ACCO has established a 4-step process for earning the Certified Climate Change Professional® (CC-P®) credential. You can track your progress using the Requirements Checklist.

  1. Prepare for the Exams:
    We have identified the subject matter areas and competencies covered in each of the four exam modules, and have provided you with a list of recommended prep materials for each exam. When you’re ready for an exam module, simply move to step 2.  Read options for preparation below.
  2. Taking the 4 Exam Modules:
    We have simplified the tests so that you can satisfy this requirement one step at a time. You can pay as you go for each exam or purchase the exam bundle. Read the exam guidelines below. 
  3. Meet Your Elective Requirements:
    Take 14 hours of coursework that meets ACCO’s updated elective guidelines (see below).  Read the elective guidelines below. 
  4. Submit Your Application:
    You’ve passed the 4 exams and met your elective requirements, the last step is to apply for the credential through our web site. You’ll need to save the Requirements Checklist and provide documentation for any electives taken at third-party institutions. Include a version of your resume or curriculum vitae that demonstrates you meet the eligibility requirements (see below).

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

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.

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), though must be completed within a 2-year time period.

  • 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.
    > Each 2-day workshop is $295-595 per workshop
    > The full series of 3 workshops is $995-$1,495 per workshop
  • 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.
    > Costs dependent upon the provider
  • 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.

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:

  • CC-P® Application
  • Requirements Checklist (if you have taken your elective training through third-party non-accredited providers, you will need to provide the supporting documentation referenced above)
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae documenting satisfaction of the above experience requirements
  • Code of Ethics (a link to this application will be published here shortly)
Exam Payment & Registration Process:
  1. If you are not an ACCO premium member and have not already paid for an exam package, select a pricing package and process your payment (credit cards and PayPal accepted).
  2. Sign and submit the Non-Disclosure Agreement to exams@ACCOonline.org or by fax to 202-478-2466.
  3. Submit a request to access the exam(s) when you are prepared to take the exam(s).
  4. ACCO will send you instructions on how to access each exam.
  5. Once you begin an exam module, you will have 45 minutes to complete that module (unless otherwise stated in the instructions you receive).
  6. Upon completion of each exam, you will receive the results on the exam site (ACCO will also maintain records of all test results).
  7. After completing all four exam modules and elective requirements, you can proceed with submitting your application and supporting materials.