PMP PDU Requirements – How to Get PDUs for PMP

PMP certification is for sure the most prestigious project management certification around the globe with nearly 1 million holders. While there are several benefits of having a PMP certification, there are certain PMP PDU requirements to retain this invaluable certification. Make sure you comply with the PMP PDU requirements while attending PM activities and learn how to get PDUs for PMP certification renewal. You can visit our PMP PDU Guide for more information.

📌 Hint: Do not skip this article, you will find FREE PMP PDU resources throughout the article.

PMP PDU Salary
Source: PMI website

PMP PDU Requirements

PMI forces PMP certification holders to earn PDU (Professional Development Units) to renew their certification. The main motivation behind the PMI PDU program is, to ensure the continuous learning of PMP-certified professionals, and keep up the pace with the changing dynamics of the business world.

Tip: You can watch the content of this article in the following YouTube video.

YouTube player

To earn PDU hours, you need to perform certain types of project management related activities. Let’s dive into the details of PDU.

💡Julia Boyer renewed her PMP certification. Read Julia’s PMP renewal story!

What is PMP PDU?

Professional Development Units (PDUs) are one-hour blocks of time that you spend learning, teaching others, or volunteering. There are certain PMP PDU requirements for activities to qualify as PDUs. By accumulating and tracking these over your certification cycle you can maintain your certification status with PMI. Typically, one-hour project management activity counts for 1 PDU. PMI enables the submission of PDUs in fractions as well. If you attend a 30-minute project management webinar,  you can submit 0.5 PDUs in your profile.

PMP Contact Hours vs. PDU

While we are talking about PMP PDU requirements, there is another term “Contact Hours” which is commonly confused with the PMP PDU Hours. Contact Hours is a term related to project management training requirements for PMI certification aspirants. For instance, PMI requires 35 contact hours of project management education attendance to apply for PMP certification. What are the main differences between Contact Hours vs PDU hours?

  • The contact hours must be “instructional” while PDUs can be self-learned: To be able to earn contact hours, they must be instructional. It means that an instructor or tutor must be actively teaching for the required hours to earn the contact hours. On the other hand, PDUs can be learned from instructional activities as well as self-learning activities. For instance, you can earn PDUs while you are reading a business blog, however, you cannot earn contact hours by reading a resource.

Therefore, if you are not a PMP-certified professional yet, you need contact hours to satisfy PMP certification requirements. However, if you already have a PMP certification, you need PMP PDU hours to renew your PMP certification.

60 PMP PDU in a Three-Year Cycle

PMI requires certification holders to earn PDUs in three-year cycles. The requirement for each certification track is different. For the PMP certification, certification holders must earn 60 PMP PDU hours every three years to renew their certification. Below is an infographic from the PMI website about PMP PDU requirements.

60 PMP PDU requirements
Source: PMI website.

Let’s explain each of these steps in detail.

PMP PDU Categories

There are two main PMP PDU categories:

  1. Education: Education PDUs can be earned at professional seminars, webinars, classes, or even self-directed learning.
  2. Giving Back to the Profession: Giving Back PDUs are for time spent volunteering, mentoring, working with professional groups, and more.

PMP PDU requirements for certification holders is to collect 60 PDUs through a maximum of 25 Giving Back PDUs and a minimum of 35 Education PDUs. However, there is no cap for education PDUs. You can earn all 60 PDUs in the education category.

Hint: You can earn 60 PMP PDUs by enrolling in the SFBS PMP PDU Course Online program.

The 35 Education PDUs also have other requirements:

  • reporting at least 8 Ways of Working project management PDUs
  • reporting at least 8 Business Acumen PDUs
  • reporting at least 8 Power Skills PDUs.

There is a maximum PDU reporting cap for the Working as a Professional subcategory of the Giving Back PDU category. If you are working in a project management-related job, you can report up to 8 PDUs under working as a professional PDU category.

60 PMP PDU for PMP Renewal

How to Get PDUs for PMP Certification Renewal

As we’ve outlined in the PMP PDU categories heading above, there are two main ways to earn PDU: Education and Giving Back. PDU courses are a way to earn PDU credits in Education Category.

Education Category for Earning PMP PDUs

Six different sub-categories satisfy PMP PDU requirements under the Education category to earn PDU hours. Let’s explore these:

1- Course or Training

Instructor-led formal education courses or classes held in-person or online belong to this category.

  • Virtual and in-person instructor-led courses from PMI Training
  • Online courses are available on demand
  • Academic education through programs accredited by the PMI Global Accreditation Center (GAC)
  • Training courses offered by PMI Authorized Training Partners
  • Disciplined Agile or PMP® certification training courses offered by a PMI Authorized Training Partner
  • Courses from other third-party providers (SFBS 60 PMP PDU Course Online program belongs to this category).

You can read more on our PMP PDU Courses article.

Watch how Julia Earned 60 PDUs and Renewed Her PMP

Julia Boyer is a PMP-certified Professional from Dallas, Texas. Julia enrolled in the 60 PMP PDU Program from SFBS and renewed her PMP. Watch now her PMP renewal journey.

YouTube player

2- Global Events

Meetings and events that bring together the global community are another way to earn PDUs and satisfy PMP PDU requirements. These events include educational sessions, keynote, and featured speakers. Typically you can earn 7 to 50 PDUs by attending these events.

