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PMI Agile Contact Hours versus PMI-ACP PDUs

I get asked on a regular basis what the difference between a contact hour and a PDU is. When people come to my PMI-ACP exam prep class, they qualify to claim 21 Agile contact hours.  If they currently have another PMI credential, they could choose to apply those 21 hours as a PDU.

PMI Agile Contact Hours

When completing your PMI-ACP application, you are required to report (among other things) your “Agile” education. They will be referred to and measured as contact hours. To qualify to sit for the ACP exam, you need 21 contact hours.


 Professional Development Units (PDUs)

PDUs can only be applied if you have a PMI credential.  If you try to claim a PDU and you don’t have a credential, PMI will politely either tell you don’t have permission to that area of the website (where you claim the PDU) or they will send you a friendly email. The image below is only viewable if you have at least one PMI credential.

Reporting PDU

Hope this brief overview helps. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.


About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of ALM Platforms at LeadingAgile. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon). Novice angel investor.

6 Responses to “PMI Agile Contact Hours versus PMI-ACP PDUs”

  1. October 18, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Hi, If the person is PMP certified and he has taken the 21 Contact Hours of Agile education which he is using for ACP Application… can he use the same for PMP PDUs also… ?

    • derekhuether
      October 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

      Yes, you absolutely can.

      • October 19, 2012 at 6:54 am

        Thanks for clarification… i tried finding this information in PMI FAQs but could not figure out….

        • derekhuether
          October 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

          Not all Agile training classes are created equal. It depends on the provider. If you search the REP database on PMI.org, you’ll see how many PDUs you could apply to the respective certification. This is definitely one of my FAQ from people who want to attend my class.

  2. Tom Dullaghan
    July 1, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I work in executive mgt and my life intertwines heavily within project management, budgeting, resourcing, etc. However I never “officially” took certifications in PMP , ITSM-ITIL, or AGILE. All my knowledge is “on the job”. I find myself missing out on opportunities now because I don’t “have the cert” even though I have the knowledge. In your opinion in what order should I pursue these certifications and is there any overlap between the three?
    TOM D

    • July 1, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      Tom, unfortunately, HR departments are looking more and more to certifications. You and I both know it’s not to help them select better qualified people. It just makes their jobs easier. My answer is going to be pretty simple. Get the certification that will get you in the door for those opportunities you want. That’s it! I see some people collecting certifications like others collect baseball cards. Leverage the certification to get your foot in the door. I’ll admit, I used the PMP and the CSM for that purpose several years ago. I now leverage relationships over certifications for all of my work.

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