The following is a recording of the Feb. 23, 2010 LEEDuser webinar, "LEED AP Credential Maintenance—Cracking the Code," presented by Mara Baum, AIA, LEED AP, EDAC of Anshen + Allen architects. The event was hosted by Tristan Roberts, LEED AP, editor of LEEDuser. More information on the webinar and a download of the slide presentationon are below.
Trying to get your head around the new LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) program and its credential maintenance requirements?
You should view this webinar if:
This webinar is presented by Mara Baum, AIA who is a LEED AP but not otherwise associated with GBCI.
"When GBCI came out with the new LEED AP credentialing maintenance program last spring, I started to evaluate the program for our firm's 75+ LEED APs," says Mara. "What started as a quick look at GBCI's handbook evolved into a major research project." Mara has quickly become the expert on the LEED AP system that other sustainability leaders turn to. Her outside perspective is invaluable in helping colleagues "crack the code."
Please use the forum below to engage in Q&A on the LEED AP program! A number of questions that we didn't get to during the webinar are also answered on the Checklists tab above.
Many questions on the LEED AP program are answered in the recorded presentation that you can view on the Bird's Eye View tab. Below are some questions from the webinar that weren't answered during the presentation, but that Mara and Tristan have since answered. Got other questions or thoughts? You can also use the discussion forum below to engage.
Q: If you are an architect and helped work on credits for a LEED project, say a year ago, then you enroll in CMP, can you count your participation for the first reporting cycle, assuming the project has not been awarded certification?
A: You must have worked on or be working on the project during the reporting cycle.
Q: Right now I am working on LEED registered project, how can I report those hours into CMP record?
A: Through the self-reporting mechanism on the GBCI website. Once you have opted into the new system, go to the “My Credentials” page, then select “Review/Report CMP Activity.” For LEED credit work, document the hours under the category and subcategory closest to the credit topic. The language may not align perfectly, but do the best you can. It’s not clear what category to use to document project administrator work. “Stakeholder Involvement In Innovation” and subcategory “Ways to Earn Credit” seems like the closest fit right now.
Q: When is credit work (or LEED project participation in general) counted? When the credit is submitted, earned? the project is certified? During design?
A: There is no specific date—whenever you do the work, basically. The project has to be registered with the USGBC. You would not have to wait till it's certified.
Q: Are credits earned before opting in, retroactive?
A: No. All CE hours must be earned during the reporting period, which begins the day you opt in. There is one exception: if you opted in before December 31, 2009, then you can count any volunteer work or committee hours (up to the 4 total allowed) during 2009.
Q: Would the Greenbuild Education Sessions be considered live presentations or ERB approved classes?
A: Greenbuild sessions will count as ERB approved classes, not live presentations. GBCI is currently working with USGBC's Greenbuild committees to make sure that the review of the educational sessions will align with GBCI's CMP. It their intent for all Greenbuild sessions to be the equivalent to ERB-approved, even though they aren't going through the exact same procedure as other classes. This effort is still in the works, so stay tuned for more information from GBCI and USGBC later this year.
Q: Do archived presentations that you watch at a later date count as professional development or self-study?
Q: In Portland, there have been many questions w/in the A&D community about where we can get the CE Unit credits. Where should we look for the credits?
A: The USGBC Education Provider Network course catalog website, as shown in the presentation, is located at https://www.usgbc.org/CourseCatalog/CourseCatalog.aspx.
Q: What about last year's Greenbuild...assuming you have opted in in 2009?
A: All regular education sessions that had to go through a USGBC selection process are considered to be ERB-approved professional development. Other presentations, such as Al Gore's talk, would be considered live presentations. Visiting the expo hall does not count. Presentations about specific products or services do not count.
Q: Are all licenses worth 3 hours? If I pass the structural PE, where would I put those hours?
A: Yes, all licenses are worth 3 hours, as long as it's the first license of its type, and not a reciprocal or otherwise duplicate license. As for where to put those hours, you should select a category and subcategory for which you will now leverage your new license. You can divide your three hours among different categories/subcategories, but you will have to input the hours three separate times. For example, a mechanical engineer might put 2 in energy and 1 in IEQ, whereas a landscape architect might put 2 in sustainable sites and 1 in water.
