I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is this: unless you’re one of the elite rich, you’re probably going to have to work for a living. The good news is, if you’re a PMP certified project manager working in the field of project management, you can claim several hours of the work you’re doing as Professional Development Units (PDUs)!

Claiming PDUs under Category F

An office behind blindsUnder PMI‘s new PDU category structure, introduced in March of 2011, PMP and other PMI certification holders can “earn PDUs for working as a project manager (project risk management professional, project scheduling professional or program manager)” (quoted from PMI’s web site). How many PDUs you can claim in one three-year credential renewal cycle depends on which certification you possess:

  • PMP (Project Management Professional) and PgMP (Program Management Professional) credential holders may claim 15 PDUs per cycle
  • PMI-SP (Scheduling Professional) and/or PMI-RMP (Risk Management Professional) credential holders may claim 7.5 PDUs per cycle.

Meanwhile, there is a restriction on how many PDUs you can claim per year within the three year cycle:

  • PMP and PgMP credential holders can claim 5 PDUs per 12-month period
  • PMI-SP and PMI-RMP credential holders can claim 2.5 PDUs per 12-month period.

You can earn these PDUs only if you work in your respective field for a minimum of six months during the twelve month period. So for example, when I claimed my own PDUs, I claimed 5 PDUs (as a PMP) for the entire 2010 calendar year (January through to December), and also claimed 5 PDUs for half of the 2011 calendar year (January through to June), for a total of 10 PDUs claimed under Category F. I will also be claiming 5 PDUs for my work as a project manager from July of 2011 up until the end of the first half of 2012.

The maximum PDUs allowed in Categories D, E and F

The PDUs you earn for working in the field of project management count toward Category F, which is one of three Giving Back to the Profession categories that also include Categories D and E. In one three-year cycle you are only allowed to claim:

  • 45 PDUs total for PMP and PgMP credential holder
  • 20 PDUs total for PMI-SP and PMI-RMP credential holders.

This clause means that you will need to earn at least 15 PDUs of your required PDUs per three-year cycle within Categories A, B and C: undergoing continuing education, participating in self-directed learning, or taking courses from third party providers (for example, from PMI REPs).

So go manage some projects!

The moral of this story is: if you hold one of PMI’s credentials, and if you are working in the field of project, program, risk or scheduling management, you would be daft not to claim the maximum allowed PDUs for your efforts to put toward achieving your total 60 PDUs for the cycle. So go out and manage some projects – and claim those PDUs!