1What is the difference between a personnel certification and a certificate program?
2. Who is eligible to take an exam?
3. Which Green Advantage credentials are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)?
4. How are exams administered?

5. How do I register?
6. How do I prepare for an exam?
7. What topics are covered on each exam?

8. Am I required to take exam preparation training for personnel certifications offered by GA?
9. Once I register for a certification exam, how long do I have to take it?
10. Where can I take an exam?
11. How do I reschedule my exam?
12. If I do not pass the exam, may I take it again?
13. How long will I be credentialed?
14. How do I make a suggestion for improvement or file a complaint?
15. Are there testing accommodations for people with special needs?

16. Are my exam results confidential?

17. How do I update my GA Online Directory information?
18. How do I buy GA gear?
19. How do I specify GACA or GACP certified personnel in my project specs?
20. How can I offer training in preparation for a GA personnel certification exam?
21. How do I get a LEED Innovation Credit using Green Advantage Certified workers?
22. Why is American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accreditation important for my personnel certification or certificate program?
23. Does Green Advantage offer internships?

24. How can I volunteer with Green Advantage?
25. How does one gain appointment to the Green Advantage International Green Builder Certification Board or International Glazier Certification Board?

 

1.  What is the difference between a personnel certification and a certificate program?

Certification is a higher level personnel credential than a certificate program. Certification is more ambitious for the candidate as well as the certifying organization. Green Advantage offers both.

Under American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requirements, the chart below shows some of the differences between the two types of credentials.

 

          Certification                                         Certificate

1.   Based upon competency assessment (regardless of training)

2.   Prerequisites vary – can be revoked

3.   Granted by personnel certifying body

4.   Attests to demonstrated competency

5.   Offers  signifier that can be placed after certificant’s name

6.   Renewal required - can be renewed through ongoing requirements

1.   Based upon training followed by exam to determine whether candidate learned material presented in training

2.   Prerequisites vary – cannot be revoked

3.   Granted by certificate issuer

4.   Attests to course completion

5.   No signifier granted, though certificate can be listed on resume

6.   No renewal – time-limited validity training curriculum

 

2. Who is eligible to take an exam?

Green Advantage Certified Associate (GACA) candidate must:

·       Be at least 16 years of age. Written parent or guardian permission is required for youth 16 or 17 years old

·       Pay exam fee, or have fee paid by a third party on your behalf

·       Sign GACA Registration Agreement

·       Note: Training in preparation for the exam is recommended, but not required

    Green Advantage Certified Practitioner (GACP) candidate must:

·       Be at least 18 years of age

·       Pay exam fee, or have fee paid by a third party on your behalf

·       Sign GACP Registration Agreement

·       Note: GACA certification is NOT required as a prerequisite

·       Note: Training in preparation for the exam is recommended, but not required

Green Advantage Certified Curtainwall Installer (GAC|CI) candidate must:

·       Be at least 18 years of age

·       Pay exam fee for written & performance exams, or have fee paid by a third party on your behalf

·       Candidate who presents a US driver’s license, must also present an OSHA10 card before taking performance exam. A candidate who presents a Canadian driver’s license, does not have the OSHA10 requirement.

·       Sign GAC|CI Registration Agreement

·       Possess GACA or GACP Certification as a prerequisite for GAC|CI certification

·       Note: Training in preparation for the exam is recommended, but not required

Pre-Construction Risk Assessment (PCRA) Certificate Program candidate must:

·       Attend at least 12 hours of the 16 hour training

·       Pass the exam at conclusion of training

 

3. Which Green Advantage credentials are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)?

GACP: The Green Advantage Certified Practitioner credential is an ANSI-Accredited Personnel Certification – Accreditation #1048. This signifies that the GACP credential has been approved under ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 personnel certification standards.

PCRA Certificate Program: The Pre-construction Risk Assessment Certificate Program is offered by an ANSI-Accredited Certificate Issuer – Accreditation #1048. This signifies that the PCRA Certificate Program has been approved under ANSI/ASTM E2659 certificate program standards.

4. How are exams administered?

GACA or GACPwritten exam is administered electronically, and in paper/pencil format. Paper/pencil format is offered to groups of candidates. Both exam formats are proctored.

GAC|CI written exam is administered electronically, and in paper/pencil format. Paper/pencil format is offered to groups of candidates. Both exam formats are proctored. The GAC|CI performance exam is administered to individual candidates by experienced glaziers who are specifically trained and approved to conduct this exam.

PCRA Certificate Program exam is administered to groups of trainees in paper/pencil format at the conclusion of their training. This exam isproctored.

