PDU Rules Change in December 2015

31 August, 2015

The Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional (PMP)© accreditation is a professional qualification and the big difference between this and an academic degree is the need to maintain it. This is because the Project Management Institute realizes that what you study for in the PMP© exam will not remain the same as the profession advances. It is vital for project management practitioners to remain current.

To ensure this, anyone with PMP© certification must earn at least 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years. You can build these up by working as a project manager, attending events runs by the Project Management Institute’s chapters, giving talks at these events, volunteering your project management talents to a charity,  or by training activities, such as courses or self-directed learning (basically reading project management-related books).

However, from the 1st of December, 2015, there are going to be new rules on how many PDUs you can claim under the various headings. The motivation behind these changes centres on what the Project Management Institute calls the “PMI Talent Triangle”. This files aspects of project management under three headings:

  1. Technical. We are familiar with this sort of PDU earning opportunity. Read a book on Earned Value Management or attend a talk on effective ways to use an Issue Log and you can claim PDUs as before.
  2. Leadership. The Project Management Institute has identified leadership as a key characteristic of Project Managers and wants us to develop that side of our profiles.
  3. Business and Strategic. Project managers who evolve into Program, or even Portfolio, Managers will have to relate their work to the organization’s overall strategy. To be effective in such a role, a Program or Portfolio Manager needs to understand the industry s/he works in and where the organization needs to go to survive and thrive in such an environment.

Cutting to the chase, how is this going to affect PMPs© in our pursuit of PDUs? Essentially, the only changes to the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) programme, as the PDU process is called, relate to Education and Giving Back to the Profession.

 From the 1st of December, 2015, at least 60% of the PDUs you gather (35) must relate to education. However, we will need to clock up a minimum of eight PDUs in each of the Talent Triangle’s topics – i.e. technical, leadership and business/strategic.

There is bad news on the Giving Back to the Profession front: working as a Project Manager is now only worth 8 PDUs over a three-year cycle. Also, the maximum number of PDUs you can claim under this heading is 25 over three years. So this means 17 PDUs may be earned under the headings of volunteering and creating new knowledge.

At present there are over half a million PMPs© out there, but only 1,100 or so Program Management Professionals (PgMPs)©. It is difficult not to conclude that these changes are designed to increase interest in the higher-level qualifications – the PgMP© and the Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)©.

Here at Velopi, this change has been welcomed as it should increase interest in our own PgMP© exam preparation course. It should also boost demand for our one-day Strategy Management course. But, we will need to come up with courses focusing on leadership to provide a full spectrum of PDU opportunities under the education heading. Hopefully, these will be ready to go in 2016.

If this article made no sense to you, but you have an interest in project management, you can learn the basics in either our one-day Introduction to Project Management course or our two-day Project Management Essentials course. For experienced practitioners, you should consider a Project Management Professional (PMP)© exam preparation course. These are held in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway for your convenience.  For more details of these and other courses, please visit our web-site or contact us directly.

By Velopi Seamus Collins

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