So I was browsing through the GBCI's LEED AP directory the other day and noticed how few LEED AP's had a specialty listed next to their status. It's been exactly 7 weeks and one day since 'legacy' LEED AP's were able to upgrade to the new credentialing maintenance program (see my questions and concerns about the benefits of such a move here), and I thought it would be interesting to figure out how many have made the plunge into the new credentialing system. After running some numbers I've estimated that less than 1.6% of legacy LEED APs have moved into the new program.
Maytag Man Considering Whether Clients Will Notice LEED-AP Appliance Operations + Maintenance Specialty
If we keep up at this rate (roughly .8%/month), less than 20% will have opted in by the start of the next credentialing cycle two years from the start of the program. I suspect that many of you, like myself, are simply holding out to get a better feel for the new program as the USGBC/GBCI figures it out themselves. The alternatives are that (a) many people have no intention of switching over or (b) that people just haven't been paying attention. I don't really have any frame of reference for all this, but it seems like a slow uptake to me.
The Numbers Behind the Number
This is an incredibly boring explanation of the numbers, and I would suggest not reading them for that reason. At the same time, I get very frustrated when people make claims and show no data to back it up. As of 6:00 pm EST, 09.22.09, the GBCI directory listed the following:
- Everyone (GA, AP, and AP w/ Specialties) - 122,527
- Note that placement on this list is voluntary, and I've seen total AP's listed at 131,655 in a 09.09.09 email from the USGBC. My numbers just use GBCI published AP's, which should be a reasonable proxy for AP's at large.
- LEED APs without specialty - 121,271
- This number seems to include all previous LEED APs and those who have upgraded to the new system (i.e. those that now have a specialty as well). When you upgrade, the directory appears to list both your 'conventional' LEED AP designation as well as the specialty separately. I did not see anyone on this list with a LEED GA certification (implying they took the tests instead of just opting in). In other words, if we take this number and subtract only those with a specialty, we should get LEED APs who haven't upgraded, but I haven't found a sure way to separate this out.
- LEED APs with specialty + LEED Green Associates - 3,156
- LEED APs with specialty 'only' - 2,018
- Presumably this would include both people who have taken the new tests and those that opted in. The figure for converts I've chosen simply takes this number and divides it by the the 122,527 'everyone' number above (1.64% conversion).
- LEED Green Associates - 1,163
- This should only be possible from taking the exam itself, but I've seen a few names that also listed the regular "LEED AP" designation as well, which is strange in that there doesn't seem to be any reason to take the GA test if you could just opt into the higher specialty??? Interestingly, 1163 + 2018 = 3181. Since a search looking for people with either designation yields 3156 hits, it suggests that there is only an overlap of 25 people (3181-3156=25), suggesting only 25 have so far passed both the LEED GA and a LEED specialty exam.
You probably noticed all the assumptions above, and the directory left me with more than a little confusion since I couldn't separate out certain classes entirely. I put in an email to the USGBC for an official number, though I did so with hardly any advance notice. If I receive official numbers I'll be sure to post them, but it's clear that it's highly unlikely that more than 1.6% of legacy LEED AP's have opted into the new system.