5. How do I register?

GACA or GACP:

·       Step 1. From www.greenadvantage.org, on the home page tool bar, click on Green Builder Certifications for GACA or GACP.  Curtainwall Installer Certification for GAC|CI or PCRA Certificate Program. Then click on Register. If you have a GA account, login and complete the registration process. If you do not have a GA account, create one by clicking on Register.  Then click on Create New Account (upper right of the screen). 

·       Step 2. Select the computerized version of the exam you wish to take along with the testing site, date, and time. 

·       Step 3. Read the Registration Agreement and click to acknowledge that you have read and understand it.

·       Step 4. Checkout by paying for your exam. You can pay with a credit card or, if your employer or host has sent you a voucher code, enter your voucher code.

GAC|CI:

·       Step 1. From www.greenadvantage.org, on the home page tool bar, click Curtainwall Installer Certification. Then click on Register. If you have a GA account, login and complete the registration process. If you do not have a GA account, create one by clicking on Register.  Then click on Create New Account (upper right of the screen). 

·       Step 2. Select the computerized version of the exam you wish to take along with the testing site, date, and time. Select the version of the exam you wish to take along with the testing site, date, and time.

o   GACA, GACP, and GAC|CI written exams are available as independent electronic exams.

o   The combined GACA or GACP exam and CI written exam is only available in a paper/pencil version, administered in a group.

o   GAC|CI performance exam is administered at approved assessment sites in the U.S. and Canada.

·       Step 3. Read the Registration Agreement and click to acknowledge that you have read and understand it.

·       Step 4. Checkout by paying for your exam. You can pay with a credit card or, if your employer or host has sent you a voucher code, enter your voucher code.

PCRA Certificate Program:

·       Step 1. From www.greenadvantage.org, on the home page tool bar, click on PCRA Certificate Program. Then click on Register. If you have a GA account, click on login and complete the registration process. If you do not have a GA account, create one by following the instructions to create an account.

·       Step 2. Select the PCRA Certificate Program training you wish to attend.

·       Step 3. Read the Registration Agreement and click to acknowledge that you have read and understand it.

·       Step 4. Checkout by paying for your exam. You can pay with a credit card or, if your employer or host has sent you a voucher code, enter your voucher code.

6. How do I prepare for an exam?

Green Advantage offers the following certification exam preparation materials:

·       Certification Exam Overviews:

    These important preparation resources are posted on www.greenadvantage.org. The purpose of each Exam Overview is to acquaint you with the topics that are covered on each exam.

 

·       Study Guides:

    Green Advantage publishes a Study Guide for the GACP, GACA, and GAC|CI written exams. The associated Study Guide is sent to you when you register for the exam. The Study Guide may also be supplied to students taking a course an educational institution (i.e. college, university, vocational school, high school). Exam questions are drawn from this Study Guide, so it is a very important document for you to read and thoroughly review.

The Study Guide is not designed to replace training, but it will assist you in preparing for your certification exam. If you register online, you receive the associated Study Guide attached to your registration confirmation email. If you do not register online, you should receive the appropriate Study Guide through the organization that is registering on your behalf or the educational institution well in advance of your exam date. If your exam date is approaching, and you have not received your Study Guide, please contact Green Advantage for assistance at exams@greenadvantage.org.

 

·       PCRA Certificate Handbook:

    The PCRA Certificate Program Handbook outlines the PCRA   training that is immediately followed by an exam.

 

·       For AIA Members: GA Certification Exam Preparation 1 (GACEP2) Workbook:

    Members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) who are interested in earning eight Health Safety Welfare (HSW) Learning Units can refer to the Green Advantage Certification Exam Preparation (GACEP2) Workbook for complete program details.

7.    What topics are covered on each exam?

GACA Certification Exam: 

This exam focuses on ensuring successful green building projects, reducing risks associated with green building, and applying green building methods, materials, and 300+ best practices related to building performance, worker & occupant health and safety, crew collaboration, disaster resistance, and costs.

 

GACP Certification Exam: 

This exam focuses on ensuring successful green building projects, reducing risks associated with green building, and applying green building methods, materials, and 800+ best practices related to meet or exceed green project goals for building performance, worker and occupant health and safety, crew collaboration, disaster resistance, and costs. 

