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A Better Credential Experience is Here

Published on Written by , Erin Emery Hartz Posted in LEED

One of LEED’s greatest strengths is its ability to evolve and improve along with the industry, continuously raising the bar on green building practice.

The same is true of the LEED Professional Credentials – the industry-respected LEED AP with specialty and LEED Green Associate designations. These credentials call on professionals to constantly enhance their knowledge and skills, and the credentialing program itself must be nimble and adaptable.

Today we’ve announced the most significant updates to the LEED Professional Credentials since the specialty credentials and credential maintenance program (CMP) were introduced in 2009.

The improvements are the result of feedback from professionals throughout the industry, and they are designed to achieve two important goals: Preserving the rigor of the LEED credentials while making them simpler and more straightforward to maintain, and giving LEED APs a better opportunity to get back into the community through earning a specialty credential.

From applying for an exam to reporting hours, we’ve worked hard to eliminate 50 percent of GBCI’s front- and back-end rules, streamlining the process from start to finish. These real, thoughtful changes will ensure that your LEED credentials fit better into your daily professional lives.

Here’s what’s improved:

Credential Maintenance improvements

  • Easier reporting. You no longer have to report categories, and there are fewer limits on your CE hours.
  • Simplified activity types. Now there are only four activity types: education, LEED project participation, volunteering, and authorship. Volunteering has a 50% hour limit and the other activities have no limit.
  • Better forms. The simpler reporting forms mean you only have to fill in the basics.
  • Automatic reporting. Education providers will soon have the ability to automatically upload your continuing education hours when you take a course.
  • Improved course catalog. We’re hard at work on improving functionality for USGBC’s course catalog, which will soon offer course ratings so professionals can chose the educational options that best fit their needs.
  • Prescriptive alternative and new chance to upgrade to a specialty credential

    We're thrilled to introduce Principles of LEED, a free, intensive, six-hour webinar series that will give LEED APs a specialty credential and can be used by those already opted in as an alternative to prescriptive CMP.

    • All LEED APs can take the six-hour series to earn a BD+C, ID+C or O+M specialty credential.
    • LEED APs with specialty doing prescriptive CMP can use the series to satisfy their prescriptive credential maintenance and LEED-specific requirements and shift their reporting period from prescriptive to regular CMP.
    • All other LEED APs with specialty and LEED Green Associates can use the series to earn up to six LEED-specific CE hours for free.

    To learn more and register for the series, visit Principles of LEED now »

    Exam improvements

    • Streamlined exam applications. Exam application and registration steps have been cut in half, and letters of attestation are no longer needed up front.
    • No more eligibility requirement for the LEED Green Associate. Anyone over age 18 is eligible.

    We’re excited about these improvements to the LEED credential experience, and we invite you to learn more. The power of LEED to change the marketplace comes from the innovations of its practitioners and the ability of the program to react to the lessons learned by professionals and the feedback they provide. These newest improvements to the LEED Professional Credentials are the next step toward a marketplace transformed by cutting-edge green building practice.

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    Erin Emery Hartz made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Erin Emery Hartz

Industry Marketing Manager - Building Design Autodesk
USGBC Articles can be accessed in the USGBC app for iOS or Android on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
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35 commentsLeave a comment

Housing Inspector II, City of Kalamazoo, Michigan
As a LEED AP BD+C, can I take a ID+C course and receive credit for my BD+C credential maintenance?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
The 6 LEED-specific credits need to be within your specialty, but the 24 non-LEED-specific credits can be from any applicable courses. See pg. 2 of the CMP for more info -
Staff Engineer, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.
I cannot get the system to accept any end date as valid! Anyone have a solution to this? If I put an end date after my current reporting period it's invalid, so is any date within my reporting period. This exercise is proving to be very time consuming...
Senior Infrastructure Engineer, Arup
Where do I have to send an attestation letter in order to take LEED AP BD+C exam?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
This letter is not required.
What represents the valid end date for LEED Project Participation? No matter what date I put in LEED online says its not valid. All dates I put in are within my reporting period.
Architect / Sustainable Building Advisor, CBRE
Hi Julie! I had the same problem and after several attempts finally the hours were accepted. I still don't know what was the problem.
I wish to obtain continuing education courses that satisfy the Ohio and AIA credit requirements of health, safety and welfare in addition to green objectives.

Hi Amy, I understood the following to mean that the 6 hours of Principals of LEED would be enough to satisfy the entire reporting period. "When you’ve completed the series, your prescriptive requirements will be satisfied...." Is this not the case? If so, the wording is very confusing.

Queens Botanical Garden

I don't know why I'm still so confused even after reading everything. My reporting period ends mid Sept 2013 and I want to make sure I get everything covered in time. I am LEED AP BD+C and have been working towards the 30 credits needed through the prescriptive maintenance process. I plan to complete the 6 Principles of LEED webinars (I have 1 to go)-- Is it true that I no longer have to complete specific number of credits within each category? I am almost to 30 but still short in IEQ, etc. With new CMP do I just have to do the 6 principles of LEED and then 24 credits in any other topics-- no more requirement by category?

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