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Thread: Professional licensing

  1. #1

    Professional licensing

    I believe planners should be required to obtain licensing similar to that required by PE's, CPA's, and other professionals. Too many people who have no formal education in urban planning are calling themselves planners. As a result, the entire profession suffers from a lack of credibility. An exam should be REQUIRED of all planning school graduates after completion of a specified time period as an apprentice planner. The AICP designation is currently worthless because it is entirely voluntary, with no continuing education requirements after membership is granted. How can our recommendations to legislative bodies carry any weight if anyone can call him/herself a "planner"? Any comments?

  2. #2

    Landscape Architects are state licensed too!

    Hi, I think that planners should all have professional licensing
    similar to other related disciplines like the PE or bar exam as well.
    I think that nobody has mentioned the RLA or RA (Registered Landscape Architect or Architect)

    I am an LA and soon hope to become registered. This registration
    will mark one with a minimum level of competency. My exam process
    is very vigourous and am prepared to fail and retake as necessary. 46 states
    administer this testing and licensing as they should for planners as well.

  3. #3

    professional licensing

    I disagree. WE have a planner, AICP and a Master's Degree, who is next to worthless. That is not an exageration. I have a Bachelor's in Community Studies and no AICP. From what I have seen of those with the certification, it means little, and I have no intention of getting certified. If the current voluntary system can't ensure competancy, what hope does another government program have?

  4. #4

    professional licensing

    Agree totally. In New Zealand, as with Australia it appears, you do not have to belong to a professional body, ie. the New Zealand PLanning Institute, to work as a planner. Full membership to the Institute is based on completion of a recognised degree, and level of experience. There are, however, associate memberships as well. The usefulness of the NZPI membership is when you appear at an Environment Court hearing.

    There are alot of people working in New Zealand as planners who do not have planning degrees. They still call themselves planners, and contribute a lot to the profession.

    There are a couple of issues with licensing I think. Point One deals with the negative of licensing. Point 2 with the positive.

    1. There are alot of good people working as planners who did not complete a planning degree. The profession would loose if these people were not planners.

    2. There are alot of people, lawyers, engineers, surveyors, working in the planning field without the theoretical background. I can't call myself a lawyer or engineer without the right qualifications and membership, yet they can call themselves planners or resource management specialists.

    Where do you draw the line???


  5. #5
    Cyburbian pandersen's avatar
    Sep 1998
    "Off Kilter"

    professional licensing

    Damn straight! Licensing or a tougher AICP exam should be the norm. Although I was a benign candidate (kudos to a friend and colleague.., for the Georgia Chapter Pesident - APA, I stated that AICP or licensure will not make great planners, but, it will at least create all planners equal.

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