Washington, D.C.–The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has accepted the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as the first Education Reviewing Body (ERB). With ERB status, USGBC is now authorized to review and approve continuing education offerings under the LEED Professional Credentialing Maintenance Program. ERBs must meet organizational and technical criteria established by GBCI, demonstrating capacity, subject matter expertise and compliance with best practices.“GBCI’s commitment to providing a suite of LEED professional credentials that keep pace with the demands and the evolution of the marketplace is dependent on a credential maintenance program that sets the bar for cutting-edge, innovative and diverse education,” says Peter Templeton, president of GBCI. “The rigorous selection process for our Education Reviewing Bodies helps ensure that the LEED AP and LEED Green Associate credential holders receive the ongoing education needed to lead the green building industry into the future.”“There are currently over 120,000 existing LEED Accredited Professionals and thousands of LEED AP candidates looking for green building and LEED education,” says Rebecca Flora, senior vice president of Education & Research, U.S. Green Building Council. “Being verified by GBCI as an ERB puts the Council in a unique position to offer the highest quality education on the market.”USGBC maintains a catalog of approved professional courses developed by a broad network of Education Providers. An Education Provider is a third-party organization that submits high-quality courses to USGBC for peer-review. These courses are approved for LEED Professionals seeking to maintain their credentials and enrich their knowledge of green building theories, techniques and business trends. Recent efforts to streamline course reviews have resulted in a simplified, online process and a reduced annual fee. Thom Lowther recently joined USGBC as director of Continuing Educations Systems., where he will be involved with the continued development and quality of USGBC’s Education Provider courses, implementation of a new Education Consulting Services program, and serving as USGBC’s liaison on mandatory continuing education (MCE) with state licensing boards and international professional associations.