American Society of Professional Estimators Orange County Chapter 3

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The ASPE Certification Program

Professional evaluation through Certification is one of the many ways the American Society of Professional Estimators endeavors to promote the profession and benefit the construction industry.

The founders of the Society sought to include estimators of all types of construction in the membership of ASPE: residential, heavy, general, specialty trade and conceptual. In the early years of the Society, programs were developed to encourage university-level instruction in construction estimating for the novice as well as the experienced estimator.  A system for evaluating the proficiency of estimators seeking certification was also envisioned.

ASPE Certification is the highest form of professional recognition an individual estimator can receive and is being sought and attained by more construction estimators every year. It is the only program of its kind to attest that a construction estimator has met the necessary educational and experience requirements and has the capabilities required of our profession.  Through its Certification Program, the American Society of Professional Estimators recognizes the estimating proficiency and ethical awareness of the Certified Professional Estimator (CPE).

ASPE Certification may be defined as an educational process, which entails mandatory workshop attendance, submission of an acceptable Professional Evaluation Application and technical paper, successful completion of written examinations and participation in the Continuing Certification Program.  Each CPE Candidate must earn an affirmative appraisal based on proven ability and practical experience in the profession.

With such diversity of backgrounds among estimators, the development of programs for both education and certification of professional construction estimators has been a demanding and rewarding process.  For all the varied disciplines and levels of detail, the fundamental principles of construction cost estimating remain universally applicable. Beyond these fundamentals, however, the realms of varied disciplines make construction estimating one of the most unique challenging, and fulfilling professions an individual may pursue.

ASPE recognizes the fundamental estimating principles inherent to all types of construction estimating.  Whether for general, mechanical, electrical, or specialty disciplines, or for an owner, designer or contracting firm, the estimator requires knowledge that is applicable in virtually all circumstances.

Each candidate seeking certification must meet five basic requirements.

  • Experience - Minimum of Five Years

  • Completion of Program Orientation Workshop

  • Technical Writing Abilities

  • Communication Skills

  • Successful completion of Certification Examinations

The Certification Committee then evaluates each of the criteria for conformance to the program.

ASPE has established that a CPE candidate must possess a minimum of five years of estimating experience in a specific discipline to be accepted into the certification program.  All candidates seeking certification must complete an orientation workshop.  This workshop provides the candidate with an overview of the requirements and guidelines of the certification process.  Communication Skills and knowledge of estimating must be demonstrated to the Certification Board.  This is done through the writing of a technical paper on a subject approved by the Board.

The certification exam is designed to evaluate the CPE candidateís overall knowledge of estimating.  It includes quantities, contract terms and conditions, cost reporting, ethics, and other fundamentals of estimating.  The exams consist of a four hour General estimating Knowledge Exam (GEK) and an eight hour Discipline Specific Test (DST).  The DST concentrates on specific practices such as General Contracting, Mechanical, Electrical, Excavation, and Concrete estimating. Preparation for the exam is recommended.  A candidate will not be notified of CPE status until all requirements of the certification process have been passed.

Once recognized as a CPE, the estimator will be expected to keep abreast of current trends and improved practices in the construction industry.  Conformance is measured under the provisions of the Certification Renewal Program.  This program requires renewal of certification every three years.

CPEs subject to renewal must document active participation in the areas of

  • Working in the Field of Construction Estimating

  • Industry Involvement

  • Continuing Professional Development

  • Continuing Education

  • Creative Contributions to Construction Estimating

Here are the top ten reasons an estimating professional should consider becoming ASPE Certified.

  1. Certification grants you professional credentials.

  2. Certification demonstrates your commitment to the industry and estimating profession.

  3. Certification enhances the professionís image.

  4. Certification reflects personal achievement.

  5. Certification build self-esteem.

  6. Certification can improve career opportunities and advancement.

  7. Certification may provide for greater earning potential.

  8. Certification improves skills and knowledge.

  9. Certification prepares you for greater on-the-job responsibilities.

  10. Certification offers greater recognition from peers.

Go to our national website for additional information and the Certification application form by following this link, http://www.aspenational.org/Certification_UnderstandingTheCP.aspx.

© 2012 ASPE Chapter 3 All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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