Ethics in Planning

Certified planners — members of the American Institute of Certified Planners — pledge to uphold high standards of practice, ethics, and professional conduct.

A Code of Ethics for Today's Planners

Code of Ethics Update

The AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct guides and inspires ethical decision-making and protects AICP-certified planners when faced with controversial or difficult choices. The Code is being updated to reflect the ever-changing issues that planners face, and members are invited to share their feedback.

As such, the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct helps AICP members negotiate tough ethical and moral dilemmas they sometimes face. The Ethical Principles in Planning guides advisors, advocates, and decision makers in the planning process.

  • AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct: This Code is a guide to the ethical conduct required of AICP members. The Code also informs the public of the principles to which professional planners are committed. Adopted April 2016.
  • Ethical Principles in Planning: This statement is a guide to ethical conduct for all who participate in the process of planning as advisors, advocates, and decision makers. It is a guide and not a code by which individuals may be held accountable. Adopted by the APA Board, May 1992.
  • Ethics Case of the Year: Each year, APA chapters and divisions are encouraged to use a multiple-scenario ethics case at conferences and meetings.
  • APA Ethics in Planning Toolkit: A toolkit for Conducting Ethics Sessions. Revised July 2012.
  • AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct certificate: Display your commitment to ethics as a member of AICP with this printable certificate.
  • AICP Code of Ethics Rubric: A resource provided by the AICP Commission to help academic programs meet the PAB requirement for teaching the AICP Code of Ethics and can be used by anyone interested in learning more about planning ethics.
  • Ethics Education: Continue your planning education with APA Learn, our new online education platform.

Actions Regarding Ethical Conduct

File a complaint of misconduct, seek informal advice, access annual reports

All communications regarding specific ethics situations should occur either in letters or phone conversations with the AICP Ethics Officer in his or her capacity as the ethics officer. Because of issues of reliability and confidentiality, email communication is not to be used.

  • Filing a complaint of misconduct. If you believe an AICP member has violated the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional conduct, consider submitting this AICP Ethical Conduct Complaint Form.
  • Seeking informal advice. Contact the AICP Ethics Officer at 312-786-6360 if you would like to discuss a matter involving your own professional conduct or matters involving other planners.
  • Access the Annual Reports on Case Activity and Requests

Ethics Blog Posts