pmp pdu validity 35 contacy hours expiry

PMP Certification has a 3 years validity period. You need 60 PDUs to renew the certification. The PDUs have to be collected and used within 3 years; otherwise they expire.

35 contact hours have a lifelong validity. You can get contact hours certificate by joining any project management training course and use it to apply for the PMP exam anytime in your life. The 35 hours certificate never expires.

Most people think that there is no difference between contact hours and PDUs (Professional Development Units) but that is not true. 35 contact hours of project management education/training is required for filling the PMP exam application form whereas 60 PDUs are required to renew the PMP credential every 3 years.

Many people do not distinguish between contact hours and PDUs because a 35 hours course certificate can also be used for claiming the PDUs. Furthermore, The certificate can also be used for applying to the any other PMI credential exam including CAPM, PMU-ACP, and PMI-RMP.

Let’s answer the following questions in this article:

  1. For how long is PMP certification valid?
  2. What is the difference between Contact Hours and PDU?
  3. What is the validity period of 35 contact hours training certificate?
  4. Is there a time limit for using a course certificate for claiming PDUs?

PMI PMP Certification and PDU Validity Period

PMP Certification has a validity of three years. PDUs are needed to renew the certification and they expire within the three years certification cycle.

Here is a difference between PDU and 35 Contact Hours:

  • PDU is an acronym for Professional Development Units – If you are a PMI certified professional, you need to collect PDUs during certification cycle. For example, you need to collect 60 PDU in 3 years to remain PMP certified.
  • 35 Contact Hours simply means 35 hours of project management education – You need contact hours for applying to a credential exam e.g. you need 35 hours training to appear for PMP exam. If you are a certification holder then you do not need contact hours.

You need to acquire PDUs only after attaining a certification (e.g. PMP). A PMP certificate is valid for 3 years. To continue the certificate beyond 3 years, you have to acquire 60 PDUs during the 3 years cycle.

The PDUs are needed for Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR). For more information you can refer to CCR Handbook that is available on

PMP 35 Contact Hours Validity

The 35 Contact Hours certificate has a lifelong validity; it never expires.

Most PMP aspirants choose to use the term “PDU” instead of “Contact Hours”. Usually, they have been mislead by the training companies. Many training make false claims that they provide 35 PDU certificate. They actually provide 35 hours training certificate, which is one of the mandatory requirements for appearing in the PMP Exam.

You need 35 contacts hours of project management education for applying to the PMP exam.

The 35 hours of education can also be used as 35 PDUs for CCR, but only after you become PMP certified.

Next Steps

If you have already taken exam prep training, then you should not waste any more time – you should write the exam immediately. If you took the training a few years ago then it is beneficial to take the training again – you can read more about it in 6 reasons to do PMP Training again.

If you have not taken any exam prep training, then you should take it immediately. After doing the training, set a specific time target and follow a schedule to get the PMP certificate. You can crack the exam within 4-8 weeks of attending the training. You can read more about it in How much time is required for PMP preparation?.

There are numerous advantages of becoming PMP certified. The value of PMP certificate is well worth the cost and effort. So, don’t think too much about spending extra money on a second training.

Over To You

Are you ready for the exam? If not, what is holding you back? Was your earlier training useful? Please leave a comment. Perhaps I can help you.

Good luck to all the PMP aspirants.

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    1. Hi Aarthi, There is no need to change once application has been approved. Only if there is an Audit and only if they ask for confirmation of contact hours then you can provide explanation.

      All the best.

  1. Hi,

    I wanted to check about the 35 contact hour validity.
    I have obtained 35 contact hours in PMI accredited training in 2013 and previously in 2011 through my previous organizations but the certification was not a priority or business need for me then.

    However I wish to appear for the certification soon and was planning to self study. Like you accurately deciphered, several training providers said that contact hours obtained >3 years ago will not suffice the entrance, ergo i should enroll with theml Your comment that 35 contact hours do not expire has been a relief from that aspect. 🙂

    From the view of exercising further caution, can you please provide any PMI reference which says this (hours not expiring)? Just as a safe side. Thank you!

    PS: I already checked the latest handbook unsuccessfully.