 

GAC|CI Certification Written Exam:

This exam focuses on curtainwall systems, structural supports, glazing, seals, and attachment. In addition it requires familiarity with machinery used in curtainwall construction, and the process of curtainwall installation. Process topics related to curtainwall installation include, reduction of business risks, reduction of environmental risks, and protection of the health and safety of curtainwall installers and others. of installer-specific green building methods, materials, and best practices. This green foundation is assured through the prerequisite of Green Builder Certification – either the GACA or GACP. Curtainwall Installer certification exam topics include worker health & safety, installations for disaster resistance, and high performance, cost effective project delivery.

 

GAC|CI Certification Performance Exam: This exam is designed to test an exam candidate’s physical strength, balance, and coordination; use of standard safety practices; familiarity with common curtainwall installation tools; and skills to apply drawing and manufacturer directions to a mock-up curtainwall structure using industry accepted tolerances within a reasonable timeframe.

 

PCRA Certificate Program Exam: The purpose of the Certificate Program (two-day training and exam) is to prepare construction personnel across trades and regardless of whether serving in a supervisory or non-supervisory capacity foundational principles that promote understanding about and successful delivery of PCRA related activity. Targeted learning outcomes include: understanding the need for PCRA, key concepts related to infection control during construction, Interim Life Safety Measures, and health and safety during healthcare facility construction.

8. Am I required to take exam preparation training for personnel certifications offered by GA?

No, candidates for GA® personnel certification are not required to take training courses. However, Green Advantage recommends training in preparation for the exam, and the GA website provides information on third-party organizations offering exam prep trainings. (Visit www.greenadvantage.orgfor more information on trainings.) As a certifying body, GA does not provide, endorse, or sponsor certification preparation trainings.

9. Once I register for a certification exam, how long do I have to take it?

All GA registrations expire after twelve months. If a candidate does not take the exam within one year of registering, the candidate forfeits the exam fee. GA Exam® fees are non-refundable. To take the exam after one year, the candidate must re-register and repay. Note that additional restrictions may apply to group voucher programs.

To gain  GAC|CI certification, the CI written and CI performance exams must be taken within the validity period of the GACA or GACP, and within 6 months of each other.

10. Where can I take an exam?

Electronic Exam:
Electronic exams for GA personnel certifications are taken at testing centers, located throughout the US, Canada, and many other countries. When a candidate registers for an electronic exam, the candidate chooses a testing center prior to making payment.

Paper/pencil Exam:
Paper/pencil credentialing exams are taken in groups hosted by an employer, training organization, union, or other institutional host. These exams are offered at sites that meet GA testing center criteria.

11. How do I reschedule my exam?

·       If a candidate registered online for a computerized (electronic) exam and reschedules more than 72 hours in advance of the scheduled test time, the candidate logs in to their Green Advantage account and reschedules the exam.

·       If a candidate registered online for a computerized exam and reschedules less than 72 hours in advance of the scheduled test time, the candidate contacts exams@greenadvantage.org to reschedule the exam. A $75 rescheduling fee will apply.

·       If a candidate is registered for a group exam but cannot make it, the candidate may convert that registration to take a computerized exam at a testing center; the candidate contacts exams@greenadvantage.org  to convert to a computerized exam.

12.  If I do not pass the exam, may I take it again?

Yes, a candidate may retake the exam as many times as is necessary to pass, however, the candidate must re-register and pay the exam fee for each retake. Candidates should send questions about retesting to exams@greenadvantage.org.

13.  How long will I be credentialed?

GACAis a 3-year certification.

GACPis a 5-year certification.

GAC|CIis a 5-year certification.

The PCRA Certificate Program certificate is valid until June 20, 2022.

14.  How do I make a suggestion for improvement or file a complaint?

Green Advantage strives to maintain the integrity of its certifications by assuring fair conditions and providing timely responses to complaints and grievances. If a candidate has a complaint or grievance, the candidate may submit it in writing to Green Advantage at the address below, or send an email to exams@greenadvantage.org. The description of the problem should be specific. GA reviews all complaints, grievances, and appeals internally and responds to such communications within two weeks.

Green Advantage, Inc.
P.O. Box 3170
Frederick, MD 21705-3170

15.  Are there testing accommodations for people with special needs?

Any exam candidate requiring testing accommodation(s) should contact exams@greenadvantage.orgimmediately after registering for an exam. If the disability is documented by a licensed psychologist or physician, GA will work with the candidate to identify how to accommodate the candidate’s needs appropriately while maintaining the overall fairness of exam testing conditions. GA reserves the right to request documentation of the candidate’s disability from a physician or psychologist.

