How to get my 60 PDU for PMI PMP Certification Renewal?

13 minute read    Updated:    Harwinder Singh

PMI PMP Means to Earn 60 PDU's for Certification Renewal What is PMP Certification Renewal?
As per PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR), every PMP needs to re-certify his/her credentials every 3 years. In order to re-certify, a PMP needs to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every 3 years. There are numerous ways to earn these PDUs such as Practicing Project and/or Program Management, attending classroom training, self-learning, attending Project/Program Management related seminars and workshops, doing voluntary work for Project Management communities or organizations.

This article is meant for current Project Management Professional (PMP) credential holders. PMP aspirants are also encouraged to read this information.

Myth #1: You need to write papers, articles or books on Project Management to re-certify Not necessarily. There are other alternatives. Read on.
Myth #2: You need to attend class room training to earn PDUs Not necessarily again. I have good news for you. Stay with me.
Myth #3: Recertification requires time, energy and lot of money Well, it does require time, energy and motivation, but it is not necessarily expensive.

Update Oct 11, 2016: Refer to the new post
PMI Certification Renewal Changes and Talent Triangle

My Experience with PMP Renewal

PMI PMP PDU Certification Renewal

After I passed my PMP exam, I experienced a sense of relief and satisfaction. Three months of rigorous preparation had turned into sweet success. I also received good recognition for my achievement, from my employer. I was on a high, and time whizzed-by. Before I knew, six months had passed. That’s when it struck me that PMP Certification is not forever. I need to re-certify (by earning 60 PDUs) every three years in order to maintain my credentials. But I was left with not three, but only two and a half years to achieve this target.

I started searching for information on earning PDUs and found a lot of it. So much so that I was totally overwhelmed and confused. I had no idea where to begin from and where these 60 PDUs would come from. I found several courses, which offered 20-30 PDUs, but costed hundreds of dollars. I certainly did not want to spend this amount of money every year on earning PDUs. I said to myself that with 250 thousand PMPs out there, there ought to be some easier and cost-effective ways to get these PDUs. So, I decided to dig further.

Gradually, the hard work started paying off. I started finding several good and effective ways to earn these PDUs, without burning a hole in my pocket. Just to give you an idea, I managed to earn 35 PDUs within just 5 months using the sources listed below, and without spending too much money. I shared these ideas with many of my fellow PMP friends and colleagues. Their positive response encouraged me to create this lens.

With this article, my aim is to help familiarize fellow PMPs with the ‘simplest’ and most ‘economical’ means to earn the 60 PDUs, which will qualify for PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR).

Got PDUs? PMI PMP PDU Certification Renewal

Do what good Project Managers do

Do what good project managers do - PMI PMP PDU Certification Renewal
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.

Let’s consider a few aspects of PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) 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 as possible in your Certification Cycle.
  • Know the Categories of PDUs: There are five categories under which you can earn PDUs. Those categories include:
    • Category A: Courses offered by PMI's R.E.P.s or Chapters and Communities
    • Category B: Continuing education - formal education or training
    • Category C: Self-Directed Learning
    • Category D: Creating New Project Management Knowledge
    • Category E: Volunteer Service
    • Category F: Working as a Professional in Project Management
    Note that categories D, E, F fall under "Giving Back to the Profession" category, which has a combined limit of 45 PDUs per Certification Cycle. Other categories (A, B and C) have no limit.
  • 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 provides an online system 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.
  • Review PMI Continuing Certification Requirements System Website: Last, but not the least, review the PMI Continuing Certification Requirements System website for a deeper insight into PMI's CCR Program.
PDU Category Caps and Rules
Take a few minutes to understand the PDU Category caps and rules:
PMI PDU Category Caps and Rules

Let’s get to the point

PMI PMP PDU Certification Renewal Following are some of the easiest and cost-effective means to earn the 60 PDUs, which will qualify for PMI’s Continuous Certification Requirements (CCR):

  1. Category F - Practice Project Management: Claim upto 5 PDUs per calendar year by doing what you already do, i.e. Project Management. You can claim total upto 15 PDUs per certification cycle (CC), which is typically 3 years in duration, under this category.
  2. Category C - Self-Directed Learning activities: Claim upto 30 PDUs per CC. This includes:
  3. Category A - Join your local PMI Chapter (such as Singapore PMI Chapter - SPMI) and attend PM seminars and focus group meetings. Attendance to these events fetch upto 1 PDU per hr of the event. Moreover, registration for these events is free (most of the time) for the chapter members. If you can attend two 2-hr event (worth 2 PDUs) per year, you can earn about 4 PDUs per year or about 12 PDUs per CC. Note: There is no limit to the number of PDUs that you can earn in Category A.
  4. Category A - Attend free Webinars: Even if you attend 2 webinars per calendar year, you can achieve 6 PDUs per CC. Some sources of free webinars:
    • International Institute for Learning (IIL): Offering dozens of free webinars worth 1-2 PDU each. Update Nov 4, 2013: While IIL continues to offer some free webinars, it has started charging a small fee for a majority of the content, which used to be free.
    • ESI International: Offering several On-Demand webinars, which can be downloaded for free.
    • RMC Project Management: Currently offering about 5 free webinars worth 1 PDU each. You need to register for an account (free) in order to access the webinars.

