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Legacy LEED AP: What happens to my LEED AP credential now that LEEDv3 has launched?

Your existing LEED AP credential depends on exactly what you do (or don’t do) between now and June 2011.

As of July 1st, 2009, your LEED AP credential is now considered a Legacy LEED AP. This shows that you have a credential from one of the previous exams. You now have three options:

Option 1: LEED AP with Specialty – No Exam

You can become a LEED AP with Specialty by enrolling in the new LEED v3 system before June 2011. This involves:

  • Agreeing to the Credentialing Maintenance Program (CMP), and
  • Signing the Disciplinary Policy, and
  • Completing the CMP requirements for the initial 2-year reporting period

Once enrolled, you can then use the BD&C, ID&C, or O&M, Homes or ND (neighborhood development) designations after your name.  In addition, you will have to participate in the CMP after 2 years to maintain your specialty, and pay a $50 fee every two years, starting June 2011 (since you’re a LEED AP, the first 2 year $50 payment from now until 2011 is waived).

Option 2: LEED AP with Specialty – With Exam

Instead of completing the Credentialing Maintenance Program requirements, you can take a specialty exam to earn your LEEDv3 credential. You must pass your exam by June 2011. This involves:

  • Agreeing to the Credentialing Maintenance Program (CMP), and
  • Signing the Disciplinary Policy, and
  • Passing one of the Specialty Exams (BD&C, ID&C, O&M, Homes, ND)

(Just FYI: your existing LEED AP credential qualifies you to take a LEED AP Specialty exam. People who are not LEED APs are required to have experience working on a LEED project as a prerequisite to taking the exam).

After you pass you can then use the BD&C, ID&C, or O&M or ND designations after your name.  In addition, you will have to participate in the CMP after 2 years to maintain your specialty.

Note: A Legacy LEED AP cannot add Homes without proof of work on a LEED for Homes registered project, or a prior LEED for Homes designation. This is because LEED for Homes is a newer designation.

A $150 exam fee will apply for taking the LEED AP Specialty exam of your choice.

Option 3: Do Nothing

If you choose to do nothing, or you did not enroll in LEEDv3 or pass an exam by June 2011, you will remain a Legacy LEED AP. If you choose to opt into LEEDv3 after June 2011, you will have to meet all eligibility requirements and retake the exam.

UPDATE: starting August 3, 2009, you will be able to view your enrollment window through www.GBCI.org > My Credentials. This is where you'll then be able to officially do Option 1 or Option 2 above to become a part of LEED v3.

FAQs about your existing LEED AP credential:

Back to main FAQ page

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31 Comments On This Post

  1. Pat:

    Your site is great – it was the most helpful item that I used in preparing for the LEED AP Exam. Thank you.

    With regards to the above, LEED AP Specialty w/ and/or w/o the exam. Are there any advantages to taking the exam? It does not seem to make much sense as to why anyone would want to take another test.

    Reply
  2. Well, I can see someone who would want to take the test just to make sure they know the information for that particular rating system – but I’m pretty sure most people will go through the CMP instead of taking the exam.

    Reply
  3. Pat:

    As I understand, LEED BD+C is for New Construction, Major Renovations for Schools & Core n Shell, right? Then what happens when they(USGBC) come up with LEED for Healthcare, Hospitality, Shopping Malls, Airports, Manufacturing, Marine Harbours, etc..etc…do we have to take exams/CMP for all of them? I am venting out my frustration, so that if enough LEGACY APs(including yourself Pat) write to USGBC, maybe they will start thinking in a more SANER way!! Right now they seem to have monopolized the whole Green thing, and they are indeed a law unto themselves!!

    Reply
  4. I agree with Ram. The certification changes are ridiculous. I am LEED AP, I am wondering about the usefulness and rationality of my $400 investment in the test. For any certification system to be successful, it has to be readily identifiable and easy to understand. When I write AIA next to my name people understand that I am an architect. MD, PE and CPA are certification that anyone understand. Changing titles every few years undermines the credibility of the certification process. People are MDs, PEs and CPAs all their life.

    Reply
    • Sree – since you’re already a LEED AP, you could choose to opt into LEEDv3 by completing the requirements of Option 1 above, which involved the CMP requirements, but no exam. You’d save $400 in the process.

      I do understand what you are saying about the titles.

