As a LEED AP, you may be wondering if it will be to your advantage to opt into the new LEED 2009 certification path, thereby becoming a LEED AP+ Specialty.
From the Green Building Certification Institute:
The LEED AP program has always been grounded in the pursuit of excellence and continuous improvement. To continue to meet these goals, GBCI developed a new, multi-faceted credentialing system that ensures that LEED professionals have the latest knowledge and understanding of green building practices and that they are recognized for distinction.
The LEED AP+ credential is meant for professionals currently implementing LEED or who may in the future, and who therefore require an in-depth knowledge of the core concepts, strategies and implementation process of the LEED rating system. Architects, design professionals, green home builders, and legacy LEED APs are some examples of the types of people who may be interested in becoming a LEED AP+. A difference between the current LEED APs and the new LEED AP+ is that you must indicate in which area of specialty the accreditation was earned. Currently, the areas of specialty are the following:
The changes to the exam system are reflective of the rapid advances in green building technology and practice in the marketplace.
As of now, you have two years to opt into the new system. Although retaking the exam is not required, you will need to sign the USGBC disciplinary policy and agree to credential maintenance. Credential maintenance includes participating in 30 hours of continuing education required every two years, with six hours specific to the LEED Rating System, credit categories, and/or LEED updates.
After completing these steps, you will get to use the new LEED AP+ designation and be listed in the active registry. You will not be listed in the active directory with a specialty designation like LEED AP BD+C. Retesting is only necessary to advance to a LEED AP+ specialty designation. The LEED AP+ exam will have two portions; in order to obtain the specialty designation, you will only have to take the specialty portion of the exam.
For the first two years, the credentialing maintenance fee is waived. After June 2011, the credential maintenance fee will be $50 every two years for continuing education.
So why opt into LEED v3?
Well, you do want to be revered as one of the best and most knowledgeable people in your industry, right?
The general public has finally caught on to the green building trend. They’re going to progressively need your expertise to help them accomplish new sustainable living goals. Not only will it look distinguished on your part for having gone the extra mile, but you will actually be able to provide more current information that will be relevant to your client’s needs.
Because it's new, you may not know what to study for the specialty portion of the LEED AP+ exam. Everblue Training Institute will be providing exam prep courses to help you out. Green Associate exam dates are already listed.