- 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 general CE hours?
- What are rating system-specific CE hours?
- Why do I have to earn rating system-specific CE hours?
- What type of continuing education activities will count toward my continuing education (CE) hour?
- 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?
- Will I receive CMP reminder emails to renew my LEED credential?
- If I’m a LEED Green Associate and later earn a LEED AP with specialty credential, 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, 2023, your reporting period would be August 30, 2023 - August 29, 2025.
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 must earn in credential maintenance activities to maintain their LEED credentials. CE hours are calculated differently depending on the activity.
- LEED Green Associates must earn a minimum of 15 CE hours out of which 3 CE hours need to be LEED-specific. The remaining 12 CE hours can be either general or LEED-specific CE hours.
- LEED AP with specialty must earn a minimum of 30 CE hours out of which 6 CE hours need to be LEED-specific in the specialty relevant to their credential. The remaining 24 CE hours can be either general or LEED-specific CE hours.
Refer to the Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) 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 general CE hours?
General CE hours are activities that are relevant to general green building concepts such as environmental sustainability, human health, resiliency, net zero, decarbonization, ESG, social equity and the circular economy. For example, consulting rating system credit categories/concepts/measures/indicators in LEED, SITES, WELL, EDGE, PEER, and TRUE can be an aid in determining what constitutes general green building topics. For individuals holding multiple credentials, an activity that counts as general CE hours for one credential may be rating system-specific for other GBCI 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.).
Examples of LEED-specific activities include working on registered or certified LEED projects, volunteering on rating system development, and developing and/or teaching GBCI-approved coursework on the LEED rating system.
Remember, for the activity to be counted as a LEED-specific CE hour, it must relate directly to your credential (i.e., For a LEED AP B+C credential holder, work on a registered or certified LEED BD+C project will count towards their LEED-specific requirement.)
Why do I have to earn rating system-specific CE hours?
The intent of rating system-specific CE hours is 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 and Credits (LEED and/or SITES), of a given rating system.
What type of continuing education activities will count towards my continuing education (CE) hours?
CE hours can be earned through four professional development activities types: education courses, project participation, authorship, and volunteering. These activities can count towards general and rating system-specific CE hours. For general CE hours, the activities must be related to green building, health, wellness, resiliency, net zero, decarbonization, ESG, social equity and the circular economy. For rating system-specific CE hours, the activity needs to be directly related to your LEED or SITES AP credential.
Education courses (unlimited number of CE hours)
- Education courses should be relevant to green building, which includes environmental sustainability, health, wellness, resiliency, net zero, decarbonization, ESG, social equity and the circular economy.
- Education for general CE hours can come from learning activities that are GBCI-approved, or from non GBCI-approved courses that are related to green building concepts.
- Under the education courses activity type, rating system-specific hours can only be earned through GBCI-approved education designated as LEED-specific or SITES-specific.
- Free education courses are available at usgbc.org/education-listing.
Project participation (unlimited number of CE hours)
- Credential holders who actively participate on projects that are registered or certified for LEED certification will receive 1 CE hour per credit regardless of the actual number of hours invested in that particular credit for that project.
For example, if a LEED AP BD+C credential holder works on a LEED BD+C registered project and spends 10 hours working on the Water Efficiency Credit, Indoor Water Use Reduction and 15 hours on Energy and Atmosphere Credit, Optimize Energy Performance, they can only report 1 CE hour for the work on Water Efficiency Credit, Indoor Water Use Reduction and 1 CE hour for the work on Energy and Atmosphere Credit, Optimize Energy Performance for a total of 2 CE hours.
- Project participation can count towards the LEED-specific requirement if the project is registered or certified under the specific rating system or standard associated with their credential, otherwise, the activity can count towards general hours.
- Work on charrettes and precertification are not acceptable and therefore, this work cannot be reported towards credential maintenance.
Authorship (unlimited number of CE hours)
- 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.
- For the publication to be eligible for LEED-specific hours, it needs to have technical content related to the rating system or standard.
Volunteering (no more than 50% of total CE hours)
- Volunteers can claim 1 CE hour per hour of participation.
- For the volunteering to be eligible for LEED-specific hours, the activity need to be directly related to LEED technical content.
- LEED technical content refers to the specific knowledge, guidelines, and requirements related to sustainable design, construction, and operation of buildings and communities within the context of the LEED rating systems. It includes detailed information about the criteria, strategies, calculations, and documentation needed to achieve LEED certification for a project.
Refer to the Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) Guide for more details about maintaining your credential and what activities qualify for CE hours.
How do I self-report CE hours?
To self-report CMP activities, log into your Credentials account and select 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?
No. The purpose of maintaining a credential is to promote ongoing learning, competency, and staying updated with industry knowledge. Consequently, GBCI does not accept the submission of CE hours for courses that have been previously completed and for which CE hours have already been reported. It is at the discretion of the credential holder to determine how many times they wish to take a course; however, CE hours for that course should only be reported once. Therefore, the same course should not be reported again in subsequent reporting cycles. Reporting a course multiple times will not result in earning additional CE hours each time it is reported.
Should I keep documentation of my continuing education (CE) hours?
Yes. 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.
Will I receive CMP email reminders to renew my LEED credential?
Yes. Starting Nov. 3rd, 2023, LEED credential holders will start receiving CMP reminder emails at a higher frequency than in the past. Once your credential is renewed, you will not receive CMP reminder emails until the start of your next reporting period.
Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your trusted contacts list to ensure your GBCI CMP reminder emails are not filtered into spam, junk or clutter folders.
If I’m a LEED Green Associate and later earn a LEED AP with specialty credential, will my continuing education (CE) hours transfer over?
No. The LEED Green Associate and LEED AP specialty credentials are different programs with different requirements. Any hours earned as a LEED Green Associate will not be transferred to the newly acquired LEED AP with specialty credential. The CE hours earned as a LEED Green Associate are specific to that credential and cannot be applied towards the requirements of the LEED AP with specialty credential.
Therefore, if you obtain the LEED AP with specialty credential, you will need to earn new CE hours that are applicable to that specific credential. 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.