ACCO has established a simple step-by-step process for earning the Certified Climate Change Professional® (CC-P®) credential:

1.  Join ACCO as a premium member or secure a testing package if your employer has not already arranged one for you

2.  Sign and execute the Non-Disclosure Agreement for Exams and email i o exams@ACCOonline.org

3.  Begin preparing for exams by logging into the ACCO training portal (note: be sure to reference the recommended prep materials on the CC-P® Exam Modules page).

Note: You can also test your knowledge with our self-assessments that are made available on any of our course description pages linked to from the course catalog.

4.  When ready to take any of the four exams, submit the Exam Access Request

Note: Look for an email that will be automatically sent to your inbox within 1 business day providing instructions on accessing the exam.  You’ll need to reference the specific login details for that particular exam access.  Be sure you have sufficient time, Internet access/continuity and peace to get through your exam(s)

5.  Upon completing the exam requirements, enter your exam dates and electives into the CC-P® Requirements Checklist and prepare any supporting documentation for your electives

6.  Sign the ACCO Code of Ethics & Professional Standards of Conduct and digitize it as a PDF or JPG file

7.  Submit all of the CC-P® application materials (checklist, elective documentation, code of ethics and your resume/CV) through the online submission application tool.

Read more detailed information below on each aspect of the credentialing process and become a CC-P® today!


Preparing for the Exams

ACCO recommends preparing for the four exams, though you are not required to do so or to document your training. The following options can be considered with corresponding cost estimates:

  • Taking coursework through ACCO's online library: ACCO offers a robust suite of training modules through live online and on-demand programming.
  • Taking coursework through ACCO's Climate Fundamentals Academies: ACCO is offering a series of 2-day training academies to enable attendees to prepare for exams and satisfy elective requirements in order to earn the Certified Climate Change Professional® credential.
    > Each 2-day workshop is $295-595 per workshop
    > The full series of 3 workshops is $995-$1,495 per workshop
  • Exam Guidelines: 

Taking the Exams

Meeting Your Elective Requirements (updated July 2018)

In addition to passing the 4 above-referenced exams, you will need to take 14 hours of elective training in order to earn the Certified Climate Change Professional® (CC-P®) credential.  All elective courses must have a clear set of learning objectives covered under the scope or relating to the Core Competencies for Climate Change Officers and Professionals and should not be redundant to subject matter and competencies covered by the 4 exams.  All electives must be oriented toward executive or professional development (e.g. undergraduate/graduate courses, conference plenary sessions and site visits/tours may not be applied toward elective requirements).

For this requirement, there is a strong preference for satisfying 3.5 hours oriented toward your geographic region or region type (e.g. coastal community, high altitude, desert), 3.5 hours oriented toward your employer's sector and 3.5 hours toward your occupation or professional responsibilities.  If such training does not exist or is not reasonably accessible, ACCO will waive that requirement -- though you will still need to satisfy the overall 14 hour requirement. Electives can be taken at any time (e.g. before, during or after exams).  However, you may only use electives taken within 1 year of the date of the final CC-P® application.

  • Taking coursework through ACCO's library: ACCO offers a robust suite of training modules through live online and on-demand programming.  Courses that have not been identified as recommended prep materials for exams can be leveraged to meet elective requirements.
  • Taking coursework through ACCO's Climate Fundamentals Academies: ACCO is offering a series of 2-day training academies to enable attendees to prepare for exams and satisfy elective requirements in order to earn the Certified Climate Change Professional® (CC-P®) credential.  Completing the full series of the Academies enables participants to satisfy the full range of elective requirements.
  • Satisfying electives through ACCO Accredited Providers and Events: ACCO will be designating a group of events and organizations as accredited providers.  Course offerings and training activities that meet the above-referenced elective requirements are eligible for satisfying the elective requirements.
  • Satisfying electives through other third-party providers: Candidates are welcome to satisfy elective requirements through third-party institutions, though will be required to provide sufficient documentation reflecting provider, venue, date, content and instructors. ACCO reserves the right to decline any training that does not meet its guidelines for relevance and rigor.  Consult ACCO for more information.
    > Validating electives from third-party course providers: In order to obtain credit for education and training provided by third-party providers, applicants will need to provide ACCO with sufficient information (e.g. agenda, syllabus, descriptions) to assess the educational content/programming.  Additionally, applicants will be required to provide a proof of registration, certificate of attendance or similar formal documentation.  If such documentation does not exist, the applicant may submit an Elective Validation form as an alternative.
    > Additional guidance on satisfactory electives: Courses satisfying elective requirements must be structured learning activities (e.g. executive education, workshops, conference breakout sessions with a clearly described objective).  Undergraduate and graduate courses, tours, site visits, keynote speakers and interviews may not be used toward electives. Learning activities used toward electives may not be self-study or self-taught.

Eligibility Requirements & Submitting Your Application

In order to be bestowed the Certified Climate Change Professional® (CC-P®) credential, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • If you have a masters or post-graduate degree, you should have 2+ years working extensively on climate change, sustainability or related initiatives;
  • If you have a 4-year degree, you should have 4+ years working extensively on climate change, sustainability or related initiatives; and
  • If you have a secondary (high school) degree, you should have 7+ years working extensively on climate change, sustainability or related initiatives.

You do NOT need to have satisfied these requirements until submission of the application (i.e. you can satisfy testing and elective requirements as you accumulate the necessary experience).

Upon successful completion of the 4 exams and elective requirements, you should begin preparing your Application.  You'll need to pay the $195 application fee (unless you have already done so through a premium membership or exam bundle) and submit the following materials: