- How often do I have to renew my credential?
- How do I maintain my Sustainability Excellence credential?
- Do I need to renew my SEA credential once I have earned a SEP credential?
- What kinds of activities will earn me CE hours towards renewing my Sustainability Excellence credential?
- Will USGBC Education courses earn me CE hours towards renewing my Sustainability Excellence credential?
- Can I count the same course for continuing education credit multiple times?
- How do I report CE hours and renew my credential?
- What is the cost for credential maintenance renewal?
- May I receive a refund for my renewal fee?
- What happens if I do not complete my credential maintenance program (CMP) requirements by the date that my credential expires?
- How do I reinstate an expired SEA or SEP credential?
- How can I request an extension to my current CMP reporting period?
How often do I have to renew my credential?
The SEA and SEP credentials are maintained in two-year cycles, or reporting periods, starting when the credential is earned (based on exam date) 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 sustainability knowledge.
|Exam date/reporting period start date||Reporting period end date||Next reporting period start date||Next reporting period end date|
|Jan 10, 2022||Jan 09, 2024||Jan 10, 2024||Jan 09, 2026|
How do I maintain my Sustainability Excellence credential?
The SEA and SEP credentials require continuing education and professional development in the field of sustainability. Every two years, credential holders must submit evidence that they have earned Continuing Education (CE) hours from activities in one of the following categories:
- Professional Practice & Participation
- Development of the Profession/Volunteering
Maintaining a SEA credential requires earning 16 CE hours during a given reporting period. Maintaining a SEP credential requires earning 32 CE hours during a given reporting period. Only CE hours earned during the most recent reporting period can be submitted.
Please note that the Sustainability Excellence program uses a unique definition of CE hours which may not apply to other GBCI programs, including LEED. While a given activity that earns CE hours for a LEED or other credential may also earn CE hours for a SEA or SEP credential, the quantities may not be the same.
For more information about activities that earn CE hours and the amounts that can be earned, please refer to the Sustainability Excellence CMP Guide.
Do I need to renew my SEA credential once I have earned a SEP credential?
No. When an individual earns a SEP credential, they are assigned a new reporting period beginning the day of their SEP exam. Earning the SEP credential supersedes the SEA, meaning SEP credential holders only need to maintain their SEP credential.
What kinds of activities will earn me CE hours towards renewing my Sustainability Excellence credential?
A full list of categories of eligible credential maintenance activities can be found starting on page 5 of the Sustainability Excellence CMP Guide.
In order to earn CE hours, an activity must relate to some aspect of one of the 6 domains of sustainability knowledge, skills, and abilities outlined in the Exam Specifications sections of the SEA Candidate Handbook and SEP Candidate Handbook.
Note that the Sustainability Excellence program is intended to be broad and inclusive in its definition of sustainability-related work, professional development, and continuing education; sustainability professionals can earn CE hours for any activity that relates to the field as a whole.
Will USGBC Education courses earn me CE hours towards renewing my Sustainability Excellence credential?
Yes. As long as continuing education relates to some aspect of one of the 6 domains of sustainability knowledge, skills, and abilities outlined in the Exam Specifications sections of the SEA Candidate Handbook and SEP Candidate Handbook, it will earn the participant CE hours towards renewing their SEA or SEP credential. Any USGBC Education course that relates to a sustainability topic will qualify for CE hours.
Can I count the same course for continuing education credit multiple times?
Education received and delivered are awarded as follows:
- Within the two-year certification cycle, credential holders can only take the same education activity (course, webinar, etc.) once per two-year cycle.
- Instructors, teachers, and presenters may claim credit for each instance of delivering each continuing education activity.
How do I report CE hours and renew my credential?
You can submit CE hours at any time during your current reporting period. CMP activities must have taken place during your current reporting period.
When you have reported sufficient CE hours to renew your credential (16 CE hours for the SEA; 32 CE hours for the SEP) you must then pay a renewal fee in order to complete the process. Once GBCI has received your CE hours and renewal fee, your credential will be renewed. Your new two-year reporting period will begin the day after your current reporting period is set to expire.
What is the cost for credential maintenance renewal?
Please visit the Sustainability Excellence website for renewal fees.
May I receive a refund for my renewal fee?
The renewal fee is nonrefundable.
What happens if I do not complete my credential maintenance program (CMP) requirements by the date that my credential expires?
Credential holders have a one-time 30-day grace period to renew and report hours previously earned within their reporting period, after the reporting period has ended. Remember, CE hours must be earned during your reporting period, so you will not be able to earn CE hours for the current reporting period during this 30-day grace period.
If you do not complete your CMP requirements by the end of your two-year reporting period and subsequent 30-day grace period, you will lose your credential.
How do I reinstate an expired SEA or SEP credential?
To regain a SEA or SEP credential after expiration, you must register and retest as a new candidate for the credential that has expired and pay all applicable fees. This means that expired SEP credential holders must meet all eligibility requirements to re-earn the SEP, including earning their SEA credential and submitting complete SEP application materials.
How can I request an extension to my current CMP reporting period?
If unforeseen circumstances prevent you from being able to complete your credential maintenance in your 2-year reporting period, you may contact GBCI for a waiver or an extension. Situations that could be recognized by GBCI as a hardship include:
- Long-term unemployment
- Military deployment
- Health problems
- Death in the family
This list is not exhaustive nor do these circumstances guarantee a waiver or extension. Written requests with supporting documentation must be received at least 30 calendar days before the end of your reporting period. GBCI reviews requests on a case-by-case basis and only grants waivers or extensions in situations where you were prevented from completing your CMP.