      Reply
  5. Pat,
    Where do I find information regarding changes in credit implementations from NC V 2.2 to NC V 3.0, if there were any changes made?
    Thank you,
    Phil

    Reply
  6. Pat

    I’m a legacy LEED AP but when I try to register for the LEED AP O+M speciality exam, there’s no path for legacy LEED APs to pass by the eligiblity (Project experience) page ! How can existing LEED APs not require eligibility for the speciality exams ?

    Reply
    • Hmm…you shouldn’t have to submit eligibility requirements, since you’re already a LEED AP. This is per the FAQ here:

      http://www.gbci.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=110

      When you registered for your O+M exam, did you create a new account name, or use your old one?

      Aditionally, you do know that you are not required to take an exam to become a LEED AP under LEED v3. You could opt-in to LEED v3 by fulfilling credentialing maintenance program requirements, which isn’t quite ready for us LEED APs yet.

      Let me know if you have anymore questions. I’ll look into seeing about the eligibility requirement if you would like to take the exam instead.

      Reply
      • Pat

        Well ofcourse I didn’t create a new account for the speciality exam, why should I opt not to use the current one which has me as a legacy LEED AP :)?

        All I wanted is to prepare for furthermore specialty (O+M) in addition to the BD+C one that is anticipated already, so that we get to do some O+M for the existing buildings we have here in Jordan as more like LEED AP specialists.

        I think the bottom line is that: as the CMP track is not ready yet, legacy LEED APs cannot get past the eligibility page when seeking more specialty (LEED v3.0 part 2 ) exams unless LEED project experience is available (which isn’t in my case yet).

        Furthermore, as we are trying to seek the most appropriate orientation towards the 400 level (LEED AP Fellow) credential, it seems that LEED PROJECT EXPERIENCE will be MORE VITAL to get closer to such elite credential than having more specialties (O+M, Homes , ND & ID+C) in addition to BD+C for the new construction example which is the most popular for legacy LEED APs worldwide…

        So that’s all and I’d love to know what you think ….what you have found out while trying to register for a LEED v3.0 for Homes exam , for instance!

        Thanks man
        JMT

  7. I am looking for someone who is going for their LEED AP BD+C certification but needs to document professional experience on a LEED project with employer verification. I have a LEED project in Pasadena for a non-profit that would suit anyone who need such experience

    Best regards,
    Harrison Quigley

    Reply
  8. I was just wondering if you new of a good source or website that would allow you to see what cities, states, and/or regions of the U.S. are investing in LEED projects more than others? Basically, which parts of the U.S. has a higher frequency of registered LEED certified buildings and are planning on building more in the future. Thanks for your help.
    Phil

    Reply
  9. Pat:

    Do I have it right that the only ERB approved courses an existing LEED AP can take to opt in to LEED V3 are USGBC courses? I recently was sent the credentialing maintenance reminder with link to the handbook. I then visited the GBCI website to see the approved ERB’s and all it has is a link to the USGBC courses which are all fairly pricey.

    So basically it looks like you’ll have to spend hundreds if not thousands every two years to take USGBC courses since no other green building related courses are approved. Of course you can do other things to achieve hours like volunteering, working on green projects, etc. but I’m not an architect so a good portion would still have to rely on on-line education. I thought you would be able to take some of the free green courses available on-line from other providers but it doesn’t look like that will be an option.

    Reply
    • Hi Bill, I went through the same process as you, and I’m finding the same results at the moment. I’m doing some research to try and find out if there are any more economical course that can qualify, by the USGBC or other parties that we could all benefit from. You can be sure that if I find out anything I’ll let everyone know.

      Reply
  10. Pat/Bill
    Yes the ERB courses via USGBC can be pricey, some very pricey. Fortunately, out of the 30 credits (per 2 year CMP reporting period) only 6 need to be from ERB/USGBC courses (aka LEED Specific). I was able to find a few 1-credit courses in the $30 to $100 price range. I’ve not taken them yet, but so far I have done 6 credits via online freebies. Per my interpretation of the handbook, I documented these freebies under “Self Study” and listed them as “General” credits. I hesitated about enrolling in the CMP. However, I am concerned that USGBC will render Legacy LEEDs obsolete someday, considering how flakey they’ve been so far with everything else.

