Quantcast

Certification Means Business

Step 1:

Apply

Submit your Certification Application (...)

1

Step 2:

Take the Courses

Complete the required core courses via DBIA's Certification Workshop.

2

Step 3:

Pass the Exam

Take DBIA’s Certification Exam at a Prometric Testing Center or remotely.

3

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

Read More

IMPORTANT TO NOTE
If you are in the process of seeking the DBIA® or the Assoc. DBIA® certification, please note that the required core curriculum (Certification Workshop) and the certification exam will be changing effective mid-September 2024. This means you must have an approved application on file and complete the current certification exam by August 31, 2024. After this date, all candidates will need to restart the process which includes registering and paying to attend the updated Certification Workshop (core courses) and sit for the new exam.

Read the complete Certification Guidelines here.

For questions and assistance, please contact certification@dbia.org.

The Ultimate Flexibility

Take Your Exam Virtually or In-Person

The need for Design-Build Certified Professionals will be greater than ever as our nation works to rebuild our economy. That’s why DBIA is excited to expand our certification testing program to provide applicants a new secure remote testing option. See STEP 3 below for details.

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

Application Requirements

Education/Experience

Applicant must have the following:

Educational Background

  • Option 1 — Baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited college or university in architecture, engineering, construction management or DBIA approved field of study.
  • Option 2 — For candidates not holding a degree in an approved field of study or no degree. Functional resume is required (see Certification Guidelines & Requirements for further details).

Experience
Applicant must verify required years of substantial, documented, direct hands-on project experience. Please provide a minimum of three (3) projects that were completed or are currently being constructed. If more than three (3) projects are needed to demonstrate the applicant’s experience, the applicant shall complete the required form for each additional project.

  • For Educational Background Option 1: Three (3) years total of substantial direct hands-on experience.
  • For Educational Background Option 2: Six (6) years total of substantial direct hands-on experience.
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.

Read Guidelines

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®.

Requirements

Education/Experience

Applicant must have the following:

Educational Background

  • Option 1 — Baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited college or university in architecture, engineering, construction management or DBIA approved field of study.
  • Option 2 — For candidates not holding a degree in an approved field of study or no degree. Functional resume is required (see Certification Guidelines & Requirements for further details).

Experience
Applicant must verify required years of substantial, documented, direct hands-on project experience. Please provide a minimum of three (3) projects that were completed or are currently being constructed. If more than three (3) projects are needed to demonstrate the applicant’s experience, the applicant shall complete the required form for each additional project.

  • For Educational Background Option 1: Three (3) years total of substantial direct hands-on experience.
  • For Educational Background Option 2: Six (6) years total of substantial direct hands-on experience.
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.

Read Guidelines
Step 2

Certification Workshops

DBIA instructors are leaders in the industry, with real-world experience in the delivery of successful design-build projects. DBIA certification provides the only measurable standard to evaluate a professional’s understanding of Design-Build Done Right®. 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
Step 3

Exams

IMPORTANT TO NOTE
If you are in the process of seeking the DBIA® or the Assoc. DBIA® certification, please note that the required core curriculum (Certification Workshop) and the certification exam will be changing effective mid-September 2024. This means you must have an approved application on file and complete the current certification exam by August 31, 2024. After this date, all candidates will need to restart the process which includes registering and paying to attend the updated Certification Workshop (core courses) and sit for the new exam.

Read the complete Certification Guidelines here.

For questions and assistance, please contact certification@dbia.org.

Prometric testing centers nationwide provide in-person exams plus a remote option using a secure process that provides proctored testing from home or work. The 100-question, 8 topic certification exam (subject to change in September 2024) measures a candidate's mastery of design-build best practices and application.

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

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. See Testing Delivery Options.

Register

Exam Resources

Prometric offers these important resources for test-takers.

  • Test-Taker FAQ: Answers to frequently asked questions candidates might have about impacts to their exam.
  • Remote Exams: provides details on the technical requirements needed to sit for a remotely proctored online exam.
  • COVID-19 Strategies: The most current information on Prometric's operation status and safety measures.
Register
Meet America’s Designated Design-Build Professionals

We Hope You’ll Join Them

DBIA Certified professionals lead the design-build industry. Through years of experience and hours of education, these individuals have put in the time and work to become Designated Design-Build Professionals®. Owners and industry alike are looking for certified pros for their teams, this is a good place to start.

Meet Them

DBIA Fellow Designation

Designated Design-Build Professional® Fellow status recognizes the achievements of our most accomplished design-build certified professionals. Elevation to Fellow status celebrates individual career achievements and promotes DBIA principles through the DBIA College of Fellows.

Learn More

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 three 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®).

Submit Application

Where can I find the application?

Applications may be submitted via the online application form.

Submit Application

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. You are required to provide your references’ contact information through the application process. Your listed references will automatically receive a form from DBIA for completion and submission.

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 and can be uploaded through the online application process.

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 not holding a degree in an approved field of study or no degree.

  • 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 and submit the online application. 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. You are required to provide your references’ contact information through the application process. Your listed references will automatically receive a form from DBIA for completion and submission. 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 three-day Certification Workshop (online or virtual).

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

Are these courses available online?

Yes, these courses are also available as a virtual option. The required Code of Conduct is an online webinar and is included when you sign up for the Certification Workshops.

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 DBIA Learning Center for information on all our design-build education products. 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. Four (4) 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.

Are there changes upcoming to the Core Curriculum and Certification Exam?

Yes, the required core curriculum (Certification Workshop) and the certification exam will be changing effective mid-September 2024. If you are in the process of seeking the DBIA® or the Assoc. DBIA® certification, this means you must have an approved application on file and complete the current certification exam by August 31, 2024. After this date, all candidates will need to restart the process which includes registering and paying to attend the updated Certification Workshop (core courses) and sit for the new exam.

For questions and assistance, please contact certification@dbia.org.

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 at a local Prometric testing center (remote option is also available).

Where do I take the certification exam?

Traditionally, Certification candidates have two ways to take your exam: in-person at one of the many Prometric testing centers nationwide (you can find where here) or remotely using a secure process that provides proctored testing from home or work.

 

What is the certification exam format?

The current certification exam contains 100 questions covering eight main topics (subject to change in September 2024):

  • 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.

Applicants will have a maximum of four (4) attempts to pass the exam. Applicants that don’t pass the initial exam sitting, must wait one (1) week before retaking it a second time. A 14-day waiting period is imposed between all subsequent attempts. Applicants may not take a given exam more than four (4) times within a 12-month period from the initial exam sitting. If the applicant is unsuccessful after the fourth and final attempt, the applicant will need to pay and retake the certification workshop. Each exam sitting after the initial attempt requires payment of a new separate exam sitting fee of $400.

To retake the exam please contact certification@dbia.org.

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

Yes, for DBIA candidates only (not required for Assoc. DBIA credential). 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 2023 or November 2023, your renewal would be due on December 31, 2025).

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

Who can I contact if I have questions?

For questions and assistance, please contact certification@dbia.org.