Certification Maintenance Exemptions

AICP members in certain life and career situations may be temporarily or permanently exempt from the requirement to earn Certification Maintenance credits. These exemptions are explained in detail here.

Please read through this information carefully to determine whether you qualify for an exemption. If you anticipate needing an exemption, we highly encourage you apply as much in advance as possible. It may take up to six weeks to receive approval for an exemption request.

Please note that you must be an active member of AICP to qualify for these exemptions, which means that your AICP, APA, and chapter dues must be paid and up to date.

The last day to apply for an exemption from Certification Maintenance (CM) during a reporting period is December 31. Applications will not be accepted during the grace period.

Exemption Application Deadline for 2012-13 Reporting Period: December 31, 2013

How to Apply

To apply for any of these exemptions, please submit the CM Exemption Application Form (pdf).

Exemption Category 1: Retaining Active Membership Status

The following exemptions may be granted to AICP members who wish to remain active and continue to use their AICP credential during the period in which the exemption applies. APA, AICP, and chapter membership dues must be kept current for these exemption types.

Retired and Life Members

Retired members are exempt from Certification Maintenance requirements. An AICP member qualifies as retired if he or she has been an active and continuous member for at least 10 years; is at least 65 years of age; and who does not engage in any profession, business, or trade (this excludes part-time non-planning or nonprofessional work). Planners practicing part time or who were retired and return to the workforce must meet the full obligations of Certification Maintenance unless granted one of the exemptions below.

If you meet these criteria then you do not need to apply for an exemption as long as your membership type has been changed to "retired." If this is not the case, please submit the Retired Status Exemption Form (pdf) and we will make the change for you.

Life Members: If you are currently paying dues at the Life member rate and you meet the criteria above for retired status, then you qualify for this exemption. Please complete the Verification of Life Membership Status Form (pdf).

Unemployed

Most Certification Maintenance requirements may be waived for unemployed members during their period of unemployment. Unemployed members must average 4 credits for each quarter they were employed during their reporting period and must report these credits by the end of their two-year CM reporting period. This includes the ethics and law credits requirement.

Staff will work with the member to determine the most appropriate number of credits needed during the time of unemployment within the assigned CM reporting period. Unemployed members may continue to use the AICP credential as long as AICP and APA dues are paid and active, although they may be paid at the reduced unemployed rate. Unemployed members may apply to pay dues at a reduced rate or in monthly installments.

Please contact customer service at customerservice@planning.org to inquire about your eligibility and requirements. Download the application form for the dues installment program: www.planning.org/join/pdf/directdebit.pdf.

Foreign Practice

Planners practicing entirely outside the U.S. will be exempt from taking registered CM courses, although they will still be required to maintain certification through the creation of a Personal Professional Development Plan (pdf).

Members who are unable to engage in professional development activities while working abroad have the option of applying for a foreign residency exemption resulting in inactive membership status described below.

Exemption Category 2: Inactive Membership Status

The exemptions listed below will result in temporary inactive membership status for up to four years. AICP membership will be inactivated (i.e., AICP products and services will be suspended), and the AICP credential cannot be used during this period. The maximum consecutive number of years a member may claim an inactive status is four.

The current two-year reporting period will be closed upon approval of temporary inactive AICP membership. A new two-year reporting period will be assigned upon reinstatement of AICP membership. Please note: CM credits will not carry over from the closed two-year reporting period.

Please see www.planning.org/aicp/reinstatement.htm for more details on how to reinstate your membership if approved for an inactive exemption.

  • Parental leave: An inactive membership status of up to four years may be granted for the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Military service leave: An inactive membership status of up to four years may be granted to members on active duty who are deployed overseas for either Temporary Duty (TDY) or Permanent Change of Station (PCS), or to members of the Armed Forces Reserve or National Guard who have been mobilized or deployed.
  • Health: An inactive membership status of up to four years may be granted for reasons of ill health.
  • Care leave: An inactive membership status of up to four years may be granted to members who need to stay at home to care for another person.
  • Foreign residency: An inactive membership status of up to four years may be granted to members living outside of the U.S. Members living abroad may also wish to engage in developing a Professional Development Plan to maintain AICP membership during their time abroad.
  • Other: Other reasons for inactive membership status will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

AICP members who wish to apply for inactive status must do so prior to the expiration of their membership. Members will not be required to pay AICP dues during the period in which their membership is inactive. However, during this time of inactive membership, access to the online CM log will be removed and the AICP credential cannot be used. Members with inactive membership status must remain members of APA and will be required to pay both APA and chapter dues and abide by the AICP Code of Ethics. Temporary inactive AICP members must reinstate their AICP membership within four years of the effective date of inactive status and pay 20 percent of back dues owed.

Definition of effective date: The effective date will be the next quarterly paid thru date after the change is approved (Paid thru dates happen on four dates in each year, corresponding to membership periods: March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31). For example, if a member is approved for an inactive exemption in February, the effective date of the change would be March 31. Back dues will be calculated from the member's own paid thru date. For example, if a member's paid thru date is June 30 then back dues would start accumulating as of July 1.

Please note: Any AICP member who lets his or her membership lapse for longer than six months through the non-payment of dues or failure to complete the CM requirement may be reinstated only by completing a formal process that includes the payment of back AICP dues and fulfillment of CM requirements. For more information see www.planning.org/aicp/reinstatement.htm

Anyone who has been an inactive member for more than four years will be required to retake the AICP exam to rejoin AICP and regain the AICP credential.