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CPBD Building Designer Certification

Building Designer Certification Reaches Critical Point

If you’ve been thinking about becoming a Certified Professional Building Designer (CPBD), testing will be temporarily suspended after November 30, 2017.

One of the core missions of AIBD is to support industry professionals through certification. Those with sufficient experience to qualify, and who pass the certification exam, earn the unique CPBD credential administered by a designated body within AIBD, the National Council of Building Designer Certification.

The certification program was established over 20 years ago, and over the past 3 years, we have been working to refine our processes and update the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are essential for competency in the practice of residential building and light construction design. Our guideline is ISO/IEC 17024–the International Standard for Personnel Certification.

Our objective is to achieve accreditation under the Standard. Our vision is to use that accreditation to earn recognition by the ICC, and state licensing boards across the country–and to establish an affirmative right to practice building design–within the scope of our expertise, wherever the Code is in force.

In our quest for accreditation, we have reached a critical point. We have just launched a prototype of the new certification exam–but we need a sufficient body of results, in order to determine the blueprint of what becomes the formal exam and the passing grade. It may sound like our cart is in front of our horse, but this how things must get done, in order to make sure the exam is fair and reliable.

According to the ISO guidelines, a minimum number of exams are to be delivered within 90 days to be considered a valid sample. Now that the BETA testing has started, the deadline for standard setting is November 30, 2017. Currently we are at 18% of the minimum number needed. Starting December 1st, there will be a moratorium on test giving until the standard setting process is completed. The moratorium will be at least two months, maybe longer.

This means that we are in need of qualified candidates to take the prototype exam immediately! So that we can move forward in our process.

The downside is, we can’t tell whether you’ve passed the exam, until we have given the minimum number of exams to determine a valid passing grade. The upside is, that the exam has never been easier, cheaper, or faster to take. You can take it on your computer, in the comfort of your home or office, and according to your own schedule.

So this is my personal request to you, to download the CPBD Candidate Handbook, and review the qualifications to pursue certification. Then, if you are qualified, register and take the exam.

Like most important things in life, you get back in value what you invest in effort. Please help us during this critical time, so that we in turn can add value to your career and your practice.


Alan Abrams, CPBD, AIBD
Council President.