PDU Highlights You Need to Know


What’s a PDU and why do you need one? Jennifer Bridges, PMP, answers all your questions in this short tutorial video.

Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!

everything you need to know about professional development units

In Review: PDU Highlights You Need to Know

A PDU is an acronym for Professional Development Unit. It’s a way of measuring continuing education and professional services for many industries. In project management, the Project Management Institute (PMI) is the leading professional training organization, and PMI has recently changed their certification and PDU requirements with their new 2016 Talent Triangle.

In the past, project management was a decidedly technical discipline, with defined skills needed to be learned in subjects like estimating, planning, scheduling, budgeting, and risk management. Now, project managers are expected to learn more than just technical project management skills. They must be proficient in a variety of skills in business management and leadership skills, too. 

In addition to being a project management trainer, Jennifer is also the CEO and founder of PDUs2Go, an online provider of PDU course offerings, so she’s well versed in the details of PMI’s latest PDU requirements. She explains how many PDUs you will need dependent on your certification or profession. 

PDUs are earned in two ways: through education or “giving back,” which is either volunteering, sharing your knowledge by mentoring or writing articles or even participating in research.

The whole idea of project management certification and maintaining that status is to show that you’re invested in your job and working to stay current in the emerging technologies and methodologies. However, there is an opposing opinion that asks if certification is even necessary

Pro-Tip: Don’t wait for the last minute to begin collecting your PDUs. Be sure to design your plan like you would any project and then find the experts with which you want to fulfill your obligations.

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Video Transcription

Today we’re talking about PDU highlights you need to know. So now you’ve completed your certification exam and have to earn PDUs, but wait a minute. What is a PDU? Well, today I want to talk about what a PDU is, how many you need to earn, when you need to earn them, and ways that you can earn them. And as a bonus, I want to share some best practices.

First of all, what is a PDU? A PDU is a professional development unit. It’s merely a way to measure ongoing education and professional service. So one hour is earned for every one hour of learning or activities that you complete.

Well, how many PDUs do you need to get? Well, it depends on your certification. If you’re a project or program management professional, you will need to earn 60 PDUs. If you are a specialized scheduling or risk professional, you’ll need to earn 30 PDUs.

So when do you need to earn those PDUs? Upon your certification, you have three years from your certification date to earn your PDUs.

How can you go about earning the PDUs? There are two divisions or two areas that you can earn the PDUs. One is education, and two is giving back. The education is like formal training through a college or university or even in your company or through registered education providers.

Also, it’s giving back. Giving back could be volunteering in your community. It could be volunteering at a local PMI chapter. You can also give back by sharing your experience and your knowledge through writing articles or through writing blogs or maybe even doing research. So reference your certification handbook for your certification to get the specifics and the details, because they do change from time to time.

The best practices we wanted to share was plan ahead. One of the biggest traps that people get into is waiting till the last minute of that period of time, and then they don’t have enough time to complete their PDUs.

Second is be intentional. Design your plan for your professional growth, whether it’s through education or giving back, that supports where you want to go next in your profession or your career.

The third one is select experts. There are a lot of opportunities to earn PDUs out there, and pick the coaches, the mentors, the trainers who have been there and done that for the type of thing that you want to do, because, newsflash, employers do care what you are learning and who you are learning it from.

So if you need a tool that can help you planning for your PDUs, then sign up for our software now at projectmanager.com.