How To Renew Your PMP Certification? – Learning Guide
How To Renew Your PMP Certification

How To Renew Your PMP Certification? – Learning Guide

Last updated on 15th Jul 2020, Blog, General

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PMIs PMP certification is valid for a period of three years. This page explains what is required to renew your hard-earned PMP credentials. PMP certification is extremely respected credential in the industry. The article explains how to extend your certification for another three years.

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The PMP certification is valid for three years after the year of certification. As an example, if Joe Smith became certified on July 1st, 2015, the PMP certificate will be valid till July 1st, 2018. The certificate is valid for exactly three years from the day of certification. Extending the certificate for a period of three years requires furnishing proof of sixty PDUs.

If an individual is unable to provide proof of 60 PDUs in the three year period, her certification will be suspended for a period of one year. In the above example if Joe does not provide evidence of 60 PDUs till July 1st, 2018, his certification will be suspended for a period of one year till July 1st, 2019. During the suspension period, the individual may not use the PMP credentials. However during the suspension period, the individual can submit the evidence of 60 PDUs to retain her PMP credentials.

If an individual is unable to provide this evidence during the suspension period, she will be required to go through the process of PMP certification again like a fresh applicant.


PMI defines a Continuous Certification Requirement program that describes the requirements for individuals for maintaining their PMP credentials. CCR defines a three step process –

  1. Attain and report to PMI a minimum of 60 PDUs during each three year cycle. This three year cycle is called CCR cycle.
  2. Complete an application for certification renewal and submit the fees.
  3. Reaffirm the PMP Code of Professional Conduct.

On completion of these three steps, PMI renews the PMP certificate for a period of another three years.

The most complex part among the above steps is accruing the 60 PDUs. In the remainder of this article more details are provided on how to accrue PDUs.


A PDU is defined by PMI as a measuring unit for structured learning in the discipline of Project Management. One PDU is earned for one hour spent in a planned, structured learning activity.

PMI defines five different categories in which PDUs can be earned.

  1. Category 1: Formal Academic Education
  2. Category 2: Professional Activities and Self-directed Learning
  3. Category 3: PMI Registered Education Providers
  4. Category 4: Other Providers
  5. Category 5: Voluntary Service


PDUs can be earned by completing an academic course related to the discipline of Project Management. The course must be done after obtaining PMP certification. One hour of degree credit in a 15-week semester earns 15 PDUs.


This category includes activities like writing articles, books and speaking on project management concepts. It also includes providing regular services related to Project Management. The details of the sub-categories are described below.

S.NOSub-categoryDescriptionPDUs earned
2AAuthor of article on Project Management in a refereed journal30 per article (author)20 for co-authors.
2BAuthor of article on Project Management in a non-refereed journal15 per article (author)10 for co-authors.
2CSpeaker on Project Management topic at a conference/symposium/workshop10 PDUs per activity.
2DSpeaker on Project Management at PMI component meeting10 PDUs per program.
2EMember/moderator on a Project Management panel discussion at a conference/symposium/workshop5 PDUs per program.
2FAuthor of a Project Management textbook40 PDUs (author) 20 for co-authors.
2GDevelopment of contents for a structured project management learning program10 PDUs per program.
2HPractitioners for Project Management services for 1,500 hours per calendar year5 PDUs per calendar year.
2-SDLSelf-directed learning activities like personally conducted research on Project ManagementMaximum 15 PDUs in a three year CCR cycle.
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Training attended at PMI Registered Education Providers (REPs) can be used to earn PDUs. One hour of Project Management training qualifies for 1 PDU. The training advertisements by REPs generally describe the number of PDUs that the training program will provide.


Training on the discipline of Project Management provided by other organizations (non-REPs) also qualifies for earning PDUs. One contact hour of structured learning activity or course is equivalent to one PDU.


Maximum 20 PDUs can be earned in a three years CCR cycle by performing Project Management related voluntary services. Qualifying activities are explained in the table below.

DescriptionPDUs earned
Serve as an elected officer at a Project Management organization2 PDUs for three months of participation, 5 for six months, and 10 for twelve months of participation in a calendar year.
Serve as committee member at a Project Management organization1 PDUs for three months of participation, 3 for six months, and 5 for twelve months of participation in a calendar year.
Providing Project Management services for a not-for-profit charitable organization5 PDUs per calendar year.

The PDUs need to be submitted online at the PMIs site. After you log-in, the left nav-bar of the site has links to submitting PDUs and renewing the certificate. Once a PMP has submitted information about a PDU activity, it may take up to a week for PMI to acknowledge and register the activity for your profile. After 60 PDUs have been earned in a three year period, the PMP can then apply for renewing the PMP certificate for a three year period. The renewal fee is $60 for PMI members and $150 for non-members. For a small number of randomly selected cases, PMI may request for an audit to verify the information provided during PDU requests. So it is important to retain the evidence of PDU qualifying events. Also PDUs can be submitted up to the end of next calendar year after the completion of three year CCR cycle in which the PDU accruing event occured. So if a PDR accruing event happened in 2015-2016 CCR cycle, the PDU request must be submitted before end of 2018. However it is a good practice to submit PDU requests on regular basis, as the events happen. Also up to 20 PDUs earned in the last year of a CCR cycle can be transferred to the next CCR cycle. So if a PMP has already earned 60 PDUs in a three year period, she can transfer 20 PDUs earned in the last year, to the next three year CCR cycle. To summarize, PMI provides many means of accruing PDUs. Most practicing Project Managers should not find it difficult to earn 60 PDUs in a three year period. However one needs to keep track of accrued PDUs, and submit the same at regular intervals, to ensure that the PMP credentials can be retained.

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Important things to remember

  1. Once you submit payment—even if you submit it before your certification expires—your new cycle end date will be three years from your current certification expiration date. 
    • For example: Your certification renewal date is 1 July 2019. You renew on 1 March 2019. Your certification renewal date will be 1 July 2022 (three years from the original renewal date).
  2. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification holders do not need to earn PDUs to renew their certification. They also only have to renew every five years.

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