I finally completed the credentialing maintenance for my LEED AP, now I can add BD&C for more acronym fun. For those legacy LEED APs still working on yours, I thought I’d share my experience and a few nuggets learned along the way.
For openers, it wasn’t that bad! I’m sure I should not have procrastinated, but I believe the reporting system has eased a bit since it first launched, and once I took the time to read through the CEM reporting website I finally understood what to do. Probably the best first step is to click on “Add/Review” in the “Action” column which will take to you a record entry page. On this page, click on the arrow in “Subcategory.” This list will tell you what the larger category is looking for (i.e., “Community Connectivity” or “Energy Tradeoffs”). Use that list to think through your LEED projects and related work, which should result in scores of legitimate CEM hours.
A couple of my LEED projects were completed prior to the start of my CEM reporting period, so I couldn’t count those, but luckily I had a handful of other projects within the reporting period. I was able to meet most of the LEED Specific requirements pulling from those projects, with the exception of Water and Energy. An important note if you are a project manager over a large team: if you are not assigned a credit template on a project’s LEED Online record, be sure to get a letter from your LEED Online project administrator testifying to your participation. I have a colleague who was instrumental in the management of a couple of credits on one of our projects, but since they were not assigned to her, it could be tricky to prove involvement were she to be audited. For the “just in case” file I am providing her a letter verifying her role.
I had a couple of deep studies that also qualified for general CEM credit, but I didn’t try to overdo it on these – meaning, even though one report took 18 months and resulted in close to 200 pages plus hours of stakeholder meetings and public presentations, I didn’t try to milk it for 10 hours of credit. In that specific case, I submitted it only for the stakeholder credit for 2 CEM hours. After I exhausted all of the work experience that I felt qualified for credit, I then looked for online webinars to fill the gaps.
As a business owner by day and full time mom at night, going to evening and weekend seminars just wasn’t going to work for me, at least not for the many hours of credit I still needed to complete. Thankfully, there are a ton of web-based, GBCI-approved courses that count for CEM credit. I did pay for a couple, each of those were LEED Specific, but I think if I had hunted more deeply early on I could have done it all for free. In the end I think I completed eight hours of CEM-eligible courses for free from the comfort of my desk, and paid less than $200 for the other online webinars that also qualified.
These are the resources that I used for finding web-based courses:
- The GBCI seminar portal is a great site for getting started: http://www.usgbc.org/courses. My searches were not always successful, keep trying different combinations of terms to find what you’re looking for. Also important to note – if you click on “purchase” and it fails, this may mean the course you selected is no longer available. Don’t search for it elsewhere! I did that, found the course, spent an hour on it, only to learn from the site administrator that it’s been inactive for a year.
- The quality of webinars on AEC Daily was quite good: http://www.aecdaily.com/
- This site by McGraw Hill has TONS of articles varying in length and complexity: http://continuingeducation.construction.com/
Best of luck! It feels great to have it completed – I got the confirmation e-mail only one day after submitting. Now on to the next two-year reporting cycle, but I swear I won’t leave this one to the last minute. Lesson learned!