110 Front Street, Suite #300
Jupiter, FL 33477

Become Certified

Candidate Handbook Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Program Description
  • Non-Disclosure Agreement
  • Steps to Achieve the CPBD Certification
  • About the Council
  • Code of Ethics and Conduct
  • Terms and Conditions for Certification
  • Qualifications for Certification
  • Fees
  • Certification Policies
  • Non-Discrimination and Accessibility
  • Use of the Certification Mark and Designation
  • Verification and Use of Personal Data
  • Professional Development Guidelines (For Re-certification)
  • Complaints and Actions
  • Application Process
  • Application Evaluation
  • Examination Administration
  • Preparing for Examination
  • Test Development
  • Test Content
  • CPBD Forms (Including the Application Form)

Applicants must complete an application and submit it for evaluation and approval. Each request is reviewed and processed as they are received. Please allow two to three weeks for the review process to complete and the results reported.

Applications are found at the end of the CPBD Candidate Handbook.

Exams, Fees, and Duration: 

The application fee is $50 and is nonrefundable. Once accepted, an applicant becomes referred to as a candidate. Candidates may begin the exam process at any time and will have 36 months from the date of acceptance to complete the CPBD Exam successfully.

The exam is one-part, 175 questions, with a 180 minute (3 hour) time limit.

Each exam attempt costs $300.


Scheduling an exam is done individually. The CPBD Exam is an open book (with some restrictions) test and is taken online with a virtual proctor.

A credit/debit card (VISA, MC, Discover, American Express) may be used to pay the exam fees.


Using the application and supporting documents, applicants must display at least six years of engagement in the professional practice of building design (minimum 20 hours per week).

Educational Alternative: 

One year of education from a college, university or technical institute is equivalent to one year of experience. A maximum of three years of school may be used to substitute an equal length of experience.

Supporting Materials: 

The following items are considered a part of the application.

  • Three letters of verification, which may be from other design professionals, builders, building officials, clients, etc. The documents are intended to be used to verify an applicant’s number of years of experience. Once you submit your application, please notify your letter writers. Staff will be contacting them within a few days to verify the authenticity of the letters. Use the letter template provided in the CPBD Candidate Handbook.
  • Applicants whose application includes years employed by a company or firm must submit a letter from their employer (or former employer) verifying the length of the employment. An employment letter is considered a letter of verification.
  • Applicants whose application includes years of education must submit a copy of their transcript verifying their number of credit hours.
  • Applicants applying for reciprocity must submit proof of an active U.S. architectural or engineering license or registration.

How to Submit:

Digital documents and materials are preferred and may be submitted by email: info@AIBD.org.

Submit hard copies by USPS or Currier to:

AIBD / Certification
725 N. A1A, Suite E-108
Jupiter, FL 33477

Certification Fees: 

Upon successful completion of the CPBD exam, candidates pay their first year's annual certification fee of $150. Upon receipt, a digital copy of the individual's certificate and certification mark will be issued, along with an 11"x17" diploma suitable for framing. Certification expires on the individual’s certification anniversary date. To re-certify, individuals pay the $150 annual certification fee and must submit verification of eight continuing education credits obtained within the prior 12 month period (click on "Continuing Education" above to learn more about the CE Policy). Certified individuals are encouraged to report their educational credits as they are earned to avoid as much backlog as possible.


U.S. Licensed or registered design professionals, such as architects, engineers, and building designers, may have the certification exam waived by applying for reciprocity. All other application requirements still apply. Download the Candidate Handbook to access the Reciprocity Form. The application fee for reciprocity is $50. Once approved, the candidate will be asked to pay the first year's annual certification fee.

The NCBDC Certificate, Diploma, and Certification Mark:

Certified individuals will receive a diploma certificate suitable for framing, an electronic version of their Certification Certificate and an electronic version of the CPBD Certification Mark. Also, certified individuals may use the designation “CPBD” or the title "Certified Professional Building Designer" after their name. For a full explanation of how to properly use the Council’s name, designations, and mark, download the AIBD Branding Guidelines.


Certification is suspended if an individual does not re-certify within 60 days of expiration or at any time the Council feels it is in their best interest. Individuals have 36 months from the date of revocation to correct all outstanding issues, pay all re-certification fees in arrears and verify all required continuing education to reinstate their certification.


Certification is terminated 36 months after suspension. Terminated CPBDs must apply and successfully complete the most recent CPBD exam.