Difference between PMP Contact Hours and PDUs

I have seen many people using PMP Contact Hours and PDUs alternatively to mean the same. But, in reality they are totally different. Here are the key differences between PMP Contact Hours and PDUs.


PMP Contact Hours:

  • PMP contact hours refer to the formal project management training to be taken BEFORE earning the PMP credential
  • One hour of such formal training earns one contact hour
  • Earning 35 contact hours is a prerequisite to apply for PMP certification
  • These  contact hours can be earned through university programs,employer sponsored trainings and programs, programs from training providers and consultants, distance learning programs provided by online training providers that may or many be R.E.Ps

You can find more about some of the popular 35 contact hours trainings here.



PMP Contact Hour PDU

  • PDU stands for Professional Development Unit
  • PDUs come into picture AFTER you earn your PMP credential
  • PDUs are key part of PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements(CCR)
  • You need to earn 60 PDUs in three years  to maintain your PMP credential
  • You can earn PDUs by participating in professional development activities that include E-Learning, PMI community offered meetings and sessions,R.E.P courses, self directed learning etc.
  • Contact Hour Trainings DO NOT qualify to earn PDUs
  • There are both paid and free ways to earn these PDUs

To learn more about earning PDUs for free read this article: How I earned my PMP CCR PDUs for Free


How I earned my PMP CCR PDUs for Free!

I am happy to announce that last week I earned enough PDUs needed to meet the PMI CCR and renewed my PMP credential.  I am going to be a  PMP for three more years 🙂  As you may already know, once you earn your PMP credential you need to meet some PMI Continuing Certification Requirements (CCRs) to maintain your PMP credential. As a PMP, you are required to collect 60 PDUs during the three year CCR cycle. There are several ways to earn these PDUs. You can refer to PMI Website for details on PDU categories, limitations etc.

In this article I am going to show you how I earned my required 60 PDUs for absolutely free. Only thing I spent was my time! But that was well spent.
After some research I found some good websites that offer free webinars and podcasts that let you earn PDUs. As a project management practitioner I earned 5 PDUs per year. That amounts to 15 PDUs per CCR cycle which is three years. That left me with 45 more PDUs to go.

I collected these PDUs mainly from three sources. They are all free. More importantly, they are very relevant and informative. For your benefit I have listed them below. If you are looking for PMP CCR PDUs, just tap into these resources and earn your PDUs for free.

1. Project Management Podcast:

This is an excellent resource for earning the PDUs by listening to podcasts on project management related topics. This includes, interviews with industry experts, group discussions, book reviews etc. Mr. Cornelius Fichtner, PMP does an amazing job in conducting these podcasts. I enjoyed them more than just earning the PDUs from them.

The current and older episodes of this podcast can be found here.  I earned totally 18 category C PDUs from this podcast series. You can use up to 30 PDUs from category C, all of which could be easily earned by listening to this podcast.

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