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How to Distinguish PMP® Contact Hours VS PDUs?

  •     Spoto
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  •   Posted on: 2021-08-05
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  •   Views: 2960
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  •   Category:
  • PMP News

You may have asked, "What is the difference between Contact Hours and Professional Development Units (PDUs)?" if you are working toward a Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification.

The critical distinction between Contact Hours and PDUs is that Contact Hours are earned before your PMP® Exam, and PDUs are earned after that. You'll need 35 Contact Hours before the exam, and if you pass the exam, you'll need 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years to keep your certification current. However, the training content can be the same.

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Requirement for Contact Hours

To apply for the PMP credential, only 35 contact hours are required. One Contact Hour is the equivalent of 60 minutes of project management training. Before completing your PMP Certification application, you must finish all 35 hours. The training must address one or more of the following topics to be considered "relevant":

  • Project Quality
  • Project Scope
  • Project Schedule
  • Project Budget
  • Project Communications
  • Project Risk
  • Project Procurement
  • Project Integration Management
You may also like: How to Get 35 PMP Exam Prep Contact Hours?

Keeping Track of and Accumulating Hours of Contact

Attending Project Management-related training earns you contact hours. Unlike the Project Management Experience hours, there is no set time limit for completing your 35 Contact Hours before submitting your PMP application. Any class you took at any age that included project management practices could be credited as a Contact Hour.

You might claim Contact Hours if your employer gave training on how to utilize project management software like MS Project, Primavera, QTask, or Prolog.

It is preferable to keep track of Contact Hours gained from "Project Management" focused training. Even though project management was not the main focus of the course, any course that incorporates some project management instruction, the time spent particularly on project management principles and techniques, is eligible.

Keep in mind that whatever you put on your PMP Exam Application could be audited. As a result, it's a good idea to list training that you're willing to offer proof for. Please keep copies of the course curriculum, class catalog page, and other materials as you accumulate training to document its relevance. Document your successful completion of each course claimed by keeping copies of certificates, exam scores, and/or class transcripts.

Contact Hours Education Providers

Training is accessible in a variety of formats. Live courses, workshops, and webinars may be used to present the course material. Prerecorded podcasts or videos may also be included.

In the PMP Handbook, the Project Management Institute (PMI)® advises obtaining Contact Hours from one of the following types of education providers:

  • PMI Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s)
  • PMI Authorized Training Partners (ATPs)
  • PMI chapters *
  • Employer/company-sponsored programs
  • Consultants or training companies (e.g., training schools)
  • Companies that provide distance learning, including an end-of-course evaluation
  • Academic and continuing education programs at universities and colleges
Contact us to access Free PMP Online Courses!

PMP Contact Hours Preapproved Sources

When training courses are given by PMI REPs, ATPs, PMI component organizations (e.g., local PMI chapters, specific interest groups), or PMI itself, they are preapproved for Contact Hours.

There are, however, certain drawbacks. PMI chapter meetings, for example, are not Contact Hours. Only the time spent on a learning activity during the meeting can be counted toward Contact Hours.

Any site that provides relevant subject content qualifies as long as it isn't "self-directed learning." Reading books, viewing instructional videos, or meeting with coaches or mentors, for example, do not count as Contact Hours.

Programs for Contact Hour

PMP Prep Workshops are available in a variety of formats, including timelines, material, and sources. Instructor-led PMP Exam workshops are offered by most PMI Chapters and several training providers. Self-study programs are available in a variety of formats, including the internet, DVD, and podcast. Most of these courses share one thing: all of them are meant to ensure you have the best preparation in one package for your PMP Exam and 35 Contact Hours.

Classes for PMP Exam Preparation with Contact Hours are available online.

Regarding earning your pre-exam Contact Hours online, here is arguably the most significant suggestion for you: If you take a live or prerecorded online class, the provider must administer an "End of course assessment" exam before issuing a certificate for hours. Any certificate or other proof of completion for your PMP Exam is worthless if they don't test you.


PDUs are professional development units that must be completed every three years to keep your certificate valid, and 35 contact hours are required to apply for the PMP exam. These conditions are intended to help you prepare for the PMP test and keep you up to date on current project management knowledge.

Whatever method you use to earn contact hours or PDUs, maintain track of all activities because PMI may ask for proof of attendance. Even if you pass the PMP exam or renew your PMI certification, they reserve the right to do so.

SPOTO online PMP training courses, taught by PMI® authorized PMP® instructors, are aligned with PMBOK, through which you can gain 35 contact hours or 60 PDUs! Also, after completing SPOTO's PMP course, you will be well-prepared to take the PMP exam and will have the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to further your career.

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