The American Institute of Building Design - National Council of Building Design Certification The American Institute of Building Design - National Council of Building Design Certification
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter RSS Feed
The American Institute of Building Design - National Council of Building Design Certification
NCBDC Mission:  Providing  impartial, third party testing and accreditation of building industry professionals. Award Winning Designs -  The American Residential Design Awards  - American Residentila Design Awards Stock Plan Sales - House Plan Marketing Alliance Certification - The National Council of Building Designer Certification
Certified Designers Login HERE
Home - NCBDCContact UsBecome CertifiedOfficers and Examiners Continuing Education Exam Schedule Drop Box Liability Insurance Architecture LawsNCBDC Directory About NCBDC File a Complaint Become Certified



NCBDC CPBD Candidate Handbook.png


  • Introduction
  • About the Council
  • Board of Examiners
  • Code of Ethics and Conduct
  • The Certification Process
  • Construction Drawing Standard
  • The Certification Examination
  • The Exam Section Descriptions & Sample Questions
  • Sample Questions Answer Key
  • Applications






Applicants must complete an application and submit it to the NCBDC Evaluation Committee. The committee meets on the third Monday of each month. All applications and all supporting materials by the close of business on the second Thursday of each month will be included on the Evaluation Committee agenda at their next regularly scheduled meeting.


Applications may be obtained by downloading the CPBD Candidate Handbook.


Fees and Duration:
Application fees are $50. Fees are non refundable. Once approved, the Applicant is listed on the NCBDC roster as a Candidate. Candidates may begin the exam process at any time. Currently, there is no deadline for beginning the exam process. Once the first exam is taken, all Candidates have 36 months from that date to successfully complete all nine exams.


The fee for registering for all nine exams is $350 and they all must be taken together during a two-day event hosted by an NCBDC examiner. Any exams not passed during the two-day event may be retaken individually for $40 per exam. Arrangements must be made by contacting the NCBDC staff. Retake forms are found in the CPBD Candidate Handbook or may be obtained by contacting the NCBDC staff.


Fees may be paid by check or credit/debit card (VISA, MC, Discover, American Express).


Using the application and supporting documents, applicants must display at least six years of engagement in the professional practice of building design (minimum 20 hours per week).


Educational Alternative:
One year of education from a college, university or technical institute is equivalent to one year of experience. A maximum of three years of education may be substituted for experience.


Supporting Materials:
In addition to the application, the following items must be submitted.

  • One set of working drawings for three separate projects. Applicants should review the Construction Drawing Standard section of the CPBD Candidate Handbook.
  • Three letters of verification. Letters may be from other design professionals, builders, building officials, clients, etc. The letters are intended to be used to verify an applicant’s number of years of experience.

Download a letter template:

  • Applicants who’s application includes years employed by a company or firm must submit a letter from their employer (or former employer) verifying the length of the employment. An employment letter is considered a letter of verification.
  • Applicants applying for reciprocity must submit proof of an active U.S. architectural or engineering license or registration.

How to Submit

Digital documents and materials are preferred and may be submitted using our Drop Box. Once received, the NCBDC staff will contact the applicant to arrange a credit or debit card payment.


Printed documents and materials (maximum size = 11”x17”) may be mailed to:

Attention: NCBDC Evaluation Committee
529 14th St. NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20045

When all nine certification exams are successfully completed, the first year of certified status is included with the prepaid exam fees. Certification expires on the individual’s certification anniversary date. To recertify, individuals pay a $100 annual fee and must submit verification of obtaining eight hours of continuing education (refer to the AIBD Continuing Education Policy). Certified individuals are encouraged report their educational credits as they are earned to avoid as much backlog as possible.


U.S. Licensed or registered design professionals, such as architects, engineers, and building designers, may have up to all nine required certification exams waived by applying for reciprocity. Download the Candidate Handbook to access the Reciprocity Form. The initial fee for reciprocity is $240. All other application requirements still apply.


The NCBDC Certificate and Seal
Certified individuals will receive a professional certificate suitable for framing and an electronic version of the NCBDC Certification Stamp with their name and certification number displayed prominently on the stamp. In addition, certified individuals may use the designation “CPBD” (Certified Professional Building Designer) after their name. For a full explanation of how to properly use the Council’s name, designations, and seal, download the AIBD Branding Guidelines.


Certification is revoked if an individual does not recertify within 30 days of expiration or at any time the Board of Examiners feels it is in the best interest of the Council. Individuals have 36 months from the date of revocation to correct all outstanding issues, pay all recertification fees in arrears, verify all required continuing education, and pay a one-time recertification fee to reinstate their certification.


Certification is terminated 36 months after revocation and cannot be reinstated.

<Back to Top>

Contact Us       |       Become Certified       |       Officers Examiners       |       Exam Schedule
Continuing Education       |       Liability Insurance      |       Architecture Laws
Site Map        |      File A Complaint       |       Privacy Policy