About Accredited Learning Environment Planner (ALEP)

What is ALEP?

The Accredited Learning Environment Planner (ALEP) is the professional designation of the Association and signifies excellence in the industry. It is designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance, and identify those in the educational environment industry who demonstrate the core competencies essential to the practice of planning, designing, equipping and maintaining educational environments.

The Commission, an independent body that governs the accreditation, creates, sets policy for, and bestows the ALEP. This commission serves at the pleasure of the Association's Board of Directors, but has full authority and responsibility for the standards of the ALEP designation. As such, the Commission has identified core competencies which the designation represents and defines an outstanding professional in the industry of planning, designing, equipping, and maintaining learning environments.

Earning the ALEP credential is the hallmark of a committed educational facility planner. It helps drive professional self-confidence, opens doors, creates connections, and offers widespread value and recognition for candidates.

What are the Core Competencies of the ALEP?

An ALEP has demonstrated knowledge of these seven competencies and mastery of the following skills necessary to implement them.
  1. Educational Visioning: Understands best and next practices related to educational leadership, learning, teaching, and programming – establishing credibility with educators, community members, and design professionals while being able to conceive and facilitate a visioning process. Articulates the impact of the environment on learning and facilitates dialogue to uncover the unique needs and long-range goals of an educational institution and its stakeholders – translating that into an actionable written/graphic program of requirements for the designer.
  2. Community Engagement: Advocates for all communities, cultures, and affinity groups to be represented in the process. Employs strategies to amplify less heard and disempowered voices. Leads community-wide research processes through group facilitation, strategic conversations, qualitative and quantitative surveys, and board and administrative workshops to discover, articulate, and communicate a foundational community-based vision that will form the basis of a plan for the design of learning environments. Resolves stakeholder issues while embedding a community's unique ideas and expectations into the vision for its schools.
  3. Learning Environment Pre-Design Planning: Manages a master planning process that includes community engagement, educational planning, facilities assessment and utilization, demographic research, capital planning, funding, budgeting, sustainability, and educational specifications and results in a long-term plan reflecting a community vision. Translates existing and aspirational instructional models to specific programming and spatial relationships.
  4. Design of Learning Environments: Provides ongoing guidance and support to the design team to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices, and education policy.
  5. Educational Facility Implementation, Project Management / Project Delivery: Understands how regulations, codes and policies, project delivery methodologies, scheduling, funding, budgeting, preventative maintenance, life-cycle planning, and systems commissioning impact the facility program and vision.
  6. Assessment of the School Facility: Objectively evaluates the physical condition and educational adequacy of learning environments in pre-design and post-occupancy and utilizes that data to improve future projects. Implements an educational commissioning plan that guides the users on using and maximizing the learning environments to meet the foundational vision established in the planning phase.
  7. Ethics / Professionalism: Advocates for long-term solutions that address the needs of all students and stakeholders, including underserved groups, and reflects and acknowledges the identity and culture of the community. Provides leadership and stewardship for the responsible investment of public and private funding into school facilities – while being a known advocate for the importance of the learning environment on a student’s future. Leads and has a record of leading transparent processes that help communities find common ground in developing solutions to complex and sensitive issues.

Who should become a ALEP?

The ALEP designation is geared towards educational facility planning practitioners, who have a vested interest in advancing their profession and the industry.

What are the benefits of the ALEP?

The ALEP credential is validation of an individual’s expertise and leadership as a learning environments planner. It assists educational institutions by identifying those within the profession who are best equipped to guide them in assessing and planning learning environments. The designation is given to those who have demonstrated the ability to apply researched knowledge to plan and develop environments that support teaching and facilitate learning. Currently many education institutions around the world require in their RFQ/RFPs that an ALEP be a member of the team being submitted.

How can I obtain the ALEP?

There are two pathways to earning the ALEP Accreditation.

One way is to complete the Advanced Academy Certificate Program with at least an 80% achievement in each of the six modules.

Another pathway to the Accreditation is the Professional Assessment Process consisting of a Dossier Review and Interview. For the Professional Assessment Process, the following steps are required:

  1. Register and attest to the standards of the ALEP.


  2. Submit a dossier of your professional experience from the last 5 years. Please review the scoring rubic carefully.

    To view successful dossiers, please see these examples:

  3. Document 100 hours of Continuing Education.
  4. Provide (3) Letters of Recommendation from peers outside your organization or from clients.
  5. Interview with members of the Commission.

What is the schedule for application?

There are two opportunities to submit your Dossier for review in 2023.

Application Ongoing
Dossier Due Q2 and Q4 (dates TBD)
Interview To be determined. Interviews will be conducted virtually.

What are the eligibility requirements of the ALEP?

At the time of application, the applicant must meet the following professional experience requirements:
  • Have been employed in the planning and/or design of learning environments for the last five years preceding the application;
  • Have at least five years of total experience as a planner for learning environments and a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college/university, OR:
  • Have completed the full Advanced Academy for Designing Learning Spaces with at least an 80% accuracy in each module
  • Be currently or recently employed for five years prior to application as a paid employee in a firm or sole proprietorship such as a planning organization, architectural firm, engineering firm, construction organization, maintenance organization, or supplier that provides goods or services to learning environments, OR;
  • Be currently or recently employed for five years prior to application as a paid employee of a school district, state department, or other governmental entity involved in planning educational facilities;
  • Attest to uphold the ALEP Standards of Conduct and Ethics;
    Statement of Ethics
    • Maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct.
    • Actively model and encourage the integration of ethics into all aspects of planning, designing, building, and maintaining educational facilities.
    • Pursue the objectives of the firms/agencies that employ me in ways that are ethical.
    • Recognize and discharge my responsibility and that of my employer to uphold all laws and regulations.
    • Strive to continually advance my knowledge and achieve higher levels of excellence in educational facility planning.
    • Maintain confidentiality of all privileged information, except when doing so, becomes an ethical or legal breach of conduct.
    • Serve all clients fairly, holding foremost the interests of my employer and its industry or profession, faithfully executing my duties and never using my position for personal gain, and promptly and completely disclosing to all parties any potential and actual conflicts of interest.
  • Have no felony convictions related to the practice of planning of learning environments.

*Internship experience and/or service as a volunteer leader is not applicable toward the professional experience requirement.

What are the fees?

There will be a schedule of fees to apply for the program as well as a recertification and maintenance fee payable each year. When the recertification is due, no additional fee will be required as long as the yearly fee is current. Click here to view the fee schedule.

Who holds the ALEP designation?

For a complete listing of the current ALEPs, search our directory:

ALEP Directory

For Certification Renewal Policy, please click here. In your profile, please review your certification tab to verify A4LE events and CEU hours, as well as add missing or professional development activities outside of A4LE events.
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