Do I need a PMI membership to keep my PMP?

During my undergraduate degree in university, whenever I was asked what I wanted to do following graduation, I would reply “I want to be a project manager.”  While my career has ebbed and flowed, I still maintain that same  line.

One of the hallmarks of being a project manager is achieving your Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI).  Granted, there is debate in the industry as to the value of the certification (Linkedin, TechRepublic, Northwestern University Master of Engineering Management, the full Google search), but the common thread is that it provides recognition of a base level of competency and professionalism.

Personally, I am proud of my certification.  I put the hours into previous projects, I lined up my references, I studied hard for the certification exam, and at the start of each 3 year cycle I achieve my professional development units (PDUs) through extracurricular training.  As a result, I have been a member in good standing of PMI since 2008 and have had my PMP since 2009.

But here’s the sticky bit – I have never truly understood why I need a PMI membership to keep my PMP certification.  I understand the benefits of membership, as the benefits of the PMI membership are spelled out ad naseum by PMI, but it was never explained if I need my PMI membership to keep my PMP.  Given that customer support at PMI would either not answer my e-mails, or not give me a straight reply, I turned to the Project Management community on LinkedIn.

As it turns out, you do not need a PMI membership to keep your PMP certification.

Now I wonder why an organization that receives the majority of its revenues through membership dues would not give me a straight answer…?

In any case, I will be renewing as I find the digital version of the PMBOK and practice standards useful.

Are you a member of PMI?  Why do you find your membership useful?  Either provide comments down below, or join our discussion on Linkedin.


About Jason H Zalmanowitz
I am a nerdy Management Consultant / Project Manager with a MBA, have spent the majority of my career working for consulting firms in Calgary, and I race in triathlons because of (and thanks to) my wife. As a Project Manager, I have managed field implementations, strategy development projects, software development projects, and hardware implementation projects. As a consultant, I have helped companies articulate how and why they are going to implement and interact with sustaining technology to support their business.

7 Responses to Do I need a PMI membership to keep my PMP?

  1. Edward Chung says:

    It’s strange PMI did not answer your question directly. Thanks for pointing that out. I researched the web and knew that it is not necessary to be a member to sit for nor to renew PMP. But the discount on PMP exam fee justifies the membership of the first year. I am still thinking if I would renew my membership for the second year.

    • jzalmanowitz says:

      Hi Edward, you are absolutely right that it is strange. But, as both you and I noted, there are some discounts to be had. Further, with updated practice standards being published every few years, and articles and white papers being freely available for consumption by members, it makes sense.

  2. Mike says:

    Are you still able to record PDU’s and track your certification status through PMI without being an actual member? That’s the part I am wondering if I would lose if not renewing. thanks

  3. Thank you so much for sharing the info. I had always wondering about if I need to be PMI member to keep my PMP. As mentioned though, do I still log on to the PMI site to record my PDUs and track certification status?

  4. Tomi says:

    Thanks guys for your valuable comments. The PMI membership fee was always paid by the company, but I left 3 month ago and was uncertain whether the membership is mandatory to renew the certificate. I am in good standing till 01/2018 so no need to renew PMI membership. Thanks again and successfull projects.

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