AICP Core Competencies

The knowledge of a planner is both wide and deep. Planners work in various realms and on a broad variety of topics. Planners often refer to themselves as "professional generalists" while serving as conveners and facilitators, bringing diverse interests together toward a common goal.

The American Institute of Certified Planners' Core Competencies establishes a framework for the "core" of skills, experience and values that form the foundation of our profession — fundamental knowledge and understanding that every planner should both possess and share. These Core Competencies provide opportunity for planners to track their own progress as they advance planning principles and move forward in their career.

It is the AICP Commission's responsibility to assure that the standards and processes to obtain and maintain AICP certification remain relevant and current. This includes the professional planning experience criteria established as part of the AICP Certification application, the AICP Certification Examination, AICP Certification Maintenance requirements and related resources.

The AICP Core Competencies will guide AICP in establishing and maintaining:

  • confidence in the correlation between the AICP application and exam, and what skills, knowledge, experience and values planners should possess at the time of AICP certification;
  • confidence in the correlation between the AICP Certification Maintenance (CM) program, and the knowledge AICP members need to advance their careers;
  • dialog and exchange of perspectives between planning educators and planning practitioners on the skills, knowledge and experiences that lead to greater success of planning school graduates, and better planning outcomes; and
  • a standardized base of core planning knowledge, skills and commitments that can be used to as a general reference resource about the planning profession.

AICP's Core Competencies

The AICP Core Competencies are meant to be a "living document," to be revised over time to reflect the continuing evolution of the planning field. As such, these competencies will be periodically updated. The AICP Commission recognizes the importance of specialty competencies that go beyond what is listed here, specialties that include those recognized by APA's Divisions, as well as other planning specialties.