Certification Maintenance Exemptions

AICP members in certain life and career situations may be eligible for a temporary or permanent exemption from the requirement to earn Certification Maintenance credits.

If you anticipate needing an exemption, we highly encourage you apply as much in advance as possible, because CM exemptions are not applied retroactively. It may take up to two weeks to receive approval for an exemption request.

How to Apply for a CM Exemption

You must be an active member of AICP to qualify for these exemptions, which means that your AICP, APA, and chapter dues must be paid and up to date.

The last day to apply for an exemption from Certification Maintenance (CM) during a reporting period is December 31. Applications will not be accepted during the grace period.

Exemption Application Deadline for 2018–19 Reporting Period: December 31, 2019

Apply for Exemption

Exemption Types

Exemption Category 1: Active Membership Status

The following exemptions may be granted to AICP members who wish to remain active and continue to use their AICP credential during the period in which the exemption applies. APA, AICP, and chapter membership dues must be kept current for these exemption types.


Retired Members are exempt from Certification Maintenance requirements. An AICP member qualifies as retired if he or she has been an active and continuous member for at least 10 years; must be 65 years of age; and who does not engage in any planning-related profession, business, or trade (this excludes part-time non-planning or nonprofessional work). Planners practicing part time or who were retired and return to the workforce must meet the full obligations of Certification Maintenance unless granted one of the exemptions below.

If you meet these criteria and have been granted the Retired Member status, then you do not need to apply for an exemption as long as your membership type has been changed to "retired." If this is not the case, please submit the Request for Retired Membership Status and we will make the change for you.

Retired Membership Form


Choose either Option 1 or Option 2:

Option 1: You have the option to meet half the CM credit required (16 CM credits) including 1.5 credits each of ethics and law.


Option 2: If you are a Life Member who meets the Retired Member criteria, then you qualify for a full exemption from CM requirements.

To request the Life Member exemption, please complete the Verification of Life Membership Status Form.

Life Membership Form


Most Certification Maintenance requirements may be waived for members who are unemployed or in transition during their period of unemployment. Members who are unemployed or in transition must average 4 credits for each quarter they were employed during their reporting period and must report these credits by the end of their two-year CM reporting period. This includes the ethics and law credits requirement.

Staff will work with the member to determine the most appropriate number of credits needed during the time of unemployment within the assigned CM reporting period. Unemployed members may continue to use the AICP credential as long as AICP and APA dues are paid and active, although they may be paid at the reduced unemployed rate. Members who are unemployed or in transition may apply to pay dues at a reduced rate or in monthly installments.

Please note, this exemption type requires a new exemption application for each reporting period.

Please contact customer service to inquire about your eligibility and requirements.

Unemployed/In Transition Form


Planners practicing entirely outside the U.S. will be exempt from taking registered CM courses, although they will still be required to maintain certification through the creation of a Personal Professional Development Plan.

Members who are unable to engage in professional development activities while working abroad have the option of applying for a foreign residency exemption resulting in inactive membership status described below.

Please note, this exemption type requires a new exemption application and updated Personal Professional Development Plan for each reporting period.

Exemption Category 2: Inactive Membership Status

The exemptions below may be granted to AICP members who wish to be in a temporary inactive membership status. Under this status, AICP membership will be inactivated (i.e., AICP products and services will be suspended including access to the online CM log), and the AICP credential cannot be used during this period. The maximum consecutive number of years a member may claim an inactive status is four.

  • Parental leave: An inactive membership status of up to four consecutive years may be granted for the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Military service leave: An inactive membership status of up to four consecutive years may be granted to members on active duty who are deployed overseas for either Temporary Duty (TDY) or Permanent Change of Station (PCS), or to members of the Armed Forces Reserve or National Guard who have been mobilized or deployed.
  • Health: An inactive membership status of up to four consecutive years may be granted for reasons of ill health.
  • Care leave: An inactive membership status of up to four consecutive years may be granted to members who need to stay at home to care for another person.
  • Foreign residency: An inactive membership status of up to four consecutive years may be granted to members living outside of the U.S. Members living abroad may also wish to engage in developing a Professional Development Plan to maintain AICP membership during their time abroad.
  • Other: Other reasons (up to four consecutive years) for inactive membership.

AICP members who wish to apply for inactive status must do so prior to the expiration of their membership. Members will not be required to pay AICP dues during the period in which their membership is inactive. However, during this time of inactive membership, access to the online CM log will be removed and the AICP credential cannot be used. Members with inactive membership status must continue to abide by the AICP Code of Ethics and may continue to remain members of APA and their chapter. To learn about reduced APA membership dues rates or to request the unemployed/in-transition rate, please visit the APA Member Dues web page. Temporary inactive AICP members must reinstate their AICP membership within four years of the effective date of their last AICP membership dues status and pay 20 percent of back AICP dues owed.

More Details on How to Reinstate Your AICP Membership

Definition of effective date: The effective date will be the next quarterly paid thru date after the change is approved (Paid thru dates happen on four dates in each year, corresponding to membership periods: March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31). For example, if a member is approved for an inactive exemption in February, the effective date of the change would be March 31. Back dues will be calculated from the member's own paid thru date. For example, if a member's paid thru date is June 30 then back dues would start accumulating as of July 1.