If you do your math, you can earn more than 60 PDUs (15 + 30 + 12 + 6) without much sweat, by following the 4 simple steps listed above. There are many ways to earn PDUs under several other categories. I suggest that you refer to PMI Continuing Certification Requirements System for more details. I do plan to write a more comprehensive article covering all the categories in detail. But, that’s for another day.

The PDU Podcast - Simply the most convenient way to earn PDUs

PDU Podcast PMP Certification Renewal

If you want to take your Project Management skills to the next level, then you should consider investing in the PDU Podcast series from Cornelius Fichtner, PMP. It’s a subscription based program, which allows you to earn PDUs by simply listening to Podcasts on your computer, iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry or any similar device. It offers at least 1 PDU every month and a total of 20 PDUs every year. It comes with 2 subscription options - monthly or yearly. The episodes are delivered to you automatically every month.

It offers quality education at a reasonable price. If you wish, you can earn all your 60 PDUs by subscribing to this single program for 3 years. It can’t get more convenient than this. It’s ideal for people who want to maintain their PMP Certification, but do not want the hassles of searching for free PDUs resources.

Read a comprehensive review and get promotional discount coupons here: The PDU Podcast: Your PMP Certification Renewal on Auto-Pilot.

Become a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Expert - Earn 5 PDUs under Category C

PDU Podcast PMP Certification Renewal

If you are serious about improving your Project Management skills and not just earn PDUs merely for the sake of maintaining your PMP certification, I recommend the WBS Coach. It’s one of the best source of information on the WBS. You’ll not only learn how to use the WBS appropriately and effectively, but also become an expert at that. Read full Review of WBS Coach for details.

More Free PDU Options

I update this list as and when I find more PDU resources.

  • Systemation
    (Category B) Systemation's free archived webinar recordings on project management, business analysis, and agile development are a perfect way to earn PMI PDUs. You can earn up to 30 PDUs (one for each webinar viewed) per PMI certification cycle.
  • IAG Consulting
    (Category A) Earn 10+ PDUs by viewing pre-recorded webinars.
  • Corporate Educational Group
    (Category A) CEG's webinars are free informational programs that are available in both live and on-demand formats. During these 1-hour sessions, CEG's subject matter experts will bring you up-to-speed on timely themes in project management, business analysis, management, leadership, and business process management.
  • Cadence Management Corporation
    (Category A) Cadence MC is a PMI REP and offers a collection about 20 free webinars on their website.
  • Project Times
    (Category A) Currently offers 2 free (recorded) webinars worth 1 PDU each.
    (Category A) Mine of free webinars
  • Project Management Bookstore Author Webinar Series
    (Category B) Earn PDUs for PMP re-certification by attending Author Webinar Series from The Project Management Bookstore. They conduct one webinar every month. You can register in advance to attend live webinars for free, but it's open to first 1000 registered participants only. You also have the option to view recordings of all the past webinars.
  • PMCentersUSA Complimentary Webinars
    (Category A) Attend complimentary webinars from PMCentersUSA and earn 0.5 PDU per session for your PMP re-certification.

Earn PDUs through Advanced Project Management Certifications

Advanced Project Management Certificate by Stanford University
Get 120 PDUs. Stanford University graduate-level education for working professionals. Master of science degrees, graduate and professional certificates and courses. Delivered online, on campus, and on-site.

Step-by-step Instructions for Reporting PDUs

Reporting PDUs is convenient through PMI’s CCR System. Read PMP Renewal: How to Report PDUs to PMI to learn the step-by-step instructions for reporting PDUs to PMI.

Submit your suggestions for PDU resources

Feel free to make your own contributions to this list and help your fellow PMPs by posting your comments below.

Image credit: Flickr / ivanwalsh | Flickr / cubistscarborough | Flickr / a2gemma

Leave a Comment

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Missing Avatar

Excellent research and compilation! I was able to earn 30 PDUs by attending online classes at the Emergency Management Institue online. It's a site for free classes that deal with FEMA and a wide range of subjects in disasters and public safety preparedness. They weren't hard and PMI auditted me and accepted all that I took. Enjoy!

