AICP Digital Credentials: A New Benefit for an Online World

The power of your credential is enhanced by the more people who know about it.

Those of us who have earned AICP certification are — rightfully — proud of our accomplishments. It indicates significant personal and professional growth and comes with a deep sense of fulfillment and achievement.

But there is another, more tangible, value to AICP certification, and that’s the validation it gives us and our work in the eyes of our employers, colleagues, elected officials, and even the public. It is this validation that helps us have a greater impact in our work creating great communities for all. But at a time when so much of our work and interactions with stakeholders and peers is online, how do we stand out? How do we demonstrate our expertise and integrity in an increasingly digital world, with no business cards or handshakes exchanged? 

This is why I am so excited about the new AICP digital credentials. Digital credentials are more than just a badge or image. This new free member benefit is tied securely to your certification record and backed by APA. When you use your digital credential, anyone you share it with can confirm that your certification is current, learn more about what AICP represents, and see at a glance the skills and requirements that go into earning and maintaining it. It’s your elevator pitch, at the touch of a button.

I encourage my fellow FAICP (and AICP, AICP CEP, AICP CUD, AICP CTP, and AICP Candidate) members to take advantage of this new benefit and amplify your online presence. You worked hard to earn that credential — now show it off!

Making the Most of Your Digital Credential

After you receive the email indicating that your digital credential is available, you’ll follow the steps to create an account and accept your badge. More information on that process is available here. But accepting your credentials is just the start! 

I recommend adding your digital credential to your LinkedIn profile, for maximum visibility on the website where you are most likely to interact with current and potential employers, colleagues, peers, and stakeholders. Here’s how:

1. Select LinkedIn from the options to share your badge from the Acclaim platform and click Connect.

Screenshot of step connecting LinkedIn to Acclaim AICP digital credential account.

2. Sign in to LinkedIn and allow Acclaim to sync to your account.

Screenshot of logging in to LinkedIn from the Acclaim platform to connect accounts.

3. After your account is connected, select the options to add to your profile or share to your feed

I recommend adding to your profile, so your digital credential has a permanent location on your LinkedIn page. Sharing it to your feed is also a great way to announce this new benefit to your connections and spread the word!

Screenshot of Acclaim platform share to LinkedIn feature

4. Once your credential is added to your profile, go back to LinkedIn and take a look at how it displays.

It will be in the Licenses and Certification section. Did you previously manually add your AICP certification to that section of your profile? You should delete that manual entry so there aren’t duplicates. If you’re not sure which entry is the one connected to the digital credential, just look for the one that has a link that says “See Credential.”

5. Are you, like me, a member of the AICP College of Fellows?

Or do you have an Advanced Specialty Certification? Be sure to add each of your AICP credentials to your profile!

Now others can easily verify and learn more about the AICP certification you worked so hard to earn, helping you realize your planning vision and make an impact. See mine in action here:

Headshot of Deb Lawlor.
About the AUthor
Debbie Lawlor is president of the American Institute of Certified Planners. She has over 35 years of experience, specializing in land use and environmental planning.

November 13, 2020

By Deborah Lawlor, FAICP