|Credentialing Agency:||American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)|
The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), Certified Planner is ideal for individuals with experience in professional planning. The Certified Planner demonstrates an individual’s knowledge of professional practice standards and mastery of theories and tools of planning. Candidates must be an APA member in good standing, meet education and eligibility requirements, and pledge to uphold ethical standards and engage in ongoing professional development. Candidates must receive approval prior to registering for the written exam.
More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.
Renewal Period: 2 years
Eligibility Requirements ()
Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.
- Credential Prerequisite
- Experience: 8 years
Exam Requirements ()
- Written Exam
- Oral Exam
- Practical Exam
- Performance Assessment
Renewal Period: 2 years
- Continuing Education
- Continuing Education OR Exam
Option 1: Candidates must have a Graduate degree in Planning from a program accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) and have two years of Professional Planning experience.
Option 2: Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in Planning from a program accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) and have three years of Professional Planning experience.
Option 3: Candidates must have a Graduate degree in Planning from a program not accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) and have three years of Professional Planning experience.
Option 4: Candidates must have any other post-graduate, graduate, or undergraduate degree with four years of Professional Planning experience. Includes non-accredited undergraduate planning degrees and degrees in related and other disciplines at undergraduate and post-graduate levels.
Option 5: Candidates must have eight years of Professional Planning experience.
The Certified Planner credential has the following other requirements:
- Candidates must be a current member of the American Planning Association (APA).
- Candidates must be engaged in professional planning, either currently or in the past, as defined by AICP.
- Candidates must abide by the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
Fundamental Planning Knowledge (25%)
- History of planning, planning movements, and influences on planning
- Foundational legal principles and decisions
- Theories of and about planning
- Patterns of human settlement
- Statutory basis of planning
- General terminology, practices, and principles of related professions
- National, social, and economic systems
- Core values of planning
Plan Making and Implementation (30%)
- Conducting research and acquiring knowledge
- Spatial analysis
- Public engagement
- Preparing to plan
- Formulating plans and policies
- Plan implementation
- Monitoring and assessment
- Project or program management
- Social justice
Areas of Practice (30%)
- Comprehensive and sectoral planning
- Community, subarea, corridor and neighborhood planning
- Current planning
- Sustainability planning
- Transportation planning
- Infrastructure planning
- Hazards, mitigation, and resiliency planning
- Environmental and national resources planning
- Economic development planning
- Urban design
- House planning
- Parks, recreation and open space
- Historic and cultural resources planning
- Institutional planning and siting
- Food planning
- Health planning
- Rural and small town planning
Leadership, Administration and Management (5%)
- Managing External Relationships
- Internal Organizational Management
- Technology and related applications
AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (10%)
- Section A: Aspirational principles
- Section B: Rules of Conduct
- Sections C, D and E: Procedural provisions
There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Planner examination:
- Best Sources
An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.
Renewal Period: 2 years
The Certified Planner credential has the following recertification information:
The Certified Planner certification is valid for two years. Certification holders must earn a total of 32 certification maintenance (CM) credits (1 contact hour = 1 CM credit) within the two-year reporting period. A minimum of 1.5 CM credits must include the topic of ethics, and another 1.5 credits must be on the topic of current planning law.
AICP members may carry over a maximum of 16 CM credits from one reporting period into the subsequent reporting period; however, any surplus ethics and planning law credits will be carried over to the next two-year reporting period as general CM credits, not law or ethics.
Additional information can be found on the AICP website.