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Certification Means Business

As the design-build industry grows, so does the need for qualified professionals who practice Design-Build Done Right™. Being a DBIA Designated Design-Build Professional™ identifies you as a trained design-build pro.

Step 1:

Apply

Submit your Certification Application to the Design-Build Certification Board for approval.

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Step 2:

Take the Courses

Complete the required core courses either via a Certification Workshop or by taking the courses individually.

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Step 3:

Pass the Exam

You can take DBIA’s Certification Exam at more than 300 testing centers nationwide.

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Code of Conduct
DBIA’s Code of Professional Conduct applies to all DBIA™ and Assoc. DBIA™ credential holders.

Read More

Step 1

Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA™)

Certified Design-Build Professionals come from traditional design and construction backgrounds across public and private sectors. This includes, but is not limited to:

Owners

Architects

Engineers

General Contractors

Subcontractors

Project Managers

Legal Professionals

Academics

Special Instructions: For Courses Completed before September 1

Did you take Certification coursework prior to September 1st? You have until April 2019 to take the “grandfathered” Certification exam. Email our Certification Department for the appropriate application.

Do NOT complete the New Certification application if you have completed coursework prior to September 1st.

Application Requirements

Education/Experience

Applicant must have the following:

Master's degree in a concentrated design-build university level program approved by DBIA’s Certification Board and 2 years of substantial, documented direct experience in a responsible position using the design-build method;

OR Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in a DBIA approved field of study and 3 years total experience as described;

OR, for candidates not holding a degree or holding a degree in a non-approved field of study, 6 years total experience as described.

Core Courses

All candidates must complete the following core courses:

  • Code of Conduct webinar
  • Principles of Design-Build Delivery & Procurement
  • Post Award: Executing the Delivery of Design-Build Projects
  • Contracts & Risk Management

To register for courses, visit our Courses page.

References

3 professional references submitted in the online reference form detailing the candidate's design-build knowledge and experience. At least one must be an owner/client on a project included in the application.

Electives

Candidates must complete 18 hours of elective credit. Credits can be earned through DBIA courses, conferences, webinars or DBIA Regional programs.

Get Certified

Associate Design-Build Professional™ (Assoc. DBIA™)

The Assoc. DBIA™ does not require hands-on design-build experience and accepts different types of similar experiences. Applicants typically fall into one of the following categories:

  • Developing professionals with educational background in the A/E/C industry
  • Experienced professionals new to design-build project delivery
  • Professionals involved in design-build pre-award activities such as business development and acquisition/procurement

Associate DBIA applicants submit the designated sections of the application to the DBIA’s Certification Department. No references or electives are required for the Assoc. DBIA™.

Special Instructions: For Courses Completed before September 1

Did you take Certification coursework prior to September 1st? You have until April 2019 to take the “grandfathered” Certification exam. Email our Certification Department for the appropriate application.

Do NOT complete the New Certification application if you have completed coursework prior to September 1st.

Requirements

Education/Experience

Applicant must hold one of the following:

Baccalaureate degree in an approved field of study from an accredited college or university;

OR a Baccalaureate degree in a non-approved field of study and 3 years of experience in design and/or construction demonstrated through resume;

OR, for candidates not holding a degree or holding a degree in a non-approved field of study, 6 years of design and/or construction experience demonstrated through resume.

Core Courses

All candidates must complete the following core courses:

  • Code of Conduct webinar
  • Principles of Design-Build Delivery & Procurement
  • Post Award: Executing the Delivery of Design-Build Projects
  • Contracts & Risk Management

To register for courses, visit our Courses page.

Get Certified
Step 2

Certification Courses

DBIA instructors are leaders in the industry, with real-world experience in the delivery of successful design-build projects. Take the first step to becoming a Certified Design-Build Professional™ today.

Certification Courses
Workshops

Tackle your courses all at once with this three-day intensive program that includes the core courses needed for certification along with access to the remaining core course online. The prices below include the certification application and one exam sitting fee.

  • Member Price: $2,100
  • Member Owner Price: $1,200
  • Non-Member Price: $3,100
  • Non-Member Owner Price: $1,500
Additional Courses

These core courses may also be taken individually; however, they are only offered as part of a workshop. To take a course a la carte, you would join the workshop for the day of that individual course.

