Feature image photo courtesy of Konstantin Yuganov, Adobe Stock.
Becoming a GBCI EDGE One-Stop Shop enables your architectural, engineering or green building consulting firm to grow your revenue by expanding the EDGE services you provide clients. As a One-Stop Shop, your firm becomes the central destination for clients in your market seeking to achieve EDGE certification. You provide clients with the EDGE Expert, consulting and auditor services they require, and we at GBCI operate on the back end, providing you with the certification infrastructure required to deliver certification. By making your firm the center of your customer’s EDGE experience, the One-Stop Shop model offers your firm a platform for growth, while ensuring a more seamless certification experience for your clients.
What is a GBCI EDGE One-Stop Shop?
A GBCI EDGE One-Stop Shop is a green building consulting firm that represents GBCI in the firm's local market and provides its clients with a simple path to EDGE certification. As a One-Stop Shop, your firm provides EDGE Expert or other consultancy services, as well as EDGE Auditor services, for the same project. We at GBCI provide your firm with the back-end support that enables you to deliver a seamless certification experience. We support GBCI EDGE One-Stop Shops with responsive technical assistance, timely certification review services, and marketing and sales tools.
How does my firm benefit from becoming a GBCI EDGE One-Stop Shop?
The One-Stop Shop model enables your firm to provide your clients with all the services they require to achieve certification. This results in your clients having a simpler and faster certification experience and in your firm generating more revenue.
The benefits of the One-Stop Shop model for your firm don’t stop at providing another source of revenue. The approach also reduces your certification delivery costs. As a One-Stop Shop, your firm provides projects with both consultancy and EDGE Auditor services. This improves communication between the project team and EDGE Auditor and gives you confidence that certification submissions will be of high quality. Through this increased coordination, your firm can deliver certifications more quickly and at a lower cost.
The One-Stop Shop approach provides additional efficiencies for clients. Specifically, it reduces the number of contracts they must sign and makes pricing clearer and more transparent. If you choose, your firm can even pay GBCI’s registration and certification fees on behalf of your clients, enabling them to make only a single payment to your firm.
GBCI anticipates listing local one-stop shops on our website in the coming months.
How does my firm become a GBCI EDGE One-Stop Shop?
Becoming a GBCI EDGE One-Stop Shop is simple. Your firm needs at least two individuals that can engage with a project, one to provide EDGE Audit services and at least one other to provide EDGE Expert and other consultancy services required by the client.
The One-Stop Shop model requires that:
1. The EDGE Auditor provides only EDGE Audit services to the project, and
2. The EDGE Auditor scope of work and associated fees are listed separately from any other services provided by your firm (including EDGE Expert consultancy) to the project on your proposal and contract.
At this time, there is no formal designation or legal agreement with GBCI required for your firm to operate as a GBCI EDGE One-Stop Shop. If your firm has both an EDGE Auditor and at least one separate EDGE Expert, you can begin delivering as a One-Stop Shop immediately.
If your firm does not yet have an EDGE Auditor, you can learn how a member of your organization can become a GBCI EDGE Auditor.
How can independent consultants or sole proprietors take advantage of the One-Stop Shop model?
Independent consultants or sole proprietors can partner with another firm or individual to provide clients with the same One-Stop Shop experience.
Can the EDGE Auditor provide any other services on a project they audit?
No, an EDGE Auditor may not provide any other services on a project which they audit.
How does GBCI address potential conflict of interests stemming from one firm providing both EDGE Expert and EDGE Auditor services?
GBCI uses a well-developed system to manage risks and to verify that EDGE Auditors are impartial and objective.
All GBCI EDGE Auditors are trained on GBCI’s policies and protocols on impartiality, professional conduct and quality control. All have signed a legal agreement with GBCI agreeing to abide by these policies and protocols.
Before auditors are assigned to any project, they must complete a questionnaire to make GBCI aware of any potential conflicts of interest, including the use of the One-Stop Shop model.
GBCI monitors the work of all auditors in two ways. First, each project audit is reviewed and scored by GBCI. Second, GBCI performs annual audits of auditor work at random. These annual audits may involve a site visit. If any issue with an audit is found, GBCI will issue a corrective action report and may choose to revoke an auditor’s license.
Certification integrity is critically important to GBCI. Our system for managing conflicts of interest has been developed and honed over many years of experience with multiple certification programs that GBCI administers.
How many EDGE Auditors should a GBCI One-Stop Shop firm have?
GBCI suggests starting with one EDGE Auditor. Becoming an EDGE Auditor and maintaining your EDGE Auditor credential is an investment in terms of both time and resources. Beginning with one auditor helps to ensure that your firm maximizes the return on this investment. Your firm can add another EDGE Auditor as demand for those services increases.
How many EDGE Experts should a GBCI One-Stop Shop have?
Your firm must have at least one EDGE Expert other than the EDGE Auditor. As your firm faces increased demand for EDGE services, you can grow your EDGE Expert team to meet that demand.