CCSTM Exam Overview

A Certified Construction Specifier (CCS) is a skilled product researcher who knows how to investigate and identify cost-effective, efficient solutions, and then communicates those solutions through the specifications. Achieving your CCS means:

  • Developing an in-depth understanding of agreements, conditions of the contract, Division 01, and their relationships to specifications
  • Having advanced skills in specification development, enabling you to use spec-writing software more effectively
  • Understanding how to research and source products
After passing the CCSTM exam, you may use the designation "CCS" after your name, on LinkedIn, business cards and your resume — and proudly share your CCS™ digital badge.

Exam Application Requirements:

  • If you are not a CDT®: a minimum of five (5) years of industry experience is required, plus two (2) letters from industry references who are able to verify your experience. In order for your application to be processed, please submit reference letters in .doc or .pdf format prior to beginning registration to
  • If you are already a CDT®: a minimum of two (2) years of industry experience is required and no references or letters are required.

Spring 2021 Exam Cycle
Registration: February 17 - May 14, 2021
Exam Window: May 3 - June 4, 2021

Dates Member Non-Member
Early Registration 2/17 - 3/10 $375 $625
Standard Registration 3/11 - 4/18 $460 $795
Final Registration 4/19 - 5/14 $545 $935
(CDT® only)
All dates $165
Exam Window May 3 - June 4, 2021

Registration cost does not include prep materials, courses, practice guides, or the AIA A-201 or EJCDC C-700 exam source materials, which may be purchased separately. For bulk rate pricing and registration, please contact Themica McBee, Membership Manager at
CCS Knowledge Domains

Domain 1: Planning, Development, and Organization (11%)
  A.      Evaluate scope of project and identify anticipated specifications.
  B.      Manage the specifications production schedule (e.g. format, timing).
  C.     Develop and maintain project files (aka: product notebook) of systems, products, and materials proposed for work on the project.
  D.     Maintain version control of specifications.
  E.      Develop and maintain office master guide specifications 
Domain 2: Coordination (14%)
  A.      Collect, track, and coordinate specification information
  B.      Coordinate A/E team proposed choices to align with project requirements.
  C.      Coordinate specification information with project team (e.g., owner, contractor, designer, product representatives).
  D.      Obtain and verify owner procurement and contract requirements. 
  E.      Evaluate and verify the compatibility of products and materials. 
  F.      Coordinate the specifications across project team disciplines.
  G.     Evaluate the specifications to confirm alignment with contract documents.
  H.      Compile available project information into the project manual.
  I.         Coordinate with project team to specify alternates.
Domain 3: Research (12%)
  A.      Conduct research on materials and systems for product selection.
  B.      Research applicable code requirements.
  C.     Evaluate product suitability for project conditions.
  D.     Review key product selections with product representatives.
  E.      Research applicable product standards.
Domain 4: Production (30%)
  A.      Develop outline specifications and project manuals.
  B.      Translate design narratives into specification (e.g. Uniformat to MasterFormat).
  C.      Determine style of specifications for systems, assemblies, and materials (i.e., descriptive, reference standard, proprietary, performance).
  D.      Translate graphic information presented in drawings into succinct written form.
  E.      Review the procurement and contracting requirements.
  F.      Determine what submittals are required to ensure quality installation and adequate project documentation (i.e. record documents).
  G.     Specify preparation and finishing requirements for the product.
  H.      Review and comment on specification sections written by others. 
  I.         Prepare and edit specifications sections.
  J.       Organize project documents according to CSI formats.
  K.      Prepare documents for publication and distribution.
  L.       Archive electronic files for version control.
Domain 5: Analysis and Evaluation (16%)
  A.    Align the specifications to project delivery method and schedule.
  B.    Evaluate systems, assemblies, and materials being proposed for the project.
  C.    Verify that systems, assemblies, and materials meet project requirements.
  D.    Analyze drawings for systems, assemblies, and materials.
  E.    Evaluate products for code requirements.
  F.    Assess interior climate conditions for impact on materials and methods (e.g., pool, sauna, clean room).
  G.    Assess environmental conditions for impact on materials and methods (e.g., weather, humidity, seismic).
  H.    Evaluate products and systems for constructability and sequencing in project locale.
  I.      Evaluate and select products for compliance with design intent (e.g., cost, quality, aesthetics).
  J.     Obtain and evaluate standards and information from technical and professional societies. 
  K.    Review reference standards for appropriateness (e.g., ASTM, AWWA).
  L.     Verify that necessary reference standards options have been selected.
  M.   Review and incorporate results of value engineering decisions.
  N.    Verify proposed construction meets the manufacturer’s warranty requirements.
Domain 6: Procurement, Contracting, and General Requirements (17%)
  A.      Edit specifications to confirm to Owner procurement and contract requirements.
  B.      Coordinate Division 01 General Requirements with all other specifications.
  C.      Incorporate project-specific requirements into Division 01 sections. 
  D.      Specify the project measurement and payment procedures.
  E.      Specify substitution requirements and procedures.
  F.      Evaluate the acceptability of substitution request submittal.
  G.     Specify RFI requirements and procedures.
  H.      Evaluate and specify delegated design (e.g. application, scope, process).
4 Easy Steps to
Maintain your Certification

_1.png Login to CSIResources
_2.png Click on "My Certifications" under "Certification" in the Main Menu
_3.png Log your Learning Units
_4.png Click the "Renew/Reinstate" button to submit your application and fee