What is AICP?

AICP is the American Planning Association’s professional institute, providing recognized leadership nationwide in the certification of professional planners, ethics, professional development, planning education, and the standards of planning practice. Certified planners pledge to uphold high standards of practice, ethics, and professional conduct, and to keep their skills sharp and up-to-date by continuously pursuing advanced professional education.

How do I become AICP Certified?

Taking the AICP exam is the first step to becoming a certified planner. The exam is offered twice a year in May and November.  To qualify, one must be a current APA member, submit an online application meeting certain education and experience criteria, and pass an examination.  More information is available here. Additionally, this November 2017, APA National is launching a new path to becoming AICP Certified through their Candidate Pilot Program. More information is available here.

How do I prepare for the AICP Exam?

If you’re considering taking the AICP exam, you don’t want to miss SDAPA’s valuable annual training sessions to help you prepare. In the Fall, typically September, we offer a one-day exam preparation training roundtable where we provide study resources, exam outline, and helpful tips from members who have recently passed the exam. In the Spring, typically starting in February, we offer a four-course training session with different speakers who will cover a range of topics that provide an overview of the exam content. Stay tuned for more information as the dates for those training sessions get scheduled.

Over the past several years, SDAPA’s AICP training has maintained a 90% or greater pass rate. Don’t just take our word for it, below is a review from one of our participants.

“The San Diego American Planning Association (SDAPA) Chapter AICP Study Course was the most important resource I utilized to prepare for and pass the exam on the first attempt. The course was taught by Certified Planners who shared technical information covered on the exam, helped participants develop individualized study strategies and directed them to relevant study materials thus maximizing time management and efficiency – key ingredients to getting through a 3.5 hour exam.”

– Shawnika Johnson, AICP

What resources and study materials should I use?

There are many resources available to help you prepare for the AICP Exam. Below is a list of resources and study materials suggested through the years by our local chapter members who have become certified. Many of the books listed here are available on APA’s website under the AICP Exam Prep category.  Special pricing is available for APA members.

Additional AICP exam preparation information and resources can be found at the APA National website.

Who to contact for more information?

If you would like additional information on becoming AICP certified, you may contact our SDAPA Professional Development Officer for AICP Lorena Cordova.