FAQ

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TRUE Account

Why do I have to create a USGBC account to register for the TRUE Advisor?
Your TRUE account is a subsidiary account of your USGBC account. If you do not have a USGBC account, you must first create a USGBC account in order to create a TRUE Online account.
How do I change my TRUE Account password?
Any changes to your TRUE profile must first be made in your settings within your USGBC account. Once you update your USGBC account password, your TRUE Online password will be updated as well. You are allowed to make updates to the professional and contact information within your TRUE online account.

Facility Certification

How do I get my facility TRUE certified?
The first step is to register your facility (or “project”) by submitting a complete registration form, payment of the registration fee, and a signed certification agreement. Upon submission of a completed registration form, you will receive more details on next steps for the registration and certification process. The project must meet all the TRUE minimum program requirements and achieve at least 31 points to receive TRUE certification. Please see the TRUE Rating System to view the activities and performance thresholds that are included, and view the TRUE Guide to Certification to learn about the entire certification process and timelines from start to finish. Certification is also available for events.
What is the cost to get certified?
The fees for registration, events, precertification, and recertification are flat fees. The fees for certification are calculated per square foot of building space. Precertified projects receive a $1,000 discount on TRUE certification. You can view pricing for all TRUE certification pathways by visiting our fees webpage or contact us at [email protected] to speak with a program representative.
How long does the certification review take?
The typical review takes 10 weeks. There are several phases in the review process. The preliminary and final documentation review phases take 15 business days each, with approximately one month in between those phases for you to respond to the preliminary review comments or hold a site assessment. The precertification and recertification timeline follows the standard certification timeline and process, excluding the assessment. See the TRUE Guide to Certification.
Can we submit for an expedited review?
Expedited reviews are available for an additional fee on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to request an expedited review, please write us 10 business days in advance of when you would like to submit for the review, providing the expected date of submission and confirming that the project team agrees to the additional fees. It'll allow us to determine whether there's a review team available with the capacity to accommodate your project on an expedited timeline.
Can my project seek TRUE certification if it only occupies part of a building or property?
Yes. A project is typically defined by the legal property boundary, which may or may not include multiple buildings. However, for projects within a greater facility not seeking certification, or campuses that do not have internal property lines, the project may define an alternative boundary that is wholly contained within the legally owned site. This could be one tenant space, one building on a campus, or even a subset of floors within a building. The remaining areas outside of the project boundary are not required to be certified. Please refer to page 4 of the TRUE Rating System for other important details and criteria on defining your project.
Can I certify multiple facilities?
Yes. If your company/organization has multiple facilities to be certified or a campus that is requesting certification please be sure to include that in the registration form, or contact us at [email protected] for more information. TRUE offers a streamlined approach to review and certify multiple facilities, and a member of our team will reach out to you after submittal of a registration form to discuss.
Can a facility outside the United States get certified?
Yes, GBCI can certify facilities outside of the U.S. and has already TRUE certified facilities in over a dozen different countries. While the TRUE rating system can be applied worldwide, some references are specific to the Unites States; therefore, projects in other countries are responsible for referencing and documenting comparable local resources. Alternative compliance paths may be available for some credits. Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions about specific credit or minimum program requirements. A select number of featured TRUE certified facilities outside of the U.S can be found on the project profiles webpage.
Is there a list of TRUE certified facilities?
We currently do not have a public list that shows all TRUE certified facilities, but you can view a select number of featured TRUE certified facilities on the project profiles webpage.
Do I need to be a USGBC member to certify my facility?
No. However, if the organization/company joins as a USGBC member at the Silver level or higher it will receive a 20% discount on the registration and certification fees. Membership provides many other benefits including discounts on training, access to Education @USGBC courses, and more.
Can I submit a registration form if my facility does not meet all the requirements?
Yes, a facility does not need to be ready to certify in order to register.
Why should my facility get precertified?
TRUE precertification is available to all projects regardless of the level of diversion performance that has been achieved. Precertification provides a framework to help your project get started on your zero waste journey and implement the fundamental actions needed for a robust zero waste program. Your project can get recognized for your efforts toward zero-waste and utilize an incremental pathway toward TRUE certification. Precertification also demonstrates your commitment to achieve zero waste and signals your intent to pursue TRUE certification. Learn more about the precertification process by reviewing the TRUE Precertification Guidance which outlines details about the requirements.
How long is precertification valid for?
Precertification is valid for three years. If the precertification expires before the facility has applied for certification, the project may still pursue certification but all documentation must be resubmitted.
My project is TRUE certified. How do I maintain the certification, and are there fees for that?

Projects registered before September 1, 2020 do not have a set term of validity. No maintenance fees are due and no recertification is required, as long as the project maintains certification by complying with the annual maintenance requirements.

