Is your re-certification cycle coming to an end for your PMI certificate? Do you need to quickly get your
You’re in the right place! Read on for tips for how to earn PDUs fast.
In this article:
PDUs are the Professional Development Units you need to earn to show that you are invested in continuous improvement and ongoing learning.
The PMI Continuing Certification Requirements guidelines are laid out in the CCR Handbook, which you can download from the PMI website. That’s a good starting point to review what you actually need to earn. There are different requirements for each of the PMI certifications.
But time is ticking… let’s get on with the 7 ways to quickly earn PDUs.
1. Review what you are eligible to claim
Have you claimed everything you are already entitled to? Check your
Then review your calendar for the past 12 months (or go back further) and see if you have attended anything that you can claim for. Look for:
- Training sessions or courses (internal or external)
- Organization meetings like attending PMI Chapter events
- Conferences (virtual or in-person).
Anything internal or external that covered project management topics could count, so make sure that’s on your record.
2. Claim for doing your day job
Did you know that you can claim up to 8 PDUs in the Giving Back category simply for working in a project-related role? Being a practitioner will earn you PDUs and you’ll definitely want to include those!
Note that you can only claim 8 PDUs towards some PMI credentials like the Project Management Professional (
If you are earning PDUs for CAPM or other certifications, do check the handbook for the exact requirements. Some of the credentials won’t let you claim that many for doing your job.
3. Buy The
The PDU Podcast is a video webinar-based learning tool that I love because it gives you 60.5 PDUs over a 3 year cycle. It’s designed so you get a new video every month to earn your PDUs in bite-sized chunks BUT don’t panic: you can bulk buy the webinars and get a whole year’s worth in one go.
Of course, that means you then have to find 20 hours to watch a year’s worth of webinars, but if you can give up your evenings for a month, you’ll soon have a big batch of extra PDUs.
People sometimes struggle to earn the required Leadership PDUs, and The
The other great thing about The
4. Become a PMI Member
Not only will you get cheaper certification renewal fees, you’ll also get access to their own PMI
5. Watch webinars
If you are a PMI member, get yourself over to projectmanagement.com and start watching their free on-demand webinars. You could watch one every lunchtime for a month – that’s another 20 PDUs right there.
Each online video comes with a description that tells you exactly what you can claim in each of the different
You don’t even have to spend time updating the CCRS: anything you earn by watching PMI webinars is automatically credited to your
If you aren’t a PMI member, you can still find
- Tips for managing multiple projects
- What it takes to be a successful project manager
- Practical strategies for managing your work
Online resources really are a fast way to earn free PDUs.
6. Use your commuting or gym time
Look for time in the day where you could (safely) multi-task on some professional development.
- Commuting on the train: read a book
- Working out at the gym: listen to a podcast
- Waiting for the children to finish swimming lessons: read a professional journal, many of which are available online if you log in to the professional body’s website
- Cooking dinner: play another podcast
- Driving to work: play another podcast.
There are so many options to squeeze in a bit of learning. If you need some more inspiration, check out my 15 easy ways to earn PDUs.
Digital media gives us so many options! This might feel like informal learning, but it still counts. Remember, you can claim PDUs in increments of 15 minutes, so even if you spend a quarter of an hour reading a book, you can claim that time.
You’ll maximize your time and earn PDUs quickly if you look for pockets of time where you can be learning and doing something else.
7. Take an online course
I get it, you don’t have time to study for a new certification right now. But what if you could find the time to do at least a few lessons on a self-study timetable? You don’t have to take the exam for the study time to count towards your
Plus it’s delivered totally online so you can watch and listen whenever it suits you. Binge as you please to fill up your
And if you want to go on and take the
Check with your company: they may reimburse you for educational materials.
Create a Plan
You’re short of time, and the best way to get lots of things done in a short period of time is to have a plan.
Look at the suggestions above and choose how you are going to earn your PDUs the fastest way in the time you have available. Block out the time in your calendar to watch webinars and listen to podcasts.
Review what you need to get — specifically — because not all PDUs are created equal! For example, people often say that it’s hard to find ways to earn leadership PDUs. So if you need them, plan a way to get them.
Also block out time to report PDUs.
Gather Your Evidence
If you are earning PDUs fast, you’ll have a lot of similar dates in the CCRS. That’s not necessarily bad – let’s face it, many people leave their
However, it might make you more susceptible to being audited. I have no evidence that this is the case, but if it was me sitting in PMI HQ reviewing your application for renewal, I’d want to make sure that you actually did do all the professional development in the few weeks when you said you did it.
That’s why it’s important to gather evidence to support your renewal. Prioritize learning providers who can give you a certificate or claim code for participating in their learning.
PMI registered training providers are more likely to have a way of auto-certifying you for consuming their educational content, like those projectmanagement.com webinars.
Make sure your evidence is all there – you might need to earn them fast, but don’t scrimp on your
Change your approach going forward!
The whole ‘cram as many PDUs as I can in the shortest possible time’ approach isn’t sustainable long term! It’s a lot of stress and re-certification doesn’t have to be like that.
Think now about how you are going to pace yourself for the next cycle, for example considering what Chapter events to attend next year. Make a plan to earn and report PDUs on a regular basis so you avoid the last-minute rush.
Read next: How to make time for professional development.