2010 NAAEE conference EE Certification 101 session panel of certification program leaders
Photo by Sue Bumpous


Environmental education is among the newest professions to offer a credential that demonstrates the knowledge and experience of its practitioners.

NAAEE, its Affiliates, and other partners are collaborating to create a certification program for environmental educators. A number of U.S. states now have active programs that are certifying environmental educators, and more states are working on developing a program.

While each Certifying Agent administers its program differently, they have in common a set of "core competencies" for demonstrating proficiency in EE. These core competencies were developed out of NAAEE's Guidelines for the Preparation and Professional Development of Environmental Educators. Candidates for certification also must understand and agree to uphold high ethical standards in the practice of EE.

EE Cert – WIIFM? (What's in it for me?)

Thinking of getting certified, but wondering: What’s in it for me? Obtaining the credential ensures that other EE providers know that you have demonstrated what you know and are able to do, and that employers know it too. The purpose of EE certification is to encourage individual professional growth. Having a community of certified professionals elevates respect for the profession and enhances the resumes of those who have attained it. -More-



Active EE Certification Programs

Several U.S. states are accepting applications from certification applicants. If your location is not on the list, someone may be leading the effort to develop a certification program in your area. Contact NAAEE to learn which states are “just getting started.” -more-

Read the Core Competencies for Certification Programs document.



NAAEE Accredits Certification Programs

Determining whether a certification program meets NAAEE’s professional standards is a two-step accreditation process. The program submits a  detailed application for examination by an Accreditation Review Panel comprised of three senior NAAEE members. Their recommendation goes to an Accreditation Board, which reviews the report , asks questions, and makes the final decision on whether the program should receive NAAEE’s recognition.  Many of the Accreditation Board members formerly were on the Certification Advisory Council that developed the accreditation process and scoring rubric.

Accreditation Board and Review Panel

Accreditation Application

The complete accreditation application manual includes a history of the EE certification effort, a description of the accreditation process, a timeline, fee information, rules for  use of NAAEE’s logo by accredited certification programs, a glossary of terms, the Core Competencies, samples of the Code of Ethics, and the application and scoring rubric. Contact NAAEE for application info.