Q: Can some hours be rejected? In which we would want to aim for more than the 30 hours?
A: As long as you follow the requirements, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about hours being rejected. Given how complicated the requirements are, however, it seems like it would be easy to accidentally misunderstand something, and in turn miss the 30-hour mark. Earning hours in multiple ways and having different options in case some of them fall through, either through rejection or because you’re not able to attend a convention as planned, etc., is not a bad idea.
GBCI is considering an option for LEED APs to submit their 30 hours whenever they are complete, not necessarily at the end of the two-year cycle. This would give us all more peace of mind that we're meeting the requirements, or that we'd have time to do more education if we need to.
Q: When does the two-year cycle start? The date I took the LEED AP v2 test and passed?
A: If you are opting in as a “Legacy LEED AP”, then the two-year period begins on the day that you opt in to the new system. There is no relationship with the date you took the “old” LEED AP exam. If you are taking the new exam, the cycle starts on the day you pass the exam. If you take the two exams on different dates, then the cycle starts on the day you pass the second exam.
Q: Aren't the CE hours also waived for the first two years?
A: No. Only the first $50 fee is waived for the first two years.
Q: If you choose a track, can you later decide you want to do a different track with the 2-year period?
A: For old LEED APs, your specialty is automatic based on the exam track you originally took. You may have the opportunity to change this by contacting GBCI after opting in, but I don't know what the time limit is in which to do this. Note that the prescriptive education requirements for the CMP cycle are different for different specialties, so it is to your advantage to petition for this change. If you take a specialty exam within the new system, you cannot change your specialty without taking a new exam.
Q: Can you opt in for 2 specialities if you tested only in one? If I took NC Exam, may I take prescriptive maintenance and get BD+C and O+M?
A: No. If you only took one exam, you will only get one specialty through the prescriptive maintenance plan. You will have to take the second specialty exam to get the second specialty designation. However, if you previously passed the NC and EB tracks under the old exam, you can get both specialties by doing 60 hours (30 per specialty) of prescriptive maintenance. See the GBCI handbook for details.
Q: Once you opt in, do you add the specialty to your title or do you wait for the 2 year/30 hours?
A: You can add it right away. It will be removed if you ever fail to meet the CMP requirements and/or fail to pay the renewal fee.
Q: How long do you have before you “fade into the sunset”? I'm wondering when they start to erase your name from the LEED AP status.
A: If you are a “Legacy LEED AP” you will never lose your credential. The current two-year opt-in period simply gives you the benefit of joining the new system without retaking the exam.
Q: Not specific to Credential Maintenance, are there now prerequistes to qualify for LEED AP after the Fall 2011 period? Example: Need a BS or MS degree in an engineering/science/architecture field?
A: The prerequisite is that you need to have worked on a LEED project within the last three years. There are no education prerequisites. You qualify to take the Green Associate exam by 1) being a student, OR 2) working in a related sustainable field, OR 3) having worked on a LEED project in a non-technical role within the last three years.
Q: If I have already opted to do nothing, does the GBCI allow me to go back in and opt in?
Yes, existing “Legacy LEED APs” have until 2011 to opt in. After that, you will have to take the LEED AP exam to opt in to the new system.
This January 2009 article on BuildingGreen.com gives details on the current LEED AP program, with links to additional articles for background and perspective.
The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) is the organization behind the LEED AP program. Its website offers handbooks and other guides to the program, information on logging continuing education hours, and more.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) created the LEED AP program before handing it off to GBCI in 2009. USGBC is an Education Review Body (ERB) for the LEED AP program, making it the largest source of approved continuing education content.
Just a simple question: when reporting project participation, what date should I write if the project is still under certification process?
Thank you in advance for your help!
You should pick a date that approximates when you worked on the credit(s) in question - it's flexible, as long as it falls within your two year cycle.
Thank you Mara.
CMP guide states Committee and volunteer work that support the LEED system can earn CE hours.
I volunteer my time as a mentor for High School students for Architectrure, Construction and Engineering. We don't specifically teach LEED, but we bring up sustainability, among other related topics, when working with the students.
What do others think about this volunteer work as being accepted for CE hours.
