Code of Conduct and FAQ

Code of Conduct

To provide all participants — members and other attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff, and volunteers — the opportunity to benefit from the event, our Association is committed to providing a safe and productive meeting environment.

Code of Conduct

Harassment and Discrimination Policy at APA Meetings


The American Planning Association holds professional conferences and meetings to enable our members to receive continuing education, build professional networks and collaborations, engage and recruit new members, and discover new technologies, methodologies, and services for professional and academic use. To provide all participants — members and other attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff, and volunteers — the opportunity to benefit from the event, our Association is committed to providing a safe and productive meeting environment free of discrimination, hostility, and harassment in any form, for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical or mental disability, medical condition, physical appearance, ethnicity, race, religion, political affiliation, nationality, or any other group identity or basis protected by federal law. The Association does not tolerate discrimination, or any form of unlawful harassment, and is committed to enforcing this Code of Conduct (the "Code") at all American Planning Association events.


The American Planning Association requires compliance with the Code by all event participants (members, non-members, and speakers), staff, guests, sponsors, volunteers, and vendors/exhibitors at all official Association conferences, meetings, meeting breakout sessions, tours, and social events, as well as at all Association meeting-related events that are expressly sponsored or promoted by the Association, in public facilities (each may be referred to herein as an "Event" or collectively, as "Events"), whether in-person or virtual.


Harassment includes speech, gestures, or behavior that is not welcome or is personally offensive, whether it is based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical or mental disability, medical condition, physical appearance, ethnicity, race, religion, political affiliation, nationality or any other group identity. It includes deliberate intimidation, stalking, unwelcome attention, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate/unnecessary/unwanted physical contact, offensive jokes or comments, and unprofessional use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or presentations. Behavior that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another. Whether any act is considered offensive or inappropriate is determined by the recipient of such action, attention, or conversation. Harassment intended in a joking manner still constitutes unacceptable behavior.

Within the context of professional practices or scholarly communications, critical examination of beliefs and viewpoints does not, by itself, constitute hostile conduct or harassment.


As a professional association, the American Planning Association is strongly committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, professional expression of ideas, and ethical treatment of all members and conference/meeting participants. These values and a zero-tolerance stance on sexual and other forms of harassment are in line with APA's belief in the value of civil discourse, even during critical examination and critique of ideas, and the free exploration of competing ideas and concepts — with a fundamental respect for the rights, dignity, and value of all persons.

The American Planning Association seeks to provide a conference atmosphere in which diverse participants may learn, network, and enjoy the company of colleagues in an environment of mutual human respect. The Association recognizes a shared responsibility to establish, maintain, and protect such an environment for the benefit of all. Some behaviors are, therefore, specifically prohibited. Prohibited conduct at Events includes, but is not limited to:

  • Harassment or intimidation based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical or mental disability, medical condition, physical appearance, ethnicity, race, religion, political affiliation, nationality, or any other group identity or basis protected by federal law.
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact.
  • Harassment, intimidation, or coercion based upon a position as a teacher, superior, employer, or any position of influence.
  • Abusive, discriminatory, derogatory, ridiculing, lewd, or demeaning language, conduct, or presentation materials (visual or auditory).
  • Bullying, harassment, or unprofessional conduct aimed at speech or professional status.
  • Yelling at, offensive ridiculing of, or threatening speakers (verbally or physically) or any attendees.
  • Physical violence or aggression or threats of violence.


If you are experiencing a threat to your physical safety at an in-person event, immediately call 911, and contact the APA Ombudsperson as soon as you are safe.

Meeting participants should note that the American Planning Association cannot address alleged inappropriate conduct or harassment unless the claims are brought to the attention of the appropriate personnel. Event participants who witness or experience harassment or any inappropriate conduct, including but not limited to the prohibited conduct described above, should report the conduct to the APA Ombudsperson. Those reporting a complaint are not expected to discuss the incident with the offending party. All complaints will be treated seriously and be investigated. Confidentiality will be honored to the extent permitted as long as the rights of others are not compromised.

The American Planning Association reserves the right at any time to investigate situations that arise at the conference and in APA-sponsored online communities provided in connection with the conference. If an event participant experiences inappropriate conduct, harassment, or discrimination at the participant's own or another institution, at a place of work, at a research facility, or online but not via APA-sponsored channels (e.g., direct emails between parties), APA may be unable to investigate and encourages individuals to contact the appropriate officer/official(s) at that location or institution who handles such issues.


The following procedure will be followed for investigations.

