LEED to Award Points for Non-LEED Credentials
Through the new path, an organization can apply to USGBC for recognition of its credential. This is a two-part application process, and (as you might expect with LEED) the first part has two paths. In the first path, the organization shows that it is accredited under ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024. The second path pretty much amounts to the same thing, but gives the organization about two years to earn the accreditation. Part two requires the organization to demonstrate to USGBC that the credential in question is relevant to advanvcement of the green building industry.
ANSI accreditation under ISO 17024 is a key standard for credibility of a professional credential; a key reason for GBCI taking over the LEED AP credential from USGBC in early 2009 was the desire for the credential to meet that standard. GBCI has been in the ISO 17024 accreditation process for the last two years; I heard from GBCI that a decision on its application is expected any day.
I spoke with Brendan Owens, P.E., vice president of LEED technical development, about this new IDc1 path. Owens explained to me that the move was based in LEED's mission of market transformation. "We've seen a variety of green building personnel credentials pop up," he told me. "With the revisions that GBCI made with the way that LEED AP is developed and maintained, we felt there was an opportunity to bring the same level of bar-rasing that the LEED AP credential went through to the rest of the credentials out there. We wanted to incentivize them to do that" (to gain ISO 17024 accreditation).
According to Owens, one credential is currently recognized under the IDc1 path: the Green Advantage Certified Practitioner. He said he has been contacted by several other groups who are seeking to understand the process. Organizations will seek and receive approval through the LEED Interpretations process, which is expected to be launched soon.
I asked Owens why practitioners would not be recognized through IDc2. "LEED AP is the highest threshold," he told me, explaining that USGBC views the LEED AP tag as the "Platinum" green credential. He said that there was lobbying to expand IDc2 to other credentials, possibly in LEED 2012, but that he didn't see that as a likely direction for the credit.
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What do you think about this development? Do you have a credential you'd like to have recognized in this way?