    1. Hi Naren,

      Please read pg. 8 of PMP handbook. It says “the course work must be completed at the time you submit the application.” If you still have a doubt, you can call PMI customer care and verify them.

      Good luck.


  2. I have completed the mandatory 35 hours P MP training in June 2015 and appeared once for P M P exam.Unfortunately I was not able to pass.If I want to re appear for P MP exam now Is it required to undergo 35 hours training or the first training is still valid.

    1. Yes. Contact hours are not related to any PMBOK edition. You need 35 hours of project management education. To understand contact hours you can read

      But my suggestion would be to take the exam before the change –

      What is holding you back? You can pass the exam comfortably in 4-8 weeks – And the delay is very costly –

      Good luck.

  3. I have completed 35 Hours of PMP Examination Preparatory Course (35 Hours PDU) on 10 July 2014 from my earlier organisation Learning Team. I didn’t appeared for exam. Now I am in dilemma weather to appear PMI-PMP or PMI-ACP.

    Am I eligible for PMI-ACP & use same 35 Learning hours as pre-requisite for these exams ?

    1. Hi Shubh, You cannot use PMP training contact hours for PMI-ACP. PMP training is on traditional PM standards. For PMI-ACP you need 21 contact hours from a training that includes topics covering agile philosophy, methodology, principles, and practices.
      Secondly, Both PMP and PMI-ACP exams are going to change in March so I would not recommend to start preparation for PMI-ACP at this stage. You can pursue PMP only if you are confident of preparing for the exam before the change.
      Lastly, my recommendation would be take both the certification in this year – one by one. Both are useful for the career. You can look at this article to buy 7 courses from Greycampus at $149 – This includes revised course syllabus for both PMP and PMI-ACP.

  4. i wish to pursue career in project management, I have completed my Masters in 2014 in the oil and gas, however due to recession, I had to do a BPO job for one year from 2015-16.
    Fortunately I got an opportunity to work for a year 2016-17 in oil and gas, but as the contract got over, i was again at home and jobless. However I have recently got a full time opportunity to work in oil and gas and the role is engineering and management and with years to come I hopefully will be given projects to handle. This time i want to make sure I do not step back and hence thought of getting PMP certified to be an assset to the company. Hence I plan to start with certificate course in Project management from UPES Dehradun ( its a 6 months certification program, leading to 35 PDUs, which are minimum requirement for PMP certification). My question is how to go forward with this and what should i do to get into project management.

  5. Hi Praveen,

    I have completed my 35 contact hrs of PMP training from Udemy last yr Aug 2017 but have not yet appeared for the PMP certification.

    Now since the 6th edition has been released wanted to know whether i can still appear for the PMP certification based on the PMBOK 5th edition or do i need to complete the 35 hrs of PMBOK 6th edition?


  6. Hello Praveen,
    I have earned 40 PDU hours in Feb, 2016 with training program ‘P985 Project Management Tools training for Project Controls in Primavera P6.
    Does above PDU are valid for giving PMP eaxm?
    Please advise.


  7. Dear Mr Praveen,

    Thanks for guiding the students by your valuable knowledge and ideas.

    My case is as under :-

    I did by 35 Contact Hours in September 2016, Next I applied for PMP exam in DEC 2016 and my application was accepted, but due to lack of information / knowledge, I missed to attempt three chances in 2017, but I attempted only one single attempt in Dec 2017 but could not clear the exam…Later the Syllabus was been updated …

    By the inputs gathered online from PMI site, I understood that, I need to wait for an year to attempt the exam, and then again I need to re-submit a fresh application ( After Dec 2018 ).

    My Queries are as under –
    1. Does my 35 Contact hours (of September 2016) is still valid?
    2. Do I need to submit a fresh application?
    3. Which date would I be eligible to apply ?
    4. Any special tasks to be done due to the syllabus up-gradation?

    I would really appreciate for your valuable inputs and guidance for my case.


    Sunit Sengupta.

    1. Hi Sumit,

      It is unfortunate that you did not pass the first time my best wishes for your second attempt. Ans to your Q.

