Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant online exam

Become a worldwide accredited Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant by the Passive House Institute!

Next Exam Date

Exam date: 28. March 2024
Time Exam: 9 am CET
Trial Exam: 25. March 2024
Time Trial Exam: 9 am CET

Note: It is mandatory to participate in the trial exam to take part in the regular exam as well.


There are no hard requirenments for taking part in the exam but we highly recommend you to first do the Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant online course.


Regular exam time: 3 hours (in total around 4 hours)

Trial exam meeting: 1 to 1,5 hours long

Advantages of becoming a Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant

Every student who successfully passed the Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant exam will receive the title “Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant ” and their names will be entered in a database of Certified Passive House Designers for a period of 5 years from the date of certification. As a CPHD/C you will contribute to the environment by designing sustainable buildings, to your clients by designing more comfortable and cost-effective buildings and to yourself by broadening your career horizons.


Practical Information

The Pass­ive House School fixes the ex­am­in­a­tion dates and organizes the exam in cooperation with the Passive House Institute (PHI). The exam lasts 3 hours and is con­duc­ted fully on­line, us­ing the on­line ex­am plat­form of the Pass­ive House In­sti­tu­te. Around 2-3 days before the exam, an online test meeting will take place to make sure all exam participants have properly set up the software for the exam. The test meeting is around 1 to 1,5 hours long.

After checking the exam two times internally, we send the ex­am­in­a­tion doc­u­ments to the Pass­ive House In­sti­tu­te. After a third mark­ing, the PHI will is­sue the cer­ti­fic­ate and send it to suc­cess­ful par­ti­cipants in di­git­al form via e-mail. The participants who successfully pass the exam will be also added to the worldwide database of Certified Passive House Designers / Consultants of the PHI.

The ex­am is based on the fol­low­ing learn­ing tar­gets and in­cludes mul­tiple choice ques­tions, con­struc­tion de­tails draw­ings, cal­cu­la­tions, as well as a Pass­ive House design ex­er­cise. In­crease your chance of suc­cess by tak­ing the Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant online course. Everyone who finishes the whole course will be eligible for the certification guarantee.

Please note that a val­id PHPP li­cense is needed to re­gister for the ex­am, as a PHPP is re­quired to design Pass­ive House build­ings.

Permissible examination aids: Course documents and textbooks, scientific calculator, or other calculation aids.

The following are not permitted: programmable calculators, mobile phones, and all devices that allow communication with the internet or publishing of the examination questions afterward.

Software compatible with the PHI exam platform: Windows and Mac OS (Linux can’t be used for the exam). Moreover, it is highly recommended to have admin access to the device.

Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant online exam

€399 excl. tax

IMPORTANT: In order to take part in the exam, you should have a personal PHPP. If you don’t have one, you can order it from here.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your questions aren’t covered below, you can contact us or chat with us.

Who can register for the exam?

Anybody can register for the exam. While it is not mandatory to have attended the Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant course, it is strongly recommended to increase your chance of success. Furthermore, everyone who completes the CPHD/C course will be eligible for the certification guarantee.

Keep in mind, that in order to take part in the exam, you should have a personal PHPP, as required by the PHI.

What is the certification guarantee?

Even after completing the whole Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant online course, you still don’t pass the exam, the exam guarantee will cover the exam costs for your second exam attempt, i.e. we will cover the costs for the exam ticket for your second attempt.

To qualify for the certification guarantee, you have to complete the whole course and finish all exercises:

  • Before the exam, you have to have watched and/or participated in all lectures. If you couldn’t take part in any of the live sessions, you can still qualify for the certification guarantee if you rewatch the recordings of the live session.
  • You have to complete all exercises – this means you have to send all exercises to us to check them. Sometimes it happens that some of the exercises are incorrect or incomplete. In this case, we will ask you to remake these exercises and send them to us again. After submitting the revised exercises, you will be eligible for the certification guarantee. 

DISCLAIMER: Any additional costs, apart from the costs for the exam ticket and the accreditation fees, will have to be covered by you.

What is the difference between a Passive House Designer and a Passive House Consultant?

Both titles are equal in terms of qualification with ref­er­en­ce to the Passive House relevant knowledge. The requirements for attaining this certificate and for renewal are also the same. The only difference between Certified Passive House Designers and Consultants depends on your background, as far as Designers come from highly relevant fields. Consultants, on the other hand, can come from any background. Normally, Passive House Designers work in plan­ning of­fices on the con­crete im­ple­ment­a­tion of the Pass­ive House Stand­ard, while Pass­ive House Con­sult­ants usu­ally con­trib­ute to its dis­sem­in­a­tion through their work as re­search­ers or speak­ers, or as de­cision makers in gov­ern­ment au­thor­it­ies.

