On 1 January 1996, the Tri-Service Cost Engineering Certification program was established by the Tri-Service Cost Engineering Community to raise the standards and improve the practices of cost engineering. This program is structured similar to a Professional Licensing program, which evaluates the technical competency of the individual in areas specific to their cost engineering profession. This certification is accomplished through testing, and yearly requirements varying from training, actual work assignments, professional involvement, similar to the Professional Licensing program maintained in many states. Engineers who meet the certification program requirements are designated as Tri-Service Certified Cost Engineers (CCE), Certified Cost Consultants (CCC) or Certified Cost Engineering Technicians (CCET).
In order to use the designation of Tri-Service Certified Cost Engineer (CCE), applicants must be officially registered licensed as a Professional Engineer (PE) or a Registered Architect (RA). The title "engineer" is limited to this category. A person with an accredited Bachelor's Degree in engineering, architecture or construction management, but not officially registered as a professional engineer or registered architect will be awarded the title of Tri-Service Certified Cost Consultant (CCC). This includes DOD Tri-Service employees who have attained the position title of architect or engineer in the Department of Defense through extensive work experience and training without an accredited degree. The Tri-Service
Certified Cost Engineering Technician (CCET) designation applies to applicants who possess an accredited two-year associate degree or equivalent training and two years of relevant work experience in cost engineering.