How to Claim PMP PDUs as a Non-PMI Member

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 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

Big Jump in PMPs

It's been a few months since I reported on PMI numbers.   But, when I got my copy of PMI Today,  I couldn't help but post about it. Though PMI only added 5,956 new members in the month of July, it added 13,869 PMP to the ranks.  I've seen the credential outpace actual membership before but not by such a wide margin.

July 2011 Totals: Active PMPs: 451,868 PMI Members: 362,726 CAPM: 15,129 PMI-RMP: 599 PgMP: 943 PMI-SP: 494

One statistic is yet to come. The PMI-ACP, which hasn't even been launched yet, will start out with 2,649 paid applicants.


Source: PMI Today

August PMP Certification Numbers

Diffusion of ideasI know what you're thinking.  Derek, why oh why do you post these PMI numbers ever month?  Where's the value? Well, I'm kind of fascinated by a theory called diffusion of innovations. It's a theory of how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures.

There was a book published in 1962 by a fellow named Everett Rogers, who defined an adopter category as a way to classify individuals within a social system.  The adoption of an innovation follows an S curve when plotted over a length of time. The categories of adopters are: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards (Rogers 1962, p. 150)


Innovators are the first individuals to adopt an innovation. Innovators are willing to take risks, youngest in age, have the highest social class, have great financial lucidity, very social and have closest contact to scientific sources and interaction with other innovators. Risk tolerance has them adopting technologies which may ultimately fail. Financial resources help absorb these failures. (Rogers 1962 5th ed, p. 282)

Early Adopters

This is the second fastest category of individuals who adopt an innovation. These individuals have the highest degree of opinion leadership among the other adopter categories. Early adopters are typically younger in age, have a higher social status, have more financial lucidity, advanced education, and are more socially forward than late adopters. More discrete in adoption choices than innovators. Realize judicious choice of adoption will help them maintain central communication position (Rogers 1962 5th ed, p. 283).

Early Majority

Individuals in this category adopt an innovation after a varying degree of time. This time of adoption is significantly longer than the innovators and early adopters. Early Majority tend to be slower in the adoption process, have above average social status, contact with early adopters, and seldom hold positions of opinion leadership in a system (Rogers 1962 5th ed, p. 283)

Late Majority

Individuals in this category will adopt an innovation after the average member of the society. These individuals approach an innovation with a high degree of skepticism and after the majority of society has adopted the innovation. Late Majority are typically skeptical about an innovation, have below average social status, very little financial lucidity, in contact with others in late majority and early majority, very little opinion leadership.


Individuals in this category are the last to adopt an innovation. Unlike some of the previous categories, individuals in this category show little to no opinion leadership. These individuals typically have an aversion to change-agents and tend to be advanced in age. Laggards typically tend to be focused on “traditions”, have lowest social status, lowest financial fluidity, oldest of all other adopters, in contact with only family and close friends, very little to no opinion leadership.

Certification as an Innovation

So, what does a certification have to do with innovation?  I'm trying to draw a parallel between the industry adoption of the credential compared to diffusion of innovation.  Every month I get a copy of PMI Today and I traditionally annotate data points.  I have them as far back as September 2006.

January February March April May June July August
New PMPs (Overall) 3,714 3,713 5,344 4,718 3,985 4,630 3,687 3,965
Total Active PMPs 367,619 371,014 375,959 381,111 385,096 389,726 393,413 397,378

PMI Credentials August 2010 When I look at the data from the last 4 years, the certification velocity has remained relatively consistent. (send me an email if you want the spreadsheet) For the month of August, those with the PMP certification increased to 3,965. There are now a total of 397,378 active PMPs.

The questions that I pose to you, the reader, are

Where do you think the PMP credential is on the chart listed above?

Where are we on the bell curve?

Is the PMP in the early adopter, early majority, or early stage of the late majority?

May PMP Certification Numbers Are In

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 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.