    Reply
  11. From your website, there is a third option for a Legacy LEED AP, that is to do nothing. After June 2011 does this option entail; does their membershp expire, does it mean they can not be the principal on a certification project, they do qualify for the ID credit. I understand the importance of the first two options but why would achieving the Speciality status be benefital for a company and its current Legacy LEEDs.

    Reply
  12. I am having a difficult time understanding the benefit of changing my legacy AP status to AP+ specialty. I do regularly administrate LEED projects and would probably relatively easily meet the continuing education requirements, but why would I want to take on the added burden of submitting and tracking CU’s?

    Reply
  13. I did find this link that looks like there are some other course providers besides the USGBC. Do I have this right? If so it does look like there are some more economical course options in addition to the freebies classified under self-study as Denise had mentioned.

    https://www.usgbc.org/CourseCatalog/CourseCatalog.aspx

    Reply
    • Hi Bill,

      I saw your posts above and thought I’d give my take. I believe any course listed in the USGBC Course Catalog can count towards CE hours (although any on-demand web classes are counted in the Self Study category). By definition, an EBR reviews and approves courses so I think we can conclude that USGBC approves any course that is in their catalog.

      During the first 2-yr CMP period for Legecy LEED APs, the 6 LEED-specific credits must relate directly to the specialty you are trying to achieve. You can sort by specialty in the USGBC course catalog. In my case (BD+C) all the currently offered classes cost money, but in future years you should be able to count anything LEED related at all.

      Thoughts?

      Reply
  14. Just trying to clarify something. If a Legacy LEED AP decides to opt into the new program do they have to have the continuing ed done by June 11 or does the 2 year period begin at that time? I’m in charge of the training program at the company I work for and I’ve become the go to person for LEED info. Just want to make sure I give people the correct info. Thanks!

    Reply
  15. Shel:

    I just opted in back in December and I was given two years from that point to complete the CMP requirements.

    Bill

    Reply
  16. Kelly:

    I hadn’t noticed that the on-demand courses might not count as continuing education until I just re-read the CMP guide. I am going to write to GBCI to clarify if courses have to be live to count as continuing education or if all courses in the USGBC catalogue count no matter the format. Luckily there is no limit on self-study hours that I can see so it shouldn’t matter either way but will be good to clarify.

    Bill

    Reply
  17. I don’t see any benefit to opting-in. LEED AP+ – what’s the big deal? There are no disadvantages to remaining a Legacy AP and the CMP’s can get expensive so why bother. I am administering many LEED projects and can cocntinue to do so as is. The USGBC and GBCI have become too much about the money in my opinion.

    Reply
  18. Hi Kelly:

    I wrote in asking if on-demand classes counted as self-study or continuing education and received the following response:

    “Dear William,

    Thank you for contacting the Green Building Certification Institute.

    Any course that is ERB approved would be considered professional development/continuing education.

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us via the GBCI contact page.

    Regards,

    Shabresha Utley
    Customer Care Representative
    Green Building Certification Institute
    2101 L Street NW, Suite 650
    Washington, DC 20037
    800-795-1746 (phone)
    202 828-5110 (fax)
    http://www.gbci.org/contactus

    Reply
  19. I am a legacy LEED AP. Does choosing Option 1: LEED AP with Specialty – No Exam basically mean the same thing as a Green Associate?

    Reply
  20. Andy:

    Option 1 means you opt in through the credential maintenance program rather than by passing a specialty test. You will be a LEED AP with specialty as long as you fulfill the maintenance requirements outlined in the canidate guide.

    Reply
  21. I studied and passed the LEED AP exam V2. In the V2 book, a LEED AP is for life. Now, as the USGBC realizes their monopoly, we have to take calsses approved by the USGBC and then pay to take an exam every two years. I will let my LEED AP credintials expire, rather than pay money to an orginization that cannot stand by their word.

    Reply
  22. I feel that GBCI should test the knowledge of Legassy LEED APs wrt to the differences of the latest version 3 wrt to the earlier versions.
    For this they can conuct an exam with a nominal exam fees.
    If I know what is LEED V3 vis-a-vis what I know earlier,it should be adequate. One sholud not be asked to write the exam from the beginning.GBCI/USGBC’s aim should be to make the LLAPs(Legacy Leed APs)to bring them upto the latest version but not making money by making them to write the exams.
    What happens if they bring out LEED AP versions 4 and 5?

    Reply

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