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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Get all the tools you need to set yourself apart as a design-build expert. Click the category for answers or let The Design-Build Certification Board (DBCB) tell you everything you need to know about DBIA certification on this FREE webinar!
 

General

Why should I obtain a DBIA certification?
DBIA offers two types of certification. Which certification is right for me?
 

Membership

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

Application

Should I submit my application before or after I take the four core courses?
Where can I find the application?
What is an approved application?
Are references required?
How do I provide proof of my degree?
What is a functional resume (Associate Design-Build Professional™ (Assoc. DBIA™) candidates only)?
How long does the review process take?
If I have the Associate Design-Build Professional™ (Assoc. DBIA™) credential and now wish to pursue the Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA ™) credential, how do I apply?
 

Coursework

What are the four core courses?
Where and when can I take these courses?
Are these courses available online?
 

Electives

Are elective credit hours required?
How can I earn elective credit?
Does the Design-Build Exam Prep course count as an elective? If so, how many credits?
How long do I have to earn the 18 elective credits?
If I have attended DBIA National or Specialty Conferences in the past, do those hours still count towards the certification?
If I taught a DBIA course or was a DBIA conference speaker, will I be able to apply credit towards my certification?
 

Exam

When will I be eligible to take the certification exam?
What is the definition of an approved application?
How do I register for the exam?
Where do I take the certification exam?
What is the certification exam format?
How much time is allotted for the exam?
How is the exam scored?
When will I receive my exam results?
What if I am unsuccessful on the exam? Can I retake it?
Can you take the exam before you have completed the 18 hours of elective credit?
 

Renewal

Once I become certified, how do I maintain my credential?
If I taught a DBIA course or was a DBIA conference speaker, will I be able to apply credit towards my credential renewal?
 

Contact

Who can I contact if I have questions?

 

Why should I obtain a DBIA certification?

Certification provides the only measureable standard by which to judge "Design-Build Done Right.”

DBIA offers 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 both relevant continuing education and experience – both of which can be gained through DBIA certification.
 

DBIA offers two types of certification. Which certification is right for me?

  • Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA™)
    Attaining the DBIA™ requires two to six years of hands-on experience of pre and post-award design-build. Credential holders who display “DBIA™” after their names come from traditional design and construction backgrounds; they are private or public sector architects, engineers and construction professionals. Some attorneys and academic practitioners who specialize in design and construction generally and design-build specifically may also fulfill the DBIA™ requirements.
  • Associate Design-Build Professional ™ (Assoc. DBIA™)
    The Associate Design-Build Professional ™ (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.
 

Membership

 

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

No. All are welcome to apply.

However, DBIA members enjoy many benefits including lower registration rates for all DBIA courses, conferences, and renewal.

For more information about DBIA membership, visit Join.
 

Application

 

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

We encourage early action. All applications go before our Design-Build Certification Board (DBCB) for review and approval and the review process can take up to 30 days. In order to sit for the certification exam, you must have an approved application on file.

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

Where can I find the application?

The DBIA certification application can be found here. This application is required for both credentials.

Once completed, please submit via email to certification@dbia.org or mail to Design-Build Institute of America, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20004.
 

What is an approved application?

A completed certification application has been reviewed by the Design-Build Certification Board (DBCB), approving the candidate’s experience in design-build or in the design and construction industry.

Incomplete applications will not be processed. Candidates will be notified of program acceptance no later than 30 business days after the completed application and all related documents are received.

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

Are references required?

Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA™) candidates are required to provide references.

Candidates will need to list three (3) professional references attesting to the candidate's design-build experience and knowledge on their application. One must be an owner/client reference from one of the design-build projects listed on the submitted certification application. Candidates will need to provide the following link to listed references to complete our online reference form:
dbia.org/Certification/references.

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 with your application to certification@dbia.org.
 

What is a functional resume (Associate Design-Build Professional ™ (Assoc. DBIA™) candidates only)?

A functional resume is a chronological job history that also summarizes an individual’s skills and experience in the design and construction industry.

Since hands-on design-build experience is not required for the Associate Design-Build Professional™ (Assoc. DBIA™) credential, some applicants are required to submit a functional resume.

A functional resume is only required for Associate Design-Build Professional ™ (Assoc. DBIA™) candidates who do NOT have a baccalaureate degree in an approved field of study, a Master’s degree in a concentrated design-build university level program approved by the Design-Build Certification Board (DBCB), or a baccalaureate or Master’s degree in a non-approved field of study.
  • Associate Design-Build Professional ™ (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.
  • Associate Design-Build Professional ™ (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 candidate's application is complete (including receipt of all references), it is then forwarded to the Design-Build Certification Board (DBCB) for review and approval. DBIA will notify candidates of this date.