  • Practitioner Member: $375
  • Practitioner Non-Member: $675
  • Owner/Gov’t Agency Member: $275
  • Owner/Gov’t Agency Non-Member: $375
  • Student: $250
Step 3

Exams

DBIA certification exams are offered at more than 300 testing centers nationwide. The 100-question certification exam measures a candidate's mastery of design-build best practices and application. It covers eight main topics:

Project management

Contracts and legal

General attributes

Project delivery

Estimating/ specifications

Teaming and team organization

Procurement

Ethics/ professionalism

How to Register

Results are provided immediately after completion of the exam and are graded on a Pass/Fail basis, with a score of 62% or better to pass.

How to Register

Did you take Certification coursework prior to September 1st? You have until April 2019 to take the “grandfathered” Certification exam. Email our Certification Department for the appropriate application. Do NOT complete the New Certification application if you have completed coursework prior to September 1st.

Here is the process for everyone else:

Step 1: Complete the required four Certification Core Courses
Step 2: Submit a completed Certification Application for Certification Board approval.
Step 3: Once verified, candidates will receive their unique Exam Eligibility Number via confidential email from a DBIA staff member.
Step 4: Register for the exam once you have obtained your Exam Eligibility Number.

Register
New in 2018

Updated DBIA Certification Courses and Exam Now in Place

DBIA has now released updated certification coursework and exam to ensure the growing number DBIA professionals are well-versed in Design-Build Done Right™ principles and prepared to meet the demand for design-build professionals.

For those who finished their coursework but haven’t yet taken the exam, you have until April 2019 to do so. After that date, you will need to retake the updated coursework to be prepared for the new Certification exam.

To register to take the old exam, email DBIA’s Certification Department. Do not register using the new application provided on this website.

Email Us

DBIA Fellow Designation

Designated Design-Build Professional™ Fellow status recognizes the achievements of our most accomplished Designated Design-Build Professionals. Elevation to Fellow status celebrates individual career achievements and promotes DBIA principles through the DBIA College of Fellows.

2018 Fellows

Qualifying as a DBIA Fellow

DBIA Fellow status is limited to 2% of Designated Design-Build Professionals who are elected to Fellowship by a jury of their peers.

Fellowship Requirements

  • At least 10 continuous years as a Designated Design-Build Professional™, as well as 10 continuous years of membership in DBIA
  • Notable career contributions to the design-build profession
  • Notable contributions to DBIA organization
  • Election by the Jury of Fellows

Fellowship Benefits

  • DBIA Fellow™ title and membership in DBIA College of Fellows
  • Induction Ceremony honoring Fellows at DBIA Annual Conference
  • Fellowship medal and pin
  • Framed certificate
  • Industry announcements by DBIA
  • Recognition on the DBIA website and DBIA e-publications

How to become a DBIA Fellow

  • Step 1: A Fellows Nomination is submitted by a design-build industry leader peer by June 30th
  • Step 2: DBIA delivers Fellows Applications to qualified candidates
  • Step 3: Candidates complete the Fellows Application by July ($300 application fee)
  • Step 4: Candidates chosen as DBIA Fellows will be honored at DBIA’s National Conference & Expo in November.
Nomination Form

Frequently Asked Questions

General
Membership
Application
Coursework
Electives
Exam
Renewal
Contact

Why should I obtain DBIA certification?

Achieving DBIA certification is the finest measurable standard by which to judge “Design-Build Done Right.”

Offering certification in design-build project delivery to members and non-members alike, our program educates owners as well as designers and builders on team-centered approaches to design and construction. Owners want successfully executed design-build projects and are looking for a demonstration of relevant continuing education and experience — both of which can be gained through DBIA certification.

Which of the two types of certification is right for me?

Which DBIA certification you attain depends on various factors including experience, education, and professional background. A Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA™) requires two to six years of hands-on experience of pre- and post-award design-build. These credential holders come from traditional design and construction background in both public and private sectors including architects, engineers and construction professionals. Attorneys and academic practitioners who specialize in construction (generally) or design-build (specifically) may fulfill these requirements as well.

Unlike the DBIA™ credential, obtaining the Assoc. DBIA™ does not require hands-on field experience. Instead, this credential is focused on three key types of individuals who possess a different type of experience: (1) pre-award professionals focusing on critical aspects of the design-build process such as business development and acquisition/procurement; (2) seasoned professionals who are new to design-build project delivery, but not new to the design and construction industry; and (3) emerging professionals such as recent college graduates with relevant educational background in the AEC industry.

Do I need to be a DBIA member to apply for certification?

All are welcome to apply for DBIA™ and Assoc. DBIA™ credentials. However, DBIA members do enjoy several member benefits including lower registration rates for DBIA courses and conferences. For more information about DBIA membership, please visit our membership page.

Should I submit my application before or after taking the core courses?