Certifications for projects registered on or after September 1, 2020 expire after three years. These projects, and projects that have not maintained validity by submitting annual data, must recertify to reinstate certification. Projects will need to pay the associated recertification fee and submit updated information to confirm the project is still in compliance with TRUE requirements.

Review pages 3 and 4 of the TRUE Certification Maintenance and Recertification Guidance for more details on the recertification requirements

What happens if my site is no longer meeting the TRUE minimum program requirements (MPRs) after certification?
Projects that can no longer meet one or more TRUE MPRs should contact GBCI at [email protected] describing the situation and which MPR(s) are affected. GBCI is dedicated to supporting projects with challenges, while also helping them retain the recognition they received from TRUE, and solutions may be available.
Can I recertify to get a higher certification level?
Yes, projects may recertify and pursue additional points to upgrade their previous certification level. Review page 4 of the TRUE Certification Maintenance and Recertification Guidance for more details on the recertification upgrade requirements. If annual data has not been regularly submitted, you may still recertify and that will be considered the required recertification needed to get the project back in good standing.
Can I keep the certification if site operations have moved to a new location?
Yes, projects that have relocated to another property can recertify by demonstrating that the new facility operates in the same way as the previously location. Review page 5 of the TRUE Certification Maintenance and Recertification Guidance for more details on the recertification upgrade requirements.

TRUE Advisors

Do I have to be a TRUE Advisor to get my facility certified?
It is not required that a TRUE Advisor participate in the registration or facility certification process. However, possessing this certificate (or having the assistance of a TRUE Advisor), greatly enhances understanding of the application and how to achieve credits. In addition, the project can earn the TRUE Advisor pilot credit for having a TRUE Advisor as part of the application process.
What are the benefits of earning the TRUE Advisor certificate?
Earning the TRUE Advisor certificate allows individuals to signify their knowledge of the TRUE Zero Waste Rating System, its strategies and its methodologies. As the go-to experts in the certification process, TRUE Advisors lead businesses through best practices, tools for tracking and reporting waste diversion and access to essential TRUE resources. To learn more about the benefits of earning the TRUE Advisor certificate click here.
How do I earn the TRUE Advisor certificate?
You must register for and complete the TRUE Advisor course. Upon completion of the course, you must take and pass the assessment. You will have two opportunities to pass the assessment.
Are there prerequisites or eligibility requirements to earn the TRUE Advisor certificate?
There are no eligibility requirements to participate in the program. Individuals must complete the online course and pass the assessment within 180 days of registration in order to earn the TRUE Advisor certificate.
When is the TRUE Advisor certificate program offered?
The certificate program is offered as an online on-demand course that will be available to you 24/7.
How much does it cost to complete the TRUE Advisor certificate program?
The non-refundable certificate program fee is $350 for USGBC members and $450 for non-members.
What is included in the price of the TRUE Advisor certificate program?
This fee includes access to the following for a 180-day period:
  • 12 online modules
  • Downloadable resources and guided notes to reinforce learning and that can be easily referenced for future use
  • 75-question end-of-course exam

Can I request an extension or refund?
The TRUE Advisor certificate program is non-refundable and each participant should ensure that they will be able to complete the course and assessment within 180 days prior to registering. If there are unavoidable circumstances that prevent you from completing the program within 180 days, please reach out to [email protected] for assistance.
Contact info for customer service
Email: [email protected]
Phone: We are available for calls Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5:30 pm ET.
Within the United States: 1-800-795-1746
Outside the United States: 1-202-742-3792

Online course

Are there system requirements for accessing the course and assessment?

Yes. You must have Adobe Flash Player installed prior to accessing the course and assessment. To download and install for free, please visit the Adobe website.

Please note some browsers block Flash by default. If you experience issues accessing the course and/or assessment using Chrome, please enable Flash.

  1. Open your internet browser.
  2. Log in to your TRUE Advisor account. Under “Account -> Profile” page, click the “Take Exam” button.
  3. Read the instructions and click on “Continue to Exam” which will open a new window.
  4. If Adobe Flash Player is missing you will see a white screen. Copy the URL shown in address bar of the browser. It will look like this https://surpass.prometric-testing.com/secureassess/SecureAssessDelivery.html?lang=en&keycode=ENTERUNIQUECODE. Keep this copied and will be used in steps 9 and 12.
  5. Go to “Settings.”
  6. Select “Advanced Settings.”
  7. Under “Privacy and Security” click “Content Settings.”
  8. Click “Popups.”
  9. Under the “Allow” section add the copied link from step 4.
  10. Go back to “Content Settings.”
  11. Click “Flash.”
  12. Under the "Allow" section add the copied link from step 4.
  13. Go to https://true.gbci.org/user and try to launch the exam.

The following list browsers and mobile applications can be used for optimal viewing and accessibility of the course modules. View most up-to-date system requirements.

