Have you already tried to renew your PMP Certification? I will tell you about my experience – how to maintain your certification and renew it within a short period. PMP Renewal story-telling.
Hey Crizpers, let’s talk about the PMP certification Renewal. How much mysterious does it sound to you? As for me, it was quite ambiguous. Well, I knew what I can do to maintain my certification, and I have shared this information with you in one of the PMP related articles before. However, at that moment it was only a theory and I have no idea how exactly am I going to claim my PDUs. And what is more, how could I confirm the earned knowledge or knowledge I have shared. However, the time has come and now I am going to share my experience in maintaining the certification with you!
To make a quick re-cap, let’s get back to the initial article about the PMP certification and opportunities for its maintenance. I have earned my PMP in 2018 and later on I have built a story about all the why-s and how-s. It was created in order to give you an idea about the certification process starting from the preparation and until the opportunities to maintain it. You can find this information either in the article, or on my YouTube channel as I have also recorded a video on this topic.
As you may remember, to renew the PMP Certification it is required to earn 60 Professional Development Units a.k.a. PDUs every 3 years. And my timer started in October 2018. Thus, together with the joy of earning a certification I was also granted an obligation to maintain it constantly if I do not want to lose my PMP after the next 3 years.
To renew the cert I have allocated three general paths: study, giving back and being a PM.
Being a PM
As for being a Project Manager, in other words, working as a Practitioner, the biggest available number of PDUs allowed is 8 within 3 years. And there is a nuance here, if you work as a Project Manager less than the whole renewal period, the number of PDUs available for this part should be decreased proportionally. By that moment only year and a half has passed from my initial certification date. Thus, I have decided to tune it out and to focus on other opportunities. However, if you have already passed this 3-years-period of time and have earned those 8 PDUs, do not ignore them.
My Chosen Path
From the above I have only two paths left. So I have decided to use them in order to earn the necessary amount of PDUs. Of course, I could wait for the rest of the time to pass and to get those 8 points from my Practitioner’s record. But this is not something that I have in my personality. I hate waiting until the very end and taking the last opportunity. What I prefer doing, is finishing the required activities sooner, and focusing on other important and valuable stuff without any side thoughts and extra headache. Therefore, I have concentrated on the two other routes that were fully available for me at this period of time.
This is a good and, from my point of view, not too overwhelming way to get the necessary number of PDUs. Moreover, the math is pretty simple. Many course providers outline the number of available Professional Development Units in the headline of the study material. What you need to do is to pick the courses you are interested in and sum up the numbers. Obviously, these should be training materials on the Project Management topics. You cannot study make up or carpentry and then use this time for earning PDUs.
Additionally, for the ‘Study’ route you can read books or articles on the professional topics; visit in the professional conferences; educate yourself via online or digital media resources; visit organization meetings; and participate in the structured discussions with professionals.
For all the not-estimated knowledge that you are earning you can claim the number of PDUs proportional to the time you have spent for the particular activity. Let’s say, you have read a book on the Project Management topic and spent 6 hours on it. This is the number of the Professional units you can claim for this activity. And for the ‘Study’ part the self-estimated PDUs should be split into the professional knowledge areas: Technical, Leadership, Strategic & Business.
For the ‘Study’ opportunity I have recorded a seminar for Agile Practitioners; Lean Six Sigma White Belt education and certification; and a Project Management book I have recently read. By this in total I have filled 35 minimum required PDUs for the education.
Also, I was hoping to add more PDUs within this section from a PMI online conference. I have visited it, but the available PDUs slots from those 60 were already filled by other sources.
As I have mentioned it a couple of times, this section is my favorite one. Actually, I have started this blog due to the reason I like sharing and exchanging knowledge and experience. This helps to evolve and develop both your professional and social parts.
So for earning PDUs in the ‘Giving Back’ path you can give a presentation; share knowledge as SME or mentor; create content; volunteer.
With my resources and my content I have filled all available 25 Professional Development Units in this section. And I was regretting it is not possible to earn more here.
The math in ‘Giving Back’ is simple too. Similar to the books or not-estimated education parts, you are calculating the time spent to the ‘Giving Back’ activity. Then, distributing this time through the three Project Management areas of knowledge: Technical, Leadership, Strategic & Business.
How to Report PDUs
Here is where all the mystery is hidden. When I was planning to report my PDUs I had a thousand of questions. How exactly can I do this? What information is required? How could I prove this record? How long should I wait for the approval? What if it will be rejected? And so on, and so forth.
Well, in reality everything is much-much less scary than in your imagination. And, as I have told before, what I especially love about PMI, is their responsiveness and support! Initially, during the time when my PMP application was under an audit, they have supported me all the way until the audit was passed successfully. And while I was reporting my PDUs, the cool thing is that I was notified about all the steps my reported PDUs were passing through. Actually, they have passed only two of them: submitted and approved. And it was done within an hour for every claim. Amazing!
Cutting to the chase, if claiming PDUs is a mystery for you too, here is a short guide how to do it.
Login to your PMI account. Having a certification you should have an account anyway, whether you are a PMI member or not. Go to your dashboard and click the ‘REPORT PDUS’ button; or find the link to this section in the main menu under the ‘Certifications’ tab. When you are in, you will see another dashboard. First column provides options to report PDUs against Education; second column provides the list of opportunities for Giving Backs. Working as a Practitioner is under the second column. Click on the tab you are willing to claim PDUs for. Inside everything is pretty much straight forward: complete the required fields and report the number of PDUs earned. Then simply click the ‘Submit’ button.
What's Next - PMP Renewal
After the claim is submitted, you should receive a notification about it. And later on an approval or other, depends on the PMI decision. I have received approvals only, but I have tried to complete as many fields within my reports as possible, no matter whether the fields were required or not. Thus, I would advise doing this – fill as much information as you can, provide a link and compose a description.
Once I have submitted all the necessary Professional Development Units, in my dashboard I saw an option to renew my certification. And again, a ton of questions popped up. Can I do this now, or should I wait until the current cert expiration date? If I renew it now, will my initial cert remain active? Will I receive a new cert? Would I be able to continue earning PDUs further instantly? Sure, I have messaged the PMI support team.
So what I have found out: when you have earned all the necessary PDUs, it is possible to renew the certificate at any time before the expiration date. The renewal is provided on a paid basis and the price varies depending on whether you are a PMI member or not (twice approximately). And the opportunity to earn more PDUs will be available after the previous certificate expiration date.
Let me know if you have already renewed your PMP certificate? What sections have you reported PDUs in?