16.  Are my exam results confidential?

An exam score is released only to the test taker, unless Green Advantage® receives a written, signed statement authorizing the release to another party, or unless the exam fee was paid by a third party. In the event that an employer or another third party, such as a governmental agency, has paid for the exam, the results in pass-fail terms may be released to that entity. GA may also disclose an examinee’s account information if compelled by a governmental authority or required under applicable law or if required by an accrediting body. If GA is required by law to release account information, unless prohibited by law, notification is given to the examinee.

17.  How do I update my GA Online Directory information?

Send a request to directory@greenadvantage.org
Individuals may update any of the following information:

·       Name (first and last)

·       Company Name

·       Company Street Address

·       City, State, Zip

·       Work Phone

·       Work Email (to be used for Green Advantage official correspondence)

·       Work Website

·       Non-English languages spoken

18.  How do I buy GA gear?

Green Advantage offers:

·       U.S. made, organic cotton baseball cap with the GA logo for $15

·       GA decal that can be used on a hard hat or other surfaces for $2.

           Both costs include shipping and handling.

To purchase items, make your check payable to GA and mail it to:

Green Advantage, Inc.
P.O. Box 3170
Frederick, MD 21705-3170

19.  How do I specify GACA or GACP certified personnel in my project specs?

The Specifications Guide contains suggested specification requirements and language for projects to be constructed in compliance with the GA30 and the enhanced GA3030 standards. Green Advantage offers two sets of specifications for the inclusion of a significant percentage of certified green builders on a project. 

20.  How can I offer training in preparation for a GA personnel certification exam?

Green Advantage welcomes individuals and organizations interested in providing prep trainings for its certification exams. We offer free resources to help trainers deliver successful trainings, and we list certification training providers’ contact information on our website as a resource for exam takers.

GA recommends that trainers who offer certification exam prep training follow steps listed below:  

·       Step 1.  Review prep resource materials on the informational link below

·       Step 2.  Attain the certification yourself before offering prep training for GACA, GACP or GAC|CI exams

·       Step 3.  Develop curricula and training presentation based on the appropriate GA Study Guide

·       Step 4.  If arranging a group exam, send an email to info@greenadvantage.org to schedule the exam at the completion of your training and study period.  

·       Step 5.  Hold your training

To have your GA prep trainings or products listed on the GA website, a trainer emails contact and training information to info@greenadvantage.org. If a trainer has any questions or feedback, the trainer should email GA at info@greenadvantage.org or call (540) 822-9449. GA encourages your inquiries and input! 

Click here for more information.

21. How do I get a LEED Innovation Credit using Green Advantage Certified workers?

The LEED Rating System recognizes the value of having a significant percentage of a project's workforce be Green Advantage Certified (GACP only), and has approved a LEED Innovation Credit for eligible commercial projects registering under LEED-NC v2.2, LEED 2009 BD&C, and LEED v4, based on the Green Advantage Specifications.

Projects seeking LEED certification that wish to pursue the Innovation Credit have two options:

·       Use either the Specification Requirements Guide, Divisions 00 and 01
Or 

·       Use the Non-proprietary Specification for Workforce Certificati                on (packaged as a single division).

22.  Why is American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accreditation important for my personnel certification or certificate program?

ANSI is a rigorous third-party accreditation program, recognized nationally and internationally, that is considered the hallmark of a quality certification or certificate program. It puts forth both initial and continuous requirements to ensure credibility, integrity, and excellence for organizations and programs providing credentials to the public. Based on ISO/IEC 17024 for certifications and ASTM E2659, ANSI evaluates the structure, governance, security, and validity of professional credential programs.

As an organization committed to offering quality, third party approved and transparent personnel certifications to building practitioners nationally and internationally, pursuit of ANSI accreditation is one example of the Green Advantage commitment to continuously strengthen the quality and value of its personnel certification and certificate program offerings.

23.  Does Green Advantage offer internships?

Yes, Green Advantage offers internships and research opportunities to talented students and professionals in many disciplines, including architecture, construction management, sustainability, statistics, communications, marketing, public policy, journalism, etc. These opportunities allow individuals to make an impact, develop personally and professionally, gain hands-on experience in environmental research and education while promoting environmentally sensitive construction practices that support social and economic sustainability. To learn about available opportunities or to suggest new projects, an interested party should contact ces@greenadvantage.org.

24.  How can I volunteer with Green Advantage?

Volunteering can provide valuable business experience and build skills while working for a great cause. An interested party should contact Green Advantage at ces@greenadvantage.org.  

25.  How does one gain appointment to the Green Advantage International Green Builder Certification Board or International Glazier Certification Board?

Certification Board members are appointed by the Green Advantage governing Board of Directors. Certification Board nominations should be directed to info@greenadvantage.org.