Depending on how they earn the professional development units, pdu, required to renew their credential, they can continue to bear high costs. By utilizing more of the available credit earning options, costs can be lowered.
Many project pdu managers earn the 60 renewal credits in each 3 year cycle by attending courses. These tend to be relatively expensive. Typical tuition fees for project management courses are at least $250 per day. Often, tuition is $500 per day or higher which represents a per credit cost of between $30 and $70. Along with the useful knowledge, credential holders gain 8 credits for an 8 hour course. Of course, an independent consultant would lose the billable hours, worth perhaps $800, while they attend the course. Seminars and workshops also provide renewal credits but have costs similar to course tuition fees. Again, the independent contractor loses billable hours.
Luckily there are other, less costly ways to earn credential renewal credits. Reading project management materials in journals or on the Internet earns 1 credit for each hour of activity. This is a great way to research topics and get significant credits. Up to 15 credits can be claimed in each 3 year renewal cycle. The costs can be low or free and the time is well used, usually not resulting in a loss of billable hours.Working as a project manager also counts for up to 5 renewal credits per year. Independent contractors will have to document their actual project time to claim these credits. This should not be difficult since it is likely a professional obligation already.Attending the local PMI? chapter meetings is an excellent way to earn renewal credits and strengthen local business connections. The credits earned in this category will cost perhaps $14 each. Considering the possible future value of the business connections, this is often money well spent.
Other inexpensive renewal credits are available. Volunteering to serve on a pdu board or providing project management services to a non-profit organization are recognized activities. Unfortunately, these often require a substantial investment of time. Independent contractors would likely use their free time in order to avoid a loss of billable hours. There would be possible business contacts to gain but the time commitment would need to be closely examined.Independent contractors would be well advised to consider certain writing activities for their renewal credits. Perhaps an existing blog post or a project review document would be useful as a good starting point for an article. Up to 15 renewal credits can be claimed for each project management article published in a journal. Combining various materials can help when working on an article.
Until recently, there were few publishing pdu opportunities as many journals had very restrictive submission policies. Luckily this situation is now improved. Project management journals now exist that welcome article submissions. Independent contractors will find that writing articles for these publications offer some of the best value for renewal credits, both in dollars and time.