Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Looking to get certified

  1. #1

    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Mississauga, Ontario
    Posts
    2

    Looking to get certified

    Hi All!

    I am new to Cyurbia. After reading through the posts, my head is racing. I obtained my Masters in Urban and Regional Planning in 1993. I have worked in the public sector at the State (Maryland) and Federal (HUD) level mainly doing grant and contract administration, but currently I am on a sabbatical (OK, I resigned to take time to raise my children). To make matters more interesting, I moved to Canada (Toronto area). Now, after 13 years, I am considering getting certified.

    So many questions...
    Has anyone ever become certified after 10 years? If so, what was your study strategy?

    Next, what is the difference between getting AICP certification (US) and OPPI/CIP (Canada)? Are they similarly valued? Does the US accept OPPI and visa versa?

    Does anyone worked in the public sector in a non planning position with AICP certification? Did you find it difficult to justify two years work experience?

    Well, that's enough questions to start with, I guess.


    I will say that my first couple of years in Canada (2002-2003), I applied for planning positions and positions in municpal program administration, I could not get an interview. Many of the planning position specically required OPPI/CIP certification. I figure I might as well start working on getting certified, if I want to work in planning.

    I am eagerly awaiting for your responses ...

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,757
    I can't answer all your questions, but I'll take a shot at a couple. I do know plenty of engineers who've picked up some planning along the way, and have passed the AICP exam. I really don't know how they justified their experience. As for studying, I was in a study group for about 4 months prior to the test, we each took an area that was not our specialty and researched it and provided an outline to the others. I took one practice exam and bombed it so I threw that strategy out.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    18,014
    Quote Originally posted by syrich View post
    what was your study strategy?
    As mentioned other AICP study threads - read The Practice of Local Government Planning, "The Book", from ICMA.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  4. #4
          bluehour's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    102
    How important do people think the AICP certification is? What percentage of profesional planners in the US have it?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,958
    OPPI(RPP)/MCIP is generaly tranferable to the AICP.

    As for getting it, you'll likely now have some troubles and have to restart. They just changed the rules here and no longer grandfather time served for new members. You gotta do the time to earn the line. So, you are looking at working 2-3 years, having a full member sign off on your logs and then doing an interview. Depending on where you got your degree you may have a written test too.

    As for how useful it is, mst employers in Ont expect you to have it or at least be a provisonal member.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  6. #6
    Cyburbian RubberStamp Man's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wherever mediocore planning lurks
    Posts
    99
    It was my understanding that CIP and AICP are not transferable and that you would have to undertake the respective certification requirements. The first stumbling block is education (from Canada to US) as there are 3 Cdn planning schools recognized by AICP out of maybe 10. US to Canada you may need more than the 2 years minimum work experience as this is for degrees from recognized planning schools - I can't remember whether international schools are recognized by CIP or not.

    For a reference on the full rules check out the CIP and OPPI by-laws on their websites - it will give you a head start on how to work with by-laws in Canada

    As for certification requirements & employment opportunities, most employers say CIP/OPPI membership or is eligible for membership and sometimes membership is preferred. I wonder if you really didn't get an interview b/c of this - is this what the employers told you after you followed up with them? There always could have been other candidates that had more direct work experience than yourself.

    I would say though get your provisional membership at a minimum - it sounds better than not being a member and that you are working towards full membership. I think CIP is still having a tough time getting older provisional members moved to full - there are several senior and managing planners that don't have their full membership b/c they haven't bothered with the final step!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,958
    Looks like the rules have chnaged since I last looked at them:

    " By virtue of a reciprocal agreement with the American Institute of Certified Planners, CIP recognizes professional experience and education obtained by Members of AICP. Individuals applying from the U.S. join the planning profession in the U.S. first, before applying to CIP. Members of AICP must still successfully fulfil the examination or portfolio requirements of CIP."

    From

    http://www.cip-icu.ca/English/members/int_enq.htm
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  8. #8

    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Mississauga, Ontario
    Posts
    2

    To be certified or not

    This appears to be a more complex than I imagined. On one hand, I realize that getting certified will allow me to be more marketable to Canadian employers. On the other hand, I am not a twenty-something individual who recently obtained a MURP. Even if I get certified, the job opportunities will probably most likely entry level. I am not sure that I am willing to back track to entry level (No disrespect to those in the field, but (BIG SIGH), yikes!). I have two young children and a husband who is an executive. My fear is that starting out entry level, at this point in my life, will translate into time away from my family.

    Maybe all this is just a little overwhelming...I suppose, if I could qualify to take the AICP exam (some of my prior work experience meet the four criteria set forth by AICP), I could take some time to study and write the May exam. But what then...apply to be a provisional member of CIP/OPPI. And start all over.

