IMHO, I think the APA has it all wrong. The AICP test is a start, but only a start. The members of the APA need to push for stronger regulations and standards for Professional Planners. Altogether, what I am proposing would garner more respect (and money) for the Planning Profession and its Professionals. This is taken from the Engineering model set forth by my state:
1. Have a real-life test which tests on everyday planning principles, not the history of the "art" or "science" or case law of planning, but an actual test of how to apply the education and practice of planning. I know it is not an exact science, like engineering, but testing on dealing with situations, what is needed to facilitate the various facets of planning would be useful.
2. Have a stamping process, by which the planning professional would have to stamp studies, reports or otherwise (best practice) recommendations, so that they would be held responsible and accountable for decisions made.
3. Have a lobbyist at the state level that pushes to regulate and promote the importance of the profession. Make it evident to the Governmental "powers that be" that the planning profession is a much needed and useful profession.
This would keep planners honest and instill a new level of integrity and waryness of the consequences of decision-making. I don't know if this can be accomplished by a simple letter-writing campaign, but it would be a start. It won't happen overnight, but is a worthy cause.
I'm just trying to help your profession's cause, so forgive me if I'm way off base here. Do you have any suggestions to make your professions held in higher regards, and garner that respect that your profession gets? I think the salaries and responsibilites of doing such a thing would be commensurate to Professional Planners and the profession alike.