A clear classification is not always easy due to the diverse educational qualifications, professions and the legal provisions relating to buildings worldwide. For this reason, the Passive House Institute has specified two possibilities for classification as a “Certified Passive House Designer”:

  • Providing proof of an educational qualification which enables you to plan buildings or technical building systems independently. This educational qualification should have reached a certain level (e.g. diploma or bachelor’s degree) and have been attained in a specialized subject that primarily involves the planning of buildings or building services systems.
  • Providing proof of membership in an institution, whose members are entitled to provide planning services that are subject to approval by a building authority (e.g. Chamber of Architects).

You qualify for the Designer title if you have the following educational qualification:

  • Architect or interior designer
  • Civil or timber construction engineer
  • Building physicist
  • Building and energy technology engineer
  • Building contractor
  • Master carpenter
  • Certified technician for structural engineering, building construction, heating plumbing and ventilation technology or supply technology

If you have the following educational qualification, you qualify for the Consultant title:

  • Degree in (analytical) chemistry, electrical engineering, or manufacturing engineering
  • Engineering degree in environmental technology and resource management
  • Construction industry environmental safety technician
  • Environmental engineer
  • Gas, plumbing, and ventilation systems technician
  • Woodwork technician
  • Certified technician for electronics
  • Energy consultant
  • Architectural draftsman
  • Geometrician
  • Woodwork technician for window installation
  • Managing director
  • Property sales manager/estate agent
  • Economist

Note: You just have to provide a copy of the proof to your course/ex­am­in­a­tion host or as­sess­ing body. The at­tained Con­sult­ant title can be changed into the De­sign­er title if such proof is only ob­tained and sub­mit­ted later on (e.g. tak­ing an ex­am­in­a­tion dur­ing train­ing). If no proof is sub­mit­ted, the Con­sult­ant title will be gran­ted upon suc­cess­ful qual­i­fic­a­tion.

For how long is the Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant certificate valid?

The Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant certificate is valid for 5 years. After that the certificate can be renewed in two ways:

  • By submitting project documentation, it is possible to renew a certificate at any time, even if your certificate has already expired some time ago.
  • You can also renew your certificate through credit points for continuing education by attending events, conferences, and additional courses. Here you can check out our courses for which you can get additional credit points to renew your certificate. 
Are all exercises and calculations made online?

Yes. You are allowed to use papers to write down the intermediate calculation steps, however, only the final answers of the calculations are entered online in the platform. You will be assessed only based on the final answers and therefore the papers don’t have to be submitted.

Which material can I bring to the exam?

You can bring any printed course material and notes to the exam. Digital materials are not allowed. 

At the Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant online course, we will give you additional resources, such as summaries of all formulas that are covered in the course and summaries of the Passive House requirements which you can also use at the exam.

We also advise you to bring markers or colored pencils for the design exercise, as well as a (scientific) calculator with spare batteries. If you don’t have one, we would recommend you get the Casio fx-991 ES PLUS C.

How can I become an internationally recognized Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant?

You can earn the international designation of “Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant” in one of two ways: by taking the Certified Passive House Designer Exam or by submitting project documentation.

If you want to submit project documentation, you have to doc­u­ment a cer­ti­fied Pass­ive House, En­erPHit ret­ro­fit or PHI Low En­ergy Build­ing where you ex­er­cised full re­spons­ib­il­ity for the build­ing design and the pro­ject plan­ning with the PHPP. Sub­mis­sion of a pro­ject doc­u­ment­a­tion can be used to earn or re­new the cer­ti­fic­ate for one per­son per build­ing.

Am I going to get a certificate?

After successfully passing the exam, you will get the Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant certificate issued by the Passive House Institute (PHI) in Germany.

Is this exam accredited by any institution?

Yes, the exam is officially accredited by the Passive House Institute (PHI).

Also, the Certified Passive House Designer / Consultant title that you will acquire after passing the exam, is accredited and valid worldwide.

Do I get a discount as a student or an iPHA Member?

Students and iPHA members get a 10% discount.

If you are an iPHA Member, please send an email to team@passivehouseschool.com with a link to your iPHA membership to provide you with a discount code.

If you are a student, please send your proof of enrollment to team@passivehouseschool.com from your student email address.

What if I can't take part in the exam? Can I take part in a later exam date?

At the Passive House School we schedule 3-4 exams per year. If for any reason you can’t take part in the exam you registered for, you will be able to take part in a later exam without any additional costs.

Can I get an invoice for my purchase?

You will receive a receipt for your purchase which is tax compliant and can be used for claiming business expenses. For this, you have to enter your business details and VAT number (if applicable) on the checkout and you will receive your receipt via email after enrolling in the exam.

If you live in a country where an invoice is required by law, the platform we use for our checkout process (Teachable) will issue an invoice in PDF format for your purchase. If an invoice is not required by law, you will receive a receipt for your purchase.

Are there any preparation courses for the Certified Passive House Designer / Consultnat exam?

The Certified Passive House Designer online course will fully prepare you to successfully pass the exam.

If you already have a lot of knowledge about the Passive House Standard and/or have worked on a Passive House project, we recommend you at least take part in the Passive House Online Exam Preparation module (Module 2). This module will help you prepare to successfully pass the exam. 

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