Chief Architect’s User Certification Program is designed to provide an achievement process for demonstrating competency in using Chief Architect software. Certification is available to Builders, Remodelers, Architects, Designers, Academic Instructors and Students.

With User Certification, professional designers can convey verified experience to clients. For student users, it provides a demonstrated level of competency they can use on their resume for the next step in their career. And finally, for the academic instructors, it is an education credential that can assist them for course work. Certification can establish credibility and confidence for our users in an increasingly competitive market.

The Certification Exam is valid for current versions of Chief Architect. Users can re-certify for new versions of Chief Architect by taking that version’s exam. Dates and signup information are available by contacting our training department at or 208.292.3400 with any questions.

Professional Certification Levels:

Certified Professional

Chief Architect Certified Professional

Designed for Chief ‘power’ users. Requires a high score on the comprehensive examination.

Certified User

Chief Architect Certified User

Designed for general Chief users. Requires a minimum score on the comprehensive examination.

Professional Certification Exam Details

The Professional Certification exam for home design is a four hour proctored test consisting either online or in-class. It is a project based exam covering the competency areas listed below. A certificate and certification logo will be provided for those that pass the exam. The exam fee for the Professional Certification is $195 (a 50% discount is available for SSA users).

Professional Exam Competency Areas

View Detailed Exam Outline

  • User Interface
  • Default Settings
  • Library / Project Browser
  • Walls
  • Windows / Doors
  • Cabinets
  • Rooms
  • Electrical
  • Foundations
  • Framing
  • Multiple Floors
  • Decks
  • Roofs
  • CAD Tools
  • Layers / Layer Sets
  • Terrain
  • Cameras
  • Materials List
  • Layout
  • Printing
  • Import / Export
  • Troubleshooting User Errors
  • Dimensions

Academic Certification Levels:

Certified Apprentice - Home Design

Chief Architect Certified Apprentice

Designed for students interested in certification in the overall home design process within Chief Architect.

Certified Apprentice - Interior Design

Chief Architect Certified Apprentice

Designed for FACS students interested in certification in the interior design process within Chief Architect.

Academic Certification Exam Details

The Certified Apprentice exams are two hour proctored tests that are a subset of the Professional Certification exam. Each are project based exams covering the competency areas listed below. A certificate and certification logo will be provided for those that pass the exam. The Apprentice exams are offered online and the student fee is $45*. Free exam offerings are available to qualifying instructors; contact for further details.

There are three video training series, along with several How-To videos, which are available to take a new user to the appropriate knowledge level for the Academic exam:

  • Introductory Training Videos
  • Residential Design Project Training Videos
  • Intermediate & Advanced Training Videos
  • How-To Design Videos

Academic users can also find much of the knowledge needed for the exam by completing all of the tutorials in the User's Guide included with your software.

* Discounted rate available to students enrolled in drafting, design, and architectural programs with at least three (3) relevant credit hours.

Academic Exam Competency Areas


The Academic Certification exam covers knowledge in the 12 main competency areas listed below:
  • User Interface
  • Default Settings
  • Library / Project Browser
  • Walls
  • Windows / Doors
  • Cabinets
  • Rooms
  • Electrical
  • Layers / Layer Sets
  • Cameras
  • Layout
  • Dimensions