How I learned to stop worrying and just self report
One of the biggest initial complaints about the new LEED Credentialing Maintenance Program (CMP) was that people who sign up were going to have a pay substantial sums to get their Continuing Education (CE) hours. While free opportunities are still not widespread, there are now enough free resources out there on the internets to get you through about 6 years worth of hours. I'm talking specifically about CE hours that have been approved by an official Education Review Body (ERB). There are a multitude of other ways to get free credits (volunteering, attending or developing non-approved presentations, college classes, authorship, or LEED project participation), but most have limitations on the number of hours you can earn under that section per 2 year CMP term. ERB approved hours can constitute 100% of the hours you need in a given term, so the references below are in a way more useful than others. For more details on LEED credentialling maintenance in general, I strongly suggest reading the official CMP Guide. All courses require self reporting. There will eventually be a post about my experience so far with the CMP process, but that takes a long time to get right and I'm lazy.
My prediction for what 95% of LEED APs will look like the night before their credits are due.
The USGBC maintains a course catalog that updates whenever a program earns CE approval. You can filter the search results by subject, format, LEED credit, duration, and a few other parameters, but unfortunately you cannot filter by cost. All results will show both paid and free webinars, articles, or workshops listed together. The following list was developed mostly by me scanning through this catalog formats that feature online classes (e.g. webinars, articles, and online courses). Unfortunately direct linking isn't an option for many of these courses, so in some instances you will need to visit the course catalog and follow the instructions below to access the courses:
- AEC Daily
- 52 approved courses
- Hosts courses typically developed by manufacturers. Easy to use and an excellent source for just about every other continuing education body imaginable (AIA, CSI, IDCEC, etc.). You can filter results by other education bodies here.
- Energy University by Schneider Electric
- 22 approved courses
- The USGBC Course Catalog shows 22 approved courses, though the total offerings on the Schneider site show 25 classes, so I would recommend using the course catalog to make sure the classes you take are approved. Most of these courses deal with HVAC and electrical engineering issues... go figure!
- McGraw Hill -> "Advanced Options" -> Select McGraw-Hill Construction from the "Providers" list -> Click "Go"
- 18 approved courses
- Basically a bunch of articles and online courses that are also available in their Architectural Record and Greensource publications. Many of the courses also earn AIA credits.
- Environmental Design + Construction -> "Advanced Options" -> Select Environmental Design and Construction from the "Providers" list -> Click "Go"
- 3 approved courses
- Very similar to McGraw Hill format and also offering AIA credits.
- Leonardo Academy
- 1 approved course
- This live webinar is taking place on June 17th. Word from staff at Leonardo is that they'll be adding more classes in the future.
To be clear, there are free offerings in the course catalog that I've missed, as many manufacturers are starting to get on board with the new system and getting their lunch and learns up to date... Please don't hesitate to spam the comments if you have a course offering that I've missed, but you can only advertise if it's completely FREE to attend!