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If you searched for PDU and found lots of articles about electronics, then you have finally found the right place. This is about Professional Development Units.
What is a Professional Development Unit?
Professional Development Units are a way to measure time spent on professional training. It is a PMI(r) way to talk about professional education.
PDUs are essential to prove that you are keeping up-to-date with your skills. These PDUs are necessary for continuing certification. This means that if you stop learning, you will lose your ability to use your post-nominal letter.
What is the value of 1 PDU?
One PDU equals one hour of learning.
PDUs can be purchased in 15-minute segments. In other words:
You get no credit if you only do 10 minutes of learning.
You can earn 0.25 PDUs for every 15 minutes of learning
Although we may refer to ‘contact hours’ as such, you don’t need to have contact with anyone to earn a PDU. You can earn a PDU by reading a professional journal and taking notes on interesting articles. There is no need to contact anyone.
How many PDUs do I need?
Different PMI certifications require different levels of professional development in order to keep your credential current.
For example, the PDU requirements for CAPM (r) are different to those for other PMI credentials such as the Project Management Professional (PMP(r)) certificate.
Below is a table that shows you how many PDUs are required for different PMI certifications. It also shows the types of PDUs required to be relevant across the PMI Talent Triangle.
PMI(r) CertificationPDUs requiredPMP(r)60CAPM(r)15PMI-ACP(r)30PMI-SP(r)30PMI-RMP(r)30PfMP(r)60PMI-PBA(r)60DASM(tm)7 in Agile topicsDASSM(tm)7 in Agile topicsDAC(tm)7 in Agile topicsDAVSC(tm)7 in Agile topicsWhat about other professional bodies?
To my knowledge, all professional bodies require project managers to show ongoing competence.
CPD is Continuous Professional Development. It means the same thing: an ongoing commitment as a professional learning to demonstrate that we can handle modern challenges while still being able to do the job.
Fellows at APM (like me), are required to complete 35 hours of development each year.
AXELOS requires that you complete 20 hours of CPD per annum in order to keep your PRINCE2(r). This entitles to a digital badge. (Yes, they also call this CPD.
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There are many ways to earn PDUs. Here are some of the most common ways to earn PDUs:
Courses: Online and classroom learning tends to take multiple hours so it’s a great way for you to earn a lot PDUs. Log all hours and take advantage of any training provided by your employer.
Volunteering: There are many ways to give back to the profession, including volunteering at your local PMI Chapter or donating your time and expertise to Project Managers Without Borders.
These methods are applicable regardless of the professional body for which you are earning them. You should follow the exact guidelines set out by your membership organisation, but I believe there is a lot more to ongoing professional development than you might realize.
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