...education credits by attending conference sessions, says Jessica Pascoe, director of education for USGBC Colorado. Courses must be approved for eligibility, and the sessions at the April conference will be an easy way to earn credits, she says.

“We’re planning for 2010 to offer a variety of programs for all the different specialties and levels,” Pascoe adds. “You can get hours under live presentations, committee work and participating in a LEED project.”

Sharon Patterson, Idaho’s USGBC Chapter chair, says, “I don’t think it (the new system) takes work off the chapter’s plate. If someone wants to pursue credentialing, they’re going to go through the national GBCI. But it impacts the state on the educational side. There’s now a continuing education requirement.”

Patterson says all the new specialty tiers require more specialty classes. “There needs to be someone available to teach a workshop,” she says. “You need LEED faculty. We don’t have many in this region.”

Each state’s USGBC chapter is handling the changes differently.

“At this point, in the Utah chapter, we help facilitate study groups, nothing formal other than putting people together,” Laker says. “We have a few resources on our website.”

New people can go to the GBCI’s website and review handbooks and requirements to figure out which test they want to take.

As of December, more than 2,600 people nationwide had earned the LEED Green Associate designation, but opinions are mixed on whether the new system is an improvement over the old.

“In some ways, there’s respect that it’s a little more challenging to get the credentials,” Patterson says. “You have to prove you have project experience. It’s a little higher bar to reach.”

Pascoe adds: “I think there’s some frustration on exactly what’s required. GBCI is still trying to communicate the program.”