The DBCB will make its recommendation to either advance to candidacy or deny candidacy. This review process generally takes up to 30 days. 

Incomplete applications will not be processed. Candidates will be notified of program acceptance no later than 30 business days after the completed application and all related documents are received.
 

If I have the Associate Design-Build Professional™ (Assoc. DBIA™) credential and now wish to pursue the Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA ™) credential, how do I apply?

To apply for the Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA ™), you will need to complete a new certification application in its entirety (along with $150.00 application fee). You do not need to retake the core courses of the exam as you have fulfilled the requirements in obtaining the Associate Design-Build Professional ™ (Assoc. DBIA™). However, you will now need to provide references and meet the 18 elective hour requirement. Upon receipt, the Design-Build Certification Board (DBCB) will review your application along with your references to determine if you meet the design-build experience requirement.
 

Coursework

 

What are the four core courses?

  1. Fundamentals of Project Delivery
  2. Principles of Design-Build Project Delivery
  3. Design-Build Contract and Risk Management
  4. Post Award Design-Build
All four core courses are required for Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA™) and Associate Design-Build Professional™ (Assoc. DBIA™) candidates.
 

Where and when can I take these courses?

These courses can be taken as part of a weeklong Certification Workshop or University Boot Camp. Candidates have an option to take the courses individually or altogether.

To view DBIA’s list of upcoming events, visit Schedule at a Glance.
To register, visit Education - Instructor Led.
 

Are these courses available online?

Only Fundamentals of Project Delivery is available online. The other core courses are instructor-led only.
 

Electives

 

Are elective credit hours required?

Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA™) candidates must fulfill 18 hours of elective credit. Credits can be earned through DBIA courses, conferences, webinars or DBIA Regional programs. Visit Education for options.

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

Elective credit hours are NOT required for candidates pursuing the Associate Design-Build Professional ™ (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. From time to time, the Design-Build Certification Board (DBCB) approves related courses from other industry associations such as USGBC and AIA. Individuals should feel free to submit other similar programs for DBCB approval.

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? If so, how many credits?

Yes, it is an elective course. Six (6) CEUs will be awarded to participating individuals.

Exam Prep is held on Friday during the weeklong Certification Workshops and University Boot Camps.
 

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

You must earn the 18 elective credits within one year of Design-Build Certification Board (DBCB) approval.
 

If I have attended DBIA National or Specialty Conferences in the past, do those hours still count towards the certification?

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

If I taught a DBIA course or was a DBIA conference speaker, will I be able to apply credit towards my certification?

One hour of continuing professional education will be awarded for each hour completed as an instructor or discussion leader to the extent that the particular activity contributes to the professional competence of the certified individual as determined by the Design-Build Certification Board. In addition credit may be received for actual preparation time on the basis of two hours preparation for each hour of teaching. Credit may not be obtained for repeat presentations.
 

Exam

 

When will I be eligible to take the certification exam?

You must have a Design-Build Certification Board (DBCB) approved application on file in order to sit for the exam.

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

What is the definition of an approved application?

A completed certification application has been reviewed by the Design-Build Certification Board (DBCB), approving the candidate’s experience in design-build or in the design and construction industry.
 

How do I register for the exam?

Candidates must complete the online Eligibility Request Form. This form serves as a legal document to the testing center confirming your full legal name. Upon receipt of this form, DBIA will issue the candidate a unique exam number for the candidate to use to schedule their exam at a local testing center.
 

Where do I take the certification exam?

DBIA has partnered with Prometric, offering the most extensive, professional and secure testing network in the country with over 300 testing centers nationwide.
 

What is the certification exam format?

This certification exam consists of 100 questions and covers eight domains. The domains are:
  • 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 must pass with 62% or better.
 

When will I receive my exam results?

Immediately.
 

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

You will immediately receive a subscore/feedback report indicating your strengths and weaknesses per domain. This report will help you prepare in the categories where you may be able to improve your results at a future exam sitting.

To retake the exam, please contact Jackie Porter at jporter@dbia.org. A $400.00 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 (s)/he has attended all four core courses. If the candidate passes the certification exam, (s)/he must still meet the 18 elective credit requirements before receiving the designation.
 

Renewal

 

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

All Design-Build Professional™ (DBIA™) and Associate Design-Build Professional ™ (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 (whether you received your certification in June 2013 or November 2013, your renewal is due on December 31, 2015).

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

If I taught a DBIA course or was a DBIA conference speaker, will I be able to apply credit towards my credential renewal?

One hour of continuing professional education will be awarded for each hour completed as an instructor or discussion leader to the extent that the particular activity contributes to the professional competence of the certified individual as determined by the Design-Build Certification Board. In addition credit may be received for actual preparation time on the basis of two hours preparation for each hour of teaching. Credit may not be obtained for repeat presentations.
 

Contact

 
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