Certified GeoExchange Designer

Designing GSHP systems will keep you competitive in a market forced to deal with rising energy costs. The CGD course is worth 2 CEUs.

Certified GeoExchange Designer (CGD) Course

Designing GSHP systems will keep you competitive in a market forced to deal with rising energy costs and resource depletion by offering customers a low-maintenance, economical and green alternative for their space conditioning needs.  Federal and state tax incentives for GSHPs are providing additional demand and popularity for the systems, creating even more opportunities for home owners and commercial buildings.

As an engineer or architectural designer, you have specific questions about GSHP systems that you want answered. IGSHPA has designed a program to offer advanced training towards certification as a Certified GeoExchange Designer (CGD). From an introduction to the technology to a complete review of the design process, participants learn the specific information they need to know.

You have two options available for the CGD course – our distance learning option and our CGD Plus course. The distance learning option gives you the convenience of learning when you have the time; while the CGD Plus course provides three days of concentrated learning under the guidance of an experienced GSHP Professional.

Who Should Enroll?

This design course is created for professional engineers, registered architects, installers, and contractors. This course is essential for individuals wanting advanced training and experience in designing GSHPs, and required for experienced individuals who wish to earn certification.


  • Ground Source Heat Pump Design – Residential & Commercial
  • Designing Closed Loop, Ground Heat Exchanger, Configurations & Layouts
  • Soil/Rock Classification and Conductivity
  • Borehole Grouting
  • Thermal Conductivity in-situ testing
  • Ground Loop Heat Exchanger Software
  • Ground Source Heat Pump in System Performance

Eligibility Requirements

Each candidate for certification must meet one of the following four sets of criteria:

  • Be an engineering graduate and/or Professional Engineer or Registered Architect with three years combined experience in commercial geothermal heat pump design and/or heating, ventilation and air-conditioning
  • Have a four-year, non-technical degree with five years combined experience in commercial geothermal heat pump design and/or heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.
  • Have a two-year technical degree with eight years of combined experience in commercial geothermal heat pump design and/or heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.
  • Have ten years or more of combined experience in commercial geothermal heat pump design and/or heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning.

Certification Process

Certification is accomplished by application to AEE. To become certified the candidate must:

  • Determine if eligible under the Eligibility Requirements listed.
  • Register for and attend the IGSHPA CGD training workshop.
  • Pass the AEE CGD exam.
  • Complete a separate application and send it to IGSHPA, to initiate the testing and certification process.
  • Certification will be awarded by AEE after their evaluation of the candidate’s qualifications by CGD board members.

Attending the CGD Course and passing the CGD exam are only a part of the certification process and will not automatically lead to certification. Contact AEE at 1-770-447-5083, ext. 223 for certification information.


  • Residential and Light Commercial Design and Installation Manual
  • Slinky™ Installation Guide
  • Soil and Rock Classification Field Manual
  • Grouting for Vertical Heat Pump Systems
  • ASHRAE manual
  • CGD Books

CGD Plus Course

These courses are offered through IGSHPA and also by independent IGSHPA accredited CGD Trainers. This course includes the same information as the IGSHPA distance learning course PLUS additional material developed by the instructor. You receive the benefit of the instructor’s years of geothermal experience while learning the material!

Courses will include:

  • A minimum of 20 hours of instruction
  • CGD Books, IGSHPA manual set and ASHRAE manual

Certified GeoExchange Designer Course – Distance Learning Option

Sessions are offered in various formats, times and places throughout the year.

Review Sessions

The class fee includes one mandatory review webinar. You are required to attend the mandatory webinar within one year of registering for the course.

Webinars will be conducted using GoTo Meeting. Questions and answers to frequently asked technical problems will be provided to participants by experienced designers and installers of ground source heat pump systems. The opportunity to ask CGD material and other technical questions will be available before taking the CGD exam. GoTo Meeting is a video conferencing program. Participants use a headset for talking and listening through their computer. A link will be provided in your training materials to register and connect to CGD Live Meeting. For additional questions and demo of CGD Live Meeting contact info@igshpa.org.

Webinar Information

Webinars must be enrolled in or cancelled at least 5 days before the Webinar date.

Next Webinar:

Date: TBA


To register online click here or fill out the following form to register:

You can type directly on the form and then print it out then mail it to IGSHPA office.

Get this file

You must use Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 (or higher) to open our downloadable pdf files. The Reader is free to download from Adobe’s website.


$2250 and includes UPS ground shipping of your materials.

The course requires you to attend one mandatory Q&A webinar. The fee for the mandatory webinar is included in the course fee. You will have four months to take the CGD test after you attend the mandatory webinar. If you wish to attend an additional webinar, please contact info@igshpa.org.

Cancellation policy

The full tuition fee will be refunded if you cancel your registration at least two (2) weeks prior to the first day of the confirmed workshop and return your materials unopened. You will be responsible for return shipping costs and it is strongly recommended that you insure your shipment with tracking.

Note: All courses are subject to cancellation by IGSHPA. IGSHPA will give all registrants notice in the event of a course cancellation at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled date. Contact IGSHPA to verify if a course has been cancelled before making any non-refundable travel arrangements.