Time is running out for LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) to take advantage of the limited opportunity to add a specialty to their green building credential for free. The staggered enrollment window closes in August. Specialties identify a LEED AP's expertise in a specific green building project type: Building Design and Construction, Operations and Maintenance, Interior Design and Construction, Neighborhood Development, or Homes.
Following the addition of the specialty track to the LEED AP credential and the introduction of the LEED Green Associate in 2009, all LEED APs were offered a two-year window to earn the new specialty credential without having to take the full LEED AP exam — and at no enrollment cost.
The LEED AP with specialty credentials allows green building professionals to demonstrate their expertise in a specialized field. Maintained through 30 hours of flexible continuing education every two years, the specialty credentials ensure that credential-holders are keeping pace with the rapidly evolving body of knowledge around green building.
There are two enrollment pathways by which LEED APs may add a specialty. LEED APs can enroll into prescriptive credential maintenance, which allows them to begin using their LEED AP with specialty title immediately. They then need to complete 30 hours of prescriptive continuing education or professional development work within their first two-year reporting period. LEED APs who do not complete their maintenance requirements will simply revert back to their LEED AP status.
The second path to adding the specialty credential is through retesting. During the enrollment window, LEED APs can add the specialty by taking just the specialty portion of one of the new LEED AP exams — rather than the full test that is required of new LEED APs.
The Green Building Certification Institute's (GBCI) credential maintenance program (CMP) is unique among other continuing education programs in that it offers eight flexible options for earning hours that range from working on LEED projects to reading case studies to taking professional development courses. LEED APs can often earn hours while performing activities they are already doing for their jobs.
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