In February McGraw-Hill Construction and United Technologies Corp. released their “World Green Building Trends” report, which looked at current trends driving the global green building market. The consensus? More and more firms are making the shift toward green building—with 51 percent of those surveyed anticipating more than 60 percent of their work to be green by 2015.
Likewise, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a recent report that a growing focus on sustainable construction will offer even more job prospects for qualified professionals. Now more than ever, demonstrating your knowledge and skill level by maintaining your LEED credentials is essential for staying competitive in the growing green market. Here are 6 tips for making sure you complete the education you need to renew your accreditation and stay competitive:
- Make Sure Your Education Provider is USGBC Approved. Be sure to choose an education provider approved by the U.S. Green Building Council. This will guarantee your courses support the LEED professional credentialing maintenance program and meet the USGBC’s high standards for instructional design and content quality.
- Multiple Licenses? Choose “Double Duty” Courses. If you hold a professional license, check to make sure the courses you are taking will also work toward any continuing education requirements you have in your license state. That way, you can kill two birds with one stone.
- Keep Your Certificates of Completion in One Easily Accessible Location. There’s nothing worse than scrambling to find your course completion certificates when you need them, so be sure to store them in one place so they’re easy to find. Better yet, choose an online education provider such as RedVector with an electronic transcript service that uploads all your documents to one master location.
- Make Sure You can Test Drive a Course. You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first, so why shouldn’t it be the same for CE? Check to make sure your education provider offers demo courses so you can get a feel for what they are like before you commit to a lot of hours.
- Having the Right Support is Critical. Don’t underestimate the value of good support—especially when you’re having technical issues or you need help navigating your LEED requirements. Make sure your education provider offers 7-day-a-week technical AND educational support to help answer your questions, and always ask if they have LIVE support and not just an automated system.
- The Best Providers Put Your Satisfaction First. A quality product or service will always be backed by a quality guarantee. Be sure to check the refund policy of your education provider to make sure you can get your money back if you’re not completely satisfied.
A Word about Renewing
Finally, when it comes to getting your LEED education requirements completed on time, the USGBC recommends renewing as close to your renewal date as possible since you can’t start logging new activities until your two years are up. (Each CMP reporting period last two years, with your two-year anniversary marking the date you initially earned your primary credential.) For professionals with more than one credential, the USGBC recommends renewing all of them at the same time as your primary credential so you only have one date to remember.