Canadian Consulting Engineer

Bar raised for LEED Accredited Professionals

August 17, 2009
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

Big changes are afoot for LEED Accredited Professionals in Canada, changes that introduce a stricter regime fo...

Big changes are afoot for LEED Accredited Professionals in Canada, changes that introduce a stricter regime for those who want to practise green building design under the LEED accreditation.

Upcoming changes announced by the Canada Green Building Council, which runs the LEED building and professional programs here, follow steps taken by its sister organization in the U.S.  The changes include accreditation through a third-party organization, and the introduction of three tiers of accreditation. Also, those who choose to qualify under new LEED Accredited Professional (AP) program will have to take examinations and undergo a program of continuing education to prove their knowledge is updated.

In the U.S. the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) was spun off from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 to provide third-party independent verification of individuals who want to qualify as LEED APs.  This summer it launched a “credentialing maintenance program” that requires individuals to earn credits by activities such as continuing education, project experience, and “active participation in the green building community.”

Now, the Canada Green Building Council, which until now has overseen the LEED AP programs in this country, says the Green Building Certification Institute will be handling professional accreditation examinations and programs here as well. Currently there are 6,000 LEED Accredited Professionals in Canada.


The Canada Green Building Council says that under the new regime to begin in 2010, there will be three new levels of certification to distinguish between practitioners with “basic, advanced, and extraordinary levels of knowledge.” The three levels are:

Tier 1 – LEED Green Associate.

Tier 2 – LEED AP with Specialization (in commercial building design and construction; commercial operations and maintenance; commercial interiors; residential design and construction; and neighbourhood development).

Tier 3 – LEED AP Fellow. This is described “an elite class of leading professionals who are distinguished by their years of experience and a peer review of their project portfolio.”

To qualify for any of the three levels, there will be new examinations, and there will be a requirement for continuing education under the GBCI Credential Maintenance Program. Those at the LEED Green Associates level, for example, will need to achieve 15 continuing education credits during a two-year cycle.

There is an option for those who have an existing LEED AP designation to opt out of the new program.  They can continue simply to carry on as LEED APs.

The Canada Green Council is currently developing training workshops in the different specialty workshops, and will be making the new examinations available in French and English at the same time.

For those who qualify with the new LEED AP designations, there will be reciprocity in the U.S. i.e. their designation will be recognized in both the U.S. and Canada.

For more details, see



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