Value of AICP Employees

Strengthen Your Organization

Whether you work in the public or private sector, your organization will benefit from hiring AICP-certified planners and encouraging AICP certification among your staff.


As the only nationwide, independent verification of planners' qualifications, the AICP credential assures clients, colleagues, and communities that your employees have the necessary expertise, knowledge, and commitment to ethics.

"Having AICP certification on our staff is critically important. It's a benchmark in achieving a certain level of skill and expertise, and it shows our clients that our staff have reached an educational and practice proficiency."
—Bill Cesanek, AICP; Vice President, CDM Smith

Demonstrate Credibility

The credibility that the AICP certification establishes is crucial when providing recommendations to public officials, professional collaborators, and the public.

"The AICP credential adds a lot credibility to the work that we do for our four local governments. They respect that we have put the time into getting that credential. It indicates a certain level of expertise to them, and they trust in our recommendations, more so than if we didn't have the AICP credential."
— Melissa Zornitta, AICP; Executive Director, Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission
"AICP certification becomes an important stand-in for the absence of a professional license. It means that architects, landscape architects, other professionals we work with can have trust that the AICP member is highly skilled, continues to build on their education, and observes the code of ethics of the profession."
— Steve Preston, FAICP; recently completed term as City Manager, San Gabriel, California

Show a Commitment to Ethics

AICP members are equipped with knowledge that empowers them to negotiate ethical and moral dilemmas, and commit themselves to a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. 97 percent of AICP members say that the AICP credential meets or exceeds their expectations for demonstrating their commitment to ethical standards of practice.

Four out of five planning commissioners and elected officials agree that participation in certification demonstrates commitment to professional ethics.

"I have found that explaining to the elected [officials] what the AICP credential means and describing our ethical responsibilities garners their respect. It's a shorthand to remind them that the actions of the staff, most notably staff report recommendations, are taken very seriously by staff, as is required by the credential."
—Margo Wheeler, FAICP; Planning Faculty, Northern Arizona University

Plan for Your Organization's Future

Succession planning is an important part of your organization's future. Hiring AICP-certified planners, and supporting your current staff in earning the AICP credential, elevates your teams and prepares them for current and future planning challenges.

93 percent of AICP members say that the AICP credential meets or exceeds their expectations for helping them remain professionally current with changes and advances in the field.

Supporting professional development also helps with retention and loyalty, saving your organization from costly turnover. Employees who feel they cannot develop in the company and fulfill their career goals are 12 times more likely to leave the company.

"The AICP certification helps with retention and loyalty to your organization. We try to support it as much as we can within our organization. We have people on staff who are AICP certified, like myself, and I'm more than willing to help our younger planners learn whatever they need to learn to ultimately become AICP-certified."
—Ralph Willmer, FAICP; Principal Planner and Technical Assistance Program Manager, Metropolitan Planning Council, Boston

AICP Employer Leave-behind

Interested in sharing the value that AICP Certification brings to your organization? We've created an AICP Employer Leave-Behind that articulates the benefits of hiring certified planners and providing support to staff who want to become certified. Download and print it today!

AICP Employer Leave Behind

Expertise, Credibility and Ethics

AICP certification demonstrates an understanding of the planning field and shows that you and your staff can handle the vast array of areas the industry encompasses. In this blog post, Wendy Shabay, AICP, discusses the benefits of AICP certification and APA membership for her firm and its staff.