Once you’ve passed the PMP® exam, you need to keep your skills up-to-date through the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program to maintain your PMP credential and active certification status. Each PMP certification cycle lasts for three years during which you will need to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) to renew your certification at the end of the cycle. Once you have successfully completed a single cycle, another new three-year cycle begins.

If you do not earn the specified amount of PDUs by the end of the third anniversary of your PMP certification, there will be a one-year suspension of your credential after which it will no longer be valid.

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How to Determine Your Certification / CCR Cycle

Your first certification/CCR cycle begins on the day you pass the exam. Your first certification/CCR cycle ends on the third anniversary day of passing the exam. So, you’ll need to renew your PMP credential one day before the third anniversary of passing the exam. Your next CCR cycle also starts on the third anniversary of passing the exam.

Changes in PDU

The PMI® CCR Program was designed to help an individual in a project manager’s growth and development in their profession. With the evolution of the business environment, the PMI decided that the program also needed adaptation to provide the development of new employer-desired needs, including leadership and business intelligence.

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The PMI calls the ideal skill set the PMI Talent Triangle™—a combination of technical, leadership, strategic, and business management expertise. It includes:

Technical Project Management

Knowledge, skills, and behaviors related to specific domains of Project, Program and Portfolio Management. More than half (66%) of organizations say that technical project skills are the most difficult to find. However, 96% indicate that these skills are the most teachable. Examples of technical project management include advanced project management, techniques to improve your WBS, how to gather and document requirements, and risk management for your portfolio.


Knowledge, skills, and behaviors are specific to leadership-oriented skills that help an organization achieve its business goals. Three-quarters (75%) of organizations rank leadership skills as the most important for successfully navigating complex projects. 71% of organizations rank leadership skills as the most important for the long-term success of project managers. Examples of leadership include negotiation, communication, motivation, problem-solving, and conflict resolution, etc.

Strategic and Business Management

Knowledge of and expertise in the industry or organization that enhances performance and better delivers business outcomes. Organizations that align their talent to organizational strategy produce a 72% higher average project success rate, as compared to 58% for those without it. Examples of strategic and business management include product knowledge, industry knowledge, business acumen, innovation strategy alignment, market strategy alignment, differentiation strategy alignment, customer strategy alignment, finance, marketing, and so forth.

How to Earn the Required PDUs

There are two types of PDUs you can earn: Education and Giving Back. Within these two groups, there are subcategories, as described below.

Education PDUs

Aligned with the PMI Talent Triangle, this category now requires 60% of the PDUs, with a maximum of 35 PDUs:

  • Technical Project Management: a minimum of 8 PDUs must be earned
  • Leadership: a minimum of 8 PDUs must be earned
  • Strategic and Business Management: a minimum of 8 PDUs must be earned

Remaining PDUs may be earned under any of the three sections.

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Giving Back PDUs

The total number of PDUs to be earned in this category has been reduced; however, the activities under these categories remain the same: Volunteering, Creating Knowledge, and Working as a Professional. The number of PDUs to be earned in Working as a Professional category has also been reduced.

A maximum of 25 PDUs must be earned in this category:

  • Working as a Professional: a maximum of 8 PDUs can be earned under this category
  • Volunteering and Creating Knowledge: the remaining PDUs

PMP Renewal

With this change, PMPs will still be able to claim PDUs for all the activities claimable in the past:

  • Taking courses from PMI registered education providers, universities, or your organization
  • Attending educational activities and events offered by PMI chapters or other organizations
  • Reading, attending a webinar or participating in self-directed learning activities
  • Creating new project management knowledge
  • Volunteering
  • Working as a project practitioner

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Recording Your PDU Activities

You are responsible for recording your PDU activities as they occur. One of the most efficient ways to record PDUs is by using the online CCR System. This system also allows you to search for activities that award PDUs as well as to view your transcript to confirm that PDUs have been posted.

Although the PMI encourages you to record PDUs using the online system, you may download, complete, and send electronic or paper copies of the PDU Activity Reporting Form found online. This should be done upon completion of each activity. You only need to send the PDU Activity Reporting Form. You do not need to send supporting documentation for activities reported at this point but should retain such documentation in the event you are audited.


If you are looking to earn PDUs to maintain your PMP credential, consider online PMP certification training from Simplilearn. We offer a wide variety of project management courses taught by certified faculty with at least 10 years of industry experience.

PMP and PMI have registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. 

About the Author

Avantika MonnappaAvantika Monnappa

A project management and digital marketing knowledge manager, Avantika’s area of interest is project design and analysis for digital marketing, data science, and analytics companies.

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