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Certification 📜 AICP - What does it do exactly?

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12
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1
As I am now staring at 24 CM needed by EOY and no desire to watch 24 hours of stale, old, quasi-applicable classes online, the question is 'What does AICP do for me?' No conference in my state again this year, which was where I have always earned my credits.

I've been AICP for over 20 years and with AICP not allowing an extension of CM requirements, this may be time to let it sail into the sunset.

Thoughts welcomed.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,790
Points
32
Some employers require which means if you are a current employee in this situation, maybe no choice. May eliminate you from consideration if you decide to jump ship to another jurisdiction. Personally, not much for me other than taking money from my "memberships" budget line.
 
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Thx. I'm on the west coast and I've not seen any place require it.

I looked back @ $200 for AICP every 2 years = ~$2,000. Ouch.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,937
Points
60
It works for me, because it provides an outside veneer of professionalism and credibility. This is important for career movements.

Plus, every place I've worked has always preferred it and therefore, paid for it.

So, I'm keeping it for as long as possible.
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
Messages
1,082
Points
39
I have it, look for it in my senior staff. I've been able to keep up with CM this last year with online stuff. "AICP since YEAR" on the resume speaks to a level of experience and commitment to the profession in the eyes of some (even me, to some extent).

For staff who are early in their working life, pursuing and obtaining certification repre4sents a step in maturity that is valuable in the office. For staff who may be transitioning into a planning career from something else, it's an opportunity to get some kind of "stamp of approval."

Lastly,. I like having a staff who feels they can lean on the Ethics of AICP.
 

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
16,622
Points
59
I have no value for it, and find it to be annoying and really pointless. With that said, I have kept it throughout my entire career, even as I have moved out of planning. There really is no value or point for it, but I find that it shows some additional effort beyond just being a standard planner.

ICMA and other organizations are probably better for everything, but AICP is also some letters.
 

nrschmid

Cyburbian
Messages
2,896
Points
22
I'm keeping AICP for a few more years. The Project Management Professional (PMP) is a global credential so I'm keeping that regardless of the industry. I'm currently studying for a real estate license as I segue into real estate development. There are several different types of licenses, depending on the specialization and the state(s). Eventually, I will phase out the AICP. I haven't attended a planning conference in about 6 years since they are dry and terrible regardless of the state and I hate making small talk with fellow planners at conferences, no offense. I work closely with civil engineers day-to-day and my clients are land developers. I do all of my AICP credits online for free.

I'm fine at some point saying I was AICP from "this year" to "that year" at the bottom of my resume. It doesn't need to be front and center if I am no longer actively practicing planning. At that point, the Bachelors in Planning and the planning experience will carry more weight in my career in real estate development.
 
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12
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1
Thank you all. Good thoughts here.

I haven't attended a planning conference in about 6 years since they are dry and terrible regardless of the state and I hate making small talk with fellow planners at conferences, no offense.
No offense taken. Not sure what state conference you normally attend but CalAPA has become more a party than a conference IMO. Pretty fun time....or maybe I'm just quiet and boring normally :)
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,632
Points
22
No offense taken. Not sure what state conference you normally attend but CalAPA has become more a party than a conference IMO. Pretty fun time....or maybe I'm just quiet and boring normally :)

I've been sad that the CalAPA conference will be "virtual" again for a second year in a row. I actually have enjoyed the session topics and the different planners throughout the state that I have met.

I am not AICP, and personally have had a hard time justifying the overall cost. I'm fine being active with the local planner and planning director groups though.
 

nrschmid

Cyburbian
Messages
2,896
Points
22
I don't want a party conference. I don't want a dull and boring conference.

I want a conference that it is meaningful and useful to me and MY job as a planner, even if I go physical land planning all day.

