Professional Development

Certification as a planner

To become a certified planner and use the AICP designation, you must be a current member of the American Planning Association, submit an online application, meet specified education and experience requirements, and pass an examination. For information, contact Dr. Don Bradley, AICP, the AICP Director for APA California Northern,

The National APA website has additional detail about what you need to prepare for the examination:

Locally, an AICP Director and a Professional Development Director (members of the Board of the American Planning Association, California Northern) facilitate the AICP examination process and support you in Certification Maintenance activities. They can offer guidance as you prepare for the AICP exam, make professional contacts, and look for information on upcoming training opportunities.

If you prefer to search online web resources, the National AICP Professional Practice Center is a reference tool that demonstrates the professionalism of planning and how AICP certification can add value to the practice of professional planning. Visit the National APA website at: for in-depth information.

Continuing professional development (Certificate Maintenance)

A minimum of 32 hours of Certificate Maintenance (CM) credit, obtained over a two-year period (or less) is the principal requirement for maintaining AICP certification. Professional development is defined as any course work that covers technical, and personal, growth and development activities that are related to the practice of planning. See For assistance, contact the Professional Development Director at

The National APA/AICP office has the sole authority to review and approve credit activities. For a list of all courses that have been certified for credit, see For events throughout California, type “California” in the search box. For Northern California events, type “Northern Section” in the search box. For upcoming local events for credit, check our calendar.

View distance learning provided through APA CA:

Proposing activities for CM credit

The APA California Northern is aggressively fostering local, low cost events for credit. If you are interested in proposing courses, events, training, travel, a speaker series, or some other activity for Certificate Maintenance credit, please contact the Professional Development Director at


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