While candidates are not required to apply before attending our core courses, we recommend you submit your application as early as possible. All applications go before our Design-Build Certification Board for review and approval, taking up to 30 days to be completed, and you must have an approved application on file to sit for the certification exam.

Note: Applicants with a degree in an approved field of study are permitted to take the exam prior to having an approved application because, at minimum, they meet the requirements for an Assoc. DBIA™. However, this does not guarantee you will be approved as a Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA™).

Where can I find the application?

The DBIA certification application for those who’ve completed the new coursework starting September 1, 2018, can be found here. Anyone who has taken coursework prior to September 1st must email DBIA’s Certification department to get the appropriate application.

The application is required for both credentials. Completed applications can be submitted via email to certification@dbia.org or mailed to:

Design-Build Institute of America
1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20004

What is an "approved" application?

An approved application is any application that is reviewed by the Design-Build Certification Board, who approves the candidate’s experience in design-build or the design and construction industry.

Incomplete applications will not be processed or reviewed. Candidates will be notified of program acceptance no later than 30 business days after the completed application and all necessary documents have been received by DBIA.

Note: Applicants with a degree in an approved field of study are permitted to take the exam prior to having an approved application because, at minimum, they meet the requirements for an Assoc. DBIA™. However, this does not guarantee you will be approved as a Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA™).

Are references required?

Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA™) candidates are required to provide three (3) professional references attesting to the candidate’s design-build experience and knowledge, with at least one of these references being an Owner/client from one of the design-build projects listed on the submitted application. Listed references must complete our online reference form, which can be found here.

Associate Design-Build Professional™ (Assoc. DBIA™) candidates are NOT required to provide references.

How do I provide proof of my degree?

A photograph of your diploma or a copy of your transcript is sufficient. Please submit this along with your application to certification@dbia.org.

What is a functional resume? (Assoc. DBIA™ only)

A functional resume is a chronological job history that summarizes an individual’s skills and experience in the design and construction industry. A functional resume is only required for Assoc. DBIA™ candidates who do NOT have a baccalaureate degree from an approved field of study, a Master’s degree in a concentrated design-build university level program approved by the DBCB, or a baccalaureate or Master’s degree in a non-approved field of study.

  • Assoc. DBIA™ candidates with a baccalaureate degree in a non-approved field of study (business, communications, etc.) will need to show three (3) years of experience in the design and/or construction industry via functional resume.
  • Assoc. DBIA™ candidates not holding a degree may qualify with six (6) years of experience in design and/or construction demonstrated through a functional resume.

How long does the review process take?

All candidates must complete the full application and submit it to the DBIA Certification Department. If the application (including references) is complete, it is forwarded to the Design-Build Certification Board for review and approval. DBIA will notify candidates of this date.

The Board will then make its recommendation to either advance to candidacy or deny candidacy, a process that generally takes up to 30 days.

I have the Assoc. DBIA™ and wish to pursue the DBIA™. How does that work?

Professionals that hold the Assoc. DBIA™ credential and would like to apply for the DBIA™ credential must complete an entirely new certification application (along with the $150 application fee) demonstrating three to six (3–6) years of hands-on design-build field experience for Board approval. As an Assoc. DBIA™ credential holder, the core courses and exam requirements have been fulfilled, though you will need to fulfill the 18 hours of elective credit required for DBIA™.

In addition, candidates will need to provide three (3) professional references from the design-build projects mentioned in the application. Please note that these references will need to answer a few questions via DBIA’s online reference form which concern the related design-build projects. The candidate will need to contact the reference(s) and provide the link listed above. Please note that one of the three references must be from an Owner. The Board will review the application (and references) to determine if the candidate meets the DBIA™ requirement. Upon approval from the Board and completion of the elective credits requirement, the candidate will receive the DBIA™ credential.

What are the Core Courses?

All candidates must complete the following core courses:

  • Code of Conduct webinar
  • Principles of Design-Build Delivery & Procurement
  • Post Award: Executing the Delivery of Design-Build Projects
  • Contracts & Risk Management

Where and when can I take these courses?

These courses can be taken as part of a weeklong Certification Workshop.

To view DBIA’s list of upcoming events or register for a course, visit the Courses page.

Are these courses available online?

The only certification course requirement that is offered online is the Code of Conduct webinar. The core courses are instructor-led only.

Are elective credit hours required?

Elective hours are required for candidates pursuing the DBIA™ credential. Candidates must fulfill 18 hours of elective credit which can be earned through DBIA courses, conferences, webinars or DBIA Regional programs. Visit the Conferences & Expo page or the Courses page for more information.

