The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been accepted by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) as the first Education Reviewing Body (ERB). With ERB status, USGBC is now authorized to review and approve continuing education offerings under the LEED Professional Credentialing Maintenance Program. ERBs must meet organizational and technical criteria established by GBCI, demonstrating capacity, subject matter expertise and compliance with best practices.

“GBCI’s commitment to providing a suite of LEED professional credentials that keep pace with the demands and the evolution of the marketplace is dependent on a credential maintenance program that sets the bar for cutting-edge, innovative and diverse education,” said Peter Templeton, President of GBCI. “The rigorous selection process for our Education Reviewing Bodies helps ensure that the LEED AP and LEED Green Associate credential holders receive the ongoing education needed to lead the green building industry into the future.”

“There are currently over 120,000 existing LEED Accredited Professionals and thousands of LEED AP candidates looking for green building and LEED education,” said Rebecca Flora, Senior Vice President of Education & Research, U.S. Green Building Council. “Being verified by GBCI as an ERB puts the Council in a unique position to offer the highest quality education on the market.”

USGBC maintains a catalog of approved professional courses developed by a broad network of Education Providers. An Education Provider is a third-party organization that submits high-quality courses to USGBC for peer-review. These courses are approved for LEED Professionals seeking to maintain their credentials and enrich their knowledge of green building theories, techniques and business trends. Recent efforts to streamline course reviews have resulted in a simplified, online process and a reduced annual fee.

USGBC recently welcomed the newest member of the Education team, Thom Lowther, as Director of Continuing Educations Systems. Lowther will be involved with the continued development and quality of USGBC’s Education Provider courses, implementation of a new Education Consulting Services program, and serving as USGBC’s liaison on mandatory continuing education (MCE) with state licensing boards and international professional associations.

Prior to joining USGBC, Lowther worked for 14 years at the American Institute of Architects (AIA), where he served as Senior Director of Continuing Education Systems, playing a strategic role in developing and implementing cooperative continuing professional education programs with industry and professional associations both nationally and internationally. While with AIA, Lowther served as advisor to the Union of International Architects (UIA).