AICP Certification Frequently Asked Questions
We've pulled together some commonly asked questions to help make your certification experience a breeze.
The AICP Certification Guide can provide answers to almost all your questions. This guide must be reviewed before registering for AICP. Please note: if your name in MyAPA does not match your official ID, please update your account to match your official, government-issued ID.
Am I allowed to register to take the exam?
I did not get a degree in planning. Can I pursue certification?
Any APA member can register to take the exam. Please refer to the Planning Experience Worksheet to determine if your experience aligns with APA's definition of professional planning. While you do not need to have obtained all your experience before taking the exam, you must have all your experience before submitting the assessment (Step 3 of One Path to AICP).
I graduated from XYZ school. Can I take the exam and how much experience do I need based on my degree?
I have a degree from a university outside the U. S. Is that accepted?
Again, any APA member can take the exam. The chart at the bottom of our eligibility page can help you determine how much professional planning experience you need to earn before submitting your assessment in Step 3.
How long is the exam?
The exam is 3.5 hours long.
How do I pay for the exam?
If I took the exam already, do I need to pay again?
Members can use a credit card or an organization's P-card. APA cannot invoice and cannot accept checks.
Each exam has a fee. Please review the cycle dates and fees on our website.
Scholarships are offered each cycle.
When can I register for the exam and/or submit my assessment?
I did not receive a confirmation email with the eligibility ID after I registered.
I did not receive a confirmation email after I transferred my exam.
I did not receive any information after I submitted my assessment.
These auto emails oftentimes land in spam or junk folders. Please check those folders. Also, to avoid any future issues with receiving emails, please add AICP@planning.org to your list of email contacts.
When I go to the Prometric site to schedule my exam, the eligibility ID does not work.
If you cut/pasted the eligibility ID into the field at Prometric, please make sure there are no spaces before or after the ID. Also, be sure to use the first 4 letters of the last name on your My APA account. If you still experience issues, please contact AICP@planning.org.
I want to take the exam at home. How do I set that up?
Prometric offers in-person or remote exam options. ProProctor is the software used to launch the exam remotely. Please read the ProProctor User Guide and refer to the AICP Certification Guide for more information.
I am unable to find a location/date/time to take my exam.
Prometric will work with you to find a suitable exam appointment. Please fill out a Customer Service Ticket with them as soon as possible. If they are unable to assist you, please send an email to AICP@planning.org.
I need extra time to take the exam.
I need noise-cancelling headphones while taking the exam.
I need extra breaks while taking the exam.
Please refer to Appendix 2 in our AICP Certification Guide for more information on testing accommodations. All accommodation requests and documentation must be submitted to AICP@planning.org before scheduling the exam with Prometric. Staff will then add the accommodation and let you know when you can schedule your exam.
How can I prepare for the exam?
Review the list of exam prep resources. Be sure to also connect with your chapter's Professional Development Officer for additional resources and local studying opportunities. International members can contact APA for their PDO.
The name on my official ID is different than the name on my registration record. How can I get it updated on the registration record?
Before registering for the exam, please contact customer service to update your profile.
If you already registered for the exam, email firstname.lastname@example.org at least 72 hours before your exam. Staff can then update your record with Prometric.
NOTE: As of July 1, 2023, Prometric will only accept government-issued IDs.
Please refer to the AICP Certification Guide for more information about acceptable forms of identification and name variations.
I registered but never scheduled my exam. I want to transfer to a future window. What do I do?
I registered and scheduled my exam, but I can no longer take the exam. What do I do?
All fees are final. Details about rescheduling, cancelling or transferring the exam can be found in the AICP Certification Guide. Please note that you must pay for a transfer during the window you purchased your exam registration.
*** When you pay the transfer fee, you will then have a transfer record in the system that can then be used for any future exam window, not just the upcoming window. You will still need to register for your exam of choice and will be able to redeem the transfer at no cost (instead of paying another registration fee). Please note that transfers are allowed only one time. Once the transfer is redeemed, whether you take the exam or not, the registration cannot be transferred again.
I passed the exam. How long do I have before I need to submit my assessment?
Your exam scores do not expire and there is no time limit between passing the exam and submitting the assessment.
I did not pass the exam. Can I take it again?
Yes, there is no limit as to the amount of times you take the exam, but you can only take the exam once per cycle. We suggest you review your Official Score Report (OSR) that you received after you took the exam(s), find the areas you need to review more, and then review the content outline. Our exam prep page offers six tips to help you prepare for the exam.
Will you accept a picture of my diploma/transcripts for my education verification document?
Yes. Whatever document is submitted must contain the member's name, the name of the college or university, the name of the degree, and the degree conferral date.
Do I need to obtain employment verification letters?
All employment is now self-reported and letters are no longer needed.
A while back, I submitted essays that were approved. Do I still need to submit an assessment?
No, you do not need to submit an assessment if you have approved essays on file from a prior cycle. To become AICP, you only need to take and pass the exam. After you register for the exam, please contact AICP@planning.org so they can flag your record. Once you pass the exam, let us know so we can create your initial AICP dues.
Do you accept international experience?
Yes, we accept international planning experience. Please review the Experience Worksheet to ensure it is considered professional planning experience according to APA.
I currently do not work in the planning field. Can I still pursue certification?
Your current position does not need to be in planning. Any APA member can take the exam. It's in Step 3 that you need to have earned all your experience based on your education. See the chart at the end of the eligibility page to help you determine the amount of planning experience you need.
Do internships count towards my professional planning experience?
Internships do count towards professional planning experience as long as the internship was not for school credit or a requirement for graduation. More information can be found in our AICP Certification Guide.
I am unsure if my experience would be considered professional planning.
The Planning Experience Worksheet can help determine if your experience meets APA's definition of professional planning. Also, refer to the section "Does My Experience Qualify?" in the AICP Certification Guide for more information. Please note that all experience is self-reported and verification letters are not needed.
How long does it take to hear if my assessment meets/does not meet requirements?
Members will receive an email within four weeks after submitting their assessment indicating if their assessment met the requirements. If the assessment meets the requirements, you will be sent instructions on how to pay your initial AICP dues. Please be sure to check your spam/trash/junk folders for the email.
If the assessment did not meet requirements, members will be given information as to why the assessment did not meet requirements and will also be given information on how to submit additional, clarifying information.
I just paid my initial AICP dues. How long does it take to get my digital badge?
It can take up to 48 hours for the digital credential company, Credly, to send you the email so that you can accept your badge. Please be sure to check your spam and junk folders.
I am a member of an international planning agency. Can I still get AICP certified?
Yes. Please send a letter from the other agency indicating you are a certified member in good standing. You need to take and pass the AICP exam, but you will not need to submit your assessment. You can send the letter to AICP@planning.org.
Please refer to the AICP Certification Guide for more information.
Where do I go to enter the CM I have obtained?
Tracking CM was a requirement of the AICP Candidate Pilot Program. That pilot program ended in 2021 so members are not required to complete CM until they become AICP certified. You cannot claim CM from any session before you become AICP. More information can be found on our Certification Maintenance webpage.