The CMP guide says that you can volunteer for "organizations that support the LEED system". Your situation might be a stretch, but I think it should indirectly support LEED by increasing the interest of young people in green building issues. This certainly would have counted under the old system, so it's worth a try now.
I passed LEED exam in 02/2008, so LEED AP since then. I never upgraded to any special designation. Recently I heard that I have to take about 30 CE courses to maintain the credential. Does that apply to LEED AP? I have not done anything for 4 years, am I still LEED AP? ...I do not recall the exam emphasized this credential maintenance requirement. Neither do I get email/letter to remind me of it. Please help!
"Old" LEED APs who did not enroll in the new specialty program don't have to pursue any continuing education. It is likely to lose value over time, but the credential will never expire.
Can a Legacy LEED AP still eligible for LEED AP credit for LEED v3 projects ( Rating: NC v2009, multiple building AGMBC 2010)?
Yes, they are.
Thank you Tristan!Cheers
Can any participation in a LEED credit be counted towards CE hours? I have provided submittal and material cost documentation for several LEED credits (such as MRc4 and MRc5), but the architect (LEED project adminstrator) completed the LEED Online process.
The 2012 CMP Guide states there is no limit to the number of CE hours that can be obtained through LEED Project Participation. Can all 30 CE hours be logged in as project participation?
Andy, your project participation should definitely count - you don't need to have done the LEED Online documentation. And yes, all 30 hours can now be logged from project participation. Keep in mind, though, that you need to meet prescriptive requirements if you enrolled in the specialty program as an "old" LEED AP. If your LEED project work isn't diversified over the different categories then you may need to supplement with hours from other methods.
If someone signs up for the new specialty designation, completes the requirements in the first 2 year, but AFTER that does not meet the CE requirements - does that person revert to plain old legacy LEED AP? Or do they lose their LEED AP status altogether?
Eric, my understanding is that they revert—they cannot lose the legacy.
GBCI seems to be listing people with dual designations.
- LEED AP
- LEED AP BD+C
I'm guessing the first will always stay with you (without a specialty listed), while the second showing your specialty will be removed at the expiration date if you don't renew it.
We’ve heard that if you opt in via Prescriptive Maintenance (as opposed to testing in), you can only use “specific” or categorized hours, not “general” or “other”. Is this true? In the presentation, Ms. Baum mentions the possibility of an "other" category but it was not developed at that time - has it been now?
Follow-up: When a course submits for ERB approval, does it have to specifiy which category it is in?
No, it doesn't have to do that. It's up to the credential holder to select the category.
Are hours working on LEED projects where the project is not ultimately certified still able to be counted? Presuming that the project is a LEED registered project.
This might be an old issue, but no, the project doesn't have to be certified, just registered.
In the presentation (which was extremely helpful), it is mentioned that ongoing questions will be addressed on a forum on LEED User - is this that forum or has it been moved somewhere else? Seems like very few questions here.
Also, the presenter mentions that the presentation will be posted here for download. Where would I find that link?
Eric, this is that forum, and the link to the presentation is above, just before where the comments begin.
Thanks! Sorry I missed the link. --Eric
Many of my colleagues are being contacted by GBRI, pressuring them to gain a specialty before the 'big deadline'. Any suggestions on positives/negatives I can share on gaining specialty? Or a resource you can send me to for review?
A collegue of mine told me that not all 6 required LEED Specific Credits need to be in your specific credential, such as LEED BD & C. He said that 3 of the LEED specific credits can relate to topics for other credentials, such as LEED ID & C, O & M, ND or LEED for Residential.
I cannot find any documentation of this - to my knowledge all 6 need to be LEED Specific for your specific specialty. Can anyone clarify this and/or send me to the appropriate place to research? Thanks.
Jennifer, my understanding was also that all 6 hours need to be in your specialty. Have you checked the credential maintenance guide on GBCI.org for clarification?
That was where I looked first - it doesn't say one way or the other. I assumed all 6 had to be in your specialty, but I can't find anything that specifically states that.
