The Difference Between PDUs and Agile Project Management Contact Hours
In addition to 1,500 hours of actual Agile project management experience, the PMI-ACP requires you to complete 21 Agile Contact Hours of formal educational training in Agile practices. Many PMI-ACP candidates confuse contact hours with PDUs. Contact hours are required and recorded when you are applying for the certificate—they essentially document your ‘Agile education’ and include coursework or training on Agile philosophy, methodologies, principles, and practices. PDUs, on the other hand, are applied to an existing PMI credential or certification as a form of continuing education and professional development. Contact Hours are submitted once; you’ll submit PDUs during each certification renewal cycle.
PDUs and Contact Hours are not mutually exclusive; in most cases, you can apply Agile Project management Contact Hours to your existing PMI credential (PMP or PgMP). Realize, though, that not all PDUs can be counted toward PMI-ACP contact hours. For example, self-study, and attending PMI Chapter meetings won’t count toward PMI-ACP Contact Hours. So if you’re looking to kill two birds with one stone, you’ll need to seek out training that typically has some kind of end-of-course assessment or progress check/verification, such as Certified Scrum Master (CSM) training, or training provided by PMI REPs, local PMI Chapters, or any of the different types of providers listed in the PMI-ACP Handbook. When it comes time to take the exam, either you know your Agile or you don’t!