You’ve put in the hard yards and you’re officially a holder of the PMP Certification. Congratulations! You’ve taken to your organization that sponsored you. Your manager and or boss has looked at it, looked up at you with a slight smile and nodded. You’ve got the raise and that shiny new title that you’ve been after for years. You’ve reached your happy ever after. 🙆🏼♀️
Now what? Say it’s coming up on the three year mark and you’ve been aware of project management best practice updates or changes in the industry. Like any good certification, you want to keep it up to date and prove to employers that you’re at the cutting edge, not letting your PMP Certification collect dust. Before it expires, it’s time to renew it.
Do I need to renew my PMP certification? Is it worth it?
This is entirely up to you. The Project Management Institute is not going to force you to, but they may reach out with correspondence as you approach the three year mark giving, you a gentle nudge if you haven’t been in contact with them about renewing.
If no do nothing, your PMP Certification online will lapse and you will no longer be a registered Project Management Professional. You will no longer be able to flaunt it in job interviews, which means that you may also struggle to hold down a more competitive salary that would go to others who do have the certification.
In my opinion, it’s a positive ROI certification. By spending hundreds, you can be earning thousands more.
How often do you have to renew your PMP certification?
The question is somewhat nuanced, so let’s break it down. You have to earn 60 Professional Development Units, or PDUs within a three year time frame. Technically, you have to renew your certification every three years. However, as the screenshot at the top of this blog tells you, every PDU takes an hour to acquire.
If you’re sensible, professional individual who’s always on the lookout for ways that they can improve, you might be identifying units to study throughout your career. This might mean that you do a few hours here, a few hours there. Averaged out, it’s 20 hours a year, which is 1-3 hours a month.
If you’re less sensible and behave a bit like an immature university student, you might try to cram 60 hours worth of PDUs into a month, the month before your 3 year period comes up. People also do this, but I personally don’t think it’s worth the stress.
How to gain PDUs
The 60 PDUs are broken down as follows:
- 35 PDUs Education and
- 25 PDUs for Giving Back
There are a myriad of ways to gain the PDUs to keep your PMP Certification active. I’ll list the better known ones below:
- instructor led classes: these can be taken both remotely online, but also offline.
- PMI chapter meeting: participate in one of these meetings to discuss what’s new in the world of project management to also gain PDUs.
- Self-guided online course: or read/consume selected articles, blogs, books or whitepapers.
- Informal Lunch-and-Learn activities: similar to chapter meetings, but less formal. Still counts towards your PDU quota.
- Volunteer to join a PMI Committee: shows that you are giving back to the discipline that’s given you so much.
- Mentor somebody new in the field: again, shows you’re giving back and helping future generations.
How much does it cost to renew your PMP certification?
It isn’t clear how much the renewal fee is. It may change year on year, factoring in things like inflation, exchange rate wherever you’re based in the world, but also a nominal discount as someone who’s renewing. That’s right, you pay less to stay qualified than if you were a brand new PMP. So you’ve got that going for you.
Again, I think it’s entirely worth it, especially if you’ve noticed a big improvement at the tasks you’re doing at work, as well as your salary package. It just makes sense.