The American Institute of Certified Planners provides the only nationwide, independent verification of planners' qualifications. Certified planners pledge to uphold high standards of practice, ethics, and professional conduct, and to keep their skills sharp and up to date by continuously pursuing advanced professional education.
Value of Certification
The most recent APA/AICP Planners Salary Survey shows that certified planners earn more than noncertified planners, even when experience and responsibility are considered. It also opens more career opportunities and can enhance a planner's professional credibility — four out of five AICP members attribute their career advancement to having earned AICP certification.
"AICP" is shorthand for education, experience, breadth of knowledge, ethical practice, and commitment to the planning profession. AICP planners average 14–18 years of experience in the field. Hiring a certified planner also demonstrates your commitment to the highest standard of ethical practice.
"I'm an employer. I look for the AICP credential in our screening process to find the best and most qualified employees for our planning positions."
— Rodger Lentz, AICP; Director of Planning and Development Services, Wilson, North Carolina
One Path to AICP
Qualified members can begin the path to AICP Certification while earning the required professional planning experience. Learn about your eligibility and the steps to AICP certification:
- Do You Qualify?:
Eligibility Requirements & Pre-Check Tools
- Step 1: Register
- Step 2: Test
- Step 3: Apply
The Certification Maintenance (CM) program offers certified planners professional development opportunities to the latest best practices in planning. The CM program connects today's practicing planners to CM providers who are dedicated to excellence and innovation.
Showcasing Your Achievement
AICP-Certified planners enjoy a collection of tools and recommendations to help members maximize their credential.
- Share your new digital certificate
- Access a suite of prepopulated Social Media tools
- Enjoy professional recognition opportunities
- Navigate through tough ethical and moral dilemmas using the AICP Code of Ethics.
Election to AICP Fellow is one of the highest honors that the American Institute of Certified Planners bestows upon a member. Fellowship is granted to planners who have been members of AICP and have achieved excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, public and community service, and leadership. Those chosen become members of the College of Fellows.
Ethics in Planning
The AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct helps AICP members negotiate the tough ethical and moral dilemmas they sometimes face.
AICP Commissioners, elected by the members of AICP, are leaders of the profession. They set standards for the practice of planning, maintain the code of ethics, advocate on behalf of the profession, and establish the qualifications for membership in the Institute.