How to Claim PMP PDUs as a Non-PMI Member

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Claiming PDU

Claiming PDUHow would I claim PDUs if I’m not a PMI member?

This question keeps coming up in conversation.  I offer the hypothetical situation where someone sees value in the new PMI-ACP certification but is hesitant to become a member of PMI.  I guess it would be complete fantasy if not for the fact there are about 100,000 more PMI credential holders than PMI members*. PMI reported as of November 2011, there were 370,744 PMI members and 469,051 PMPs.  Add the CAPM, PMI-RMP, PMI-SP, and PgMP and I think we get to our 100,000.

100,000 people realized you don’t need to be a member of PMI to maintain a PMI credential, particularly the PMP.  They save a $119 membership renewal fee in exchange for being charged more for PMI events and products or not having access to the Communities of Practices.  Granted, if they aren’t really engaged in the Project Management or Agile community, maybe it’s worth saving the $10. For the record, I think being a member of the PMI Agile Community of Practice is worth the cost of membership.  Seriously, it’s only $10 a month!  But I digress.

The focus of this post is for those 100,000.  The key to claiming PDUs is having a PMI.org account. Yes, the glue that holds this all together is a free account, not a paid membership.  Your potential membership and credentials will be linked to this account.

If you’re applying “project management” educational credit toward exam eligibility, there is a different way to claim those hours.  For example, if you take my PMI-ACP class, you can apply 21 PDUs toward any of the current PMI credentials and also apply 21 contact hours toward ACP eligibility.

But you still don’t need to have a paid membership.

*Source: December 2011 issue of PMI Today

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Net PMI Numbers Are Up

PMI March 2011 Numbers

I cracked open my May edition of PMI Today to review the monthly statistics.  Remember, the statistics are always a month behind.  I was impressed to see PMI added 11,681 new members in March, up from 9,750 new members in February.  Upon adding the numbers to my spreadsheets, March numbers looked better than the February, in respect to net PMI membership.  Though PMI added 11,681 new members, they also lost 6,857 (down from 8,076 lost members in February). I realized the net gain was 4,824 (up from 1,674 PMI members the previous month.  So, did the PMI do anything to increase their retention rates?  Time will tell.

March 2011 Totals:
Active PMPs: 423,515
PMI Members: 346,730
CAPM: 13,969
PMI-RMP: 741
PgMP: 553
PMI-SP: 440

PMI March 2011 Numbers

Source: PMI Today

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Lawfulgood PMP Level 5

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After reading a blog post by Dennis Stevens, I suddenly realized one of things about the family of PMI certifications that has been bothering me.  The family of credentials does not lend itself to the Dreyfus Model.  Dennis offered really compelling arguments about what does certification imply, about people who can’t or won’t earn certifications, and what he calls tilting at windmills.

The Dreyfus Skill Acquisition Model, which Dennis references, identifies five stages of competence:

Novice: Rigid adherence to taught rules or plans.  No exercise of discretionary judgment.

Advanced beginner: Limited situational perception. All aspects of work treated separately with equal importance.

Competent: Coping with crowdedness (multiple activities, accumulation of information). Some perception of actions in relation to goals. Deliberate planning. Formulates routines.

Proficient: Holistic view of situation. Prioritizes importance of aspects.  Perceives deviations from the normal pattern. Employs maxims for guidance, with meanings that adapt to the situation at hand.

Expert: Transcends reliance on rules, guidelines, and maxims. Intuitive grasp of situations based on deep, tacit understanding. Has vision of what is possible. Uses analytical approaches in new situations or in case of problems.


PMI currently has 5 certifications.  You don’t need to be an active PMI member (currently at 318,421) to hold one of these certification.  To get one of these credentials, you need to meet some educational and experience requirements and then pass a written exam.  Only the Program Management Professional requires a panel review.

Certification Total Active
Project Management Professional (PMP) 389,726
Certified Associate Project Manager (CAPM) 11,785
PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RPM) 393
PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) 327
Program Management Professional (PgMP) 436

What is missing here is some continuity between the credentials and something that indicates the level of expertise.  There is a difference between a PMP who met the minimum experience requirements and one who has been practicing in the profession for 20 years.  Would calling someone a Lawfulgood PMP level 5 with a 20 wisdom and 30 charisma help?  I’m not proposing we pull credential titles form Dungeon and Dragons, but rather something that will give the laymen an idea of experience.

Do I have an example?  I absolutely do!  Check out the International Consortium of Agile (ICAgile).  They are proposing a 3-phased, skill-based, certification.  If PMI borrowed from this model, the CAPM would be part of phase 1 (Associate), RPM, SP, and PMP would be part of phase 2 (Professional), and PgMP would be phase 3 (Expert).  PMI wouldn’t necessarily have to mimic this framework exactly, but do you see how it puts it all into context?  If there would be a mighty uproar by the PMP community, suddenly being demoted to associate level, you could identify them as a PMP-1 or PMP-2, depending on which knowledge area(s) they have been certified in.

Any thoughts or comments?

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May PMP Certification Numbers Are In

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Every month I get a copy of PMI Today and I annotate 3 data points: New PMP® for the month, new PMPs year-to-date (YTD), and total number of active PMPs.

This month was a little interesting because PMI stopped reporting the New PMP monthly numbers and the YTD total, opting to report just the overall number of active credential holders. This is not a problem since I have been tracking the PMP data for over a year.

The trend continues, with the new number of PMPs in May totaling 3,985. Year-To-Date total is 23,581. There are a total of 385,096 active PMPs.

The current trend predicts PMI will hit 400,000 active PMP credential holders this year.

December (2009) January February March April May
New PMPs (Monthly) 5,403 3,714 3,713 5,344 4,718 3,985
New PMPs (YTD) 3,714 7,429 12,779 19,596 23,581
Total Active PMPs 361,238 367,619 371,014 375,959 381,111 385,096

Though I’m still worried we’re rapidly reaching a tipping point, I want to congratulate those 3,985 out there who passed the exam. It’s no cakewalk and I recognize your efforts and achievement.

Of those 3,985, I’ve been in contact with several who passed the exam with the aid of my new product PMPrepFlashcards.com. Yes, I know, gratuitous plug.

The new data PMI did include in this months PMI Today was very enlightening.  It’s about the other credentials.  As of May 2010, there were 385,096 active PMP credential holders.  In comparison, there were only 11,458 Certified Associates in Project Management (CAPMs)®, 421 Program Management Professionals (PgMPs)®, 357 PMI Risk Management Professionals (PMI-RMPs)®, and 320 PMI Scheduling Professionals (PMI-SPs)®.

With the industry dominance of the PMP® credential, it makes me question if these other certifications have the staying power.  Is there a demand for them or are they just a possible revenue stream for PMI?  Will there other certifications for the other knowledge areas?  Is Certified Scope Professional and Certified Communications Professional not far behind?  If I would PMI, I would go for it.  You don’t know what the market will find valuable unless you try it.

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