The Green Building Certification Institute’s Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) for LEED Green Associates and LEED APs with Specialty is one complex animal! If you read the official Credential Maintenance Program guide available here from GBCI, you will know that there are 8 possible delivery methods for earning continuing education (CE) hours ranging from attending a course approved by an official Education Review Body (ERB) to writing a book about green building to working on a LEED project. To complicate matters even more, some continuing education delivery methods such as “Live Presentations” and “LEED Project Participation” can only be used to achieve a limited number of CE hours. Additionally, of the 30 CE hours required for a LEED AP with Specialty every two years, at least 6 CE hours must be “LEED-specific” and only some delivery methods are eligible to be considered “LEED-specific.” Yikes.
As if the CMP wasn’t enough, all of the CE hours you accumulate during your reporting period must be self-reported using an online reporting system that is no more clear than the program itself. Trying to report my hours over the past year has been quite a learning experience. The biggest problem I found was that the online reporting system does not clearly track how many hours you have reported in each of the delivery methods, so it would be very easy to report more hours than you were allowed using a particular delivery method and not even realize it. Additionally, the online reporting form asks for an “activity description” and “activity details” and the requirementas for what has to be contained in each of these fields varies depending on what delivery method is being used. Of course, there’s also still the problem of selecting the correct delivery method for your CE hours- what’s the difference between a professional development/continuing education course and a live presentation?
Since I was having such a problem figuring out the reporting system and since I knew that it was going to be my job to teach the rest of my firm how to report their time, I decided to develop a matrix for CE tracking. This matrix contains a tracking form, descriptions of the delivery methods and their associated “activity description” and “activity details” requirements as well as the accepted concept categories which are all the topics that GBCI has stated will be acceptable for LEED credential maintenance. This matrix is meant to be used in conjunction with the online reporting system. The matrix does a couple things to help simplify the reporting process:
- It keeps track of how many hours are being recorded using each “delivery method” so delivery method maximums are not exceeded
- It places all of the necessary CMP definitions, descriptions and requirements in one place
- Since the online reporting system is a little onerous to use, this matrix can be used to track your time through the reporting period and then everything can be uploaded at once
I’ve decided to go ahead and make my matrix available on the blog, so if you click here you can download a blank matrix (Excel spreadsheet) for your use. Since it is a complicated system, you can also click here to download an example matrix with some CE hours entered for reference. Hope it helps!