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Cornelius Fitchner: PDU Tip: Earning PDUs Through Self-Study

In our current series of PDU Tips we are exploring the many ways you can earn PDUs. Today we look at how you can gain PDUs through self-study.

Do you consume a lot of materials like reading articles or books, watching videos or CD ROMs? This is one type of self-study that contributes towards your PDU total during a recertification cycle.

Self-directed learning is a Category C activity that covers a wide range of topics. Professional Development Units gained this way are an easy and cheap way to top up your total. Self-study is something that can fit in around your other activities – and you may even find yourself doing it as part of your day job!
Self-directed learning is defined as ‘individualized learning events involving personally conducted research or study’. As well as reading articles, books and manuals, this also includes being coached or mentored by a colleague or consultant. It also includes formal discussions with colleagues, coworkers, clients and consultants, so if you attend vendor presentations or lunch and learn sessions you could also claim these hours towards your PDUs.

The requirements from Project Management Institute (PMI) are that the activities you record must be relevant to project management and must meet a specified purpose. In addition, qualifying activities in this category must also use knowledgeable resources, so articles in your local newspaper that happen to mention a community project won’t count!

You can claim 1 PDU for each hour spent on this as “self-study”. There is a maximum of 30 PDUs for this and any other Category C activities.
If you are audited as part of the recertification cycle you will have to provide evidence supporting your PDU claim. This could be in the form of notes from discussions or coaching sessions, copies of articles annotated with your comments or other dated notes about the self-study you have undertaken.
Remember, you can also record PDUs in fractions, so if you only spend half an hour on self-study, you can still record that and it will still contribute towards your PDUs for PMP recertification.


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