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Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 152: Discussing The New CCRS With PMI

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Mark EmeryBrian WeissDo you hold a PMI Certificate like the PMP, PgMP, PMI-RM or PMI-SP? If you do, then you know all about PDUs (Professional Development Units). In a nutshell, PMI's Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS) says that your certificate is only valid for 3 years and then you will have to apply for recertification. But that doesn't mean that you have to take your test again. It means that you have to earn and then claim a predefined number of PDUs, pay a fee, and voila... your certification is good for another 3 years.

A little while back, PMI gave their CCRS system a major facelift. In our interview you will meet Brian Weiss (PMI's Vice President Product Management) and Mark Emery (he is the business owner of the CCRS). Both have been involved in the project from the start. In our interview we look at why PMI decided to upgrade the system, who has to use it, some of it's features and we also discover our guest's favorite ways to earn PDUs.

Brian Weiss, Vice President Product Management, serves on PMI’s Executive Management Team. In his role, he provides overall leadership, planning and oversight of PMI’s worldwide products for organizations and project management practitioners. Certifications, implementation of new and updated standards, career framework, Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®) products and services, SeminarsWorld® training courses and PMI’s Global Congress programs are critical offerings within his area of responsibility..

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. 

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: This is The Project Management Podcast™. We bring project management to beginners and experts. Find us on the web at www.pm‑podcast.com or send your emails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #152. I am Cornelius Fichtner. This is The Project Management Podcast™, nice to have you with us.

Do you hold a PMI Certificate like the PMP, PgMP, PMI-RM or PMI-SP? If you do, well then you know all about PDUs, those Professional Development Units. In a nutshell, PMI's Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS) says that your certificate is only valid for 3 years and then you are going to have to apply for recertification. But that doesn't mean that you have to take your test again. Luckily, it only means that you have to earn and then claim a predefined number of PDUs, you pay a fee, and voila! Your certification is good for another 3 years.

A little while back, PMI gave their online CCR system a major facelift. In our interview, you will meet Brian Weiss; he is PMI's Vice President of Product Management, and Mark Emery; he is the business owner of the CCRS. Both have been involved in the project from the start. In our interview, we look at why PMI decided to upgrade the system, who has to use it, some of its features and we’ll also discover our guests’ favorite ways to earn PDUs.

So, let’s get going.

Brian Weiss is the Vice President of Product Management. He serves on PMI’s Executive Management Team. In his role, he provides overall leadership, planning and oversight of PMI’s worldwide products for organizations and project management practitioners. Certifications, implementation of new and updated standards, career framework, Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®) products and services, SeminarsWorld® training courses and PMI’s Global Congress programs are critical offerings within his area of responsibility.

Brian has spent over 15 years in product management, marketing and consulting roles. He joined PMI after serving as director of global information products and services for the Hay Group, a leading global Human Resources consulting firm. In that capacity, he was responsible for Hay Information Service’s global corporate team; consisting of brand and product management, application and web development, strategic alliances and corporate initiatives.

A native of Melrose Park, Pennsylvania, he graduated magna cum laude from Tulane University Freeman School of Business with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He received his Executive Master of Business Administration degree from Saint Joseph University in Philadelphia. He is also a member of the American Society of Association Executives.

I'll introduce Mark Emery to you in our next episode.

And now, enjoy the interview.

Podcast Interview

Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with PMI’s Brian Weiss and Mark Emery.

Cornelius Fichtner: Brian, Mark, welcome to the program!

Mark Emery: It’s great to be here. Thanks for having us!

Brian Weiss: Yeah, thank you!

Cornelius Fichtner: Absolutely. So about half a year ago, PMI released its new CCRS. Let me see if I get this straight. This is the Continuing Certification Requirements System, correct?

Mark Emery: That’s exactly it.

Cornelius Fichtner: Okay! Why does PMI require most of its credential holders to earn PDUs? What’s the thought behind that?

Brian Weiss: Well, it’s really about making sure everyone who earns a credential continuously develops and has the best opportunity for success in their careers. If you track it back to PMI’s Strategic Plan, we have a strategic goal of the superior practice of project management.

So think about the environment that people are working and it’s not stagnant. It changes. It changes based upon technological changes, things that are happening in the economy, government regulations. So in that sense, we want to make sure that those people who earn the credentials stay current with the environment that they are working within.

It also helps keeps the credential valuable. If you have a credential where someone earned it in one point of time, and doesn’t continuously develop, it might not lend itself the credibility in the eyes of employers because employers want their employees to continuously develop and stay current with the types of practices that they need to deliver value on the job. And finally about keeping the program current and standardizing it that keeps it fair and transparent for all that participate in it.

Cornelius Fichtner: I always like to compare it to an airline pilot because if we’re talking about airline pilots, everyone understands that these people have to go back and do flight simulations and train themselves on the new planes and all that and make sure that they stay on top of technology and that they know what they’re flying.

And then when it comes to project managers like: “Yeah, well, I learned my project management skills 25 years ago, nothing’s change, right?” Yeah, right! So I completely agree with this what PMI is doing.

Brian Weiss: Yeah! The interesting thing there is if you’re a pilot not to demean what they have to go through. They have to go some very sophisticated equipment to stay current.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yes.

Brian Weiss: But it’s one piece of equipment on one side of the airline. The people who we advocate for, they need to apply project management principles and processes in a multitude of environments. They need to do it across industries, across geographies. Project type indicates the different things they might do just as much as industry does so that’s why we have the PDU program. As you learn more about it, you see there’s a broader spectrum of ways that people can engage with this program to stay current in the way they need to stay current.

Cornelius Fichtner: Well, let’s come back to the CCRS. Which certificate holders have to use the CCRS?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

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