- When does my continuing education reporting period begin and end?
- What are continuing education or credential maintenance hours?
- Where can I find my GBCI number?
- What are rating system-specific CE hours?
- How do I self-report CE hours?
- Are there enough hours in the USGBC course catalog subscription to fulfill maintenance requirements for a LEED credential?
- Can I count the same course for continuing education credit multiple times?
- Should I keep documentation of my continuing education (CE) hours?
- If I’m a LEED Green Associate and later become a LEED AP, will my continuing education (CE) hours transfer over?
When does my continuing education reporting period begin and end?
Credentials are maintained in two-year cycles, or reporting periods, starting when the credential is earned (date you passed the exam) and ending two years minus one day from the start date. The purpose of credential maintenance is to encourage learning experiences that demonstrate continued competency and up-to-date industry knowledge.
If you earned your credential on August 30, 2018, your reporting period would be August 29, 2020.
You can confirm your reporting period by logging into your USGBC account, clicking Account on the top right side, then selecting "Credentials."
What are continuing education or credential maintenance hours?
Continuing education, or “CE,” hours are the hours that LEED professionals spend in credential maintenance activities. CE hours are calculated differently depending on the activity.
- If you are a LEED Green Associate, you must earn 15 CE hours (three must be LEED-specific) every two years to maintain your credential.
- If you are a LEED AP, you must earn 30 CE hours (six must be LEED-specific) every two years to maintain your credential.
Refer to the Credential Maintenance Program Guide for more details about maintaining your credential and what qualifies for CE hours.
Where can I find my GBCI number?
GBCI numbers (used for credential maintenance) can be found by logging in to usgbc.org/account/credentials.
What are rating system-specific CE hours?
Rating system-specific CE hours are continuing education hours earned from doing activities that are specific to a rating system (e.g., LEED Green Associates and LEED APs with specialty must take LEED-specific courses in order to fulfill LEED-specific CE hours, SITES APs must take SITES-specific courses in order to fulfill SITES-specific CE hours, and WELL APs must take WELL-specific courses in order to fulfill WELL-specific CE hours.).
The intent of rating system-specific CE hours is to continue to ensure that the credential holder is knowledgeable in the current version of the rating system under which they are certified. Rating system-specific activities have an explicit connection to the Prerequisites, Credits, (LEED and/or SITES) Concepts, or Features (WELL) of a given rating system.
How to earn rating system-specific CE hours
Rating system-specific CE hours can be earned through any of the different activity types allowed in the Credential Maintenance system.
1. Education (unlimited)
Education should be relevant to green building, which includes environmental sustainability and human health and wellness. Education for general CE hours can come from learning activities that are approved by GBCI, or from non-GBCI approved courses. Examples of non-GBCI approved courses that may be eligible for general CE hours include college and university courses, simulated project participation, workshops, courses and conference events. GBCI recommends using the LEED credit categories/concepts as a guideline to help you determine what constitutes general green building topics. Please note that courses can only be counted towards credential maintenance once, and the same course cannot be reported in multiple reporting periods.
Both participants and instructors receive 1 CE hour per hour of educational contact time, and those who develop content also receive 2 CE hours for each course they develop. Under the continuing education activity type, rating system-specific credit can only be achieved through GBCI-approved education designated as LEED-specific. The requirements for a course to be approved as rating system-specific are given in the GBCI Continuing Education Course Review Criteria.
2. Project participation (unlimited)
Work on projects* registered for LEED certification count for 1 rating system-specific CE hour** per credit or feature for credential holders working on projects certified under the system or standard related to their credential. Project administrators can claim an additional 2 CE hours per project.
*The intent of project participation is to work on projects that are intended to be implemented. This excludes simulated project participation provided through education programs.
**Work on any project registered for EDGE, Parksmart, PEER, or TRUE Advisor can count towards general CE hours for GBCI credential holders.
3. Volunteering (no more than 50% of total CE hours)
Volunteering includes participation in leadership positions, steering committees or working groups; LEED credential exam development and maintenance activities; or local USGBC community boards, committees, or other volunteer organizations that support the LEED system or role in which they further their knowledge about green building. Volunteers can claim 1 hour per hour of participation. LEED-specific hours are designated for volunteering that is directly related to LEED technical content.
Authorship is a credited contribution to a print or digital publication and is worth 3 CE hours per published article and 10 CE hours per published book. LEED-specific hours are designated for authoring that is directly related to LEED technical content.
Maintaining your professional credential
If you are a LEED AP with specialty, six (6) of your 30 continuing education hours must be rating system-specific to your specialty or credential. If you are a LEED Green Associate, three (3) of your required 15 continuing education hours must be LEED-specific to any of the LEED rating systems. SITES-specific and/or WELL-specific CE hours cannot be counted as rating system-specific for LEED Green Associates.
How do I self-report CE hours?
Are there enough hours in the USGBC course catalog subscription to fulfill maintenance requirements for a LEED credential?
Yes, there are enough hours in the course catalog subscription to fulfill your credential maintenance requirements. Learn more and purchase the subscription.
Can I count the same course for continuing education credit multiple times?
The objective of credential maintenance is to encourage the continued learning/competency, and up-to-date industry knowledge of the credential holder; therefore, we do not accept submission of CE hours for courses that you have already taken in the past and previously submitted CE hours for. The number of times a course is taken is up to the discretion of the credential holder, but CE hours for that course should only be reported once, meaning that the course should also not be reported again in the following reporting cycle. Courses reported more than once will not earn additional CE credit each time they are reported.
Should I keep documentation of my continuing education (CE) hours?
GBCI reviews a percentage of all credential holders at regular intervals to ensure that they have the documentation to substantiate their claims of CE activities, and GBCI reserves the right to conduct these reviews at any time.
If you are selected for a review, we will ask you to verify your completed activities with the appropriate documentation. Please remember to save documentation supporting all CE hours earned and documented. Credential holders should keep documentation of CE hours from their current reporting period and one previous reporting period.
If your current reporting period is January 2022 - January 2024, you should keep the documentation from this reporting period and your previous reporting period of January 2020 - January 2022.
If I’m a LEED Green Associate and later become a LEED AP, will my continuing education (CE) hours transfer over?
No. The LEED Green Associate and LEED AP specialty credentials are different programs with different requirements. Because of this, CE hour reporting essentially restarts for new LEED APs with specialty; they can only submit CE hours for courses taken within the reporting period of the new credential to count toward credential maintenance. For more information, please read our “Can I count the same course for continuing education credit multiple times?” Help Center question.
Please also review the Credential Maintenance Program Guide for more details about maintaining your credentials and what qualifies for CE hours.