Elevate Your Skills and Knowledge

Certified planners have verified their academic and professional achievements, submitted essays successfully demonstrating that their experience meets established criteria for professional planning practice, and passed a rigorous, comprehensive examination of their abilities. They pledge to uphold high standards of practice, and to keep their skills sharp and up to date by continuously pursuing advanced professional education through the Certification Maintenance program.

93% of AICP members say that the AICP Certification meets or exceeds their expectations for helping them remain professionally current, and a majority of planning employers agree that AICP-certified planners are up-to-date with changes and advances in the field.

Lead the Profession

AICP also encourages service. Many AICP members serve at-need communities pro bono as individuals or with their chapters. Others mentor students and new professionals, assess AICP Certification applications, and participate in accreditation reviews of academic planning programs.

Boost Your Professional Stature

Certification enhances your standing and reputation among coworkers, public officials, project collaborators, and the public.

In a recent survey, the majority of planning commissioners and elected officials agreed that certified professionals are more knowledgeable and skilled than non-certified professionals, and that certification is a sign of commitment to professionalism and professional ethics. Demonstrate the value you bring to your employer and the communities you serve by earning the AICP Certification.

Certification also puts planners on equal footing with the architects, engineers, and other credentialed professionals with whom they work and compete.


To become a certified planner, entitled to use the AICP designation, American Planning Association (APA) members must meet certain education and experience requirements and pass a written examination. The AICP Certification Exam is given twice each year, in May and November.


Election to the AICP College of Fellows (FAICP) is one of the highest honors that the American Institute of Certified Planners, the professional institute of the American Planning Association, bestows upon a member.