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Featured image for Alphabet Soup article which discusses the common acronyms in the home accessible modification space

Alphabet Soup - What do all the certifications mean?

home modification info

Whether you’re installing non-slip flooring, getting estimates on a curbless shower, or simply receiving a home safety check it’s critical to work with industry professionals. Rose offers a network of industry professionals waiting to assist you and your family with any needs related to accessible home modification.

An issue we’ve heard at Rose from individuals around the country is confusion around industry professional certifications, specifically the alphabet soup after someone’s name. You may be familiar with a medical doctor (M.D.) or physical therapist (P.T.), but you may not be as familiar with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) or Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR). Don’t worry, we’re going to dive into some of these certifications and others that you may come across when planning, budgeting, or participating in an accessible home modification. Each certification  has its own merits and reflects skills that are beneficial at different stages of the installation and modification process. Moreover, home modification providers (“providers”) on Rose and elsewhere may have 2-3 certifications to round out their skillset.

Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS)

Certified Graduate Builder (CGB)

  • Sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders, the CGB is an advanced certification for experienced residential home builders. This certification teaches effective management in the office and on the job site, how to examine all stages of new home construction.
  • Prior to participating in the CGB certification, an individual needs two years of home building experience and to have completed the Builder Assessment Review (BAR).
  • The certification is self-paced, with many courses online. Individuals will take courses such as:
    • Basics of High Performance Building
    • Universal Design Essentials
    • Understanding Today’s New Home Buyer
    • Business Management for Building Professionals

Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR)

  • Sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders, the CGR is an advanced certification for experienced residential home remodelers. This certification is designed to teach business and project management skills as the key to a successful remodeling operation.
  • Prior to participating in the CGR certification, an individual needs five years of home remodeling experience and have completed the Professional Remodeler Experience Profile (PREP)
    • PREP is split into five sections
      • Marketing and Advertising: researching, lead tracking and qualification, the sales process, budgeting, and planning
      • Business Management: financial planning, budgeting, job cost and accounting.
      • Estimating, including pricing.
      • Contracts, Liability and Risk Management
      • Project Management, including site management and quality control.

Certified Living in Place Professionals (CLIPP™)

  • Sponsored by the Living in Place Institute, the CLIPP certification trains an individual to be responsible for the overall design, management of staff and construction of an accessible project.
  • Industry professionals who typically acquire the CLIPP certification include medical providers (occupational therapists (OTs), PTs, physicians, nurses, etc.), designers (kitchen & bath, interior designers, etc.), contractors, lighting specialists, and home builders
  • To obtain the certification, there are on-demand and live interactive classes totaling around 16 hours with courses over 60 calendar days with courses including the following topics:
    • Design solutions for faucets, countertops, flooring, cabinets, etc.
    • Interprofessional teams
    • Home assessments

Occupational Therapist (OTR/L)

  • An allied professional who works alongside physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals. The core goal of an occupational therapist is to assist patients to complete daily activities or “occupations.” These activities include bathing, caring for loved ones, eating, getting dressed, etc.
  • OTR/L is the standard occupational therapy credential and signifies that the professional is an “OT” who is “R,” registered by the national OT credentialing board, and “L,” licensed by your particular state
  • Occupational therapists can help a patient through the healing process after an injury or surgery using various treatments, modify activities for patients who may have a disability or chronic disease, or aid a patient to modify their environment to improve functionality and safety.
  • To become an OTR/L, an individual must complete a Master of Science degree in occupational therapy, and pass the national exam and meet continuing education requirements

Specialty Certification in Environmental Modification (SCEM)

  • Sponsored by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the SCEM certification focuses on understanding approaches to reduce barriers to successful activities of daily living within the built environment.
  • This certification is only for certified occupational therapists who are certified or licensed with good standing by AOTA.
  • To receive this certification, individuals must complete the following:
    • Minimum of 3 years practicing as an OT
    • Minimum of 3,000 hours as in any capacity of environmental modifications
    • Minimum of 500 hours delivering direct OT services within environmental modification

Beyond certifications it’s recommended you ask for testimony and pictures of work. Though Rose has reviews of providers, if possible, research the provider website to further identify successful past projects. If you can think of other certifications that are helpful for accessible home modifications, please share them in the comments below. If you’re unsure of a certification that we do not highlight, please reach out to, and we will define that certification for you. Lastly as always, if you need any assistance with an accessible home modification, don’t hesitate to reach out at

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