Being a project management professional is a continuous journey that requires studying to learn updated techniques and skills. Staying current is important to your position, especially as the business world evolves and changes. To prove that you know what you’re doing and to maintain the highest skill set, PMPs have to earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) during a three year period. The following are ways you can earn your recertification and do your job.
Earning PDU’s Online
Online learning has become very popular for professional qualifications and there are a number of PDU course providers when it comes to PMP Recertification. Gaining your required PDU’s through online courses provides the opportunity to learn in your own time and at your own pace. The best providers have courses written by experienced professionals, ensuring your course material not only covers the topics you need to study but is up to date and inline with current best practices.
Distance learning, as it is more commonly called, often requires students to study outside of their normal working hours, and this should be planned for accordingly. The best online PDU courses will be instructor led giving students a point of contact when they have questions or need to discuss study materials. You will earn one PDU for each of hour of study, so a course which equals 20 PDU’s will require 20 hours of study, so you will need to schedule your study time to fit not only with your home and work life, but also within the 3 year recertification timeframe.
Some students may find it possible to study online during their lunch breaks or even have an understanding boss who allows time during the day for you to study towards your recertification (after all it is in their interests too right?); but if you want to progress faster and earn your PDU’s through as many different avenues as possible, then consider the following ways to earn PDU’s whilst you do your day job:
Earning PDU’s While You Work
Getting your required PDUs takes time, effort and organization. Nothing is worse than being 7 months away from your recertification and having to implement a quick plan to fit in the necessary studying and activities you need in order to qualify. Spreading out the mandatory qualifications over a three year period is easy, especially when you get credit for holding a position in the same field.
For employees who can earn over 5 months of PMP experience over the course of a year, you may be able to add as many as 5 PDUs each year. A work contract or job description can be used as evidence to verify your employment.
If your place of business has a company blog or magazine, you can acquire PDUs by writing articles. For every hour that you spend implementing this type of work, you can earn one PDU. To ensure that it counts, you must make sure the article deals with project management. There are a number of ideas you could use such as writing about your current project, a day in the life of a PMP or tips on risk management.
Additional ways you can earn PDUs at your current position throughout the three years includes training. This is a great way to further your formal education and earn the necessary units. Training can include implementing a new software tool, attending a training seminar or utilizing continuing education courses provided by the company. You can earn up to one unit for every hour of training that you take.
Being a part of your company’s mentoring program is important and can earn you PDUs. Whether you’re mentoring another colleague or a junior associate, you can earn up to one unit per hour for instructing. Your sessions should be focused on relevant information pertaining to project management using reputable resources such as journals, magazines and the Internet.
In order to obtain the necessary requirements, you need to maintain a record of the times, dates and length of the sessions. A signature from the mentor will also be needed. Being mentored is a self-directed educational process and also counts toward your PDU recertification. PMPs can earn up to one PDU for every hour and up to a total of ten in one year. Simple forms of this include seeking advice from a colleague on project budgeting or helping a senior adviser with an audit.
Earning the necessary PDUs through online learning and as part of your daily job can make the required 60 credit hours easy to obtain over a three year period. Making the most of these important opportunities is a great way to expand your knowledge base, and it can also help reduce headaches as the recertification deadline approaches.
Georgina Clatworthy is a freelance writer with an interest in topics relating to business, management and human resources. The internet provides distance learning resources for those seeking PMP Recertification. Online learning providers can offer meaningful and popular project management training courses, allowing candidates to learn in their own time and at their own pace without the usual associated timescales and costs.
Image credit, Flickr, Aftab Uzzaman