  • The complainant will be asked to submit a report using an online form that will be accessible during the event. Failure to provide a report in writing may limit APA's ability to formally follow up on a complaint. This limitation does not apply to complaints by APA staff. "an online form that will be accessible during the event.
  • A designated APA investigator will discuss the details first with the individual filing the complaint, then with the alleged offender. The investigator may seek counsel or consult with other APA staff, management, officers, and/or legal counsel as needed if the appropriate course of action is unclear.
  • Findings and results of all investigations will be reported to the APA Executive Committee.
  • APA will notify the individual filing the complaint regarding any action taken based on the report.
  • Any APA staff or member involved in the investigation of an incident who believes they have a conflict of interest will recuse themselves from the investigation.
  • Investigations may be conducted while the meeting is in progress, or, if impractical or inappropriate, at any other time.


If it is determined that an individual has engaged in prohibited conduct, APA shall determine the appropriate action to be taken, which may include, but is not limited to:

  • Private reprimand.
  • Removal from the event without warning or refund.
  • Implementation of conditions upon attendance at future APA events.
  • Restriction from attendance at future APA events.

In the event of the potential for serious, injurious, or offensive conduct, when it seems reasonable to preserve the peace and decorum of the event or to limit harm or to avoid further incidents, APA may take immediate action and ask a person to leave an event, depending on the nature of the issue; follow-up may occur later.

APA may, but is not required to, report any incident to proper authorities, including but not limited to event security and law enforcement, if in APA's sole discretion, such reporting is appropriate.


APA will not tolerate any form of retaliation against persons who file a complaint or assist in the investigation of a complaint. Retaliation is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action.


In adopting and disseminating this Code of Conduct, Harassment, and Discrimination Policy for APA Meetings, APA's main purpose is to encourage appropriate behavior and to address inappropriate behavior. It is important to recognize that the Association is a nonprofit professional association and is not authorized to adjudicate or enforce the law. However, APA believes in the importance of taking action in good faith and the best interest and protection of members and attendees. Nonetheless, APA is not responsible for the conduct of any individual, assumes no duty to halt, limit, or address any problematic or illegal conduct, and shall not have liability for conduct between and among any individuals.

Join us in taking a stand against sexual harassment and discrimination by signing APA's Pledge today.

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We've gathered some commonly asked questions to help make your conference experience a breeze.

Will NPC25 be an in-person conference in Denver or is it online?

NPC25 includes two separate, unique events:

  • An in-person conference in Denver, March 29-April 1, 2025
  • An online conference April 23-25, 2025

Where is the in-person conference being held?

NPC25 will be held at the Colorado Convention Center.

When can I register?

Registration will launch in January.

What are the registration rates for NPC25?

Registration rates for members, students, and non-members along with what is included in registration will be announced later this year.

How do I book a hotel for NPC25 in Denver?

Hotels for the NPC25 will be announced when registration and the program launch in January.

How do I become a sponsor/exhibitor for NPC25?

Our Exhibitor and Sponsorship prospectus is not yet available, it will be in September. Check back for updates.

Call for Proposals

If I submit a proposal for consideration for a session or mobile workshop, when will I find out if my program has been accepted?

Notifications for session and mobile workshop acceptance will be shared before registration opens in January 2025.

Do I have to be a member to submit a proposal?

Yes, you need to be a member to submit a proposal for sessions and Mobile Workshops.

Will speakers receive a discounted registration rate?

APA values the intellectual knowledge and expertise that speakers bring to the NPC program. For NPC25, accepted session speakers, mobile workshop coordinators, and guides will receive a significant discount on the conference registration fee. All speakers are required to register for the conference and pay the conference rate based on their session placement in the in-person or online program.

Are there quantities for how many speakers I can have in my proposals?

For Session: speaker maximums will be strictly enforced and only the maximum number of speakers for the accepted session type will receive the discounted registration rate.

For Mobile Workshops: APA members and nonmembers are encouraged to register and receive full conference benefits. If a mobile workshop coordinator or guide is only involved in the designated workshop and is not attending the conference, they will not be required to register. For those coordinators or guides who choose not to register — they will not have access to any of the conferences outside of their designated workshop.

Are there speaker guidelines I should follow when submitting a proposal?

You are encouraged to gather a group of diverse experts to create a dynamic presentation.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are priority commitments of APA, inclusive of NPC speakers and content.  As you begin to identify speakers for your session, we ask that sessions featuring multiple speakers are diverse and include BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and/or Female, Transgender, Gender-Fluid, Nonbinary, and Gender- Nonconforming individuals.

If you need resources to identify diverse speakers, please contact chairs of the Asian and Pacific Islander Interest Group, Latinos and Planning Division, LGBTQ and Planning Division, Planning and the Black Community Division (PBCD), Tribal and Indigenous Planning Division, and Women & Planning Division.

Do you have a specific question about the Call for Proposals process that is not answered here?

If you have additional questions about the Call for Proposals, please contact

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NPC25 Updates

Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Send us an email with your question to Additional FAQs will be added regularly.