Missing Avatar

Thanks for putting together these resources. You can also get 17 PDUs from IBM site. Here is the link.

Also there are more resources on

Harwinder Singh Avatar

@ Anonymous:

I'm familiar with the IBM training, but I'm not sure about the PDU Category for that course. You can try posting your question to them directly, or you can charge it under Category 2-SDL, which is sort of a "catch all" category. But remember that this category has a limit of max 15 PDUs per certification cycle.


Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hi Anon,

I'm not clear on exactly what you mean by referencing PM Podcast, but I'll try to help anyway.

If you want to listen to the episodes on your computer, you need to install iTunes (or any pod catcher program) on your computer. Otherwise, you can also subscribe using your iPhone or iPod Touch.

Go to The PM Podcast website (link is available in the article above) and click on "Free Subscription" button on the left. You will see a page with a short video with instructions to subscribe to the episodes using iTunes.

Feel free to ask more questions, if that doesn't solve your problem.

Missing Avatar

Hello Harwinder

Thanks for your reply. IBM has given all the details about how to claim the PDU. I have tried to get help from IBM as well, but failed.
Earlier I claimed 2 PDU, which I was able to search in PMI and claimed. Now when I completed further chapters and tried to claim in PMI, I could not able to find activity number or Activity program title, which IBM provided. So I am not able to claim it. I can find IBM though.
Here is the link. Registered yourself and try to find activity number or activity programe name.

Missing Avatar

Hi Harwinder, I found it is a wonderful resource to know about 60 PDUs. I want to shared 1 more tip here. VTC has come up with Category 4 PDU resources like RMP bundle(around 22 PDUs Costs:Indian Rupees:1300) & SP bundle(around 21 PDUs Costs: Indian Rupees: 1200) course materials which works out very cheap to get more PDUs compared to 1 day conferences (that gives 8 PDUs & charge Rs.7000).

Missing Avatar

Hi Sanjay,
Sorry for not providing the right link supporting my information. Please review this link for further information. I did VTC RMP bundle and got Certificate of completion for the same. I claimed PDUs in PMI against my PMP.

Missing Avatar

Does anyone know how can I claim PDU, I earned by taking online IBM courses?

There is already a similar question on this thread but the person who posted it did not tell how he resolved the problem.

Can anyone please help me.

Missing Avatar

@Harwinder and Babou,

Hi. I just got my PMP certification 2 weeks ago and now looking into earning my PDUs. It so happen my company has a tie-up with VTC and it's free for me. I do see the PMI Risk Mgmt Prof and the Scheduling Professional courses. My questions are:
1) What category are these PDUs classified under PMI?
2) Since it seems these are for RMP and SP certifications, will it apply as PDUs for my PMP?
3) Does VTC have to the a REP (Recognized Education Provider) of PMI?


Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hello HHernandez,

Thanks for writing in.

1) I'm not sure on this. You may want to write to VTC and check with them on the PDU categories.

2) Yes, PDUs earned for RMP, SP certifications can be used for PMP certification renewal as well. In fact, I know that ITIL trainings also provide PDUs, which can be used for PMP certification renewal.

3) PDUs can be earned from non-REPs also. There are separate categories for them. I don't really remember the exact categories right now. Check the PMI's CCR handbook for the categories.


Missing Avatar

Another good way is getting Microsoft Project Course from Simplilearn. This is a 45 PDU course available in 99.99 USD. Its an one year e-learning course and quiet good. You can reference the lessons throughout an year for any issue with MS Project.

What I am told that, this 45 PDU with 5 PDU that one can claim every year by just working as Project Manager, can take care of 60 PDU CCR requirement. I think its the best option!


Missing Avatar

I have recently completed my PMP, and went through your site for gianing PDU, i had few clarification, felt you would be the right person to get it cleared. Here are my list

1. If i take PMP class to my office colleague, under which category I can claim this (category C, Self-Directed Learning??)
2. There are few institutes (other than PMI registered) who offer training on MSProject, Leadership/soft skill training for reasonable price, can I claim this as PDU, because PMI registered institution charge lump sum for just because of PDU. If i can claim PDU is that cab be claimed under catrgory B Continuing Education.

Missing Avatar

Would need your help.
Pls can you confirm if my understanding of the PDU' that I can claim are under the correct Categories mentioned below. I have only 3 weeks to renew and I am 10 PDU' short.

