Maintaining your PMP credentials is not as hard as most people think, as long as you plan it well. Treat your re-certification as a Project. Follow the same processes that you do on your projects - Initiate, Plan, Execute, Monitor and Control, Close. In this article, I’m sharing some of the good practices that I’ve been following in order to maintain and track my PDUs for my PMP certification, in the past decade.
Let’s consider a few aspects of PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program:
- Review CCRS Handbook: First of all, review the CCRS Handbook for a complete understanding of PMI's CCRS Program.
- Earn 60 PDUs in a Certification Cycle (3 years): A Certification Cycle is 3 years in duration. As per the new PMI guidelines, the certification cycle ends exactly 3 years from the date you certify (or recertify). 60 PDUs in three years breaks down into an average of 20 PDUs per year. This breaks down into 20 PDUs every year. My advice is to plan early and start accumulating PDUs as early in your Certification Cycle as possible.
- Know the Categories of PDUs: There are five categories under which you can earn PDUs. Those categories include:
- Category 1: Formal Academic Education
- Category 2: Professional Activities and Self-Directed Learning
- Category 3: Courses offered by PMI Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.) or PMI Communities
- Category 4: Courses Offered by Other Education Providers
- Category 5: Volunteer Service to Professional or Community Organizations
- Maintain a Record of your PDUs: PMI randomly selects a small percentage of re-certification applications for auditing. If your application is selected for an audit, you need to produce evidence of all the PDUs that you reported. Therefore, you should maintain a folder of all PDU certificates or other documentation, which validates your claim. It is best to maintain this folder along the way.
- Report your PDUs to PMI: PMI CCRS is available to report and track your PDUs. Though PMI does not mandate the frequency of reporting the PDUs within a Certification Cycle, it is in your best interest to report them periodically to keep track of your progress and avoid forgetting to report them altogether.
- Carry over excess PDUs to next Certification Cycle: Yes, you can carry over upto 20 PDUs earned in the last (third) year of your Certification Cycle over to the next cycle. For example, if you have earned 50 PDUs in the first 2 years of your Certification Cycle and you earn 30 PDUs in the third year, 20 of your 30 PDUs (earned in the third year) can be carried over to the next Certification Cycle.
If you have other tips related to earning, maintaining and tracking PDUs, please share them in the comments section below.
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