4 Reasons Why LEED Professionals Can't Take Your GBCI Education Course

Posted On: 
Nov 23, 2016
4 Reasons Why LEED Professionals Can’t Take Your GBCI Education Course

One of the most critical aspects of building product specification is education. Education = Specification. If a designer does not understand the benefits, applications, limitations, and costs associated with a building product, they will never specify it. Education is a key component to any successful marketing strategy by a building product manufacturer. Architect CE courses can be registered with various organizations such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). Over 200,000 LEED professionals need several hours of continuing education to maintain their LEED credential. The GBCI is a third-party organization that provides independent oversight of professional credentialing programs related to green building and health and wellness in the built environment.

Recently, the GBCI released new review criteria for submitting CE courses. The new criteria is especially important for building product manufacturers who want to educate LEED APs through a GBCI registered course. There are several reasons why the GBCI might not register your course. We will examine the top four reasons.

Learning Objectives

Per the GBCI review criteria, the course content must be organized around a minimum of four learning objectives that attendees will be able to achieve after taking the course. If your education course only has two or three learning objectives, the GBCI will not approve your course. Your one learning objective about how Duct tape is the greatest building tool in the history of redneck engineering is not going to cut it! Your course must have a minimum of four learning objectives.

Subject Matter

Your course subject matter must relate to green building. Your GBCI General Course must include 3 out of 4 learning objectives that are related to green building which includes environmental sustainability, and human health and wellness in the built environment. Golf, couch surfing, and underwater basket weaving don’t count.

Educational Contact Time

According to the GBCI, CE credit is allocated at a rate of 0.5 CE per thirty minutes of educational contact time. A building product manufacturer can deliver a thirty minute presentation but nothing short of this for credit. A fifteen minute sales pitch about how your urinal drain is the greatest on the market isn’t going to qualify. However, a 1.5 hour presentation about urban planning and sustainable permaculture on Mars would likely be approved.

Commercial Logos

Commercial logos can only be shown on the first and last slides of the presentation. This rule is a biggie and building product manufacturer courses that don’t follow this rule are doomed to be chunked into the cyberspace junk bin. The AIA has similar Presenter Guidelines for CE courses and states “Course Presenters may not discuss their company’s products or services prior to, or during the educational, credit portion of the Course. However, Course Presenters are permitted to discuss their company’s products and services prior to or once the educational, credit portion of the course is completed.”

Overall, building product manufacturers need to be diligent in following the GBCI Continuing Education Review Criteria in order to submit courses that will be approved. There are many online resources to help building product manufacturers develop and host their CE courses.

Does your company offer GBCI education? What challenges does your company face developing GBCI courses for LEED APs?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please call Brad Blank at 360-727-3528.