Trying to find some more information on whether it is recommended for people who currently have LEED AP legacy designation to Opt in to the new LEED AP if they intend to take the LEED Neighborhood Development exam. By opting in now, would this enable them to skip taking the Green Associate exam and only have to take the LEED ND specialty exam? Or, if they don't Opt in by the deadline this Summer, will their current LEED AP Legacy designation be recognized (as fulfilling the LEED Green Associate Credential) when they decide to test for the LEED ND?
Great question. Having a LEED AP without specialty will exempt you from the first part of the exam. The legacy LEED AP is equivalent to the GA for this purpose. You still have to meet the other requirements, e.g. experience on a LEED project within the last three years.
Also, you can enroll in the new LEED AP with specialty program, then later choose to not fulfill your prescriptive requirements for that specialty; after two years you just go back to being a regular LEED AP. You should still be able to keep your second specialty, and that becomes your primary specialty. The only advantage to doing this would be that you could later (within two years) that you want to keep the original specialty without retesting.
Per the enrollment guide: http://www.gbci.org/Files/enrollment_guide.pdf
"LEED APs without specialty may choose to enroll at any point during their enrollment window. After this period, if LEED APs without specialty want to become LEED APs with specialty, they must apply and take both parts of the LEED AP exam and are responsible for all applicable fees."
So yes, enrollment will allow you to skip the Green Associate exam. If your window closes, you will have to first apply (and be eligible through recent project participation) AND take BOTH parts of the exam.
Can this webinar be used as a CMP credit?
No, time spent learning about the CMP program doesn't qualify for hours in the program.
That's what I thought, but just checking.
Thank you very much for the video. It was very helpful.
I have heard recently that if you report that you have attended a presentation and/or participated in a webinar regarding CMP within 48 hours you can receive credit. Can anyone verify or discredit that statement?
Yes, this is true. The only catch is that there is a limit on self-reported hours (it's in the CMP handbook) and they can't be LEED-specific hours.
The presentation above says that a person can get 2 CE hours for work on a credit, and 3 CE hours per credit for project administration.
An astute LEED user pointed out, however, that Page 15 of GBCI's CMP guide says that it's 1 and 2 hours respectively... and GBCI should know. So while we can't change the video presentation above, the PDF that is posted will be updated. Please make a note of it.
For people living and working abroad, I would like to know if attending seminars on green building principles would contribute to earning CE hours. If the seminars are given by local sustainability consultants (who are not related to the USGBC, but are themselves LEED APs), could this count as CE hours and contribute to our CMP?
You can get up to 5 hours from live presentations that are not approved by an Education Review Body (ERB). If the seminars contribute to your knowledge about one of the categories/subcategories in the CMP. Beyond those 5 hours, the seminars would need to be approved by an ERB. I expect that you will also want to maximize your self study hours and then look at online opportunities. You can search the USGBC's education opportunities by format to look for online courses or on-demand webinars. Note that all LEED-specific hours must be approved by an ERB. The course catalog is at https://www.usgbc.org/CourseCatalog/CourseCatalog.aspx?PageID=1742&CMSPa.... Note that all LEED-specific hours must be approved by an ERB.
I am also not in the US and must depend on internet-based sources of CE hours. Do these automatically fall under Section 3: Self-Study Programs ... and are limited to 5 hours (out of 30 required)? What options do I have? The online course catalog is not clear. Other methods, such as authorship or LEED project participation, are not really open to me.
If you are looking at the USGBC catalogy of ERB-approved courses, you can use as many of these as you need for your 30 hours.
For self-study that is not ERB-approved, you are limited to 5 hours.
What about guidance on the 15 hours the LEED GA needs? Nothing in "Cracking the Code" about that.
Do you have any particular questions about maintaining the LEED Green Associate credential?
Most of the requirements about CE hours covered in the video above apply equally to the GA credential.
Sorry that this wasn't more explicit, but the CMP is exactly the same the the Green Associate as for the LEED AP with specialty -- the only thing different is the number of hours required (15, with 3 LEED-specific for GA vs. 30 with 6 LEED-specific for the LEED AP+.)
Thanks. Enjoyed the presentation. I am not an architect - materials supplier - but intrigued with all green building strategies, not just LEED. Be glad when LCC will be more prominent in order to quantify "durability" - a sustainability issue. Thanks again.
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