You will be expected to self-report your elective credit hours, so please save your certificates of completion.

Elective hours are NOT required for candidates pursuing the Assoc. DBIA™ credential.

How can I earn elective credit?

DBIA conferences, specialty courses, archived conference sessions, webinars and Region programs are options available for individuals seeking elective credits. On occasion, the DBCB approves related courses from other industry associations such as USGBC and AIA. Individuals are welcome to submit similar programs for Board approval.

Note: When submitting credit obtained from organizations other than DBIA, please attach brief, supplemental information about the program. This can include a copy of the agenda, speaker bios and/or a copy of the program description. This information is necessary to demonstrate the program’s applicability to design-build project delivery.

Does the Design-Build Exam Prep course count as an elective?

Yes, it is an elective course. Six (6) CEUs will be awarded to participating individuals. Exam Prep is delivered online as part of the Certification Workshop.

How long do I have to earn the 18 elective credits?

You must earn the 18 elective credits within one year of Board approval.

I attended DBIA Conferences in the past; can I still count that toward certification?

Elective credit is accepted for conferences held within the last three (3) years.

How many credits do I get by teaching a DBIA course or speaking at a DBIA Conference?

One (1) hour of continuing professional education will be awarded for each hour completed as an instructor or discussion leader to the extent that the activity contributes to the professional competence of the certified individual (as determined by the DBCB). Credit may also be received for preparation time whereas two hours of preparation equates to one hour of teaching. Credit may NOT be obtained for repeat presentations.

When will I be eligible to take the certification exam?

You must have a Board-approved application on file to sit for the exam.

Note: Applicants with a degree in an approved field of study are permitted to take the exam prior to having an approved application because, at minimum, they meet the requirements for an Assoc. DBIA™. However, this does not guarantee you will be approved as a Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA™).

What is the definition of an approved application?

An approved application is any application for which the Design-Build Certification Board (DBCB) approves the candidate’s experience in design-build or the design and construction industry.

How do I register for an exam?

Board-approved applicants who have completed the core courses will be issued a unique exam number via email. You can register to take the exam using this number.

Where do I take the certification exam?

DBIA certification exams are offered at more than 300 testing centers nationwide. You can find where here.

What is the certification exam format?

The certification exam contains 100 questions covering eight main topics:

  • Project management
  • Contracts and legal
  • General attributes
  • Project delivery
  • Estimating/specifications
  • Teaming and team organization
  • Procurement
  • Ethics/professionalism

How much time is allotted for the exam?

Candidates have a maximum of two (2) hours to take the exam.

How is the exam scored?

Exam results are pass/fail. Candidates pass with a 62% or above.

When will I receive my exam results?

Candidates receive their exam results immediately following the exam.

What if I am unsuccessful on the exam? Can I retake it?

Yes, you will be able to retake the exam. Upon completion of the exam you will immediately receive a subscore/feedback report indicating your strengths and weaknesses on each section of the exam. This report will help to inform you of which areas you will need to improve upon in a future exam sitting.

To retake the exam, please contact Jackie Porter at jporter@dbia.org. A $400 sitting fee is required.

Can you take the exam before you have completed the 18 hours of elective credit?

Yes. Candidates are eligible to take the exam if their application has been approved and they have attended all four core courses. If the candidate passes the certification exam, they must still meet the 18 elective credit requirements before receiving the DBIA™ designation.

Once I become certified, how do I maintain my credential?

All DBIA™ and Assoc. DBIA™ credential holders must renew their certification every two years. On December 31 of your two-year anniversary year, you must have accrued 24 hours of approved continuing education credit (e.g. whether you received your certification in June 2016 or November 2016, your renewal would be due on December 31, 2018).

Please complete the certification renewal form and submit to certification@dbia.org along with supporting documentation, certificates, etc.

How many CEUs do I get by teaching a DBIA course or speaking at a DBIA Conference?

You will be able to apply credit toward your credential renewal in the same way you would apply credit toward certification. One (1) hour of continuing professional education will be awarded for each hour completed as an instructor or discussion leader to the extent that the activity contributes to the professional competence of the certified individual (as determined by the DBCB). Credit may also be received for preparation time whereas two hours of preparation equates to one hour of teaching. Credit may NOT be obtained for repeat presentations.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Certification program: Valexia Hall — (202) 454-7512
Certification application status: Jackie Porter — (202) 454-7502
Registration: Zeporia Laws — (202) 454-7513
Courses/Webinars: Mihisha Henderson — (202) 454-7532