Experts Talk about the AICP CTP Credential

Whit Blanton, FAICP

Whit Blanton, AICPWhit Blanton is Vice President and Resource Principal of Renaissance Planning Group in Orlando, Florida. He participated in development of the AICP Certified Transportation Planner examination.

APA: Why is transportation planning an appropriate discipline for advanced specialty certification?
Blanton: Transportation planning integrates many disciplines and activities: engineering, economics, public policy and participation, land use, and design. This requires management abilities and leadership — qualities that transportation planners who receive the AICP CTP credential show they have.

"AICP's transportation planning exam will test your ability to understand and solve the complex transportation issues."


APA: What can you tell interested planners about the AICP CTP exam?
Blanton: AICP's transportation planning exam will test your ability to understand and solve the complex transportation issues facing our communities, and demonstrate leadership in their resolution.

APA: Why is this credential valuable in today's job market?
Blanton: These days everyone must adapt, work smarter, and do more. Transportation planners are no different. AICP CTP tells employers and clients you are a leader who can succeed and make a difference — even during a slow economy.

APA: Why offer an advanced certification in transportation planning now?
Blanton: The emphasis on sustainability by cities, counties, states, and the federal government makes AICP CTP timely. Sustainable communities need to evaluate transportation issues and decisions in light of housing, infrastructure, land use, environmental, and investment considerations. Planners with AICP CTP offer this perspective given their comprehensive approach to planning issues.

APA: Why should a planner earn the AICP CTP credential?
Blanton: AICP CTP sets senior-level planners apart, giving employers another way to assess applicants for staff or contracted positions.

Diana C. Mendes, AICP

Diana Mendes, AICPDiana Mendes is Senior Vice President and Director of Strategic Investments – Transportation for AECOM in Arlington, Virginia. She participated in development of the AICP Certified Transportation Planner examination.

APA: How does the AICP Certified Transportation Planner credential differ from ITE's Professional Transportation Planner® credential?
Mendes: AICP CTP and the Institute of Transportation Engineers PTP are both important, but different in terms of qualifications and emphasis. AICP CTP targets more experienced professionals, and has greater emphasis on how transportation systems and decisions affect all aspects of the community.

APA: Why is that a significant difference?
Mendes: Transportation decisions are not just about transportation systems, but everything they touch — social impacts, the economy, natural resources, mobility, and accessibility. Transportation planners receiving the AICP CTP credential understand these connections and interrelationships.

"Having AICP CTP after your name gives you a better seat at the table."


APA: Why is transportation planning a good candidate for advanced specialty certification?
Mendes: Transportation planning can be difficult and complicated. Which experts should elected officials and the public listen to? AICP CTP is a way to establish credibility with the public as well as with other professionals.

APA: What does earning AICP CTP reveal about a planner's motivation?
Mendes: It takes extra effort and discipline to prepare for the AICP CTP qualifying exam. I think it shows you are willing to invest in yourself. That says a lot about your commitment to the transportation planning profession.

APA: Why should a planner earn the AICP CTP credential?
Mendes: Professional credentials are important because of the expertise they convey. Having AICP CTP after your name gives you a better seat at the table.

Mike McAnelly, FAICP

Mike McAnellyMike McAnelly is a Senior Planner and Project Manager with Jacobs in Dallas, Texas. He participated in development of the AICP Certified Transportation Planner examination.

APA: What's unique about the AICP CTP credential?
McAnelly: No other transportation planning credential emphasizes comprehensive planning the way AICP CTP does. The CTP requirements and exam were designed this way because effective transportation planning requires coordination with land-use plans and decisions.

"I can't think of a better way to advance their transportation planning careers."


APA: What do you think the new credential says about planners who earn it?
McAnelly: The AICP CTP credential is a way for experienced transportation planners to distinguish themselves. Those who qualify show they are dedicated and among the leaders of their profession.

APA: How will the new credential affect transportation planning itself?
McAnelly: The new certification will heighten the profile of transportation planners as a specialized segment of the planning community.

APA: Why should a planner earn the AICP CTP credential?
McAnelly: I can't think of a better way for those with the experience and qualifications to advance their transportation planning careers than to take and pass the AICP CTP exam.