LEED Professional Accreditation Frequently Asked Questions
LEED AP Credential Process: Common Questions Answered
Before taking the LEED AP exam, administered by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), there are some requirements and procedures that must be met. Here is some essential information that answers many common questions about the exam process.
LEED AP Exam Eligibility In order to take the LEED AP exam, candidates will need to substantiate their prior on the job experience (within the last three years) with LEED building. An application is then submitted which may be subject to an audit by GBCI. Applicants selected for an audit will be asked to provide more detailed documentation in regards to their LEED experience. Applicants also must agree to the Disciplinary and Exam Appeals Policy and Credentialing Maintenance Program (CMP).
Exam Costs The exam costs include a $100 application fee, $300 exam fee for U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) national members ($450 for non-members), and a $50 credential renewal fee payable every other year. To take multiple LEED AP specialty exams there is an additional $150 fee for USGBC national members, or $250 for non-members, for each additional specialty.
LEED AP Exam Layout The LEED AP test is separated into two parts, the LEED Green Associate exam and the LEED AP specialty exam. Each part has 100 multiple choice questions taken by computer. There is a time limit of four hours (no breaks) to complete both parts of the exam. The LEED AP Candidate Handbook has example questions that can be used for study prior to the test.
Passing the LEED AP Exam Each part of the LEED AP exam is worth 200 points, with 170 being a passing score. If an applicant fails one or both parts of the test they can retake the part they failed two more times. If an applicant fails all three attempts at taking the exam they can reapply one year from their original application approval date. Passing the Green Associate part of the LEED AP exam does not qualify the applicant to earn a LEED Green Associate credential.
Passing Part 1 and Failing Part 2 If an applicant passes the LEED Green Associate exam (part 1 of the LEED AP exam), but fails part two three times they can choose to take the test for a different LEED AP specialty. This would have to be done before the application approval expires which is one year from the approval dates.
LEED Green Associate vs. LEED AP Once a candidate passes both parts of the LEED AP exam they earn the higher level LEED AP credential only. Previously held LEED Green Associate credentials will automatically expire and be replaced by the LEED AP credential.
More Information GBCI has a link on their website to their handbook for the LEED AP candidate. This handbook gives detailed information on the credential policies and process, as well as explanations of LEED language. Interested applicants can contact GBCI staff through the website for more information.