      1. Yes. Please check my previous comment. You will get some more details.
      2. Yes. Application expires after one year.
      3. You would be eligible after Dec 16 (date of your application approval) + 1 year. So you can apply now.
      4. Yes. It is important is to find the root cause of failing. You exam prep & ultimate success depends on it. You should read 15 Reasons Why People Failed the PMP Exam( This will help you in determining the root cause of failing the exam. After reading the post, give yourself some time and think about each point. If required, you should change your study approach or take another training or study different books.


  8. Dear Sir,

    Thanks a lot, your webpage is really helping me a lot. Shall enroll in Prepcast Elite shortly.

    As stated in your Answer to my Question No 3, its stated that I can apply now..Still I have a slight confusion.

    Do I need to wait for one year as per under circumstances? Please guide whether A or B is correct..

    A. Last Application Date ( Dec 2016 ) + 1 Year = Can apply now..
    B. Last Exam Date ( Dec 2017 ) + 1 Year = Dec 2018..Can apply in Jan 2019.

    Do I need to calculate the waiting period of 01 year from last application OR Last exam Date?

    A line of confirmation / guidance shall be highly appreciated.


    Sunit Sengupta.

    1. Hi Sumit,

      Sorry for the confusion. Statement ‘B’ is correct. Following statement is taken from PMP handbook.

      “If you fail the examination three times within your one-year eligibility period, you must wait one year from the date of the last examination you took to reapply for the certification.”

      Regarding Prepcast – It is an excellent choice. I have done a review and comparison of various online training here –

      You can download all the videos and all other material but there is a 90 days access limit. It means you will be unable to access the simulator 90 days after the start of first test. Since you will be applying in December, it is better to wait for few more months.

      Meanwhile, you can become a PMI member, download PMBOK guide 6th ed and start reading it.


  9. Dear Mr Praveen,

    Thanks a lot.. I really appreciate for your valuable time to respond to my queries.

    Also thanks for suggesting me the Prepcast learning module..


    Sunit Sengupta.

  10. Dear Mr. Praveen,

    I have a doubt for reporting PDU’s in CCR. Currently i’m PMP certified from 2016 & is it possible to report my 35 contact hours as 35 PDU’s in the current CCR cycle & if possible under which PMI triangle category.

    I have done the Project management course from PMI REP provider in OCT 2014 & passed the PMP exam in Nov 2016.

    Please help me on this situation.


    1. Hi James, Just read the article again – “The PDUs need to be acquired by a certified professional (e.g. PMP) after attaining the certification”.

      BR, Praveen,

  11. Hello

    My friend did 35 Contact hours training and passed PMP exam.

    Now by next 3 years, he need to collect 60 PDU to renew PMP certification.

    My query is, can the mentioned 35 Contact hours training be considered for PDU.
    If so then under which category its need to claim .


  12. Hi Praveen,

    I have a certificate which has the title “Project Management for Managers”.It is an online training with a procoted exam by NPTEL( IIT Roorkee). The certificate is 12 weeks of duration but does not mention the number of contact hours in the certificate.

    Can I use this certificate as a proof of 35 Contact hours of formal Project Management training?

  13. Hello sir,
    I participated in 2013-Feb, knowledgewoods pmp training program, delivered by you. Unfortunately, I could not appear in exam. It was pmbok4 base.
    Now, i have few doubts, whether PDU obtained are valid for pmp exam registration?
    How PMBOK6 is different from PMBOK4.
    REQUEST Your support.

  14. Hi Praveen,

    I attended PMP training in 2016 and obtained 35 hr training hr certificate as well.
    I applied for exam in 2017 and it was accepted however I could not attempt for personal reason and this application got expired after 1 year.
    my question is –
    Do I need to send my application again as a fresh candidate?
    Do I need to pay full fee or it will be a re-examination case?
    I also enrolled for PMI membership fee – what happens to that


  15. hi Praveen
    i had the 35 hours back in 2014 based on the PMBOK 5, would I still be able to take the exam seeing that it is now based on PMBOK 6 let alone that 7 is just around the corner?

  16. To be clear, I can see that Contact Hours may be eligible to be used as PDUs when re-certifycing, but can PDUs be used as Contact Hours for initial certification requirements?

    1. Hi Jake, PDUs are awarded only after certification? Why would you want to take exam again after you are already certified?

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