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Self-directed learning in project management

Anne Booc
August 3, 2012

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 C is Self-Directed Learning, which is one of the three Educational categories.

PDU Category C covers “self-directed personalized educational experiences involving individual research or study”. Or in simpler words: self-directed learning. Activities in this PDU category can include reading credential related articles, books, or instructional materials; utilising interactive CDs; watching credential related videos or listening to podcasts (such as The PM Podcast); participating in formal credential related discussions with others such as coworkers, consultants, or clients; or being mentored by a colleague, coworker, or consultant in a credential related topic.

Each hour of activity and each PDU claimed must be related to the area of project management, program management, project scheduling, or project risk; meet a specific purpose; and use well-informed resources. One hour of self-directed learning is equal to an hour of professional development.

The number of PDUs that can be reported for Category C is limited to a maximum of 30 PDUs (out of a total 60 you need to attain) toward the PMP or PgMP credentials, or 15 (out of 30) toward the PMI-SP or PMI-RPM credentials over the three-year cycle.

To claim a PDU in Category C you needs to provide evidence of the accomplished activities for self-directed learning. This may include copies of research or study results, or dates and notes corresponding to discussions, readings, and mentorships.

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Anne Booc
Rachel Anne Booc works for OSP International, a PMI Registered Education Provider.
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