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About Certification

Certification Types

Student Associate

An exclusive offer available only to students who wish to certify their general knowledge of sustainability management.

  • No Experience Required

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Associate

The designation for recent graduates and professionals who wish to certify their general knowledge of sustainability management.

  • No Experience Required

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Professional

The premier designation reserved for professionals with significant experience and exposure to a body of knowledge.

  • 2 Years Experience Required

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Note: Application, membership, and examination fees are non-refundable.


Certified Professionals Can Benefit an Organization in Many Ways:

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We are resourceful.

  • Reduce risk and cost, while improving brand reputation and creating new revenue opportunities
  • Establishes sustainability management as a management norm
  • Change management tactics to build a workplace culture
  • Differentiator for recruiters
  • Continuous employee training and development
  • Number of certified professionals can be reported in financial and/or sustainability reports
  • SMCP’s can act as competent change agents

Who Should Consider Certification

Certification is best suited for business owners and managers, governmental and nonprofit managers, and of course sustainability coordinators. Every employee plays a role in the journey toward sustainability! Many organizations choose to certify their entire management team—from the human resources department to facilities management.

Certification can be obtained in two separate tiers:

  1. Sustainability Management Certified Professional (SMCP) – the premier designation reserved for professionals with significant experience and exposure to a body of knowledge
  2. Sustainability Management Certified Associate (SMCA) – the designation for students or professionals who wish to certify their general knowledge of sustainability management frameworks and methodologies

The SMCP certifies your understanding and retention of a body of knowledge. The certification examination questions are based on a compilation of well-respected practices in sustainability management. More than 60 professionals collaborated to form the body of knowledge that should be understood in order to manage for sustainability.

Education and experience will be two requirements to qualify for the SMCP tier. To qualify for the SMCP tier, you will need two-years of verifiable professional experience as well as be exposed to a body of knowledge included in the study guide.

SMCP’s Learn Key Knowledge and Skills

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We are ingenuitive.

Certified professionals understand and apply key sustainability methodologies, such as: Triple Bottom Line, closed loop management, life cycle assessment, life cycle costing, social responsibility, and metrics and reporting. The examination will also include key content areas in:

  • Align business systems around the organization’s values
  • Plan program management to achieve results
  • Reduce expenses and risks and increase revenue potential and brand reputation
  • Ability to communicate sustainable strategies to internal and external stakeholders
  • Knowledge of third-party certifications for environmentally preferable purchasing policies
  • Build a culture of responsibility and stewardship based on the organization's values

Certified professionals will have a competitive advantage in a field that is quickly expanding as more and more organizations are hiring formal positions of authority from entry-level to the C-suite. Therefore, with the certification, you will be a step ahead of your peers and can differentiate your qualifications. Certification validates your knowledge and skills, so employers will also understand your skill set and abilities during the hiring process.

Paperless Certification Examination

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SMA realizes you are busy! In order to make the process accessible and convenient, the certification examination will be an online test, but will also be available in proctored settings in some regions. The aim is to reduce paper and travel costs to attend a proctored examination.

Cost Benefit Analyses

Driving Economic Performance

We drive economic performance.

Sustainability Management certification can be a competitive advantage and is a low cost professional certification. Certification is valid for three-years. The total cost of the examination is as follows:

  • $100.00 application fee for the SMCP. Students receive a discount.
  • $300.00 examination fee for professionals, $200 total for students.
  • $50.00 annual SMA membership dues discounted from $200.
  • The study guide and training seminar costs are separate.

The examination content and questions are taken directly from the study guide.

The study guide is a bundle that includes an ebook and ereader. Most importantly, this is how you purchase the online test access code to take the exam. It is recommended to begin reviewing the material in the study guide right away.

The passing grade for the exam is 70 out of 100 questions answered correctly. You are given three-attempts within a one-year period to pass the exam and then must wait a full year before reapplying to sit for the exam.

Maintaining Certification

Maintaining certification is easy. Once certified, PayPal will process an automatic renewal payment of $50.00 each year on your anniversary date to keep your certification current. After each three-year period, just provide SMA with documentation of a minimum of 15-hours of continuing education during that timeframe. Continuing education can be formal educational courses, workforce development training, or attending conferences and seminars related to sustainability management or the management discipline. You can of course opt out of the automatic payment and schedule your own payments, but be careful not to allow certification to lapse as the examination would need to be taken again if the renewal payment is not received within 15-days of the anniversary date.

Upgrading Certification

SMCA’s can upgrade accreditation to an SMCP after two-years of project management experience or significant formal authority in sustainability management. After 2-years of certification just submit two professional references that can attest to your professional experience. There is no additional charge to upgrade, just simply continue to renew the certification on an annual basis. Once upgraded from an SMCA to an SMCP, the SMCP is valid for a new three-year period.

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Disclaimer: SMA does not guarantee that certification will produce all desired results. The SMCP and SMCA accreditations attest that a certified individual has been exposed to a body of knowledge that contains the knowledge, skills, and abilities to manage for sustainability.