AICP Candidate Pilot Program

Paths to AICP

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

AICP Candidate Paths to AICP Certification

Put Your Career On the Fast Track

Distinguish yourself from your peers through the AICP Candidate Pilot Program. Demonstrate to potential employers a commitment to mastering planning skills and maintaining the highest standard of ethical practice.

About the AICP Candidate Pilot Program

  • Students and graduates of PAB accredited programs can:
    • Enroll in the program at any time
    • Register for the AICP Certification Exam starting in December or June after you graduate
    • Use the payment program for exam fees
    • Take the exam prior to earning professional planning experience

Realize the Career Advancement Benefits

  • Get a head start — Take the exam after earning your degree
  • Distinguish yourself — Use the AICP Candidate designation after passing the exam
  • Learn from the best — Get career advice and guidance from an AICP mentor
  • Make connections — Network with the planning community at local and national events
  • Lead the profession — Stand out as an AICP Certified Planner

AICP Candidate Pilot Program Details

Step 1: Enroll, $35

Program Enrollment Anytime
Program Enrollment Deadline (for November Exam) June 26, 2020, 3:00 p.m. CT

Step 2: November 2020 Certification Exam, $100

Registration Window Opens June 1, 2020, 9:00 a.m. CT
Graduation documentation submission deadline October 5, 2020, 5:00 p.m. CT
Registration window closes October 30, 2020, 3:00 p.m. CT
Exam window November 9-23, 2020

Step 3: Work Experience and Essay, $375

Submission Window Opens June 1, 2020, 9:00 a.m. CT
Early Bird Deadline June 8, 2020, 9:00 a.m. CT
Submission Window Closes June 26, 2020, 3:00 p.m. CT

Step One: Enroll in the AICP Candidate Pilot Program

Qualified APA members may enroll in the program at any time during the year by:

  • Submitting education verification documents (graduates submit documents upon enrolling; students submit documentation after graduation);
  • Committing to the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct;
  • Paying a $35 fee; and
  • Beginning to track Certification Maintenance credits — 16 CM credits must be completed and tracked before applying for certification.

APA will verify program enrollment for graduate participants no later than four weeks after an enrollee completes these steps. Accepted enrollees are encouraged to review these exam prep tips. They also may begin earning Certification Maintenance credits and select mentors.

IMPORTANT: Although eligible members may enroll in the AICP Candidate Pilot Program at any time, since graduation is required to register for the exam, when you enroll may affect when you can take the AICP Certification Exam. Members who join the program as graduates must enroll by a deadline set for each exam cycle. Specific dates are posted below.

Program Fees
Step One: Enrollment Fee $35
Step Two: AICP Candidate Exam Registration Fee $100
Step Three: AICP Certification Application Fee $375
**All fees are non-refundable.

Enroll in the Program           Update Graduation Status


Step Two: Take the AICP Certification Exam and Become an AICP Candidate

Requirements for Step Two depend on whether the AICP Candidate Pilot Program participant was a student or a graduate at the time he or she enrolled in the program.

Program participants must graduate to register for the exam. It could take APA up to four weeks to examine graduation verification documents. Participants should refer to the specific deadlines shown below.

Registering for the exam:

  1. Register for the exam by paying a $100 exam fee in December–April (for the May exam) or in June–October (for the November exam);
  2. Submit graduation verification documents (if applicable);
  3. Schedule an exam date with Prometric up to two days before the exam administration window opens; and
  4. Review additional details about registering for the exam in the AICP Candidate Program Guide.

AICP Candidate Exam Registration

May Exam Updates

  • The May exam has been postponed to June 1–July 31.
  • In-person testing at a Prometric testing center is available.
    • Currently, Prometric is planning to reopen some testing facilities for in-person exams beginning May 1, 2020. Test center availability is being evaluated on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with government actions. Should you register to take the AICP exam in-person and need to adjust your plans, you may delay your testing date with no transfer fee or switch your registration to the remote testing option
  • Online testing in your home or location of your choice is available.
    • If you prefer to not test in person or there are no locations open in your area, you may take the AICP exam online. Prometric proctors will oversee all AICP exams remotely. Online testing technical requirements are available in our FAQs. You may also review requirements in the ProProctor™ User Guide and run a system check with Prometric.

Registration and Scheduling

  • Registration for the spring/summer AICP exam testing is open.
  • Scheduling for spring/summer dates is open April 20, and the deadline to transfer to the fall test is May 29.
  • Have additional questions? View our FAQ page or email us at with any additional questions you may have.

Step Three: Earn AICP Certification

employment verification requirements Update

We recently updated our employment verification requirements and it’s no longer required to obtain a letter from a current or former employer. Instead members will be self-verifying their experience. The application will still require all the information that was contained in the employment verification letter, but the onus will be on the member to provide it.

The letter should contain the member's position title, company name, dates of employment, full time or part time indication, and a summary of their responsibilities in the role.

The letter should be pdf’ed and uploaded directly into the employment history section of the application in support of the job you are claiming.

Program participants who have passed the AICP Certification Exam are eligible to join AICP and use the AICP certification when they have:


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.

If you have additional questions, contact us using our customer service form.