The Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals (ABCEP) is a professional association dedicated to serving the environmental professional community. It is the lead organization certifying environmental professionals; maintaining exemplary standards of ethics and technical practice; and supporting individuals, our profession and the public relying upon our services. The Academy's primary mission is to confer the Certified Environmental Professional credential to meritorious environmental professionals found to meet exemplary standards of ethics and technical practice. The process used by this Academy to certify environmental professionals is accredited by the Council of Engineering & Scientific Specialty Boards.
ABCEP's History & Organization
For over 40 years the Certified Environmental Professional (CEP) credential has been awarded to experienced environmental professionals through a comprehensive peer-reviewed process reflecting years of experience, responsibility, and knowledge. At its inception in 1979, the CEP credential was offered through the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP). In 1993, the credentialing became a stand alone entity, the Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals, and in 1999 ABCEP became an independent not-for-profit organization organized and operated exclusively as a business league within the Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code. In 2004, the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards accepted ABCEP for membership and accredited the Certified Environmental Professional credential. In 2006, the Certified Environmental Professional In-Training credential was added.
The Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals is a volunteer-led non-profit organization with a paid Executive Administrator. ABCEP's operations, strategic initiatives, accreditation, membership management, and industry advocacy are orchestrated by the Board of Trustees with day-to-day operations performed by the Executive Administrator.
As a standing committee and functioning substantially independent of the Board of Trustees and responsible for the peer review of application packages is the Certification Review Board. The Chair of the Certification Review Board is supported by over 20 Certified Environmental Professionals who serve on rotating panels reviewing applications.
The purposes of the Academy are:
- To periodically evaluate professional standards to which environmental professional should adhere,
- To maintain a certification credential for meritorious environmental professionals,
- To evaluate candidates applying for certification,
- To bestow upon candidates found to be meritorious relative to applicable professional standards the status of Certified Environmental Professional or Certified Environmental Professional In-Training,
- To maintain and enhance the credibility of the CEP credential,
- To render the CEP credential available to qualified environmental professionals by all means consistent with the Academy's bylaws, and
- To do everything necessary, proper, advisable, or convenient for the accomplishment of the Academy's purposes and objectives and to do all other things incidental to them or connected to them that are not otherwise forbidden.
Certified Environmental Professional
The Certified Environmental Professional credential continues to serve its initial function as the
interdisciplinary certification in the environmental field. The nationally-recognized credential is bestowed upon mid-level and senior environmental specialists functioning in roles such as federal, state, local agency staff; consultants; researchers; compliance managers; enforcement officials; and, activists. Certified individuals maintain his/her knowledge, experience, and credentials through continuing education, teaching, mentoring, publishing, and complying with the Code of Ethics. Certification brings heightened confidence with documents, evaluations, and decisions issued by a CEP. Certified individuals satisfy the requirements outlined by the USEPA, ASTM, and other regulatory agencies, which provides assurance to employers and customers. For the individual, certification increases opportunities for promotions, marketability, and career advancement.
Individuals generally apply and receive the CEP credential when he/she has about 7-10 years of experience. Certification credentials exceeds requirements of the US EPA's definition of Environmental Professional and conforms to ASTM's requirements for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. The Academy's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Environmental Professionals, to which CEPs are required to adhere, has been recognized in US Federal Court as representing the professional standard of ethical practice to which environmental professionals may be expected to adhere whether or not they are members of the Academy.
Individuals are certified across functional areas
Environmental Research & Education
Certified Environmental Professional In-Training
The Certified Environmental Professional In-Training credential provides a path of entry to becoming a CEP. Individuals are eligible as a CEP-In Training with an accredited education diploma and one year of professional experience. While a CEP-In Training can apply to be a CEP when he/she becomes eligible, after three years as an active CEP-In Training his/her eligibility is accelerated enabling CEP application provided the candidate meets the CEP Responsible Charge / Responsible Supervision requirement.
The CEP-In Training is offered mentoring by a CEP, supported by and advocated for by a CEP-In Training Panel, and represented on the Board of Trustees by peer CEP-In Training Trustees.
Certified Environmental Professional by Eminence
The Certified Environmental Professional by Eminence is reserved for highly qualified environmental professionals. Individuals applying under the CEP by Eminence are exempted from the essay questions portion of the application, have 20 years of environmental professional experience 15 of which in responsible charge or supervision, demonstrate a record of service to the profession, have leadership role in his/her organization, and submit two to five publications or presentations relevant to environmental issues.