Equity and Certification
The Future of AICP
AICP is evolving, with a focus on creating greater equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of the certification program. We recognize that professional certification shares a history of gatekeeping and exclusion, and that it is our duty to mitigate the discriminatory impacts of this history by making structural, substantive changes within AICP which are now underway.
We strive to build a more diverse group of AICP-certified planners, who in their diversity, reflect the lived experiences and perspectives of all communities. As the leaders of the profession, certified planners must also be equipped with knowledge and practices — and be supported and inspired by AICP's ethical principles — to improve social equity and address the challenges communities are facing today.
Removing Barriers to Certification and Recognition
- Accepting applications for the new AICP Certification Diversity Scholarship to help make the planning profession more diverse and accessible. Scholarships are awarded through APA chapters to members with financial need and who self-identify with an underrepresented population.
- Redesigning the certification process to be more inclusive and reducing subjectivity and opportunity for bias.
- Increasing accessibility for those taking the AICP Certification Exam by making remote testing available.
- The AICP Fellows Pipeline and Nomination Process Task Force is examining barriers, nomination guidelines, and support for nomination and induction into the AICP College of Fellows with a diversity and inclusion lens.
Affirming Equity as a Component of Ethical Practice
- Updating the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct through a member-involved process — led by the AICP Code of Ethics Update Task Force — to affirm AICP's commitment to equity and provide support for planners making decisions grounded in equity and ethics.
Ensuring Fairness in the AICP Certification Exam
- AICP Fair Exam Goals were developed by the AICP Exam Committee and adopted by the AICP Commission in 2020.
- Reviewing all exam questions through the lens of the AICP Fair Exam goals.
- Recruiting and mentoring question writers from diverse backgrounds.
- Including a broad range of geography, demographics, and cultural references in exam questions.
- Including authors from diverse backgrounds in the resource list used for creating questions, and removing biased resources.
Ensuring AICP-Certified Planners Have Knowledge in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
- Expanding the content areas of exam questions to test the ability to apply equity, diversity, and inclusionary best practices.
- Developing and distributing criteria for equity-related planning education for CM Providers.
- Including equity among the required topics for ongoing professional development for AICP-certified planners through new CM requirements (beginning January 2022).
- Encouraging planners to work with underserved communities by offering CM credit for pro bono work.