Professional Certification Program

Keep America Beautiful's Professional Certification Program is an important step in the career track of Keep America Beautiful affiliate directors and staff members.

The goals of becoming a Keep America Beautiful Certified Community Environmental Professional include:

  • Enhances professional stature
  • Recognizes those who go above and beyond expectations
  • Gives a positive recognition for the affiliate and community
  • Provides a leveraged position from which to negotiate and build career success; and
  • Sets higher standards for all affiliates.

The Keep America Beautiful Professional Certification program eligibility requirements:

  • The applicant may be full-time or part-time salaried affiliate employee or an affiliate volunteer (including board member).
  • The Keep America Beautiful affiliate must be in good standing at time of application.
  • Must have been in the role of Executive Director for a minimum of one year or staff for two years at time of certification application.

Certification Requirements

Conference Attendances

Candidates must attend a minimum of two Keep America Beautiful National Conferences or one Keep America Beautiful National Conference and one State Affiliate conference or training, within the professional certification process. In situations where a second conference attendance is not possible, the time required may be extended or other conference options may be approved by Professional Certification Committee.

Local Community Speaking Presentation

Candidates must conduct a speaking presentation at a board training or local community meeting/workshop on the Keep America Beautiful Behavior Change System. The presentation should be a minimum of 30 minutes. Candidates will be required to write a reflection paper on their speaking presentation that does not exceed 500 words (approximately one page) in length.

Candidates will use the following prompts in this paper:

  • Describe the meeting/workshop, including a brief description of the audience.
  • What were your key takeaways?
  • Was the experience different than you expected? If so, how?
  • What type of questions did you receive and were you prepared to answer the questions?
  • If you could do your presentation again, what would you do differently?

Assessment: Case Studies

The final component for certification is the development of case studies, which are similar to lab analysis. The case studies should explore your use of the Keep America Beautiful Behavior Change System in your affiliate. This component adds credibility/validity/reliability to the process. The Final Assessment is designed to show a direct link between information received and its actual usability as it pertains to a professional career. This process will require each candidate to submit two case studies that demonstrate and explain how the applicant has applied information using Behavior Change Strategies in the actual performance of their jobs. Each case study must be a minimum of 1,000 words (approximately two pages each). Case studies will be reviewed by the Professional Certification Committee through a peer review process. Case studies deemed less than acceptable for certification will be returned to the candidate with specific comments and direction. The candidate will be allowed to resubmit.


Achieving your Professional Certification is an investment in yourself and your career. The $300 fee, not including travel expenses and conference registration (if applicable), may be divided into two parts:

  • $100 must be submitted with the application in the certification program, to cover the cost of record-keeping, processing, and program development and administration; and
  • $200 may accompany the initial application or must be submitted with the submission of the final documentation, including all program components.


Registration will be in conjunction with the Keep America Beautiful National Conference, with payment of applicable fees required to be paid at least two weeks prior to the National Conference. If course(s) are offered through State Affiliate conference registration, that will be done by Keep America Beautiful in cooperation with the State Affiliate.


Applicants must complete all course and written requirements and submit any applicable fees by Dec. 15. The applicant should complete the requirements within one to two years of his/her initial registration.

Successful candidates, after completing the Professional Certification Program, will be recognized at the Keep America Beautiful National Conference in front of their professional peers. You will also receive a Certified Community Environmental Professional recognition plaque. Additionally, Keep America Beautiful will issue a local press release in cooperation with the successful candidates to recognize their achievement. No candidate shall receive recognition of certification until all program components are completed satisfactorily. If applicant cannot complete work within 2 years, an additional $100 fee will be required. 

Certified Community Environmental Professionals and those seeking the certification will have opportunities for previews of Keep America Beautiful research, tools and some grants.


Re-certification reporting will be required every five years. The requirements are as follows:

  • Recorded proof of continued active professional involvement.
  • Affiliate in Good Standing, including the requirement for six hours of annual training for each of the five years following certification or re-certification.
  • Attend a minimum of two Keep America Beautiful annual conferences or State Affiliate conferences/meetings, if applicable. In situations where conference attendance is not possible within the time required, applicants may request approval of a substitute for Keep America Beautiful or State Affiliate conferences. The Professional Certification Committee will have final approval of substitutions.
  • Serve as a mentor in person or by phone.
  • Submit one written case study that demonstrate use of skills learned during certification and explaining the actual performance in their job. The case study must be a minimum of 1,000 words.
  • There will be no fee for re-certification other than any fees to attend the required conferences and/or annual training courses (subject to change).