AICP Candidate Pilot Program

Paths to AICP

You Spoke. We Listened. One Path to AICP.
A simplified certification process is coming Spring 2022. During the transition, some steps of the AICP Candidate Pilot Program process may be unavailable. Check back for more information late this fall.

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 One: Enroll in the AICP Candidate Pilot Program | $35

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

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.

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 Enrollment for November 2021 Exam April 1 at 3:00 p.m. CT – September 9, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. CT

Update Graduation Status


Step Two: Take the AICP Certification Exam and Become an AICP Candidate | $100

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 opens.

Exam Registration

November 2021 AICP Certification Exam Application Dates

Exam Registration Opens June 1, 2021, 9:00 a.m. CT
Exam Registration Closes October 29, 2021, 3:00 p.m. CT
Transfer Deadline October 29, 2021, 3:00 p.m. CT
Testing Window November 1-26, 2021


The next opportunity to submit your professional planning experience will be Spring of 2022.


The next opportunity to submit your planning experience assessment will be Spring of 2022.

AICP Candidate Pilot Program Overview

AICP Candidate Pilot Program Fees

Program Fees
Step One: AICP Candidate Enrollment Fee $35
Step Two: AICP Candidate Exam Registration Fee $100
Step Three: AICP Candidate Work Experience $0
Step Four: AICP Candidate Essay Fee/Expediated Essay Review Fee $375/$445
**All fees are non-refundable.


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