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Earning PDU’s the Economical Way
By PMConnection

5 Tasks + 3 Years = 60 PDU’s

So you passed the PMP exam and have been applying all those fundamental principles on your projects. Perhaps you’ve gotten a new job, promotion or even received an increase in salary as a result of the additional knowledge. In a nutshell, you realize the PMP is of value and you would like to remain PMP certified.

You know that in order to maintain your PMP certification you must acquire 60 PDU’s over the course of 3 years. You’ve ventured to PMI’s CCR site and perhaps even logged a few PDU’s. But you realize that you are still far from having 60. How will you ever get there?

Well, if money is not an object, then acquiring 60 PDU’s is easy. All you have to do is find a find a few project management related seminars or training classes, pay your money and attend. 60 PDU’s will come quickly.

But if you are searching for a more economical approach to acquiring your PDU’s, all you have to do is follow the 5 following steps. This approach will not be easy, as it may require considerable time and effort. But the there are two major benefits. One is that there will be very little direct costs to you. The second benefit is this economical approach will place you in great networking situations. You will have the opportunity to interact with others in the project management field. These contacts can help you resolve your difficult project issues or provide you an inside track to those un-advertised open project management positions.

Step 1 – Do Your Job

That’s right, simply performing your job as a project manager for 1500 hours per year is worth 5 PDU’s. 5 PDU’s per year for 3 years is 15 PDU’s. Do the math. Already, you are 25% there!! These PDU’s should be logged into sub-category 2H.

Step 2 – Do A Little Research

Sub-category 2SDL grants us 1 PDU for each hour of “Self Directed Learning”. There is a limit of 15 PDU’s, but why not claim them all. Pick a topic that you would like to learn about and begin your research project. For example, perhaps you would like to know more about Program Management, Portfolio Management, or Using MS Project to help you better manage your projects. The Research Center at PMConnection provides a great online source for your research.

There is no formal tracking form that PMI requires one to fill out, but it is advised to keep a personal record of all books or articles read. It might even be a good idea to produce powerpoint presentation summarizing your research or perhaps a nice article. Your tracking form and summary report may prove beneficial if PMI would ever audit your PDU records. Producing an article can actually help you with step 3.

Step 3 – Get Published

So if you elected to produce an article from your 15 hours of research, most of your work is complete. All you have to do now is get it published. Try submitting your article to MPA for publication in “The Project Network” or PMI for publication in “PM Network”. If they elect to publish your article, you have just earned another 15 PDU’s!! These get recorded into sub-category 2B, which is getting published in a non-refereed journal.

Step 4 – Become a Committee Member

Find your local PMI Chapter and volunteer a little time. Being a committee member of a project management organization for a year is worth 5 PDU’s. If your closest chapter is too far for a convenient commute, you might want to check out this page of PMI’s website as they are always performing some type of research and rely upon volunteer committee members. These PDU’s get logged into sub-category 5B.

Step 5 – Become an Officer

One notch above a committee member is becoming an officer of a project management organization. Again, your local PMI or MPA chapter provide this opportunity. Being an officer for one year is worth 10 PDU’s. These get logged into sub-category 5A.

If you’ve been keeping a running total, you’ll realize we have now accumulated 60 PDU’s. Below is a nice little scorecard that summarizes our 5 steps.

Summary
Remember that these 5 steps are merely suggestions for earning PDU’s economically. Visit PMI’s CCR site for a comprehensive list of categories for earning PDU’s. Here are a few more suggestions:

  • Regardless of how you plan to earn PDU’s, get started now! The longer you wait, the greater pressure you put on yourself and the more likely you are to have to attend an expensive event to meet your PDU requirements.
  • Log your PDU’s on PMI’s site as you acquire them
  • Keep a hard copy of all records in case of a PMI audit

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