Starting in December, PMI changed its Continuing Certification Requirement (CCR) system. The goal of the changes are to ensure that those holding the PMI certification are continuing to develop upon the skills employers are looking for out of Project Managers that hold the PMP Certification.
Now a PMP has to focus their learning (continuing education) on the newly labeled PMI talent triangle. The triangle centers upon the skills relating to technical project management, leadership and strategic and business management.
Employers and business are shifting their focus (rightly so) on leadership and strategic management skill as core competencies that are just as important in project, program and portfolio management.
I think this is a good concentration and shift in the CCR focus, as project managers need to be competent in more than just project management or technical skills. Many organizations are looking for employees that can give more in value and competency. I believe this continuing education focus make the PMP even more valuable by ensuring at the very least, PMP holders are continuing to learn and grow their multi-faceted skill-set. Business smarts and leadership (often seen as soft-skill) rounds out a well performing PMP.
Also, with change management becoming an increasing business need, concentration in these areas point to that as well. I am actually a strong believer in the CCR. Anyone can obtain a PMP and of course on the job knowledge of utilizing these skills everyday serves to refine PM skills. But by being required to keep a hand in learning outside of your daily job is one of the primary bonuses of being a certified PMP and member of PMI. If you have additional skills and continue to learn how to lead organizations through challenging environments that are often complex, you become a more highly skilled and valued employee.