FRAMINGHAM, 6 DECEMBER 2010 - Congratulations! You passed the Project Management Institute's PMP exam, and you're now a certified Project Management Professional (PMP)! Unfortunately, your PMP certification does not last for life. After three years, it will expire unless you take steps to get recertified.
The good news is, you never have to take the PMP exam again as long as you maintain your certification. Getting recertified shows that you're keeping up with the latest trends and best practices in the ever-evolving field of project management.
In order to keep your certification active, you need to pay a recertification fee ($60 for PMI members, $150 for nonmembers), and more importantly, earn and document 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years. PDUs are a measure of the time you've put into professional development as a PMP. PMPs earn one PDU for each hour of qualified project management instruction they receive.
In this final article in CIO.com's series on preparing for the PMP exam, I'll explain how you can earn PDUs.
How to Earn PDUs
To maintain your PMP certification, you need to accumulate 60 PDUs by the third anniversary of the date you received your initial certification--and every three years after that.
The PMP Credential Handbook lists different ways to earn PDUs. In short, you can earn them through self-directed learning, by taking project management classes, volunteering at your local PMI chapter, giving presentations on project management, writing books on project management, and listening to podcasts on project management. You even get them just for doing your job. By working as a project manager for at least six months per calendar year, you can earn a total of 15 PDUs in three years.
How to Document Your PDUs
The Project Management Institute's Continuing Credential Requirements System (CCRS) is the place to report your PDUs. In most cases, when you are attending an activity that qualifies for PDUs, the organizer will hand you some form of a PDU receipt. Input your PDUs into the CCRS, and the system will track your progress for you. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to register your PDUs with the Continuing Credential Requirements System:
1. Log on to https://ccrs.pmi.org/ with your PMI username and password.
2. Select "Report Professional Development Units" from the panel on the left side of the screen.
3. Over a series of online screens, this option will allow you to enter the PDU category, activity type, provider name or number, activity name or number, the start and completion dates, your evaluation of the activity, and the number of PDUs you earned from the activity. It will also ask you to attest that the information you have submitted is correct.
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