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A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Creating great communities for all

An easier path to AICP Certification

By Afshan Hamid, AICP, Professional Development Director, Northern Section

Good news! The process to AICP certification is now simpler and faster.

The American Planning Association has launched a reorganized and updated “One Path to AICP,” showing the process, the costs, and the timetable. The new three-step process is intended to increase APA membership, keep AICP credibility high, and be inclusive for traditional planning degrees and allied degree professionals and students.

The following is bottom-line information. AICP has updated its website and posted a new guide.

  1. Register for the exam. Any current APA member or student may register — no professional experience required. You must commit to the AICP Code of Ethics.
  2. Take the exam. Once you pass the exam, you will be designated “AICP Candidate.”
  3. Certification and verification. Provide your credentials including education, employment, and a “planning experience assessment.” No essay is required. Once steps 1, 2, and 3 are complete, you will be AICP certified.

Note that a “planning experience assessment” will be provided to you in advance, along with a worksheet. A new interactive calculator will be available so you can track your progress to AICP Candidate or AICP.


AICP Certification brings value to your career, to the organization you work for, and to the communities you serve. Those four letters after your name demonstrate your expertise, show your commitment to professional ethics, distinguish you in the job market, and keep your planning skills in tip-top shape. Watch for APA’s announcement.

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