Professional Development Units are Critical to PMP Certification

By Paul Mai


Whether your PDUs are scanned and submitted via PMI Portland or on your own, be sure to keep track of your learning and giving back to save worry at recertification time!

PMPs know the feeling. Certification renewal is approaching. Professional Development Units (PDUs) suddenly take on a new urgency as we ensure we’ve earned enough to avoid retaking the grueling exam again!

PMPs, PgMPs, PfMPs and PMI-PBAs must complete 60 PDUs within a 3-year cycle to maintain their certification; Agile Certified Professionals (ACPs) must earn 30, and CAPMs must retake their exam every five years, regardless of the number of PDUs earned. Each one-hour block counts as a PDU.

PMI looks at PDUs as a way to continue honing your PM skills and they can be earned by learning, teaching others, and volunteering. They should be aligned to the PMI talent triangle with a minimum of eight units each under Technical, Leadership and Strategy/Business Management. See Certification Maintenance and Certification FAQs for more info.

There are many ways to meet educational requirements. Those include attending chapter meetings (educational sessions and keynotes each equal one unit), workshops taught by PMI registered education providers, the Annual Conference, and by working on your own.

PMI Portland volunteers scan registration badges at chapter events to be reported automatically. Once the chapter submits them to PMI, you will receive an email verifying receipt of your claim followed by an email when the PDU claim is approved. It may take 2-3 weeks to process, submit, and get approval.

Keep Track of Your PDUs

You are responsible to ensure your professional development credits are recorded at the PMI level and you should check your account regularly to be sure all you PDUs have been recorded. If you forget to have your badge scanned at the door or the chapter experiences technical difficulties submitting the scans, you can self-report them. There are two ways to self-report PDUs for chapter meetings and annual conferences, entering them as “Organization Meetings,” or “Course/Training.”

Ideally, you want to report the PDUs as Organization Meetings. On some occasions, the PMI Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS) may decline PDUs under Organization Meetings but can accept it under Courses and Training.

Use this link for full instructions to submit PDUs for Organization Meetings; and this one for Courses & Training.

Keep reading for a step-by-step example of a recent PDU claim for September’s Chapter Meeting.

Step 1: Go to and login into PMI CCRS.


Step 2: Select ‘Report PDUs’ under Dashboard.


Step 3: Select ‘Organization Meetings’ under Education.


Step 4: Fill out the Meeting or Conference Information and submit your PDUs claim.

Organization/Host: In the text field, type out ‘PMI Portland’ and a drop-down menu will appear. Select “(C031) PMI Portland Chapter.”


Title: In the text field, type out a description. For example, ‘CHAPTER EDUCATIONAL & DINNER MEETING - SEP 25, 2018’.

IMPORTANT! A drop-down menu may appear. If the information matches the description of the educational course, you may select it. However, in some cases your choice from the drop-down may fail as some PMI events were retired, but remain listed. You are better off typing in your own description.


Meeting Number and Description: Optional, you can leave empty or fill in details.


Date Started and Date Completed: Select the started and completed dates. In this example, 09/25/2018. URL: Optional, leave empty unless you have a specific URL to use.


PDUs Claimed: Enter the PDU as a whole or incremental number. Be sure to check your education event for allowable PDUs. PMI allows up to two total PDUs for a Chapter Meeting or each education training session.


Submit: Check the box “I agree this claim is accurate” and click the Submit button.

Be sure to keep a record of your education training (i.e. chapter meeting or conference receipt, or confirmation) in case of an audit.


Step 5: Once approved, you will receive two emails from the Project Management Institute. One confirms your PDU claim submission; the second confirms your claim has been approved. Double-check your “Claim History” to be sure your PDUs are accurately documented.

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