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AICP or no AICP

Linden Smith

Cyburbian
Messages
141
Points
6
Yes, you are right about one thing, if you are going to become an ass kissing, political hack, you don't want to have that AICP designation holding you back. AICP means that you are a planner, serious about being a planner, and that you are experienced and don't suck at it. No one is crying because you are not one of those Rich.

If there is only one thing that my AICP designation does for me, separating guys like me from guys like you , then it's worth it to take the test.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
It is true that planning departments - and by extension, planning, is being replaced by a more comprehensive approach that incorporates community development, economic development, architecture, engineering.... Maybe as a result we won't have quite so much of the repulsive and sterile development that has plagued us for the past few decades.

How does AICP fit into this? Is a planner a specialized member of a team, like an engineer or an architect? That might be the traditional role of AICP; a specialist in land use and zoning. I say land use because that is perhaps the most distinct function of the planning profession. Face it, things like site planning are done by architects, engineers and others just as much as by planners.

What I would like to suggest is a new role for planners. Planners need to become the "big picture" people -- not necessarily the managers, but the people who can bring all of the professions together. Maybe that means specializing in nothing, but having knowledge of everthing and how it all fits together.

I gues what I am saying is that right now, if planner's work is done by non-planners, AICP does not have much distinction. What sets us apart? In the future, AICP may continue to be a designation for a specialty in land use. Or perhaps it will come to identify those professionals with the ability to think comprehensively and pull various disciplines together to enable a vision.

I will become a member of AICP, just as I have obtained other certifications. I don't bother putting the initials behind my name. They don't hang on my wall. Frankly, they don't mean very much to me. Right now, thier only function is to open the door to a few of the jobs that list certification as a requirement.
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Points
19
Wow. What civilized discourse. No room for a difference of opinion HERE, apparently. I haven't yet really given much thought to whether or not it's worth it , though I'm inclined to go for it next year for the reason Michael Stumpf indicated. However, the presence or absence of AICP after one's name is no indicator of whether or not someone is an ass kissing, political hack. It also does not necessarily demonstrate experience or "seriousness" about planning. It means that you are a planner who was a good standardized test-taker on a particular Saturday one May, and who assigned some importance to the designation for any one of a myriad of potential reasons.

I've known just as many serious planners "who don't suck at it" - no wait, more - who are not AICP as those who are.

You are entitled to take pride in earning your designation. But I'm really turned off by the arrogance it's apparently engendered. [/quote]
 

BCF

Cyburbian
Messages
29
Points
2
I think this is a bit harsh. Rich is quite correct that planning has one heck of a lot to do with politics. I've dealt with communities within our jurisdiction that have internal politics you wouldn't believe and you'd damn well be able to understand them and work within them if you want to get anything accomplished.

The very fact that elected officials make the final decisions on land use causes planning to be political. There's no way around it.

As for AICP, the day my employer pays the dues, I'll take the test.
 

Richard Carson

Cyburbian
Messages
32
Points
2
Yes, you are right about one thing, if you are going to become an ass kissing, political hack, you don't want to have that AICP designation holding you back. AICP means that you are a planner, serious about being a planner, and that you are experienced and don't suck at it. No one is crying because you are not one of those Rich.

If there is only one thing that my AICP designation does for me, separating guys like me from guys like you , then it's worth it to take the test.
Thanks. You have eloquently made my whole point. Having AICP behind your name may just disguise who you really are.
 

Cosmic

Cyburbian
Messages
33
Points
2
I think planning is developing into a craft. A profession which draws upon rational knowledge, political skills, and most importantly process skills (what to do and when). The key that few have mentioned is the AICP Code of Ethics. To me that is the defining statement. Maybe this sounds naieve but I have been operating in a government environment and everything it entails and my compass has been the Code. The discussion of "what is planning" will evolve forever but if no one sees any merit in ethical conduct then you are right... AICP has no meaning.
 
Messages
17
Points
1
Dear God, what are we to do?

I am AICP with an MPA, which I am sure kills all the purists. However, I worked hard to get enough experience and pass the test. At the time, I was elated because it was a goal I had set eleven years before I passed. Now some time has passed and I can reflect more deeply.

Frankly, I would rather have it than not have it. It demonstrates competence and expertise in several disciplines. I don't think planners are pigeon-holed in professional advancement by certification. It merely provides some employment security if prior advancement by an individual has been stifled by politics or some other misfortune.

The certification is marketable by the individual who holds it. However, I think that APA & AICP are the cause for diminishing returns. If real professional planners would quit bellyaching and giving the old "I don't get no respect" routine, we'd probably get more
respect. Let's respect ourselves first. Further, APA & AICP is reducing certification's credibility with watered down tests and a
poor approach to professional development. It's all about money.
What do I get for my dues today? An opportunity to let APA/AICP
insiders make some extra dough.

I have resented some of my past employers hiring computer programmers to run a GIS, or hospital administrators who write CDBG applications, and then call them planners. True, there are many certified and uncertifies planners who suck. I may be one of them. However, the best part about earning the AICP designation is that it ensures that all planners are at least created equal.

I'd rather have.....

a A.S.E. mechanic working on my car....
a M.D., D.D.S., etc. workin' on the bod.....
a P.E. building my road...
a W.S.I. trying to save me from drowning....

get the picture? It's consumer oriented.

Tom Couch AICP
 

AICP Hopeful

Member
Messages
3
Points
0
My employer will pay my APA & AICP dues and give me a 5% raise when I pass the exam. That is why I am taking the AICP.
 
Messages
1
Points
0
I tend to agree with all the comments listed in here and I too am not AICP certified - YET. I like to think of myself as a good planner and even with out the AICP, that doesn't change the course of good policy-making decision that we as planners can make. Just becuase your AICP illustrates that you have the ability to make sound planning decisions -it doesn't mean you DO. By the same token, I've seen more planners that have not taken the AICP and they are no worse for wear and have come up with good planning pricipals -only difference is their legacy will be by the policies that they see become reality -not the ideals that so many planners are unable to achieve. I'm going to take the AICP exam only because I've worked hard at what I do but I'm NOT taking it because I think it will make me a good planning administrator - that comes with or without a few letters behind your name.
 

Dom

Member
Messages
1
Points
0
Let me guess, you took the test and did not pass? I felt the same way until I found out I passed.
 
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