In this article, I will introduce you to the new credentialing system of LEED® V3.0 (2009) edition.
If you are willing to sit for the LEED exam you must meet certain eligibility requirements pertaining to each credential. There are 3 tiers of credentials available in the new version; LEED® Green Associate, LEED® AP and LEED® AP Fellow.
Becoming a LEED AP requires two mandatory eligibility requirements as stated by GBCI (Green Building Certification Institute):
1. The Candidate must have had a previous experience (involvement) in at least One Registered LEED Project in the last 3 years from the date of application.
2. The candidate must pass the LEED Green Associate exam, whether Combined (i.e. at the same time with the LEED AP exam) or Split (i.e. pass the LEED Green Associate first then Apply to take the LEED AP exam).
The LEED AP Exam is composed of two separate parts, each of which is a 2 hours exam to answer 100 questions (total 4 hours to answer 200 questions). The First part of the combined exam is the LEED Green Associate Exam. In this case, If the candidate meets the first requirement by having a previous experience, he can opt for taking the combined exam. However, we don't recommend that.
There are three reasons why we recommend to split the exam into two parts, even though the candidate has a previous LEED project experience:
- 1. The combined exam is an intensive experience (4 hours to solve 200 questions!)
- 2. The first part of the exam (the first 100 questions) is exactly the LEED Green Associate exam, so why not take it alone as a first step!
- 3. It's risky!, because if the candidate failed one part of the combined exam, he will not hold any credentials (neither AP nor Green Associate), until he passes the part he failed.
- In addition, the application for a LEED AP exam can be done just after the Green associate exam by 48 hours, provided that the candidate meets the first requirement.
Also, having a previous experience in the Green Building field (in general) will not give you eligibility to sit for the LEED® AP exam. The required experience must be in a “LEED® Registered Project”.
For the LEED® Green Associate exam, the candidate has 3 options to meet the eligibility requirements (Only one option is sufficient):
- To have a previous experience (involvement) in at least One Registered LEED Project in the last 3 years from the date of application.
- To be working in a sustainable field of work.
- To be involved in an educational program that addresses LEED®, Green Building or Sustainability in general, such as our “LEED® Green Associate Exam Preparation Course”.
Please, download the Candidate Handbooks from the below links and read carefully for more details:
- Green Associate Candidate Handbook
- LEED AP BD&C Candidate Handbook