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 E is Volunteer Service, which is one of the three 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 E covers volunteer (non-compensated time) service activities in the areas of project management, program management, project scheduling, or project risk. Volunteer Service activities include serving as a volunteer, an elected volunteer officer, or appointed member of a committee for a PMI organisation such as a PMI Chapter or Community of Practice, or other documented charitable or non-profit organisation providing project management related services.
Essentially this PDU Category allows you to earn PDUs by volunteering your time and using your project management knowledge to help others. For each hour spent as an unpaid volunteer in these areas, one hour of professional development can be claimed and awarded as a PDU.
If you get audited you will need to prove that you have earned these PDUs. So keep copies of letters or certificates from organisations where you volunteered.