1. Influencing public decision making in the public interest.
Recommending specific actions or choices to elected/appointed officials, private sector representatives, or others regarding public decisions concerned with social, economic, or physical change in the public interest.
2. Employing an appropriately comprehensive point of view.
Appropriate comprehensiveness requires: (1) looking at the consequences (e.g., physical/environmental, social, economic/financial, governmental) of making a proposed decision; (2) conforming a proposed decision to the larger context in which it will occur; and (3) treating multiple policies, actions, or systems simultaneously when interlinkages are too great to treat separately. It does not require looking at everything at once if the above three criteria are met with a proposal, plan, or program of narrower scope.
3. Applying a planning process appropriate to the situation.
This means a process which is appropriate to its place and situation in: (1) the number and order of its steps (e.g., problem/opportunity definition, goal setting, generating alternate strategies, strategy choice, implementation, evaluation), (2) its orientation to the future, to value change, and to resource constraints; (3) its quality of research and analysis; and (4) its format of policy, program, or plan proposal.
4. Involving a professional level of responsibility and resourcefulness.
This means initiative, judgment, substantial involvement, and personal accountability for defining and preparing significant substantive elements of planning activities.