PMP certification renewal requirements

Greg Belding
August 29, 2023 by
Greg Belding

Studying, training for and passing the PMP certification exam takes hard work, so it’s a shame to let your certification lapse. Does PMP certification expire? You bet, and there are downsides when it does. The average PMP salary for those holding the certification is around $161,000, but salary potential decreases without valid certification. Applying for new jobs with expired certifications decreases your credibility, and you may forget some of the essential strategies and techniques you learned during your PMP exam training. And, once your certificate expires, you have to take and pass the exam again to renew.

Earn your PMP, guaranteed!

Earn your PMP, guaranteed!

Enroll in a PMP Boot Camp and earn one of the industry’s most respected certifications — guaranteed.

Fortunately, keeping up with PMP renewal before your certification expires means you won’t have to retake the exam. Review the requirements in this renewal guide to ensure you retain all the benefits that come with your Project Management Professional certification. And if you’ve mistakenly arrived here before taking the exam, learn more about PMP certification.

PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements program

PMP certification validity lasts three years, but PMI (Project Management Institute) has a program that allows you to maintain and renew your certification through professional development rather than retaking the exam. Holders who wish to maintain their PMP certification must earn 60 PDUs (Professional Development Units) in this three-year period. One PDU represents one continuous hour of time dedicated to enhancing professional skills or giving back to the professional community.

You must complete two types of PDUs in almost set amounts: education and giving back.

Education PDUs (minimum 35 required)

Education PDUs make up the largest portion of the credits necessary to renew your PMP certification. They represent a certificate holder’s efforts toward maintaining their knowledge about project management and associated areas. These continuing education credits can come from PMI-approved:

  • Instructor-led or on-demand courses from PMI Training or third-party providers

  • Formal academic education accredited by the PMI Global Accreditation Center

  • Live, virtual and on-demand global events

  • Local meetings

  • PMI books

  • Informal but structured events like “lunch and learns”

For PMP renewal, there are further guidelines concerning the number of topics covered for Education PDUs to be accepted. PMI created the PMI Talent Triangle to help people understand how this learning should be structured to be accepted for renewals.

The triangle is made up of three sides:

Ways of Working (previously Technical Project Management) concerns how project management professionals do their jobs and the strategies they use. This can include predictive, agile and design thinking and new strategies that are always being developed.

Power Skills (previously Leadership) concerns the interpersonal skills that project managers use to guide their teams and navigate their organization. Diplomacy and collaboration are key skills that must be maintained as a leader.

Business Acumen (previously Strategic and Business Management) concerns the knowledge and awareness of your chosen industry and how your organization fits into it. This includes understanding how your work and external influences contribute to your organization.

Of the 35 minimum education PDUs, a minimum of eight PDUs must come from each of these three categories; once those are fulfilled, you can choose which of the three sides of the triangle the remaining PDUs come from. There’s no specific requirement for educational materials to fit into one of these three categories, and PMI recommends professionals use their best judgment when determining whether materials match the classifications.

Giving back PDUs (optional, maximum 25)

In addition to continuing education requirements, PMI offers another option to earn PMP renewal credits. Giving back PDUs represents the time PMP certification holders invest in the professional project management community. This can include:

  • Working in your certified role

  • Volunteering at PMI

  • Giving a presentation at a large, formal speaking event

  • Creating published content

  • Mentoring and teaching

Keep in mind you can only earn a maximum of eight giving back PDUs from working in your certified role, and a maximum of 17 can come from volunteering and teaching or mentoring.

Recording and reporting continuing certification PDUs

While the PDU requirements for PMP certification renewal can be confusing, reporting these credits isn’t. Simply visit PMI’s website and log in to your account using the information you used to schedule your exam. From there, you can access the Continuing Certification Requirements System — an online program where you can easily record your credits for PMI’s review.

It's best to enter your PDUs into this system as you earn them, but sometimes, you can earn PDUs without even realizing it. That’s why keeping a record of anything you do in project management, including downloading certificates of completion for educational or training programs, is a good idea. You may also want to review anything project management-related you’ve done in the three years since earning your Project Management Professional certification in case it qualifies.

Earn your PMP, guaranteed!

Earn your PMP, guaranteed!

Enroll in a PMP Boot Camp and earn one of the industry’s most respected certifications — guaranteed.

PMP certification renewal fees

Once PMI confirms your PDUs, you’ll receive an email to renew your certification — but first, you’ll be asked to pay a renewal fee. If you have an active PMI membership, the renewal fee is $60. Those without active PMI membership must pay $150 to renew their PMP certification.

Just as there are many benefits to maintaining your PMP certification validity, it’s also beneficial to stay on top of your Continuing Certification Requirements as soon as you receive your original or renewed certificate. Waiting until the last minute causes stress and increases the risk that your PMP certification lapses, adding more work and prep for the PMP exam retake.


Maintain Your Certification, PMI

How Many PDUs Do I Need to Maintain My Certification?, PMI

Plan Your Development to the PMI Talent Triangle, PMI

Ways to Earn Education PDUs, PMI

Ways to Earn Giving Back PDUs, PMI

CCR Certification Requirements Handbook, PMI


Greg Belding
Greg Belding

Greg is a Veteran IT Professional working in the Healthcare field. He enjoys Information Security, creating Information Defensive Strategy, and writing – both as a Cybersecurity Blogger as well as for fun.