The American Institute of Certified Planners is APA's professional institute and provides the only nationwide, independent verification of planners' qualifications. 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.

Ready to Get Certified? Take These Steps to AICP Certification

Get Educated and Gain Experience

AICP Certification Exam candidates must meet specific criteria for education and experience, so determine your eligibility before you apply. Check out the AICP eligibility requirements and find out if your experience qualifies.

Students and New Graduates

The AICP Candidate Pilot Program is an alternate path to certification that allows you to take the AICP Certification Exam before earning professional planning experience.

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Apply for the AICP Exam

If you are eligible, you can apply to take the AICP Certification Exam. APA accepts applications twice a year — in June (for the exam administered each November) and December (for the exam administered each May).

APA resources can help you submit a successful application.

Many employers support their employees' professional advancement by paying for some or all of the costs associated with earning certification and belonging to AICP. Does yours? Before you ask your employer for this financial assistance, download a helpful flyer with information to support your request.

Exam Application Periods

The AICP Certification Exam is offered in May and November of each year. Application periods are generally open about five months before the testing window.

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Prepare for the Exam

See APA's five-step approach to exam preparation and links to many resources to help you succeed.

Become an AICP member

You've passed the exam. What happens next?

  • Pay AICP dues as soon as you receive APA's invoice.
  • APA will confirm your right to use the AICP credential.
  • You'll receive an AICP welcome packet. Congratulations!

Detailed information about AICP eligibility, applying for and taking the exam, exam scoring, and more is in the AICP Exam Guide.

Apply for the AICP Exam