Certification Process

LEED certification involves five primary steps:

  1. Determine which rating system you will use.

  2. Register your project. Registration to LEED Canada provides projects with a declared intent to certify. After registration a project may be referred to as a LEED Candidate or LEED Certification Candidate and the project will be listed in the CaGBC's public database (owners may choose to decline this profiling opportunity).

  3. Submit your certification application and pay a certification review fee. Fees differ with building type and square footage. Be sure to check out the Certification Process guidance document for all the details. Please be sure to submit before the sunset date for the rating system under which the project was registered.

  4. Await the application review. Review processes differ slightly for each rating system.

  5. Receive the certification decision, which you can either accept or appeal. An affirmative decision signifies that your building is now LEED certified.

Illustrations of the process and timelines:

What happens after the final review?

Upon completion of the project's final review, and confirmation of the final review by the LEED consultant, the owner will receive a congratulatory email from the CaGBC, asking them to confirm the certification and the final project name. Only once confirmation is received is the project considered certified. The owner will be provided with a plaque and certificates to display in their project, and will be given the opportunity to purchase additional plaques upon request. Professional photos and a project profile will be requested, to assist the CaGBC in promoting the project. The latter are optional.

In the case of LEED Canada for Homes projects, applicants receive notification following the final review. Certificates are mailed to the registrant, and a plaque may be purchased.

Guidance documents

Certification Process (pdf) provides details of the certification process for all LEED Canada commercial rating systems. For full submission details, applicants should also review the introductory sections of the applicable LEED Canada reference guide, as well as the LEED Letter Templates for the applicable rating system. Note that LEED Canada for Homes projects follow a different certification process. Updated February 2017.

Credit Interpretation Request (CIR) Methodology (pdf) – guidance in preparing CIRs and their utilization in project submissions. Does not apply to LEED Canada for Homes projects. Updated February 2013.

LEED Brand User Guidelines (pdf) – learn how to use the LEED brand when promoting your organization. Updated February 2013.

Internal Completenss Check Tool for LEED Canada-NC 1.0 and for LEED Canada NC 2009 (xls) - these internal tools are available to applicants as a resource to help determine if their application is complete before submitting to the CaGBC for review.

After an applicant provides their initial submission for certification, CaGBC staff use this tool to verify that key documents and information have been provided. The CaGBC staff do not verify that all required documentation has been provided or that all files provided are viewable; this is the applicant's responsibility. The CaGBC staff verify that key documents and information have been provided. Staff also look briefly for major scope issues that might impact the overall review. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide a clear overview of the project that identifies the project scope and complexities. The objective is to ensure that the certification project has an appropriate scope for the given rating system. This includes verifying information related to the LEED Project Site Area, leased spaces, energy review documentation, photos and drawing packages. If these items are unclear, it can result in many pending credits. Ensuring the completeness of project submissions at the beginning of the review process enables the review team to focus on providing effective and efficient reviews which benefits all parties.

This internal tool is available to applicants as a resource to help determine if their application is complete before submitting to the CaGBC for review. The tool is specific to LEED Canada NC projects as this is the most common project type registered and certified by the CaGBC. Given that this is an internal tool, the document is only provided in the working language of the Council (English).