I’ve been a certified project management professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute for several years now. As part of that comes the need for gaining 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) in each three-year Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) cycle.
This may sound like a daunting amount, but you can achieve a great portion of this for work you are already doing by practicing in the field and by performing volunteer PM duties for non-profits, etc. Besides these real world activities, completing training or studies related to the field of project management is the next natural way to pursue PDUs, but there are many others ( full details re: theCCRs are available at the PMI site).
The good news is that there are excellent resources out there for training and study which are totally free. This post is my personal list of some of those resources — please feel free to comment with additional ones and I will add them to the list.
PMCentersUSA Complimentary Webinars – Earn 0.5 PDUs/per.
Presented over lunch hour Eastern/US time – lunch and learn! They are not a PMI REP (IIRC), so these need to be filed under another category.
They also have some on-demand free offerings:
IAG Consulting Complimentary Webinars – Earn 1.0 PDUs/per.
Presented over lunch hour Mountain/US time. Mostly on requirements capture and management, their specialty. They are a PMI REP, so these are all cat 3.
They also offer on-demand webcasts:
ESI International is another source, and is a PMI REP.
Free live sessions presented over lunch hour Mountain/US time.
Live events: http://www.esi-intl.com/en/Resources/Events.aspx
They also present IMPACT 2010, a day-long yearly virtual event, coming up September 29th. http://request.esi-intl.com/content/IMPACT_2010
Gantthead.com runs a yearly live “virtual conference” called PMXPO.
This is another day long live event which is also now available as recorded sessions. They are a PMI REP, so these are all cat 3.
You have to register on their site to access the resources, but there’s a free level of membership. They also offer lots of other free content of interest to PMs.
Update 3 Sep. 2010: Through a posting on a LinkedIn PMP group today, there was a link to this Examiner article which detailed the following additional resources (nice!):
1) Earn 30 PDUs in Category 2:
a. Category 2 –SDL: Self-Directed Learning:
* 15 PDUs – Visit http://pm411.org/ and start listening to their free podcasts. 60 minutes of listening qualifies for 1 PDU you can claim. Remember you can claim up to 15 PDUs from this type per each 3-year cycle. Keep a record of what you heard as PMI.org may audit your claims.
b. Category 2 H: Practitioner of project and/or program management services:
* 15 PDUs per 3-year cycle. Did you work as a Project Manager for more than 1,500 project hours during the past 3 calendar years? If so, you can claim these and it costs you nothing.
2) Earn 85 PDUs (yes, you can transfer up to 20 PDUs towards your next 3-year cycle) under Category 3 – PMI Registered Education Providers. And yes, these are all free:
a. 26 PDUs – Visit the International Institute of Learning’s web site. It has a number of podcasts and webinars for free:
* 2 PDUs – Hear Dr. Harold Kerzner’s 8 Modules Podcasts series on PM’s Best Practices, Executive and Line Managers in Project Management and the PMO. These qualify for 2 PDUs.
* 20 PDUs when you register to take over 20 Webinars offered by the institute, each worth 1 PDU
b. 24 PDUs – Visit Solution’s Cube Group site and register for two FREE live webinars offered each month, worth 1PDU each.
c. 18 PDUs – Visit IBM’s Rational Project and Portfolio Management certification training e-kit site. There are four free interactive training courses each worth 4 PDUs and one free course worth 2 PDUs.
d. 5 PDUs – Visit Provedia Learning Inc’s site and take the free course on Rescuing Troubled Projects worth 5 PDUs .
3) Earn 12 PDUs under Category 4 – Other Program Provider:
a. 12 PDUs – Visit Rita Mulcahy’s RMC Project Management, Inc site. It offers 12 free pre-recorded webinars per calendar year each worth 1 PDU.
Did you know that Categories 3 and 4 have no maximum on how many PDUs you can claim? So go ahead, listen and claim. And keep in mind, not only are you going to learn a lot by taking these PDUs, but you can return to many of these sites each cycle and earn your PDU requirements again for free. Good luck and share this knowledge with your fellow PMP-ers.
Update January 2014: I’ve noticed several recent comments posted which are straying from the Free PDU topic and show evidence of being posted by paid commenters. I am marking these comments as SPAM, which feeds back to a central registry of comment SPAMmers – so don’t bother commenting unless you’re just a plain old interested human being!