Congratulations! You worked through numerous projects, studied heavily, wrote the exam, and passed the PMP with flying colors. Now the hard work begins: keeping your PMP certification active! Okay, it's not that much work, but it is something you need to take seriously, or you could find yourself without the certification you worked so hard for.
There are two terms you need to know to stay on the road to active certification:
- CCR - Continuing Certification Requirements
- PDU - Professional Development Unit
PMI has done a great job of keeping things simple and easy to follow. Basically, by following the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program, you can earn professional development units (PDUs) which are basically credits, you need to earn 60 PDUs every 3 years.
The PDUs are earned by performing activities around three educational topics that are consistent with the Exam Content Outline for your certification: technical, leadership, and strategy & business. There are also credits for giving back to PMI through volunteer time.
Here are a few tips for earning PDUs and keep learning::
Training Courses - participating in training courses the most traditional way to get credits, check with the Project Management Institute for educational events held by each PMI chapter, or find a 3rd party group that handles PMP training courses.
Online Media - this is one of the most popular ways to earn credits. Webinars, videos and other digital content are available on demand, and help busy professionals to learn without too much disruption to their schedule. One of the easiest places to earn PDUs is through ProjectManagement.com, which you can link to your PMI.org account for easy tracking of credits.
Organizational Meetings - professional meet-ups are really big in every field, and PMP is no exception. Look for a meeting of like-minded professionals at your next PMI event or a 3rd party meet-up group like meetup.com, they often have an educational component or provide a chance to network and find ways to obtain training credits.
Reading - Books, eBooks, blogs and articles are all great ways to stay sharp and up to date on current project management topics. Check out the latest project management books here, or Google project management blogs to find more ideas.
Volunteering - PMI is a largely volunteer run organization, and by encouraging every certified member to get involved, it keeps the whole thing going, and allows you the opportunity to earn credits from helping run events, mentor people, or produce content or information to members. These PDUs get tracked in the CCR tool.