Certification Maintenance Exemptions
AICP members in certain life and career situations may be eligible for a temporary or permanent exemption from the requirement to earn Certification Maintenance credits.
If you anticipate needing an exemption, we highly encourage you apply as much in advance as possible, because CM exemptions are not applied retroactively. It may take up to two weeks to receive approval for an exemption request.
Exemptions to Keep Your Membership Active
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 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; must be 65 years of age; and who does not engage in any planning-related 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 and have been granted the Retired Member status, 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 Membership Application and we will make the change for you.
Choose Either Option 1 or Option 2:
Option 1: You have the option to meet half the CM credit required (16 CM credits) including 1.5 credits each of ethics and law.
Option 2: If you are a Life Member who meets the Retired Member criteria, then you qualify for a full exemption from CM requirements.
To request the Life Member exemption, please complete the Life Membership Application.
Most Certification Maintenance requirements may be waived if you are unemployed or in a transition period.
Under this exemption, you must earn 4 CM credits per quarter of the calendar year you were employed including law and ethics credits.
- Calculate the number of credits required within the last quarter of your reporting period with assistance of AICP staff.
- These CM credits must be reported before the end of your current two-year CM reporting period.
- Tip: if you become employed more than 3 months, start earning the minimum credits required — don't wait until the end of your reporting period.
- Under this exemption you may continue to use the AICP credential as long as AICP and APA dues are paid.
- This exemption requires a new exemption application for each two-year reporting period.
- Tip: Members who are unemployed or in transition may apply to pay dues at a reduced rate or in monthly installments.
Refer to the examples below for information on how the credit requirements are calculated.
Full or Nearly Full Unemployment
If you are completely unemployed for the entire two-year reporting period or employed for less than a quarter of a calendar year (full-time or part-time), you will be required to earn 0 CM credits (waiving the CM ethics and CM law credit requirements).
Periodic Or Part-Time Employment
If you are unemployed for any portion (more than 1 quarter of the year) of your current two-year reporting period, you will be required to complete the CM credit requirements for the portion that you are/were employed.
If you are in transition or working part-time, your requirements will be calculated proportionate to the number of hours worked. For questions, contact customer service.
Examples of Periodic or Part-Time Employment CM Calculations
Example 1: If you were employed full-time for the first year of your reporting period, and half of your second year of your reporting period, your CM credits due for this reporting period would be 24 CM credits (4 CM credits x 6 quarters); including 1.5 credits towards ethics and 1.5 credits for law.
Example 2: If you work on a project full-time for three months and are unemployed for the rest of the reporting period, your CM credit required would be 4 CM credits; including 1.5 credits towards ethics and 1.5 credits for law.
Example 1: If you work an average of 20 hours per week for the entire reporting period, then your CM requirements for the reporting period would be 16 CM credits (20 hours / 40 hours x 8 quarters x 4 CM); including 1.5 credits towards ethics and 1.5 credits for law.
Example 2: If you work on a project part-time (20 hours per week) for six months and are unemployed for the rest of the two-year reporting period, your CM credits required would total 4 CM credits (20 hours / 40 hours x 2 quarters x 4 CM); including 1.5 credits towards ethics and 1.5 credits for law.
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.
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.
Please note, this exemption type requires a new exemption application and updated Personal Professional Development Plan for each reporting period.
Exemptions to Temporarily Inactive Your AICP Membership
The exemptions below may be granted to AICP members who wish to be in a temporary inactive membership status. Under this status, AICP membership will be inactivated (i.e., AICP products and services will be suspended including access to the online CM log), 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.
- Parental leave: An inactive membership status of up to four consecutive years may be granted for the birth or adoption of a child.
- Military service leave: An inactive membership status of up to four consecutive 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 consecutive years may be granted for reasons of ill health.
- Care leave: An inactive membership status of up to four consecutive 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 consecutive 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 (up to four consecutive years) for inactive membership.
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 continue to abide by the AICP Code of Ethics and may continue to remain members of APA and their chapter. To learn about reduced APA membership dues rates please contact customer service or to request the unemployed/in-transition rate, please complete the Unemployed/ In Transition Application. Temporary inactive AICP members must reinstate their AICP membership within four years of the effective date of their last AICP membership dues status and pay 20 percent of back AICP 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.
How to Apply for a CM Exemption
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 2018–19 Reporting Period: December 31, 2019