LEED® Accredited Professionals to Complete Continuing Education under New Credentialing Maintenance Program

Date: September 23, 2009

In an effort to keep LEED Accredited Professionals knowledgeable about ever changing innovations in green building technology and the constantly evolving LEED Rating Systems, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has introduced the Credentialing Maintenance Program (CMP). The program comes on the heels of LEED v 3.0, which introduced a new wrinkle to LEED in the form of a multi-tiered credentialing structure. The CMP requires existing LEED Professionals to earn continuing education (CE) hours within 2 years of their initial accreditation and
provides an opportunity for these professionals to expand their knowledge and experience and further their professional development.

Depending on the nature of the existing LEED Professional's existing credentialing, there are several Credentialing Maintenance options available. LEED Professionals who have earned their credentials under one of the specialty exams (LEED AP O+M, Homes, BD+C, ID+C, and ND) and LEED Green Associates must complete the required CMP or risk losing their credential. LEED APs without specialty (those credentialed under the LEED AP for New Construction v 2.0-2.2 between January 2001 and June 30, 2009; LEED AP for Commercial Interiors v 2.0 between June 2006 and June 30, 2008; or the LEED AP Existing Buildings v 2.0 between June 2006 and December 31, 2008) have three options:

  • Become a LEED AP with one or more of the specialty designations by passing one of the new specialty examinations;
  • become a LEED AP with one or more of the specialty designations by enrolling in one of the specialty designations and completing the CMP requirements for the initial two-year reporting period; or
  • do nothing and continue to be a LEED AP without a specialty.

The two-year period, also referred to as the CMP reporting period, begins on the date on which the LEED Professional passed his or her credentialing exam or on the CMP enrollment date. At the conclusion of the CMP reporting period, LEED Professionals are required to have completed their continuing education requirements. If a LEED Professional does not complete the requirements and/or does not report his or her hours to GBCI, the credential expires.

Under the CMP, LEED Professionals must earn 30 CE hours, six of which must be LEED-specific hours, and at least three of those six hours must be Rating Systemspecific hours. In order to achieve the requisite LEED-specific and Rating Systemspecific hours, the LEED Professional must engage in an activity that is approved and designated as acceptable by GBCI or an Education Reviewing Body (ERB).1 A list of ERBs with links to their course catalogs of ERB-approved activities is available on GBCI's website ( LEED Professionals must self-report all of their CE hours on GBCI online through "My Credentials." No additional information will be required, unless audited.

The GBCI will conduct random audits of CE hours. LEED Professional who are selected for audit will have to supply supporting documentation on their CE hours. The information will be reviewed by the GBCI, which will make a determination as to whether the hours are accepted or denied. If hours are denied or a deficiency in hours is noted, the LEED Professional will have 90 days to correct the deficiency. If after the 90-day period the deficiency remains, the credential will expire.

LEED Professionals can earn CE hours through a variety of activities. It is important to note, however, that actual hours spent engaged in credentialing maintenance activities differ slightly from the credit assigned for CE hours necessary to meet the 30 CE hour requirement. "Activity hours" refer to the actual time that a LEED Professional is engaged in credentialing maintenance activities. "CE hours" are the hours that are actually earned for each activity. The ratio of CE hours to Activity hours differs depending on the nature of the activity. The GBCI has established eight CE activity categories: (1) professional development courses; (2) live presentations; (3) selfstudy programs; (4) college and university courses; (5) certificates, professional licenses, and credentials; (6) committee and volunteer work; (7) authorship; and (8) LEED project participation. For credentialing maintenance, CE activities must be related to green building, green technology, or LEED. GBCI has developed a list of acceptable topics for CE hours and has posted these on its website.

It is important to note that programs that fall within the category of professional development courses must be reviewed and approved by ERBs in order for the CE hours to be accepted by GBCI. In addition, with the exception of LEED-specific and LEED Rating System-specific hours earned through authorship, only activities designed as LEED-specific or LEED Rating System-specific by an ERB or by GBCI will count toward a LEED Professional's required LEED-specific or LEED Rating System-specific hours. As previously indicated, a list of ERBs and their approved course catalogs are available on GBCI's website.

1. ERBs are organizations that review and approve professional development courses, live presentations, and self-study courses based on predetermined criteria for instructional design and technical content.