effort. Sixty PDUs per cycle are required for those who hold the PMP or PgMP certification and 30 PDUs for those who hold the PMI-SP or PMI-RMP certification. At first it may seem to be a lot of time but for the PMP and PgMP certification it averages out to just over an hour and a half of self-improvement effort a month and for the PMI-SP and PMI-RMP certifications less than an hour a month. That is little time when considering those who hold these certifications are more than likely spending at least that much time reviewing existing and keeping up with new practices without even thinking about it.

There are six categories of PDUs that are divided into two division “Educational” and “Giving Back to the Profession.” In some categories you can even earn free PDUs. The categories provide a wide range of opportunities to obtain PDUs. Under the “Educational” division there are such activities as completing courses either offered by PMIs Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s) or other colleges or universities; attending PMI sponsored events such as seminars, conferences, chapter or communities of practice meetings, or attending other credential related training events; taking and passing a PMI Publication Quiz; and completing self-directed type of learning activities such as reading books or instructional materials, using interactive CDs, or being mentored.

Activities considered as part of the “Giving Back to the Profession” division are authoring, co-authoring, or serving as a presenter, speaker, or instructor of material related to the credential; volunteering within a PMI organization or even a non-PMI charity or community organization, or working on a PMI project; and even working as a Project Manager. With all of the options available to obtain PDUs each professional is sure to find a method that interests them.

Over the coming weeks we will be publishing a series of PDU Tips in which we look at each of the six categories (Category A-F) in which you can earn PDUs. We will explain each category in detail and talk about ways to maximize earning PDUs for your recertification.

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