PDUs we need and PDUs we want. Professional Development Units (PDUs) dominate our minds, our conversations, and our spare time in the last quarter before Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) deadline. A little forethought would be nice, but the bottom line is that we want the fast and consistent path to our PDUs… and we want them now!
Just do what you do. The easiest way to earn PDUs is to leverage what you currently do. Here is the short list of PDU eligible activities that might already be part of your professional life:
1. Your day job (PDU Category 2H)
If you work as a Project Manager this is probably the easiest way to tick off up to 25% of the PDUs you’ll need at the end of the recertification cycle. If you are a practitioner of project management services for at least 1,500 hours each calendar year, you can claim up to 5 PDUs per year for a maximum total of 15 PDUs per three year period. (See http://www.pmi.org/pdf/pdc_pmphandbook.pdf#page=38)
2. Take a quiz! (PDU Category 3)
Did you know you can earn up to one third of your PDUs by taking the PMI publication quizzes? The member price is only $15 per quiz. Score a 70% or higher and you will earn from 1 to 2 PDUs depending on the individual quiz and the CCR requirement you are trying to fulfill. (See http://www.pmi.org/CareerDevelopment/Pages/PMI-Publication-Quizzes.aspx)
3. PDUs that go wherever you go (PDU Category 3)
The PDU Podcast™ delivers a variety of topics by a variety of presenters to your personal media player; whenever and wherever you want them. As a PMI Registered Education Provider (REP’s), there is no limit to how many PDU Podcast™ Category 3 PDUs you can earn. This subscription keeps you on track with fresh content delivered consistently and reliably month in and month out. (See www.pducast.com)
4. Free PDUs (PDU Category 2)
The Project Management Podcast™ is a free subscription that delivers a new podcast every so often to its subscribers. Like the PDU Podcast™, The Project Management Podcast™ has a variety of topics presented but it may take a couple of episodes to equal one PDU if the programs are shorter than the 1 hour needed per PDU. It’s important to remember also that Category 2-SDL PDUs has a limit of 15 PDUs maximum per 36 month period. (See http://www.project-management-podcast.com/pdu)
5. Watch a Movie
“Project Movie: A Practical Application of the PMBOK® Guide—Fourth Edition” delivers 15 PDUs in the form of a movie via the internet to your home. It’s available on the PMI.org at a cost of $500 to PMI members. Well, I didn’t say it was cheap. I just said it was easy. (See http://www.pmi.org/CareerDevelopment/Pages/Web-Based-Self-Study.aspx)
6. Formal Academic Training (PDU Category 1)
Formal Academic educational courses related to Project Management can earn you 10 to 15 PDUs per semester. It’s probably the easiest of all the categories, so long as you are not financially challenged. Even if you are, there may well be project management related courses being offered at the community college that are more economical than the state and private collegiate institutions. The transcript or grade report is required for confirmation. (See http://www.pmi.org/pdf/pdc_pmphandbook.pdf#page=37)
7. Turning CEU’s into PDUs (PDU Category1)
Like Formal Academic Training, Continuing Education (CE) can be submitted for PDUs. Unlike Formal Academic Training, CE’s are courses that comply with IACET standards. CEU’s (Continuing Education Units) can be converted to PDUs; generally at a ratio of 1 CEU to 10 PDUs. Your best bet is to confirm with the provider that the course you are interested in complies with the ANSI/IACET 1-2007 Standard. (See http://www.pmi.org/pdf/pdc_pmphandbook.pdf#page=36)
8. Volunteer Service to Professional or Community Organizations (PDU Category 5)
If you already attend your PMI chapter’s monthly meeting, you’re earning up to 1 PDU for the presentation. Did you know you could be earning additional PDUs for attending that same meeting by joining the registration, finance, internal marketing and/or meeting committees? Contact your local Chapter’s for more details. A maximum of 20 PDUs may be earned through professional service or by providing non-compensated professional PM Service to non-employer or non-client customer groups.
A letter or certificate from the organization acknowledging the participation is required for confirmation. (To find your local PMI chapter, go to http://www.pmi.org/GetInvolved/Pages/PMI-Chapters.aspx)
9. Knowledge Sharing (PDU Category 2)
Authoring or co-authoring an article which is published in a ‘refereed’ journal, earns you 30 PDUs for author and 20 PDUs for co-author. If published in a ‘non-refereed’ journal, you can earn 15 PDUs for author and 10 for co-author. (See http://www.pmi.org/pdf/pdc_pmphandbook.pdf#page=38)
10. Self-Study (PDU Category 2-SDL)
Discussions or coaching sessions with colleagues or clients that put to use informational materials such as CD-ROMs, articles, books, videos or instructional manuals can earn up to 15 PDUs per three year period through self directed learning. This includes personally conducting project management research or a study, coaching sessions with people in your professional network (colleagues, clients, coworkers, etc). Reading applicable studies, books, blogs, and listening to audio books would all fall under this category. Copies of publications, sample education material or program agendas are required for confirmation. (See http://www.pmi.org/pdf/pdc_pmphandbook.pdf#page=38)
So there you have it….
No matter what your budget or your learning media preference, these 10 Easy ways are waiting to help you amass the 60 PDUs for your recertification. Whichever route you take, keep consistent and remember to have some fun with it.
About the author: Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is a noted PMP expert. He has helped over 10,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam with The Project Management PrepCast at http://www.pm-prepcast.com and he guides PMI credential holders on earning PDUs with The PDU Insider at http://www.pdu-insider.com.