Program Structure

The buildingSMART International Certification Program identifies provides two levels of testing: professional certification and individual qualification. COBie related efforts are also being created in two phases.

Phase one, the 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 referred to as COBie version 2.4. As future, internationalized versions of the COBie standard are developed by buildingSMART International, this exam will be updated to reflect updates. Future development also includes producing non-English language versions of the standard and examinations.

Phase 2, the COBie Foundation module is an entry-level qualification that attests to an individual's basic knowledge of the COBie standard. This is in accordance with the Professional Certification Foundations scheme (as outlined at and will be available to the public towards the end of 2020.

Service providers will be able to develop training material. As the program develops, bSi and bSi chapters will have the opportunity to identify Authorized Training Resources.

bSi does not mandate the completion of training from Authorized Training Resources, prior to sitting for either the COBie Certified Professional™ examination or the COBie Individual Qualification examination. However, bSi strongly recommends that candidates complete the course of study outlined for each examination.


Both COBie Certified Professional™ and the COBie Foundation module are based on a list of learning objectives or Learning Outcome Framework (LOF). The LOFs are the basis from which individuals, companies, and/or training organizations can develop their course of study. LOF’s are also the foundation for the assessment and qualification process. The production of LOF’s for the COBie Professional Certification and Individual Qualification exams is in working progress and will be published in 2020.


It is expected that candidates sitting for the COBie Certified Professional™ examination have considerable detailed technical knowledge of the COBie standard and practical experience working with COBie in the project environment.  While training is not a pre-requisite to apply to take this examination, it is highly recommended.

The cost of the exam does not include the cost of training which should be taken prior to sitting for the exam, which is decided independently by each training organization.

Candidates are expected to know and be able to apply their experience using the COBie standard, formally defined in the National Building Information Modeling Standard - United States®, Version 3, Chapter 4.2, and Annex A.  These documents are available free of charge at

Given that of the 30 software systems tested only two (2) design software 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, knowledge of the standard itself, you should have experience implementing or extracting COBie data from design and construction software and related documents. We anticipate that candidates will have successfully created standards-based COBie deliverables during design and construction on at least three (3) 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.

Software programmers who have implemented COBie import and/or export functions may have significant difficulty answering questions related to the overall scope of the standard and application of the standard during design and construction.

The COBie Certified Professional™ examination is a two (2) hour, on-line exam. Once started, you may not stop or leave your computer for any reason.

You will be videoed during the examination. If the video turns off, you will be disqualified.

In addition to the browser hosting this website, you may have three additional windows open on your desktop. These additional resources are:

  1. NBIMS-US V3, Chapter 4.2
  2. NBIMS-US V3, Chapter 4.2, Annex
  3. one COBie file spreadsheet file

Aside from these three resources, you may not receive external assistance of any type during this examination.

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

Questions are drawn from sets or "banks" of questions. Three question banks: Scope, General, and Usage comprise 27% of the current total questions. 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.

Questions are of the following types: multiple choice (pick one), multiple choice (pick one or more), short answer, and 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.


Candidates will complete an on-line registration form here and provide payment directly to buildingSMART international.

The cost of each exam is published in the COBie Certified Professional™ Policy and Process document.

Quality Control

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.

Click here for more information on the overall buildingSMART Professional Certification Program

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