As of March 2011, the Project Management Institute has changed the terms of the certification renewal requirements. Thankfully, the new rules are easy to live with. They actually rationalize some of the inconsistencies that were present before. Renewal credits are still earned through various activities such as education, work as a project manager, public service and self study. The new principle is that 1 renewal credit is earned for 1 hour of effort, with a couple of exceptions. Some of the category limits have changed as have the activities within some categories.
The renewal requirements are now divided into 2 divisions. The Education division covers all activities that further project management education for the Project Management Professional. The Giving Back to the Profession division covers all activities that are service based. Work as a project manager falls into the second division.
Certification holders are able to choose how they wish to earn their renewal credits. They may perform activities in either division as they see fit to earn the required 60 credits in each 3 year period. The only divisional requirement applies to the number of credits earned by Giving Back to the profession. There can be no more than 45. Thus each Project Management Professional is required to obtain at least 15 renewal credits through educational activities. As per the new requirements, it will take 15 hours to earn the 15 educational credits. These can be earned through courses approved by the Project Management Institute, other project management courses and self study. Of note to many, the number of self study credits available has been increased to 20 per 3 year cycle.
Another nice change is that service as an author has been expanded. Now writing for blogs and podcasts are eligible for renewal credits as well. The 1 hour for 1 credit rule also corrects an imbalance. Writing a book, which may take hundreds of hours, was limited to a low number of credits in the past. Now the author will realize the full value of their work in the form of credits. Of course, the project manager will not be able to claim hundreds of renewal credits for a completed book as only a maximum of 45 can be claimed in the Giving Back to the Profession division.
PDU: Get On Them Now!
Project Management Professionals should adapt to the new rules quickly as they explore the new program. They will see that the new activities are very compatible with the previous ones. It should be very straightforward for the organized project manager to meet the new requirements. If a structured approach to earning professional development units is used, the certificate holder will realize that only about 2 credits are needed per month to meet the renewal requirements. That is a reasonable amount of effort given the number of methods available.
You may now earn up to twenty additional credits that will apply to your next renewal cycle. These must be earned in the third year of your certification. When you have reached your 60 credit total, and you have less than one year before renewal, you may earn these additional credits. The transfer to the next cycle is automatic.
Credential holders have three years, or thirty six months, to earn enough credits to renew. At an average of just under two per month, a professional will be able to meet the requirement easily. The key is to do the work necessary. Write articles, attend seminars, receive formal instruction.
There are many methods now for earning professional credential credits. There should be a variety of methods used by each professional. Use the methods that appeal best to you. By performing the activities as specified, you will be able to meet your obligation easily.
Writing Professional Articles
Credits may be earned by writing articles that cover project topics. Virtually any aspect of the industry can be described. Here are some example titles that might be relatively easy starts for qualifying articles:
How to Rescue a Project - many people are assigned to work efforts that are underway. Often, these are in trouble. If you have met with success on such an assignment, you can share your success.
What Went Right in a Project - more about sharing success. This type of information can be very helpful for others.
What Went Wrong in a Project - sharing bad information can be very helpful. If there was a problem, helps others avoid making the same mistake.
How to Improve Communication on a Project - one of the core principles of the industry.
How to Improve Team Performance - another core principle.
How to get a Schedule Extension - many people are in need of this type of information, unfortunately.
Your project topic article will earn you one credit per hour of effort. You can develop your material and publish it online, in a book, an ebook, or virtually anywhere else. Keep track of the effort used, and the time, for your article. Document these within the credit reporting process. The sharing of information from experienced people is a major objective for the professional managing institute.
Teaching is another way that you can earn credits. Each hour of preparation and instruction is applicable towards renewal. In some cases, you could be a guest instructor for a session at a school, or at the local Scout troop. The process could be very rewarding and is an excellent way to help others improve their own work efforts.
Pod casting is another way to help. You simply record yourself teaching topics that are specific to the management industry. These can be on virtually any aspect. Team building, accountability, governance, and more, are valid topics that can be described in a pod cast. Remember that all effort dedicated to the effort can be applicable. One credit is earned per hour of effort.
Book writing is yet another method. This is very similar to the other writing methods but is usually more involved. With this, you may earn a substantial number of units for a single book. It is your choice whether the effort is for a traditional paper book, or an electronic issue. It may be quite a lot easier, however, to self publish electronically. Amazon Kindle, Apple iTunes, and Barnes and Noble, are always willing to accept self published electronic books.