Are you working towards a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification? Then, you might have wondered about –
The difference between Contact Hours & Professional Development Units (PDU’s)?
The main difference between Contact Hours & PDU’s is that before the exam you need 35 Contact Hours. After you become a certified PMP, you will need to accumulate 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every 3 years to keep your certification current. However the content of the training can be identical.
Requirement - Contact Hours ...
To apply for the PMP Certificate, you will need only 35 Contact Hours. One Contact Hour is equivalent to 60 minutes of relevant project management instruction. You must complete all 35 hours before submitting your PMP Certification application. In order to be relevant, the training must cover one or more of the following…
Project Integration Management
Accumulating and Tracking Your Contact Hours
Contact Hours are earned by attending Project Management relevant instruction. Unlike the Project Management Experience hours, there is no specified time period prior to your PMP application in which you need to complete your 35 Contact Hours. Any class you took at any time could be counted as Contact Hours so long as it had some project management practices.
It is easier to track Contact Hours accumulated from <Project Management focused instruction>. Any course that includes some project management instruction and the time spent specifically on project management concepts and practices, is eligible. Even if it was not the main theme of the course.
Remember that anything on your PMP Exam Application is subject to “audit”. So, it is always a good practice to only include training for which you are prepared to submit proof. As you accumulate training…. document the training’s relevance by retaining copies of the course syllabus, class catalog page and other materials. Also document your successful completion by retaining copies of certificates, exam results, and/or class transcripts for each course claimed.
Contact Hours Education Providers
Training is available in many formats. The course work might be presented in live classes, workshops or webinars. They might also include pre-recorded podcasts or video.
In the PMP Handbook, the Project Management Institute (PMI) suggests that Contact Hours be obtained from one of the following types of education providers:
• PMI Registered Education Providers (R.E.P’s)
• PMI component organizations
• Employer/company-sponsored programs
• Training companies or consultants (ex: training schools)
• Distance-learning companies which include end-of-course assessments
• University/college academic and continuing education programs
PMP Contact Hours Pre-approved Sources
Contact Hour eligible training courses are pre-approved when they are provided by PMI R.E.P’s, PMI components organizations. Ex: local PMI chapters, specific interest groups or PMI itself.
However, there are caveats. For example, PMI chapter meetings are not Contact Hours. Only the portion of the meeting that conducts a learning activity can be counted toward Contact Hours.
Basically, any resource offering relevant subject matter qualifies so long as it’s not “self-directed learning.” For example: reading books, watching instructional videos or sessions with coaches or mentors are not eligible as Contact Hours.
Contact Hour programs
PMP Prep Workshops are offered in a mix of timelines, media and sources. Most PMI Chapters and many training companies offer instructor-led PMP Exam workshops. There is a variety of self-study programs which are delivered online, DVD and Podcast. What most of these courses have in common is that they are specifically designed to give you the best preparation for your PMP Exam as well as your 35 Contact Hours in one offering.
Online PMP Exam Prep Classes with Contact Hours
Here is probably the most important tip for you when it comes to earning your pre-exam Contact Hours online….. If you take an online class, live or pre-recorded, the provider must give you an "End of course assessment" exam before they give you the certificate for the hours. If they don't test you, then any certificate or other proof of completion is worthless for your PMP Exam.