  • HTML5: Windows: Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge (latest version), Google Chrome (latest version), Firefox (latest version); Mac: Safari (latest version), Google Chrome (latest version), Firefox (latest version): Mobile: Safari in Apple iOS 10 or later, Google Chrome in Apple iOS 10 or later, Google Chrome in Android OS 4.4 or later
  • Flash: Adobe Flash Player 10.3 or later plus any of these web browsers: Windows: Internet Explorer 8 or later, Microsoft Edge (latest version), Google Chrome (latest version), Firefox (latest version); Mac: Safari (latest version), Google Chrome (latest version), Firefox (latest version)
  • Articulate Mobile Player: Articulate Mobile Player in Apple iOS 10 or later on iPad; Articulate Mobile Player in Android OS 4.4 or later (optimized for tablets)
  • Screen Reader: HTML5: JAWS 16 or later with Internet Explorer 11, Google Chrome (latest version), Firefox (latest version); Flash: JAWS 16 or later with Internet Explorer 11
  • Section 508 Accessibility: Storyline 360 supports Section 508 accessibility guidelines
  • WCAG 2.0 Accessibility: Storyline 360 supports Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

If you are still experiencing difficulties, please contact us.

What is the estimated time for completing the online course?
The online course may take up to 6.5 hours to complete as you complete the activities, download templates and take notes. Your progress will be saved as you work, so you may exit the course at any time to resume where you last stopped.
How long do I have access to the online course of the TRUE Advisor certificate program?
You will have 180 days from registration to access the online course and pass the assessment. If you do not pass the assessment (you are given two attempts) within the 180-day period, you will need to re-register for the course. Upon successful completion of the assessment, you will have access to the course modules until the end of your certificate term.
During the course, can I move back and forth at will, depending on how I want/need to review the course?
You must view the modules and slides sequentially, so you will not be able to advance and/or skip ahead.
Can I print copies of the resource documents from the online course?
Yes, you may print the downloadable resource documents.

Assessment

What is the format of the TRUE assessment?
It is a 95-minute online exam that consists of 75 questions. You must pass the exam with a score of 77 percent or higher in order to receive the certificate. You may not pause, exit or restart the exam. You will be permitted a maximum of two opportunities to take and pass the exam. The exam has both scored and unscored items. All items are delivered randomly throughout the exam and candidates are not informed of an item’s status, so candidates should respond to all the items on the exam. Unscored items are used to gather performance data to inform whether the item should be scored on future exams.
Is the exam open book?
No, the exam is closed book and is intended to assess whether the learning objectives have been met.
How many questions need to be answered correctly to pass the TRUE Advisor exam?
In order to pass the TRUE Advisor exam, you must earn a score of 77 percent or higher within the 95-minute time limit. The exam must be completed in one sitting. You cannot pause the exam and come back to it. If you do not achieve a passing score within the allotted time, you must retake the exam.
What if I do not pass the TRUE Advisor assessment? When can I retake the TRUE Advisor assessment?
You will have two opportunities to pass the exam. If your first attempt is unsuccessful, you will need to wait 24 hours before re-taking the exam. If you do not pass the exam within these two opportunities within your 180-day registration period, you will be required to register for the certificate program again.

Certificate

What is awarded upon successful completion of the program?
A non-transferable TRUE Advisor certificate will be issued by GBCI and available for download in your account within 72 hours. Additionally, you will be authorized to use the “TRUE Advisor” designation during the term of the certificate. This designation may not be altered in any way and it must be displayed in full (i.e., TRUE Advisor).
How soon will I receive my certificate after passing the TRUE Advisor assessment?
It can take up to 72 hours for your results to be updated in your TRUE account. You will receive an email notification once your score has been updated and your PDF certificate is available.
Does my certificate expire?
The TRUE Advisor certificate remains valid until February 5, 2023. The first day of the certificate period is the date the course assessment was successfully completed. At the end of the five-year certificate term, you must take the updated certificate program, which includes the online course and assessment, in order for the certificate to remain valid.
Are there renewal requirements for the TRUE Advisor certificate?
There are no annual credential maintenance requirements for the TRUE Advisor certificate. However, at the end of the five-year certificate term you must complete the updated certificate program in order for your certificate to remain valid.

CE Hours

Can I earn continuing education (CE) hours for successfully completing the TRUE Advisor certificate program?
Yes, you will earn 7.5 CE hours that may be able to be applied toward other professional credential renewals.
Can I apply CE hours I receive from this program towards a GBCI credential (e.g., LEED Green Associate, LEED AP with specialty, SITES AP and WELL AP)?
You will earn 7.5 CE hours that you can self-report within your credential account. These CE hours will count toward your general CE hour requirements. See the Credential Maintenance Program guide for more information.