The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is the American Planning Association's professional institute, with responsibilities for accreditation, compliance, certification, ethics and continuing education.

  • To become a certified planner and use the AICP designation, one must be a current member of the American Planning Association, submit an application meeting certain education and experience requirements, pass an examination, and be a fully paid member of APA and AICP.
  • AICP members must earn a total of 32 credits each two year reporting period under AICP's Certification Maintenance (CM) program.
  • Please review the Chapter CM Sponsorship Policy before contacting the Chapter about sponsoring any activity or event where Certification Maintenance would be requested by the Chapter.
  • The Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association's Professional Development Officer (PDO) is available to help answer APA Virginia member questions about AICP.
    Contact the APA Virginia PDO.

AICP Exam Information

AICP Exam Scholarships

AICP provides two reduced exam fee scholarships annually through the APA Virginia Chapter to those Virginia Chapter members facing financial hardships who wish to become AICP members. This program offers assistance to those individuals who may defer taking or are unable to take the AICP exam because of the high cost. The scholarship selection criteria established by AICP states:

  • Members of ethnic or racial minorities shall be given preference.
  • The applicant(s) selected will be otherwise unlikely to take the exam without the reduced fee.
  • The applicant’s employer will not subsidize the exam fee.

Virginia Chapter members interested in applying for a scholarship should contact the Virginia Chapter AICP Professional Development Officer.

Exam Resources

There are dozens (hundreds?) of websites that provide resources for preparing for the AICP exam. We will not deluge aspiring AICP planners with all of the links but rather we will highlight a few that we feel have been particularly helpful:

AICP Certification Maintenance

AICP members must earn a total of 32 credits each two year reporting period under AICP's Certification Maintenance (CM) program.

Chapter Sponsorship of CM credits

Please review the Chapter CM Sponsorship Policy before contacting the Chapter about sponsoring any activity or event where Certification Maintenance would be requested by the Chapter.

Virginia Chapter Sections

Check your Section page for announcements of local CM Credit opportunities.

Link to Free APA Events Offering CM Credit

More than 30 free Certification Maintenance (CM) credits are now available on-line through APA.

Monthly Webcasts For CM Credits

The Virginia Chapter has partnered with other APA chapters throughout the United States to offer these low cost monthly webcasts that can be accessed directly from any registered computer. The sessions are free, but there is a long distance phone charge. To register for the monthly webcasts, go to www.ohioplanning.org/planningwebcast. Participants will need an Internet connection and a telephone. Note that groups can watch these sessions and all AICP members can submit for CM credits, not just the person initially registering. Register soon, as space is limited.

Interested in Other Virginia Area CM Opportunities?

You can search by state at APA's Certification Maintenance Program website: http://www.planning.org/cm/search/. Click on "Find Upcoming CM Event" and then log-in with your APA password. Click on the "Search" button at the top of the page, then click on Virginia in the map box. Please note that the APA Audio/Web Conference sessions are not listed, as they are available nationally.