Purpose of the DBIA Certification Program


The Designated Design-Build Professional™ program is intended to establish an accepted and recognized standard of design-build knowledge and experience. DBIA certifies design and construction practitioners as well as other professionals working in the design-build arena. Through coursework and testing, these individuals demonstrate an understanding of best-practices in every phase of design-build project delivery, from proposal preparation to substantial completion. DBIA certification is aimed at all members of the project team — from owner’s representatives and legal professionals to designers, contractors, and sub-contractors.

The program has been developed for and by professionals commissioning and contributing to public, commercial, civil and process projects. DBIA’s Certification Board endorses the program.


Which DBIA Credential Is Right for you?


Through DBIA certification, practitioners and professionals demonstrate their knowledge of design-build project delivery as well as their ability to deliver. No other organization offers a credential that is specifically designed to provide education and training in the design-build best practices that promote successful capital projects.


DBIA Offers Two Certifications


The Associate DBIA™


Individuals holding the Assoc. DBIA™ certification have demonstrated mastery of best practices in design-build project delivery. They have completed DBIA’s core education requirements and have passed the comprehensive DBIA Certification Exam. All individuals interested in pursuing or performing design-build work may stand for the Assoc. DBIA™ certification to show their commitment to design-build done right.

  • Emerging industry professionals, including recent graduates of design and construction schools, may hold the Associate DBIA credential while they acquire the two to six years of hands-on design-build project experience necessary to fulfill the requirements for the Professional DBIA™ credential.
  • Seasoned professionals including architects, engineers, general and specialty contractors new to design-build project delivery and interested in gaining an understanding of best practices seek Assoc. DBIA™ certification and may eventually obtain the Design-Build Professional™ certification.
  • Government acquisition specialists, as well as legal, marketing and business development professionals, are critical to the pre-award design-build team. These individuals seek the Assoc. DBIA™ certification as evidence of their familiarity with the entire design-build process in addition to the best practices pertaining to their areas of expertise. Recognized as design-build experts within their spheres, these professionals often see the Assoc. DBIA™ certification as an end in and of itself.



The Professional DBIA™


Unlike the Associate DBIA™, the Professional DBIA™ requires hands-on experience of post-award design-build and is the premier credential for design-build practitioners, identifying them to end users and the industry as experts in the design-build field. In addition to demonstrated knowledge of best practices gained through completion of core courses and examination, individuals holding the Professional DBIA™ have significant experience in the successful delivery of design-build projects.
Credential holders who display “DBIA” after their names come from traditional design and construction backgrounds; they are the private or public sectors architects, engineers and construction professionals. Some attorneys and academic practitioners who specialize in design and construction generally and design-build specifically may also fulfill the Professional DBIA™ requirements.
If you are uncertain, which credential is best suited to your current and future career path, ask DBIA. Contact Managing Director of Certification Valexia Hall at



Why Earn the Credential?


Everybody knows that MD following an individual’s name means “Medical Doctor” and that CPA signifies “Certified Public Accountant.” Organizations and professions use certification to recognize qualified and competent individuals. The certification process is one of the single most important steps in career development. Here are the top 10 reasons why design-build professionals should consider participating in the process to become a Designated Design-Build Professional™.

  1. Certification grants you professional credentials. Earning the right to use “DBIA” after your name identifies you as a professional in design-build project delivery. Recognizing your individual accomplishments, certification serves as an impartial endorsement of your knowledge, skills, abilities and experience
  2. Certification demonstrates your commitment to the design and construction industry and to your profession. Receiving your DBIA certification shows your peers, the A/E/C community and, in turn, the general public, your commitment to your chosen career and your ability to perform to a higher standard
  3. Certification enhances the profession’s image. DBIA’s certification program seeks to grow, promote and develop qualified professionals, who can stand “out in front” as examples of excellence in the field of design-build project delivery.
  4. Certification reflects achievement. DBIA certification recognizes personal achievement by an individual who has demonstrated their excellence by meeting standards and requirements established by the industry, for the industry.
  5. Certification builds self-esteem. DBIA certification is a step toward defining yourself beyond a job description or academic degree while gaining a sense of personal satisfaction.
  6. Certification improves career opportunities and chances for advancement. DBIA certification can give you the “edge” when being considered for a promotion or other career opportunities. It clearly identifies you as a professional who has demonstrated a high level of expertise in design-build project delivery as acknowledged by the DBIA Certification Board and the Design-Build Institute of America.
  7. Certification may provide for greater earnings potential. DBIA certification professionals are often preferred when it comes to filling key positions in the industry. In addition, many firms provide employees with bonuses and incentives for achieving such a certification.
  8. Certification improves skills and knowledge and it shows others in the profession your individual competence by validating your knowledge, skills and abilities. Typically, achieving DBIA certification requires pre-determined coursework, additional study and “keeping up” with the constantly changing industry and marketplace. DBIA certification is viewed as a tangible indicator of your willingness to invest in your own professional development.
  9. Certification helps you prepare for greater on-the-job responsibilities and future challenges. Certified professionals are change agents because they possess the desire to anticipate or initiate improvements in project delivery and to the design-build process.
  10. Certification offers greater recognition from peers. As a DBIA certified professional, your peers will acknowledge that you have taken that extra step in advancing your professional development.



Benefits to the DBIA™ Professional


Rewards of Certification


All Designated Design-Build Professionals™ will receive

  • A personalized certificate suitable for framing and display.