The 2 training sessions that I had conducted in my organization = Category D

The PDU' that I can claim for each year as PM and the Proj Mgmt work that I had done. = Category F

MS Project 2003 professional course attended in my organization = Category B

Missing Avatar

Hi Harwinder,

In continution to my earlier post... could you also let me know while claiming PDUs for the self study for ITIL under the SDL category, it is asking for the Providers and providers adress..what would be that, and what documentary evidecnce is required for claiming these PDUs..Manoj

Harwinder Singh Avatar


What's eligible under SDL category, isn't defined in black and white. If you can prove that your training is aligned with the objectives defined by PMI, then you are fine.

About the evidence, if you are taking online courses, then you can save course registration emails or attendance acknowledgement as proof. If you are doing self-study, you can prepare notes and produce them as proof.

For provider name, you can provide the organization's name who's course you are taking (example APMG for ITIL), or individual's name (example author name if you are studying from a book).

Hope that helps.

Missing Avatar

Thanks Harwinder for the reply... still confused.. i had a days training on ITIV3 in my ofice in the month of feb for which i have a documentary evidence, later on i had a self study, for which i had notes but not as such that they could be produced as dcumentary evidence. how can i claim the one day training (8-9 pdus) that was held in my ofc in the month of FEB 2011 and can i probably claim 10 PDus for the self study that i did. please suggest.

Missing Avatar

Hi Harwinder,
Recently, i have completed the PMP Certfication. I am planning for obtaining the PDU's for recertification. Regarding this i have a couple of queries.

1. I have also completed the ITIL V3 foundation course (2 day course) from a REP even before the PMP course?. Can i claim these PDU's? If so, how many PDU's can i claim for ITIL V3 Foundation course?

2. As a part of PMP, i completed the mandatory 35 hrs of mandatory PDU's of training with a REP, before taking the exam. In addition, i have done lot self study before taking the PMP exam. Can i claim this additional time spent on self study as PDU's for recertification?. If, so under what categopry can i claim it? (I still have the notes prepared during my self study. Can i show this as proof)?

Thanks & Rgds,

Missing Avatar

Hi all,

Whoever looking for free PDUs:
There are 5 free PDUs to be claimed at till nov 30.
Another 12 free PDUs can be claimed by registering and watching the International Project Management Day event at
All the above are Category A.

The International project management day may be conducted every year hence, a chance to gain 12 free PDU every year!!

Missing Avatar

S balasubramanian, Bangalore
I took the exam on 08 th january 2016 two days back and passed the exam.The result sheet was given immediately after the exam. does three years start from this date or after we receive the original certificate from PMI

Missing Avatar

thanks very much. your blog post is very good. It was my first crack at PMP after doing the 35 PDUS in September 2015. I found the paid simulators to be of very good qualityand extremely helpful when I went into the PMP exam. Comfort level is very good when you see the screen same as what you have been prepared for. thanks once again

Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hi Duane,

Thanks for your comment. You are absolutely right. I'm aware of the changes. Just that I was away from the blog for the past several months and hadn't had a chance to update this page. I'm in the process of updating the whole blog. It's an extremely time-consuming job but I'm about 60% through already. This page on PDU is due for refresh soon. I'll redo this blog post and add my comments here when it's done.

Thanks again!

Harwinder Singh Avatar

Yes, there is. I believe it's $150 for non-PMI members and $60 for PMI members. I usually take PMI membership in the year when my membership is up for renewal. The membership cost is around $140.

The above article is due for a refresh. Please read the CCRS handbook to understand the new talent triangle concept.

Missing Avatar

The easiest way to earn PDUs? Become a member of PMI. PMI members can access "premium" webinars for free. Most webinars are 1 PDU. Some are 1.5, others are .5, depending on the length of the webinar. And there are PLENTY of interesting webinars to choose from. And if you link your PMI account to your account, the webinar PDUs are automatically reported to PMI. No fuss, no muss. Knock out the PDUs the first year, and you don't have to renew your membership to PMI until the next time you want to start racking up PDUs--potentially 5 years (assuming you renew after 3 years).

Harwinder Singh Avatar

You have stolen the thunder from my next blog post where I was going to mention the exact same thing :)

Anyway, I'll go a little further and describe a few more tricks in my blog post. When the post is up, I'll add a link here in response to your comment.

Thank you, whoever you are!

Harwinder Singh Avatar

Updated link in the comment:

Hello Murugesan,

Congratulations on achieving PMP certification.

1. You should be able to claim this under Category D, but you need to conduct the course "formally" and prepare proper training material for the course. Specially, if you are taking a PMP class, make sure that your material complies with PMI Guidelines and does not violate any copyrights. The participants of the course need to claim "Contact Hours" and those may be subject to audit too.

2. Yes, Category B is correct. Make sure that you follow the guidelines listed in this document:

Hope that helps.