The ABC’s of CDT & Beyond Panel Discussion Recap

By CSI Chicago Chapter posted 01-19-2021 15:56


The ABC’s of CDT & Beyond Panel Discussion Recap

Written by: Paul Fogarty, CSI, CDT | CSI Chicago Certification Chair

For those who were unable to attend our recent ABC’s of CDT & Beyond Panel Discussion focusing on CSI certifications, we wanted to provide a brief recap and FAQ that may help answer the questions we often see.


There are four certifications available through CSI: Construction Documents Technologist (CDT®), Certified Construction Specifier (CCS), Certified Construction Contract Administrator (CCCA), and Certified Construction Product Representative (CCPR). Attaining one or more certifications can strengthen and demonstrate your understanding of the entire construction process, including construction documentation development and administration, specification writing and enforcement, and product research and sourcing, all while helping to foster more effective communication between the numerous entities often involved in the construction process.


Please be aware that the CCPR certification is not currently available as it is undergoing redevelopment. The CCPR certification is tentatively planned to become available in time for the fall 2021 testing window (subject to change).


I want to earn a certification. When can I sit for testing?

CSI has two testing windows each year, one in the spring and the other in the fall. The schedule for spring 2021 is available here; the fall testing schedule will be published later in the year.


I see that the CDT changed from a certificate to a certification. What does that mean?

CDT used to be a lifetime certificate with nothing further required on your end. The change from a certificate to certification means that your CDT certification now needs to be maintained, or “recertified,” in CSI’s parlance. What that means is you need to earn a certain number of credit hours over the course of three years. We’ll go deeper on recertification requirements shortly.


Do I still need my CDT to earn other certifications?

The CDT used to be a prerequisite for the other “higher” certifications. This is no longer the case; they are now all recognized as being on the same level. You are no longer required to earn a CDT certification in order to sit for CCS, CCCA, or CCPR certification testing.


Am I required to recertify my CDT? Will this affect my other certification(s)?

You are under no obligation to maintain your CDT. Letting it lapse will have no impact on any other certifications. This is entirely your choice. The only adjustment you may need to make is to remove “CDT” from your business card or LinkedIn profile since you would no longer be recognized by CSI as holding the CDT certification. You will also not be able to display your CDT certification digital badge on your CSI profile page (and wherever else you choose to display it). You can learn how to determine your certification expiration date(s) with this helpful video that shows you how to navigate your CSI account dashboard.


How many credit hours do I need to earn to maintain my certification(s)?

There are a variety of ways to maintain your certification(s) with the overall goal to attain 24 learning hours of credit every three years for each certification you hold and want to maintain. CSI does allow combining credit hours if you are maintaining multiple certifications. For instance, if you hold CDT and CCS certifications, instead of needing 24 hours of credit for each of these certifications, you are allowed to combine 12 of those hours, meaning you’re responsible for 36 credit hours. And, just to reiterate, those 36 hours would need to be earned every THREE years.

Finally, it’s important to note that recertification does NOT mean retesting. Assuming you keep your certifications up to date, you will not have to retake the certification test(s).


What qualifies as an acceptable credit?

While traditional lunch-and-learn programs are the standard for earning credit hours, they are by no means the only method. CSI has provided a list at the following link that explains all of the acceptable educational activities that can earn you valuable credit hours, including volunteering, trade show programs, and being a presenter/author. You can see the full list here. [PDF version]


How do I record my learning hours?

CSI has created a helpful video that is hosted on YouTube, it explains the very simple process of recording your credit hours to your CSI account. You can view the video here.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the CSI Chicago Certifications committee at for assistance.

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