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Updates to AICP certification windows and deadlines

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

The American Planning Association (APA) is rolling out a new, easier system for completing the steps to AICP certification. To ensure a smooth experience for applicants, the winter application window will open January 5, 2021 to allow for sufficient testing. See updated deadlines on the AICP web pages for the May 2021 certification cycle.

Becoming AICP - The Process

APA has created a guide to becoming AICP and you can click here to download it.

The path to becoming AICP can be illustrated in the diagram below.

Once you have obtained the necessary education and professional planning experience, you may submit an application to verify that you are eligible to pursue certification. Once your application has been approved, you must successfully complete two components for certification. You must demonstrate qualified professional planning experience by writing three short essays illustrating how your planning experience meets APA’s definition of professional planning practice. And you must pass the AICP Certification Exam. AICP certification is achieved once your essays have been approved and you have passed the exam.

AICP Candidate Pilot Program participants

Click here to view your exam registration and other deadlines. For complete details, including enrolling in the program, signing up for a mentor, and registering for and taking the AICP Certification Exam, download the AICP Candidate Pilot Program Guide.

The AICP Candidate Pilot Program provides you with a path to start earlier — the criteria to become AICP are the same.


CM changes now visible in the CM log

New Mandatory Credits

Beginning January 1, 2022, members will be able to begin logging new mandatory credit topics. These topics are now listed for information purposes in the CM log and are not in effect for the current reporting period. More information is available about the upcoming new mandatory credits here.

Reporting Period Consolidation

As part of ongoing efforts to streamline and improve the AICP Certification Maintenance (CM) program, AICP has consolidated all AICP members into the same two-year reporting period cycle. If your reporting period deadline ends December 31, 2020 your reporting deadline has been extended to December 31, 2021. More details:

  • This one-time extension provides you with an additional year to earn your CM credits.

  • All affected members were notified via email.

  • The total number of CM credits required for this reporting period will remain the same.

  • Any credits earned from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2021 will be eligible to be claimed for this reporting period.

  • If you have a CM exemption for the 2019-2020 reporting period, your exemption will remain in effect through December 31, 2021.

  • You will be able to review and close your reporting period and open the 2022-2023 reporting period beginning January 1, 2022.

  • You may carry over a total of 16 CM earned during this reporting period to the 2022-2023 reporting period.



Please contact APA using the Customer Service Form OR visit APA's FAQ.

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