AICP Candidate Pilot Program

Paths to AICP

The AICP Candidate Pilot Program provides you with a path to start earlier — the criteria to become AICP are the same.

AICP Candidate Paths to AICP Certification

Put Your Career On the Fast Track

Distinguish yourself from your peers through the AICP Candidate Pilot Program. Demonstrate to potential employers a commitment to mastering planning skills and maintaining the highest standard of ethical practice.

About the AICP Candidate Pilot Program

  • Students and graduates of PAB accredited programs can:
    • Enroll in the program at any time
    • Register for the AICP Certification Exam starting in December or June after you graduate
    • Use the payment program for exam fees
    • Take the exam prior to earning professional planning experience

Realize the Career Advancement Benefits

  • Get a head start — Take the exam after earning your degree
  • Distinguish yourself — Use the AICP Candidate designation after passing the exam
  • Learn from the best — Get career advice and guidance from an AICP mentor
  • Make connections — Network with the planning community at local and national events
  • Lead the profession — Stand out as an AICP Certified Planner

AICP Candidate Pilot Program Details

Step 1: Enroll, $35

Program Enrollment Anytime
Program Enrollment Deadline (for November Exam) September 30, 2020, 3:00 p.m. CT

Step 2: November 2020 Certification Exam, $100

Registration Window Opens June 1, 2020, 9:00 a.m. CT
Graduation documentation submission deadline October 5, 2020, 5:00 p.m. CT
Registration window closes October 30, 2020, 3:00 p.m. CT
Exam window November 9-23, 2020

Step 3: Work Experience and Essay, $375

Submission Window Opens Dates TBD. Please check back.
Early Bird Deadline Dates TBD. Please check back.
Submission Window Closes Dates TBD. Please check back.

Step One: Enroll in the AICP Candidate Pilot Program

Qualified APA members may enroll in the program at any time during the year by:

  • Submitting education verification documents (graduates submit documents upon enrolling; students submit documentation after graduation);
  • Committing to the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct;
  • Paying a $35 fee; and
  • Beginning to track Certification Maintenance credits — 16 CM credits must be completed and tracked before applying for certification.

APA will verify program enrollment for graduate participants no later than four weeks after an enrollee completes these steps. Accepted enrollees are encouraged to review these exam prep tips. They also may begin earning Certification Maintenance credits and select mentors.

IMPORTANT: Although eligible members may enroll in the AICP Candidate Pilot Program at any time, since graduation is required to register for the exam, when you enroll may affect when you can take the AICP Certification Exam. Members who join the program as graduates must enroll by a deadline set for each exam cycle. Specific dates are posted below.

Program Fees
Step One: Enrollment Fee $35
Step Two: AICP Candidate Exam Registration Fee $100
Step Three: AICP Certification Application Fee $375
**All fees are non-refundable.

Enroll in the Program           Update Graduation Status


Step Two: Take the AICP Certification Exam and Become an AICP Candidate

Members who passed the AICP exam in June have received an email about next steps. Members who passed the exam in July will be receiving an email with next steps during the week of August 3–7, 2020.

Requirements for Step Two depend on whether the AICP Candidate Pilot Program participant was a student or a graduate at the time he or she enrolled in the program.

Program participants must graduate to register for the exam. It could take APA up to four weeks to examine graduation verification documents. Participants should refer to the specific deadlines shown below.

Registering for the exam:

  1. Register for the exam by paying a $100 exam fee in December–April (for the May exam) or in June–October (for the November exam);
  2. Submit graduation verification documents (if applicable);
  3. Schedule an exam date with Prometric up to two days before the exam administration window opens; and
  4. Review additional details about registering for the exam in the AICP Candidate Program Guide.

AICP Candidate Exam Registration

Step Three: Earn AICP Certification

Program participants who have passed the AICP Certification Exam are eligible to join AICP and use the AICP certification when they have:


For complete details, including enrolling in the program, signing up for a mentor, and registering for and taking the AICP Certification Exam, download the AICP Candidate Pilot Program Guide.

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