As a PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) we are constantly trying to keep on the cutting edge of project management training offerings. One of the latest trends we are seeing is the rollout of PMP Recertification products. Our competitors are saying things like…Earn all your recertification PDUs with us for just $5000 dollars or Need PMP Recertification PDUs. Earn 20 PDUs for just $199 when you take our online course. We’ll give you 10 Free PDUs.
For me, these products revitalize the concern we see every couple of years about the value of PDUs, and whether it is being devalued by the training industry. Generally speaking 1 PDU equates to 1 hour of education. Putting a dollar amount to that is tough since there are so many different avenues to earn PDUs today, especially free PDUs (For a good list of ways to earn free to PDUs visit http://www.pmi-sd.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=79. I have no affiliation with this chapter.)
I will be the first to admit that there has been some monetary depreciation of the PDU over the last few years, at least from a trainer’s perspective. PDUs went from something that made your project management courses stand out and gave you the opportunity to charge more. Today, offering PDUs with your training course are a must whether you are charging $199 for an online course or $4000 for a 4-day boot camp. But this monetary depreciation is good for us all. By broadening the number of trainers who can award PDUs with their courses, PMI has refocused the recertification, and the certification for that matter, on the education and not just the requirements. It is no longer about how quickly you can earn your 60 PDUs over the three-year period, but more about what you are learning over that time span.
Here at ASPE that is our position. We are not here just to help you regain your certification as quickly as possible, and earn our chunk of change while doing so. Instead, our goal is to help you grow and become better at what you do. PDUs or no PDUs…as trainers, by helping you become more successful at our job, we become more successful at ours.
Sure we offer 4-day boot camps that cost $2000+, but if you aren’t already aware, we also offer a free web seminar series that offers on average 2 free PDUs per month. Some months we will find the time to offer 4 project management related web seminars, and give away as many as 4 PDUs. Over 3 years you could earn all the necessary PDUs for recertification for free. And you can rest assured that our web seminars are not product pitches. Our web seminars are about education, not marketing. We pick specific, hot, and important topics to cover in detail. We assume the audience has the background and skill to attend. We want you to walk away with actual knowledge, not just a snippet of knowledge and how our product can help you do it.
So, since training budgets are especially tight now, as you work towards your recertification keep in mind all of the free means to earn PDUs whether it is with us or not. Remember the vast amount of knowledge you gained while working towards your PMP certification, and the sense of pride you got when you learned you passed. Use your recertification period to really update your project management knowledge, especially with the new PMBOK 4th edition release and things like Agile and SharePoint starting to change the project management landscape. Don’t just pay for PDUs; pay for an education because when you really strip it all down you can earn all your PDUs pretty painlessly for free.