3- Local Meetings

Local activities and events that are related to the project management profession count for PDUs. Often held at PMI chapters, these are also a great opportunity to network. These meetings earn typically 1 to 2 PDUs.

4- Online or Digital Media

Self-paced learning is conducted online or through varied forms of digital media. (SFBS Free PMP PDU Course Online Program belongs to this category). This way is one of the easiest ways to satisfy PMP PDU requirements.

Free PMP PDU Course Program

5- Reading

Self-directed reading relevant to the certification you hold can be claimed for PDUs. For instance, reading a project management-related blog, a business education blog, or a book can count PDUs toward renewing your PMP certification.

6- Informal Learning

You can earn PDUs by engaging in structured professional discussions with others, for example, mentoring or “lunch and learn” sessions. These will qualify for PMP PDU requirements. For instance, if you are giving a presentation to your colleagues about project management, you can submit this as PDU.

Read 11 Ways of Earning PMP Renewal PDU.

Giving Back Category for Earning PMP PDUs

Giving Back to the Profession is a unique opportunity for you to expand your knowledge and skills while growing both personally and professionally. Although not required for recertification, earning Giving Back PDUs is a great way to expand your horizons.

Here are some popular ways that you can earn Giving Back PDUs:

1- Work as a Practitioner

By working in your certified role, you can earn PDUs by applying your knowledge and skills in a practical setting. However, there is a maximum PMP PDU requirements limit for this way. If you are working in a project management-related role, you can earn up to 8 PDUs as working as a practitioner. This is a very common question asked by many PMP-certified professionals:

  • “How many PDUs can I claim for working as a practitioner?”
  • Answer: PMI accepts a maximum of 8 PDUs in a three-year cycle for the work as a practitioner category.

2- Create Content

Do you write articles or blogs? Give webinars? Make videos? Today’s digital world is full of new content and anything you create counts towards your re-certification. Typically, you can submit PDUs for the hours you worked on project management content creation. For instance, if you wrote a blog post for an hour, you can claim 1 PDU in your PMI profile.

3- Give a Presentation

If you speak at your organization, at a PMI chapter event, or at a conference, you can claim PDUs for it. For instance, if you gave a speech in a project management activity for an hour, you can submit 1 hour PDU for this activity in your PMI profile.

4- Share Knowledge

Others can benefit from your experience and knowledge. Keep track of the time you spend mentoring and teaching and claim it towards re-certification. These activities satisfy PMP PDU requirements. An example of this can be sharing your knowledge in a discussion group at work. If you have a group of professionals sharing knowledge, if you attend those activities, you can claim PDUs.

5- Volunteer

PMI is just one of many organizations that relies on volunteers. Why not become one and earn credit toward re-certification in the process? You can search for volunteering options at the PMI website.

Frequently asked questions about PMP PDU

How can I submit my earned PDUs?

You should have a profile on the PMI website. Log on to your profile, go to your credentials tab, and submit PDUs. Once you earned 60 PMP PDUs, you will be eligible to pay the PMP renewal fee and renew your PMP certification.

What is the PMP certification renewal fee?

The PMP certification renewal fee is 60 USD for PMI members and 150 USD for non-members. This fee is payable only after earning 60 PDUs and satisfying all PMP PDU requirements.

How many PDUs can I claim for working as a practitioner per year?

You can claim a maximum of 8 PDUs in a three-year cycle for the work as a practitioner category. There is no cap for reporting working as a practitioner PDUs per year. You can claim all 8 PDUs in one year. This is a maximum limit for satisfying PMP PDU requirements through practitioner way.

How can I earn PDUs for PMP?

There are two main ways to earn PDUs: Education and Giving Back. You can earn Education PDUs in six different sub-categories:

  • Course or Training
  • Global Events
  • Local Meetings
  • Online or Digital Media
  • Reading
  • Informal Learning

You can earn Giving Back PDUs in 5 different sub-categories:

  • Work as a Practitioner
  • Create Content
  • Give a Presentation
  • Share Knowledge
  • Volunteer

How can I  renew a suspended PMP certification?

If your PMP certification gets suspended and you do not complete the renewal process within a year, your certification will expire fully. To reactivate your PMP certification from expired status, you must reapply for the PMP exam, submit all associated fees, and pass the PMP exam again. Therefore, do not miss the CCRS cycle, satisfy the PMP PDU requirements and renew your PMP on time.

If you do not renew your PMP in the three-year period, your certification will be suspended for one year. After one year, if you do not renew your certificate, your certification will expire.


PMP certification holders must earn 60 PDUs in three-year cycles to renew their certification. There are certain PMP PDU requirements to satisfy. There are two main PMP PDU categories: Education and Giving Back. Education PDUs can be earned at professional seminars, webinars, classes, or even self-directed learning. Giving Back PDUs are for time spent volunteering, mentoring, working with professional groups, and more.

PDU requirements for PMP certification holders is to collect 60 PDUs through a maximum of 25 Giving Back PDUs and a minimum of 35 Education PDUs. However, there is no cap for education PDUs. You can earn all 60 PDUs in the education category.

See our Free Online Business Programs. No Credit Card Required.