Since 1979, the Certified Environmental Professional (CEP) designation has been awarded to senior managers and other qualified individuals as a way to demonstrate their professional skills and high standards of conduct. The CEP designation is a national system of excellence and says to employers, clients, colleagues and the public that an individual is a knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated professional. The CEP is awarded after a comprehensive review of an individual's background, abilities, and knowledge. Most CEPs have at least ten years of experience in the field. 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 Evaluations.

The Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals (ABCEP) administers the Certified Environmental Professional (CEP) Program. This program provides eligible environmental professionals who possess special qualifications of education, experience, and accomplishment with the opportunity to be evaluated by a board of peers, and if they qualify, to be recognized for their accomplishments. ABCEP is an accredited member of the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB), which is the national organization responsible for accrediting engineering, science, and technology certification programs.


Certification is offered in six functional areas.  Functional areas are intended to provide a pathway of progress for an applicant. Applicants are not required to select a functional area; and if an applicant selects not to designate a functional area they can select to respond to essay questions from any of the six functional area categories. 
AssessmentIncludes 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.
DocumentationIncludes preparation of reports, presentation of facts, completion of other action to establish administrative records demonstrating compliance with environmental statutes, regulations, and permits. 
OperationsIncludes management of facilities in accordance with requirements of environmental statutes, regulations, and permits. 
PlanningIncludes arrangement for future facility construction, operation, and/or management in accordance with anticipated requirements of environmental statutes, regulations, and permits. 
Research and EducationIncludes conducting and reporting on original investigations into the dynamics of environmental phenomena, teaching about such phenomena as investigated by oneself and/or other investigators. 
SustainabilityIncludes evaluation of sustainability in planning and project implementation,  and preparation of project and development plans that integrate long-term viability of resources into environmental practice.

ABCEP administers the Certified Environmental Professional In Training (CEP-IT) Program which prepares those pursuing advancement in the environmental profession. Those individuals awarded the CEP-IT credential may use the designation "CEP-IT" after their name. For more information see the CEP-IT Program page.

ABCEP administers the Certified Environmental Professional which recognizes mid to senior level environmental professionals.  For more information see the CEP page.

ABCEP administers the Certified Environmental Professional by Eminence Program which recognizes those highly qualified environmental professionals who seek professional certification.  Those individuals awarded the CEP by Eminence credential may use the designation "CEP" after their name.  This certification pathway will exempt these individuals from the essay question portion of the CEP application. For more information see the CEP by Eminence Program page.

A CEP who is retired from active professional practice, and who has maintained active status as a CEP for a minimum of five consecutive years may petition the Board of Trustees to become a CEP Emeritus. For more information, contact the Executive Administrator at office@abcep.org 
CEP Application Requirements

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. Essay questions are available on the ON-LINE APPLICATION; as a self-scheduled exam. The maximum allowable length for each essay is four pages. 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.

Applicants are required to provide a minimum of four (4) letters of recommendation from peers, clients, and/or supervisors. Request for reference letters are provided via the ON-LINE APPLICATION; or can be mailed or emailed to the Academy, and you can start this process as soon as you decide to apply.  Ideally, the references should come from other CEPs or from individuals who hold a similar professional certification. Recommendation letters are generally 3-5 paragraphs long.

The applicant must subscribe to the ABCEP CODE OF ETHICS and Standards of Practice for Environmental Professionals. 

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.


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.


Applications must be accompanied by a $200 ($75 if CEP-IT) non-refundable initial application fee. It may be an electronic payment, a check or credit card. We have found that some employers pay the application fees (see FAQs). Upon notification of certification and your $125.00 ($62.50 if CEP-IT) certification fee has been paid; your certificate of professional certification will be processed by the Executive Administrator.   
Mentors available to support candidates through application process

The mentoring program provides candidates for the CEP a mentor so they have support and a point of contact during their application process. The mentor's role is to be there for these individuals and to answer questions so that they do not lose interest in pursuing the CEP. The mentoring program also provides the candidate with support for keeping the process moving along. Mentoring begins with the assignment of a mentor to each candidate. When making assignments there is an attempt to match Mentor and candidate (protege) geographically. Mentors contact the candidates, let them know who they are and why they called. The Mentor makes periodic contacts to see how the candidate is progressing on completing the application and to see if there are any questions.

Please CONTACT ABCEP if you have any questions regarding the CEP Program or if you would like to have a Mentor assigned to help you through the application process.

Additional details about the CEP can be found here