American Planning Association

North Carolina Chapter

What is AICP?

The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is the APA’s professional institute. AICP provides a national certification of professional planners, a code of ethics, professional development, education, and standards of practice.

The Professional Development Officer/Committee can support planners through their certification process and Certification Maintenance through workshops, seminars, conferences, and online resources. For more information, please visit the national APA website.


If you are considering becoming an AICP Planner, you must be a current member of APA; be engaged currently or in the past in professional planning as defined by AICP; and have completed one of the following combinations of professional planning years of experience and education:

Application Process

A complete bulletin contains important information regarding the AICP Process including introductory information about the exam, verifications of employment and education, and application tips is on APA’s Website.

Exam Dates, Fee and Scholarships

The AICP Exam is offered twice a year, in May and in November. The exam is administered during a 12 day window during each of those months, meaning that there will be 24 days of testing available.  Visit APA’s Certification website for the most current information.

If you are applying or have been approved to take the AICP exam but have financial hardship, you may apply for the AICP exam scholarship. Please submit your name, APA membership ID, and explanation of hardship to Hanna Cockburn, Vice President for Professional Development, at

Certification Maintenance

Certification Maintenance (CM) demonstrates a continued commitment to excellence to communities, elected officials, and employers. Over a two year period, AICPs must earn 32 credits for approved training. This includes at least 1.5 credits for law and 1.5 credits for ethics.

CM opportunities include the annual conference of the NC Chapter and other events.

Hosting a CM event? Download the credit maintenance application forms for a single event or multi-part event. Interested in learning more about hosting a CM credited event? Contact Hanna Cockburn, Vice President for Professional Development at

For more information about the CM program and to log your credits, please visit the AICP website.