CEP Certification


The Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals (ABCEP) administers the Certified Environmental Professional (CEP) Program which provides environmental professionals who possess special qualifications of education, experience, and accomplishment with the opportunity to be judged by a board of peers. Those individuals awarded the Certified Environmental Professional credential may use the designation "CEP" after their name.

ABCEP is a member of the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB), which is the national organization responsible for accrediting engineering and technology certification programs.

Evaluation of applicants: Each applicant is evaluated by seven members of the Certification Review Board (CRB). Members of the CRB represent many fields of professional effort (i.e., consulting, academia, private industry, government). The CRB is responsible for determining the qualifications of each applicant and grants or denies certification based upon the information provided. The Lead Reviewer will interview the applicant to determine the extent of the applicant's knowledge and experience in his or her area of expertise and examine other matters considered germane to certification. These are generally conducted over the telephone.

The Academy and the certification program are operated in accordance with federal policies, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, age, handicap, religion, or national origin.

Functional Areas: Certification is offered in five functional areas. Applicants must select ONE of the five areas, based on their past experience and future expectations.

Environmental Assessment: includes evaluation of risks to (or past impacts upon) the occupants of ecosystems, workplaces, or residences exerted by physical, chemical, or biological agents to which exposure may occur (or may have occurred).

Environmental Documentation: includes preparation of reports, presentation of facts, completion of other action to establish administrative records demonstrating compliance with environmental statutes, regulations, and permits.

Environmental Operations: includes management of facilities in accordance with requirements of environmental statutes, regulations, and permits.

Environmental Planning: includes arrangement for future facility construction, operation, and/or management in accordance with anticipated requirements of environmental statutes, regulations, and permits (or permit renewals).

Environmental Research and Education: includes conducting and reporting on original investigations into the dynamics of environmental phenomena, teaching about such phenomena as investigated by oneself and/or other investigators.

Fees: Applications must be accompanied by a $125 non-refundable application fee. It may be an electronic payment or sent with the application. Checks or credit cards are accepted. We have found that some employers pay the application fees. Once you are certified, a second $125 payment is required for final certification. Once certified, membership in the Academy is $125 per year.


The Following minimum qualifications must be met:

The applicant must posess a Bachelor's Degree and a minimum of nine years of applicable professional environmental experience. Five of the nine years must be in a position of responsible charge and/or responsible supervision.

Responsible charge is defined as: the direction of environmental work by an environmental professional (you) to the extent that successful completion of the work is dependent on your decisions made without advice or approval of others.

Responsible supervision is defined as: the supervision of another professional person's work by an environmental professional (you) to the extent that you assume the professional responsibility for the work.

A Master's Degree may be substituted for one year of the nine years of professional experience and a Doctorate may be substituted for two of the nine years of professional experience. However, no such substitution will apply to the requirement for the five years in responsible charge and/or responsible supervision. Degrees claimed must be from a fully accredited college or university (certified transcripts are required).

The written portion of the examination consists of mandatory and elective essay questions designed to test the communication skills and technical experience of the applicant. This is a self-scheduled "take-home" exam. Review the current list of questions. The maximum allowable length for each essay is four pages.

The applicant is responsible for getting five of eight (8) letters of recommendation from peers, clients, and/or supervisors. Members of the Certification Review Board will not know you, so they must make a judgment based on three things -- your knowledge (as demonstrated by you in the essays), your background (as described by you in your application) and your qualifications (as described in statements made by your references). Therefore, these letters of reference are an important part of the review.

Ideally, the references should come from other CEPs or from individuals who hold a similar professional certification. Letters generally are 3-5 paragraphs long (1-2 pages). There is no standard form for them to fill out, but we do have a standardized request form. The letters can be mailed or emailed to the Academy, and you can start this process as soon as you decide to apply (you do not need need to wait until you have written the essays and sent in your application).

The applicant must subscribe to the ABCEP Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Environmental Professionals.