Members of the global professional association the Project Management Institute (PMI) will already be familiar with the PMI’s certification program, which includes PMP (Project Management Professional) and other project-related PMI credentials such as PgMP for program management, PMI-SP for scheduling, and PMI-RMP for risk management. To maintain certification you are required to earn a specified number of Professional Development Units, or PDUs, to keep that credential.
PMI has developed six categories of PDUs in which one can obtain credits. Category F is Working as a Professional in Project Management, which is the final category of three within the Giving Back to the Profession categories.
There is a maximum of 45 PDUs that you can earn in the Giving Back division. This means that you can earn a maximum of 45 PDUs for Category D, E and F combined.
PDU Category F covers how you can earn professional development units simply by working as a project manager. Basically, Category F allows you to earn PDUs based on your employment if you are working for at least six out of 12 months as a project manager. This is the case even if you only work part-time or as a contractor, so you are getting free PDUs just for doing your job!
For Category F, a holder of either the PMP or the PgMP credential earn up to 25% of the PDUs you need for your recertification cycle, which is a total of five PDUs per 12-month period or a total of 15 PDUs per three-year cycle. A holder of either the PMI-SP or the PMI-RMP credential can earn a total of 2.5 PDUs per 12-month period or a total of 7.5 PDUs per three-year cycle.
If PMI decides to audit you, you will have to provide proof of employment for the relevant time periods to show that you really were working in a project-related field over those years. You need to provide verification of employment and a job description.
The great thing about these PDUs (apart from the fact that they are free) is that they cover all aspects of practical project management. Even if your job title is not ‘project manager’ you can count your project-related activities towards your PDU total. So if you work in the project office, or as a risk specialist, or a scheduler, all this project work can be added to your PDU record.
Next time you are in a long project meeting, remember that it counts towards your PDU total! Just keep a note of where you are working in case your recertification process involves an audit.