The Program

 The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is the American Planning Association’s professional institute, providing recognized leadership nationwide in the certification of professional planners, ethics, professional development, planning education, and the standards of planning practice.

Certification is the sole means for the nationwide, independent verification of the qualifications of planners. Currently more than 15,000 planners are AICP certified, and the membership grows each year. To become certified, a planner must meet the following qualifications: conduct planning practice as defined by AICP; complete the combination of planning education and experience as set by the national AICP Commission; pass a nationally administered examination; and pledge to live up to the Code of Ethics. The exam is given twice a year, in May and November. Please refer to the national APA website or contact your PDO for important dates regarding each testing period.

The AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct defines the planner’s responsibilities. This Code is a guide to the ethical conduct required of members of the American Institute of Certified Planners. The Code also aims at informing the public of the principles to which professional planners are committed. Visit for the AICP Code of Ethics.

Increasingly, planning employers are expressing a preference for AICP members through job descriptions and position announcements. APA’s 2014 Salary Survey revealed that AICP members, on average, make $15,700 more than non-AICP planners.

Advanced Specialty Certification (ASC) enables AICP-credentialed planners to be recognized for their in-depth knowledge, experience, and leadership skills in specialized areas of planning. ASC recognition requires successful completion of a specialized examination; standards are currently recognized for Certified Transportation Planner, Certified Environmental Planner, and Certified Urban Designer.

For more information on ethics and planning see APA National’s ethics page,

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