All professional planners who are members of APA's professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), must engage in mandatory continuing education to maintain their certification.

The purpose of the American Institute of Certified Planners’ Certification Maintenance Program (CM) is to strengthen planning practice and the integrity of the AICP credential by establishing professional development standards applicable to all AICP members.

Since its establishment by the AICP Commission in 2008, the CM Program has recognized the diversity of the planning profession by promoting CM credit achievement flexibility and providing a broad range of opportunities that address the professional development needs of all AICP members, including both the public and private sectors, planning academics and non-traditional planners. In April, 2018, the AICP Commission established new goals for the Certification Maintenance Program.

The goals of Certification Maintenance are to:

  • Require ongoing professional development for all AICP members.
  • Align professional development opportunities with AICP’s Core Competencies.
  • Elevate innovative planning practices, emerging issues, planning trends, planning specialties and best practices.
  • Ensure appropriate level professional development opportunities at all career levels.
  • Establish standardized CM requirements that all members must achieve to retain their AICP credential.
  • Promote ethical practice as stated in AICP’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, including mentoring and volunteering.
  • Promote a broad range of accessible and affordable CM credit options.
  • Ensure CM management and logging systems are user friendly and easily accessible.
  • Provide flexibility for CM providers, including public and private sector providers, APA chapters and divisions.
  • Promote AICP values, including diversity and inclusion through the CM program
  • Annually evaluate CM program performance based on CM goals and corresponding metrics. 

Program Details

AICP members must earn a total of 32 CM credits (1 contact hour = 1 CM credit) within their two-year reporting period. All AICP members have a four month-grace period following the end of their current two-year reporting period. During the four-month grace period, members may continue to earn and log CM credits to fulfill their reporting period requirements.

A minimum of 1.5 CM credits must include the topic of ethics, and another 1.5 credits must be on the topic of current planning law. AICP members may carry over a maximum of 16 CM credits from one reporting period into the subsequent reporting period; however, any surplus ethics and planning law credits will be carried over to the next two-year reporting period as general CM credits, not law or ethics.

AICP members who do not meet CM requirements within four years will lose AICP certification and will be obliged to seek recertification in order to regain the AICP credential.

All professional development activities must be entered for CM credit by the provider. AICP members must claim CM credit after participation by using their online CM log. The list of CM events is growing every day, so please bookmark the CM Search webpage, and check back to see whether an event you attended has been added.

CM Search