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How to prepare for the PMP exam part 8: getting recertified

Cornelius Fichtner, PMP | July 29, 2011
Earning professional development units (PDUs) is key to maintaining your PMP certification. In this final article in's series on how to prepare for the PMP exam, you'll learn how to earn those precious PDUs.

4. Check the "I agree" box, then click "submit" to credit your PDUs.

Be sure to save all of your PDU supporting documents and receipts just in case you are audited.

How to Earn Free PDUs

There are dozens of ways to earn free PDUs and hundreds of resources that offer them.

One of the most rewarding ways to earn free PDUs is by volunteering at your local PMI Chapter. I have been an active volunteer in my chapter, and it has allowed me to network with my peers, teach PMP exam prep classes, find a job, improve my leadership skills, and (oh yes) earn free PDUs.

Another great way to earn free PDUs is by listening to project management-related podcasts. There are currently about 10 free ones available online, such as Ron Holohan's PM411, Mark Perry's The PMO Podcast and my own The Project Management Podcast. Start downloading their interviews, listen to them on your way to and from work, and earn up to 15 free PDUs.

Free webinars provide a third way to earn PDUs. You can find a PDU webinar happening almost every day of the year. Rico's List from Andi Levin and Julie Kingand and my own The PDU Insider will help you locate many free and inexpensive PDU webinar opportunities.

Be Proactive About Your PDU Requirements

Three years may seem like a long time, but it will pass in the blink of an eye. Don't wait until year three to start accumulating PDUs. Once you've earned your PMP certification, set out a three-year plan to accumulate your PDUs consistently over the next 36 months. Be sure to read up on the five categories of PDUs as outlined in the PMP Credential Handbook because the PMI imposes some limits on the number of PDUs you can claim from each category.

Plan to earn about 1.5 PDUs every month for the next 36 months, and you will not be caught short of PDUs in the last months prior to your recertification.


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