    Better question...does anyone know where a person with grant and contract administration in the community development field can get hired? In Canada? Getting a job in the US is very easy...too easy. I was just hoping to get away from the contract administration world as I was growing dissatisfied (personally and professionally). If anyone is interested in using your planning skills in the federal government, look at the US Dept. of Housing. There are many planners there. I used to work with 4 other planners on a grant program. But, those were the good ole days.

    TO answer your inquiries: I graduated from an accredited school that is also recognized by CIP. I am quite sure that I did not get a job interview when I applied a couple of years ago b/c I was not certified AND obviously very inexperienced. Of all the planners I know, only 1 has AICP certification (by the way, he still has all of my text books, notes, etc. that he used to pass the exam 5 years ago on his first try). Truthfully, I really never felt the need to get certified after I began working for the govt. b/c they did not require it (or respect it). Prior to getting the job I couldn't meet the 2 year experience requirement. It is really weird how it worked out...


    Thanks for your feedback. It was both informative and enlightening.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,958
    Quote Originally posted by syrich View post
    My fear is that starting out entry level, at this point in my life, will translate into time away from my family.
    The only real issue would be a lack of vacation time (2 weeks is not enough).

    In the GTA, most low level staff don't have to attend too many night meetings. As an example, in the municipality I work in, only the managers and directors are expected to attend public hearings, SrPlanners, planners and Planner1 don't have to.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  10. #10
    maudit anglais
    Registered
    May 1997
    Location
    Odd-a-wah
    Posts
    6,586
    Difficult situation...I'm tempted to say hold off on getting CIP/OPPI for now - I've been a planner for 10 years now, never went beyond being a provisional member and dropped it altogether a few years back. I think you should really be able to find some entry-level positions that don't require CIP, especially in the Toronto area. You may need to branch out a bit from municipal planning though.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    in a meeting
    Posts
    8,529
    I took it after about 10 years of practice - take the prep class - I did and everything came back that I had learned and I passed it just fine - I think the stats questions were the ones I got wrong, at least I hope so...

    which is another good thing about the exam prep class I took that MIT offered, they show you how to play the game on standardized tests - you still have to know your basic stuff, but you learn how to back into the answer - I have seen pretty smart planners fail the exam because they hadn't honed that skill

    the funny thing is you will have to forget all your workplace ethical practices because they don't translate to the exam too well, lol/smirk


    I think you should take both exams (if that's what the rules say ) so you have your professional options open as to where you want to work -

    I know people think AICP is a bunch of BS - but it's only BS if we make it BS -

  12. #12
    Cyburbian pandersen's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1998
    Location
    "Off Kilter"
    Posts
    242
    My adivce (for what it's worth) is based on my own experience.

    I earned my Masters of Science degree from an CIP acredited school in Ontario (Canada) back in 1995. I chose go go back for it after having little sucess in the Canadian (planning) job market with just an undergraduate degree (completed in 1991). Funny thing though, after earing my graduate degree, my frst professional job was in the U.S. (a major metro city planning department). Good experience, but not a place I wanted to remain for the long haul. After grad school, I became a provisional member of CIP, but took a formal "leave of absence" from the Institute after starting work in the States. Upon arrival in the U.S., I started down the membership path for AICP, but withdrew 2 years later on returning to Canada. I then requested reinstatement with CIP and used the professional experience I gained in the U.S to fulfill the CIP Full membership requirements. All I had to do was attend an oral interview with the membership committee of my provincial CIP Chapter. Long story short, I'm now a full CIP member (based in large part on my work experieince south of the border). I see no reason why you could not do the same thing.

    However you do it, I'd recommend earing/establishing full membership in the country in whih you wish to work. The job market in this field is just too damn competitive not to have full membership in a professional planning organization (whatever you might personally think of that organization). If a potential employer has the choice between two equally qualified planners - one with full CIP memership, the other without full membership, nine times out of ten he/she will go for the candidate with full CIP memership.

    Hope my rambling has helped. Good luck on resuming your planning career in Canada.

    By the way, with your grant experience, you might want to keep an eye on job postings with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (Federal Government) as they might have a position that would be able to utilize your professional work experience in a housing related field i.e. market research etc.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Certified Public Manager
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 25 Aug 2013, 7:37 PM
  2. Certified Transportation Planner
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 22 Apr 2012, 6:01 PM
  3. Certified Planner in Charge
    Make No Small Plans
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 25 Aug 2011, 11:59 PM
  4. Certified Transportation Planner
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 02 Jan 2011, 1:28 AM
  5. Certified Floodplain Manager
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 11
    Last post: 28 Jun 2008, 1:02 PM