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 ALEP program. 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?

  1. Educational Visioning: Exhibits an understanding of best and next practices related to educational leadership, programming, teaching, learning, planning and facility design – establishing credibility with educators, community members and design professionals while being able to conceive and lead a visioning process. Demonstrates the ability to articulate the impact of learning environments on teaching and learning and uses that ability to facilitate a 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: Leads community-wide research processes through group facilitation, strategic conversations, qualitative and quantitative surveys, along with board and administrative workshops to discover, articulate and communicate a community-based foundational vision that will form the basis of a plan for the design of learning environments. Demonstrates the skill to resolve stakeholder issues while embedding a community's unique vision into the vision for its schools.
  3. Educational Facility Pre-Design Planning: Manages a master planning process that combines educational planning, facilities assessment and utilization, demographic research, capital planning and educational specifications with a community-based vision to establish a plan for learning environments. This includes the ability to translate existing or aspirational instructional models to specific programming and spatial relationships.
  4. Design of Educational Facilities: Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support 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: Has a working understanding of how the following areas impact the facility program: regulations and policies; project delivery methodologies; scheduling; preventative maintenance; life-cycle planning; and systems commissioning.
  6. Assessment of the School Facility: The ability to objectively evaluate a learning environment post-occupancy and utilize that data to improve future projects. Implements a plan for educational commissioning that provides guidance on how to use and maximize the learning environment to meet the foundational vision established in the planning phase.
  7. Ethics / Professionalism: 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 child’s future. They lead and have a record of leading transparent processes that help communities find common ground in developing solutions to complex and sensitive issues – advocating for long term solutions that address the needs of all children and stakeholders including underserved groups.

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?

Earning the ALEP credential is the hallmark of a committed learning environments planner. It helps drive professional self-confidence, opens doors, creates connections, and offers widespread value and recognition for candidates. Some states, counties, and schools districts across the US require an ALEP on the team when responding to an RFP/RFQ.

How can I obtain the ALEP?

There are two pathways to earning the ALEP. 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 a multi-step process—

Here’s how to register and enroll in the ALEP Assessment:
  1. Register and attest to the standards of the ALEP.


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

    To view successful portfolios, please see these examples:

  3. Document 100 hours of Continuing Education.
  4. Provide Letters of Recommendation.
  5. Interview with members of the Commission.

What is the schedule for application?

There are two schedules for 2021.

Schedule A
Interviews to be held at the Pacific Northwest Regional Conference, Portland, OR
Application Ongoing
Portfolio Due January 31, 2021
Interview To be determined
Schedule B
Interviews to be held at LearningSCAPES in San Antonio, TX
Application Ongoing
Portfolio Due June 1, 2021
Interview To be determined

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 educational facility planning.

    *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. Please use the CEU Renewal Log to file hours.