Another Look at PDUs with the Members of LPI

Many people might be aware of the Linux Professional Institute’s use of Professional Development Units (PDUs) in the Membership Program (if not, now is a good time to look into it!). The implementation of the PDU is a means to illustrate the continued learning that many professionals engage in. Many Members have already taken advantage of PDUs to maintain their certifications. More have submitted the minimum requisite of 20 PDUs to re-activate their expired certifications in order to become a member of LPI.

Since Linux Professional Institute is a Member organization, Members have the ability to seek a change in how parts of the program are run. One area where a Member can affect change is in the weight of PDUs. This very topic has been brought up on Linux Professional Institute’s Discourse site at Some Members have expressed a need for modification in the weights of work experience. There is merit to the idea, as the current weights for PDUs have been derived from what other organizations might expect. Should the Members of Linux Professional Institute come to an agreement that the weights of certain PDUs be modified, then it will be done. It is as simple as that.

The fact that Members can work together to help mold the Membership Program is a testament to its strength and flexibility. The Linux Professional Institute firmly believes in its mission that the best way for a certification authority to engage with the community is to “promote the use of open source by supporting the people who work with it.” One way that this is accomplished is to emulate what works in the open source community, and that is to work together to create something better. Open source professionals and enthusiasts fully understand the process of collaboration and Linux Professional Institute works the same way via its Members.

One of our Members, Simone Bertulli, recently chatted with me (and that chat will be available in the next issue of the #LPIMemberJourney series by Simone) about the Membership Program for the EMEA Partner Summit. Amongst the various topics we discussed was the subject of PDUs and if the three classification areas of Experience, Community, and Education are “set in stone.” These three categories are not necessarily set in stone, as they can be changed over time. As they stand now, they are the starting point for the PDU program and changes could be made later should the Members agree on it. However, one point that Simone made was how the Experience category should carry more weight. This of course is inline with the comments from other Members. 

In particular, Simone wanted to know how PDU activities were weighted in proportion to other activities within the same category. His reasoning was that some activities are going to be more complex than others. This again is a valid point that was considered at the outset of the PDU program. For example, when someone volunteers at an event to help in some way, the Member can claim one PDU per hour spent at the event. Should a Member set up a study circle to work with others on practicing for a higher-level certification they can claim three PDUs per study group organized. The rationale behind this is that it requires more work to assemble and organize a study group. Again, these values were chosen as a “jumping off point” for the PDU program and should the Members deem the values inconsistent with their experiences then the matter should be discussed with other Members and new weight values agreed upon by consensus.

The PDU is a fundamental component of the Membership program, and the Members realize that. The Members want to make sure that it accurately reflects their professional experience and expectations, and they have the power to make that happen. It is a good thing that Linux Professional Institute has Members such as Simone looking out for the benefits of all other Members.

Are you a holder of a professional level certification from LPI (such as LPIC-1 and above, even one that is inactive), or one of the open technology certifications such as DevOps or BSD? Then you might be interested in the Membership program with Linux Professional Institute. Join us as we work to support open-source software and others like you that work with it.

About Kenny Armstrong:

Kenny has worked with UNIX-like operating systems since his introduction to them while serving in the U.S. military in the late 1990s.  He has been involved with the Linux community in various capacities such as teaching Linux for a variety of training organizations, deploying Linux in local government institutions up to large Universities, as well as in various large-scale businesses.  Kenny enjoys working with open platforms and finding potential new uses for them in a variety of situations.  More importantly, he prefers teaching others about Linux so that they can put it to use wherever possible.

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