About the COBie Certified Professional™ examination

The COBie Certified Professional™ examination is for individuals wishing to demonstrate their technical ability in the understanding, production and monitoring of data delivered in the open-standard COBie format.

Hear from Dr Bill East, PhD, PE, F.ASCE, author of the COBie Certified Professional™ examination and Chair of the COBie Certified Subcommittee on why this examination was written, who should sit the exam and the benefits it brings to becoming COBie certified with buildingSMART.

COBie Certified Professional™ examination requires a detailed technical understanding of the internationally adopted COBie standard. The currently adopted COBie standard is published in National Building Information Model Standard - United States® V3, Chapter 4.2 and Annex A. This version of the COBie standard is referred to as COBie version 2.4. As future internationalized versions of the COBie standard are developed by buildingSMART International, this examination will be amended to reflect any updates.

Presently, the examination is only offer in English. Future development of the examination also includes producing non-English language versions of the standard and examination.

Preparation for the examination

It is expected that individuals sitting for the COBie Certified Professional™ examination will have extensive, detailed technical knowledge of the COBie standard and practical experience working with COBie in the built environment. buildingSMART does not offer training prior to this examination, this is a test of your skills and ability to allow you to become a certified COBie practitioner. However if you feel further training is required, there is a list of registered training provider available

You are expected to know, and be able to apply your experience using the COBie standard, formally defined in the National Building Information Modelling Standard - United States®, Version 3, Chapter 4.2, and Annex A.  These documents are available free of charge at on the National Institute of Building Sciences website here.

Given that of the 30 software systems tested only two design software platforms exclusively supported the delivery of COBie data via overloaded STEP Physical File Format (SPFF) files, the COBie Certified Professional™ examination focuses on the understanding and use of the spreadsheet presentation of COBie data. To reinforce this point Annex A, COBie Mapping Rules, are extensively covered in this examination.

In addition, on the knowledge of the standard itself, you should have experience implementing or extracting COBie data from design and construction software and related documents. It is anticipated that you will have successfully created standards-based COBie deliverables during design and construction on a minimum of three projects.

As part of those projects, it is expected that you would have conducted formal quality control checks of COBie data files focusing both on format checking (verification) and content checking (validation) as defined in the COBie standard. To succinctly describe the relationships among COBie objects, required as part of the quality control process, you must clearly understand database concepts including keys and cardinality.

Further information in preparation for the exam session has been published in the document: COBie Certified Professional™ Exam Organization Overview and Proctoring Instructions and can be downloaded here.

Taking the examination

The COBie Certified Professional™ examination is a two-hour, open-book, online exam. It contains 160 randomly selected questions drawn from a question bank of over 600 possible questions. The exam will be invigilated and recorded.

You will need to carefully manage your time. You will have less than one minute (on average) to answer each question.

The first set of questions are drawn from sets or "banks" of questions. There are three question banks: Scope, General and Usage, and these question make up 27% of the examination.

These questions cover the application of COBie as defined in the standard, and the general organization of the spreadsheet presentation of the COBie standard.

The remaining 73% of questions pertain to data model and quality control (verification and validation) of the information found in specific COBie Tabs.

All questions are either multiple choice (pick one), multiple choice (pick one or more), short answer or true/false.

Most questions are phrased using positive statements; however, negatively phrased alternative formulations of these questions are also present. For all multiple choice answers, incurred answers have been designed to distinguish between those who know the COBie standard, and those who do not. As a result, your job is to pick the best answer out of the set of detractors!

Further information in preparation for the exam session has been published in the document: COBie Certified Professional™ Exam Organization Overview and Proctoring Instructions and can be downloaded here.

How to register for the examination

To register for COBie Certified Professional™ examination you must complete the on-line registration form and provide payment directly to buildingSMART International.

The contents of this examination has been reviewed and approved by an international industry advisory board participating in the buildingSMART International COBie Certification Subcommittee. buildingSMART chapter members who have achieved the COBie Certified Professional™ certification may become a member of this industry advisory board.

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