Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What is the LEED Credential Maintenance Program (CMP)?

LEED Credential Maintenance Classes
Credential Maintenance is the continuing education required by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) in order for individuals to keep their LEED credentials current. Once an individual passes the LEED exam and earns either the LEED Green Associate or LEED AP with specialty credential, a two-year renewal period begins. During this time, the candidate must complete a required number of continuing education hours and pay a renewal fee in order to keep their credential.

GBCI states that these requirements help LEED professionals to maintain their green building knowledge, and to keep up to date with current best practices of the industry. The LEED CMP program is meant to ensure quality control amongst the growing body of LEED Green Associates and LEED APs. By ensuring a system to engage current LEED professionals in the most recent trends in green building and sustainable design, GBCI hopes that the various LEED credentials will continue to maintain their high integrity.

The Requirements
LEED AP’s must complete 30 continuing education hours every two years, six hours of which must be approved as “LEED-specific”. LEED-specific courses are those in which the majority of the content deals in-depth with specific LEED processes, credits, case studies, updates, benefits, or best practices, and are approved by GBCI. LEED Green Associate’s must complete a biennial total of 15 continuing education hours, including 3 LEED-specific hours.

If you took the LEED AP exam prior to the addition of specialties in 2009 (under LEED v2), you do not need to comply with the CMP program, and will keep your credential indefinitely unless you decide to retest and add an AP+ specialty.

LEED CMP Activities
There are four types of maintenance activities that can be completed towards the CMP requirements:

1. Education, which includes professional development courses, live presentations, self- study programs, and college/university courses.

2. Volunteering, including committee and volunteer work.

3. Authorship.

4. LEED Project Participation.

The only restriction within these four categories is that you can only earn up to 50% of your hours from Volunteering. Individuals can also renew their credential by re-taking the exam.

LEED CMP Courses
One of the easiest ways to maintain your LEED credential is attending professional development & continuing education courses. GBCI’s website contains a course catalog of approved CE courses. In addition, many providers offer the classes online for a convenient and economic way to comply. For example, GreenEDU.com offers a catalog of over 50 hours of GBCI-Approved online CMP courses, including those that comply with the LEED-specific requirements. Individuals can also purchase pre-bundled packages of online courses, tailored to the requirements of each LEED credential.

If an individual fails to comply with the CMP requirements within their 2 year reporting period, their credential will expire and the only option for renewal is through re-testing. Therefore, it is of utmost importance as a LEED professional to understand and comply with the CMP requirements to avoid losing that hard-earned credential.