What Credential Maintenance Means for Existing LEED APs

Thu, 2009-09-24 01:37

So you passed the LEED AP exam prior to June 30th, 2009 – congratulations. Now, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has upgraded the standard and is rolling out the LEED Credential Maintenance Program – should you opt in? Notice the key word: should. That’s right. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the GBCI are encouraging but not requiring all LEED APs to upgrade to the latest standard. From the USGBC perspective, they want to honor the early adopters of LEED and honor the agreement that was made at the time. Pretty neat.

In reality, if you plan to be actively involved in LEED projects, at some point in the future you will need to upgrade. This is also a limited-time upgrade offer. If you wait until after August 2011, then you would have to completely retest under the newest standards at that point.

Since 2001, the LEED AP credential has been recognized as a mark of significant achievement, distinguishing those who passed the exam as leaders in the green building industry. With the launch of LEED v3 in April 2009, GBCI put in place a number of changes and enhancements to the LEED professional credentialing program, including a new tiered credentialing system. 

LEED APs without specialty (those credentialed under the LEED AP for New Construction v2.0- v2.2 [NC] between January 2001 and June 30, 2009; the LEED AP for Commercial Interiors v2.0 [CI] between June 2006 and June 30, 2009; or the LEED AP Existing Buildings v2.0 [EB] between June 2006 and December 31, 2008) will be provided with an enrollment window, a 2-year period between fall 2009 and fall 2011 in which they may choose to upgrade their current credential by agreeing to the terms and conditions of the Credentialing Maintenance Program (CMP).

Starting August 3, 2009, GBCI will begin sending emails to existing LEED APs, letting them know that their enrollment window is open. They will have two years to enroll from the date noted in their email. Emails containing open-enrollment windows will be staggered through October 2009 to ensure a smooth enrollment process. 

LEED APs without specialty can view their enrollment window through My Credentials on the GBCI website beginning August 3, 2009. The schedule is alphabetically driven and will be posted on www.gbci.org to provide LEED APs with a sense of when their enrollment window will be open. During the enrollment window, LEED APs without specialty will have three options:

Option 1: Become a LEED AP with one (or more) of the BD+C, Homes, ID+C, ND, or O+M specialty designations by passing one of the new specialty examinations.
Option 2: Become a LEED AP with one (or more) of the BD+C, ID+C, or O+M specialty designations by completing the prescriptive CMP requirements for the initial 2-year reporting period.
Option 3: Do nothing and continue to be a LEED AP without a specialty in the LEED Professional Directory.

GBCI will release the CMP Enrollment and Policy Guides on their website. You may also view FAQs about LEED AP Without Specialty and Enrollment and Transition to Tiered Credentials.