PMP 35 Contact Hours / PDU Validity Period – Do They Expire?

The Only Resource You Will Ever Need To Ascertain Validity of PMI’s PMP PDUs And Expiry Period of 35 Contact Hours of Project Management Education

PMP PDU Validity and 35 contact hours expiry

Here is the situation – a few years ago you took PMP 35 contact hours training and were contemplating about applying for the exam. But for some reasons you didn’t take the exam. Now you are confused about the validity of 35 hours of project management education. You getting bugged with questions like these:

  • What is the PMP PDU validity?
  • When do PMP PDU expire?
  • What is the validity period of PMP 35 contact hours training?
  • For how long can you use 35 hours training for appearing the exam before it expires?
  • Is there a time limit for 35 PDU training?


If you want answer to these questions then you are at the right place. I will answer these questions in this post. But some of these question are not entirely correct. There is a difference between PDU and 35 Contact Hours. Let us talk more about PDU and 35 hours of project management education. There are 2 different things:

  • 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 yearss to remain PMP certified.
  • 35 Contact Hours simply means 35 hours of project management education – If you are a certification then you do not need PDU. For example, you need 35 hours training to appear for PMP exam.


PMI PMP PDU Validity Period

The PDUs need to be acquired by a certified professional (e.g. PMP) after attaining the certification.  The PDUs are needed for Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR). A PMP certificate is valid for 3 years. To continue the certificate beyond 3 years, a PMP holder has to acquire 60 PDUs during the 3 years cycle.

The PDUs expire after 3 years. They have a validity within the Certification Cycle.

For more information you can refer to CCR Handbook available on


PMP 35 Contact Hours Validity

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. They, instead provide PMP 35 hours training. The 35 hours are required to meet the mandatory requirements for appearing in the PMP Exam.

The 35 Contact Hours do not expire. They have a lifelong validity.

The 35 hours of education can also be used as 35 PDUs for CCR, but only after you become PMP certified. For more information you can refer to PMP Handbook available on


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 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?.


Over To You

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

Good luck to all the PMP aspirants.


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Praveen Malik, PMP is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 23+ years of experience. He is a leading Project Management Instructor and Consultant. He regularly conducts Project Management workshops in India & abroad.

12 thoughts on “PMP 35 Contact Hours / PDU Validity Period – Do They Expire?

    • 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.


    • 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.

  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 ?

    • 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.

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