As we quickly approach the last week for the current LEED AP v2.2 exam track, I say it is a long time coming. When I first took the exam back in 2004 I was of the opinion that the more people that had their LEED AP the better. Because ultimately it meant more people understood the issues and were on a level playing field in terms of their knowledge.
However over the past couple of years as the LEED rating system has picked up steam, my opinion of the exam has changed. Too many people are taking the exam now and not for the right reasons. Most people who are taking it are only taking the exam to have the LEED AP after their name. It’s all for marketing purposes. They don’t have any additional knowledge. They just studied the reference manual and took the exam. The majority of them do nothing to push the green building movement. Heck, some of the people are not even in the design and construction industry.
So now with the new exam track v.3.0 and actual LEED project experience as a minimum qualification to actually sit for the full exam, people have flooded the testing centers since April. As reported in the article LEED Stampede, 109,000 have signed up to take the exam between April and June of 2009. Where a mere 50,000 sat for the exam the entire year before. That is a lot of people. But you have to ask yourself. How many of the new exam candidates are going to push there projects to the next level? Just because they have a LEED AP after their name, doesn’t mean they actually know what they are doing. Or even care as a matter of fact. They just want that next job.
So I am hoping that with the new version of the exam and continuing education, that you will begin to see who the true LEED AP’s are. The ones that push their projects to the next level and do it because it is what they should do, not because they have to because of their contract.