History of CSI Certification Program
CSI’s Certification Program was originally created in 1977 because of a perceived need in the 1970s for licensing specifiers. At the time, there was no valid way to evaluate the competency of specification writers, so CSI authorized development of a program to examine candidates, called Certified Construction Specifier (CCS). In 1978 almost 500 specifiers were initially granted the right to indicate their qualifications through use of “CCS” after their names. The Certified Construction Product Representative (CCPR) and Certified Construction Contract Administrator (CCCA) programs were approved by the Board in 1989 and 1991, respectively.
In 1985 the Institute Board approved a program for the examination of individuals in the construction and allied industries who assist specifiers in preparation of project specifications and who are the users of construction documents. Originally called the Certificate Program, the first exam was given in 1986; the name was changed in 1989 to Construction Documents Technology Program. In 1993, the Construction Documents Technologist (CDT) exam became the prerequisite for the higher-level certifications (CCS, CCCA, and CCPR). Between 1993 and 2013, more than 26,000 candidates took the CDT exam.
In 2003, ANSI/ISO released the international standard for certification program accreditation requirements, under the Accreditation Program for Personnel Certification Bodies (ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024). In 2009, ASTM E2659 - Standard Practice for Certificate Programs was issued as the defining industry standard for certificate programs.
Body of Knowledge Analyses (BoKAs) conducted by CSI in 2008 and again in 2012, with credentialing consultants, validated the CDT program and expanded the material considered “fundamental” to include sustainability, drawings, BIM, and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). Practice Analyses of the CCS, CCCA, CCPR exams were conducted in 2010 and 2011.
To assure that CSI’s Certification Program remains an Industry leader, the Institute Certification Committee has been pursuing compliance with ASTM E2659 for the CDT certificate program and ANSI/ISO 17024 for the higher certification programs.
-- Sheryl Dodd-Hansen, FCSI, CCS, CCCA
Former Institute Certification Committee Chair