Have you received an email from the Project Management Institute (PMI)® notifying you that your certification renewal is in 30 days only to realize you haven’t earned a single, or very few, Professional Development Units (PDUs) since passing the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam? Are you wondering just how nearly three years have passed so fast and how are you going to earn those 60 PDUs this fast?
It happens, sometimes life simply gets in the way. Don’t beat yourself up, take a deep breath, and relax. There is a way to earn all 60 PDUs in 30 days. Most of all, don’t stress!
Here we will take a look at the steps you can take to earn those much needed PDUs quickly. Don’t forget, PMI® has developed the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Handbook located at www.pm-prepcast.com/ccrhb as a reference to all information regarding certification renewal to include information on the PMI Talent Triangle™ and how PMI defines “Technical Project Management”, “Leadership”, and “Strategic and Business Management”.
Trying to earn 60 PDUs in 30 days can be stressful; however, it can be done. It just takes a little focus. Just follow these steps, and you will be well on your way to obtaining all of the PDUs you need to renew your PMP® certification.
Access PMI's Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS) by logging into your PMI account. Click on “myPMI” on the left and select “Report PDUs on CCRS” under “Certification Status”. This will take you directly to your CCRS dashboard where you can easily see how many PDUs you have earned and how many you still need to earn as well as how many days you have remaining until renewal. The dashboard also breaks down the PDUs into two categories: Education and Giving Back. Under Education, it also lists the three sections of Technical, Leadership, and Strategic & Business. It is vital to know these numbers to understand how many PDUs you have earned and need to earn in each category and section before moving onto the next step. Go ahead and print this page for quick reference.
Download and read The CCR Handbook. The handbook provides valuable information regarding the requirements around PDUs. Here you will learn the minimum and maximum PDU requirements and what type of PDUs are needed to meet the requirements of the PMI Talent Triangle. For example, while you can earn PDUs by giving presentations, you cannot earn all 60 PDUs by giving presentations. The PMI Talent Triangle requires earning at least eight PDUs each for the Technical, Leadership, and Strategic & Business PDU sections under the Education category. Understanding the minimum and maximum requirements help ensure you earn the right type of PDUs.
Now that you know how many PDUs you need and in which categories/sections, it is time to create a plan. You can use this plan to help you understand how much time you need to invest each day/week to earn your PDUs. Remember, as a general rule, you need to spend one hour to earn one PDU. Not all PDUs are free, so you also need to plan a budget to pay for some PDUs.
Use the following steps 4 to 10 to help develop your PDU earning plan. Each of these steps are important to ensure you earn the PDUs you need in time for renewal.
After reading the CCR Handbook, you should have noticed that PMI recommends you keep good records and document all PDU earning activities. You can use The PM Podcast PDU Logfile to do this: http://www.pm-podcast.com/logfile.
In step 1, you identified how many PDUs you already have and need. In step 2, you learned about some of PMI's minimum requirements. So, the next thing you need to do is ensure you cover the minimums of eight Technical, eight Leadership, and eight Strategic & Business PDUs. As a general rule, it is easier to earn Technical PDUs. So, if you are in a real hurry, then plan on earning only eight PDUs for each in Leadership and Strategic & Business and focus all your remaining efforts on earning Technical PDUs.
The easiest category of PDUs that you can earn and claim is for “Work as a Practitioner”. Here you can claim up to eight PDUs just for doing your job of working as a project manager. You may need to provide your job description to have these PDUs approved.
The second easiest to earn are for volunteering activities in the Giving Back category. If you are a volunteer in your local PMI chapter, then you can claim one PDU for each of your volunteer hours. Keep in mind, however, that there is a maximum of 25 PDUs that can be claimed in the Giving Back category. So, if you claim eight PDUs for working as a practitioner, then you can now only claim another 17 PDUs for volunteering in order to reach the 25 PDU maximum.
You may be able to earn PDUs from activities you have not even considered. Have you attended a project management-related lunch and learn presentation at work? Did you attend a project management-related marketing training? Do you regularly meet with a mentor? If so, then all of these activities may qualify for earning PDUs. If you are looking for some out of the box type ideas, make sure you read the CCR Handbook, as mentioned in step 2. There, you can find a variety of ideas for some out of the box type PDUs.
Podcasts on project management topics are an easy and mobile way to earn PDUs. They allow you to download the webinars right to your phone. This way, you can watch and listen on the go or even while you are waiting in line. Premium podcasts, the ones you pay for, offer access to high-quality webinars, and if it's from a PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) then the PDUs are even pre-approved by PMI.
If you are looking for some premium podcasts for your phone or tablet, check out The PDU Podcast, which will allow you to earn your PMP renewal PDU on your phone or tablet from anywhere in the world.
PMI has local chapters all around the world. So, find your nearest chapter and see which of their events you can attend in the near future. If you attend a one-hour chapter event, you can earn 1 PDU, and you may even meet some amazing people. If you do not know where your local chapter is located, you can find it here: www.pm-prepcast.com/chapters.
At this point, you should understand the rules and have a plan to earn your remaining PDUs. This means you now need to invest one hour of your time to earn each of your required PDUs. It may seem like that is the hard part, but if you planned it right, then it should be relatively easy. Once you reach the 60 PDU milestone, you can complete your renewal.
Congratulations you have earned your 60 PDUs and PMP renewal! You are now on a roll, why stop? Keep earning those PDUs, that is, unless you want to put yourself in a similar stressful situation again in three years. Keep in mind that you can “roll over” up to 20 PDUs into the next cycle as long as those PDUs were earned in the last year of your three-year cycle. Keep up your momentum and set time aside on your calendar to earn at least two PDUs a month.
Earning 60 PDUs in 30 days can be done. You are a project manager and likely face tight deadlines on a regular basis, so you have got this!
Just remember the steps discussed here: log into PMI and know your numbers; download, read, and understand the CCR Handbook; create a PDU earning plan, prepare to document the PDUs you earn; make sure you cover the requirements of the PMI Talent Triangle; don’t forget to claim your easy PDUs; think outside the box for some PDUs; go mobile with premium podcasts; attend local PMI chapter events; and earn, document, claim, and repeat until you hit your goal of 60 PDUs.
And if you are indeed faced with having only a short time and need to earn PDUs fast, then make it easy on yourself and invest in PDU earning tools that can simplify the process. Such as investing in the premium podcasts as recommended in step 8.
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