In 2008 the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) took over the direction and management of the LEED Professional Accreditation program. The GBCI now currently offers two levels of LEED accreditation with a third level in development. The original administer of the accreditation program, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is still involved in the LEED professional program as the educational resource for LEED. The GBCI only administers the LEED professional exams and certifies professionals in LEED. The institute does not provide the education or training need to prepare for the exam. Having LEED Professional Accreditation demonstrates an individual's in depth knowledge and applied understanding of LEED ratings that takes time and educational resources to achieve. Those that are certified LEED professionals, or in the process of becoming certified can use the USGBC for reference materials and general information about LEED.
LEED Green Associate Credential The first level of LEED accreditation is the LEED Green Associate Credential. This credential is designed for those in the industry who want to demonstrate that they have a good basic knowledge of green and sustainable building design, construction, and operations. To be eligible to take the test to become a LEED Green Associate, individuals must have experience and involvement with a LEED project, or be employed in a "green" field or industry, or be in or have graduated from a green building related educational program. Prior to the exam individuals must also send in an application and agree to the Disciplinary and Exam Appeals Policy and Credential Maintenance Program. Fees associate with the green associate accreditation include a $50 application fee, exam fee of $150 for members or $200 for non-members, and a $50 renewal fee (required every two years).
LEED AP Credential The second level of LEED accreditation is the LEED AP Credential which is awarded to those that demonstrate an advanced level of knowledge in sustainable building practices and have special expertise in a particular LEED specialty. The LEED AP specialties have been developed from the LEED Rating Systems. Individuals can get their LEED AP specialty in or more to of the following; Operations and Maintenance, Homes, Building Design and Construction, Interior Design and Construction, or Neighborhood Development. To be eligible to take the LEED AP exam, applicants must have passed the LEED Green Associate exam (which can be taken at the same time) and have professional experience within the last three years on a LEED certified project. Documentation of prior LEED project involvement is required. As with the LEED Green Associate exam, prior to the exam individuals must also send in an application and agree to the Disciplinary and Exam Appeals Policy and Credential Maintenance Program. Fees associate with the AP accreditation include a $100 application fee, exam fees that range from $150 to $450 depending on the exams taken (members get a discount), and a $50 renewal fee (required every two years).