  • I don't want to spend entire sessions listening to public sector planners talk about their comp plans and lessons learned with a panel of plan commissioners, consultants, and mayors. Who cares.
  • I don't want to hear about disadvantaged groups talking about affordable housing. Housing is expensive everywhere. Always has been. Who cares.
  • A downtown revitalization plan in a town of 3,000 ain't a downtown nor is it revitalization. Who cares?
  • Public outreach? Why on god's green earth do we need to hear that you had workshops, hearings, and design charettes? We all do public outreach. Who cares?
  • A female planner or racial-based empowerment session? Yawn after 15 years. 95% of my office are white males. Who cares?
  • I don't need another 45 minute keynote address by some pot-smoking armchair planner hawking a book on the death of cities, a struggling comedian from the comedy barn attached to the planning conference hotel, or an 8-term congressman (who is not chair of an important committee, is on the extreme left or right) sponsoring a transit or water quality bill that isn't even in the same state as the planning conference. Who cares?
  • APA Awards. Okay, that stays. It is recognition of a job well done.
And most importantly...
I don't need to spend my evening carousing at the bars or a minor league baseball park with my colleagues, whether they are my age or not. Who the hell cares?
 
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12
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1
Ok that's pretty good!! You literally just described EVERY conference I've ever been to - APA and ULI. I find conferences less and less useful in terms of learning/education as I have become more expert than the "experts". I'm assume this is normal at a senior career level.

Fun Fact: If you're going to segue into real estate development, you need to learn to spend some evenings carousing, just for the networking opportunities. Take it from me, I'm not a municipal planner, I'm a commercial real estate developer.
 

nrschmid

Cyburbian
Messages
2,896
Points
22
Ok that's pretty good!! You literally just described EVERY conference I've ever been to - APA and ULI. I find conferences less and less useful in terms of learning/education as I have become more expert than the "experts". I'm assume this is normal at a senior career level.

Fun Fact: If you're going to segue into real estate development, you need to learn to spend some evenings carousing, just for the networking opportunities. Take it from me, I'm not a municipal planner, I'm a commercial real estate developer.
I intend to do more of that especially at first in a new profession. I just don't want to do it with planners again in my life.
 

MacheteJames

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
26
I don't want a party conference. I don't want a dull and boring conference.

I want a conference that it is meaningful and useful to me and MY job as a planner, even if I go physical land planning all day.

  • I don't want to spend entire sessions listening to public sector planners talk about their comp plans and lessons learned with a panel of plan commissioners, consultants, and mayors. Who cares.
  • I don't want to hear about disadvantaged groups talking about affordable housing. Housing is expensive everywhere. Always has been. Who cares.
  • A downtown revitalization plan in a town of 3,000 ain't a downtown nor is it revitalization. Who cares?
  • Public outreach? Why on god's green earth do we need to hear that you had workshops, hearings, and design charettes? We all do public outreach. Who cares?
  • A female planner or racial-based empowerment session? Yawn after 15 years. 95% of my office are white males. Who cares?
  • I don't need another 45 minute keynote address by some pot-smoking armchair planner hawking a book on the death of cities, a struggling comedian from the comedy barn attached to the planning conference hotel, or an 8-term congressman (who is not chair of an important committee, is on the extreme left or right) sponsoring a transit or water quality bill that isn't even in the same state as the planning conference. Who cares?
  • APA Awards. Okay, that stays. It is recognition of a job well done.
And most importantly...
I don't need to spend my evening carousing at the bars or a minor league baseball park with my colleagues, whether they are my age or not. Who the hell cares?
While this IS an accurate summation of a lot of conferences, it sounds like your values no longer align with those of the profession and that it is indeed time for you to make an exit.
 

TOFB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,159
Points
45
I can't wait for the San Diego conference as it will be about a year before retirement.

I plan to invest the time to learn all I can about best practices and to feel guilty about being a white male and not doing more to promote equity and building my professional network by seeking out nerdy types and talking shop.

I will definitely not waste my time hanging out in places like this.

1631544250611.png
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,937
Points
60
While this IS an accurate summation of a lot of conferences, it sounds like your values no longer align with those of the profession and that it is indeed time for you to make an exit.
Agreed.

I actually like conferences for the chance to meet new people and have fun. I'll go to sessions that interest me professionally personally or for my current job, but if it's dog, I have no compunction to bail mid-session and check another or explore the City we're in or check work emails or visit the local coin shop I've already planned to visit, etc, etc.

I can't wait for the San Diego conference as it will be about a year before retirement.

I plan to invest the time to learn all I can about best practices and to feel guilty about being a white male and not doing more to promote equity and building my professional network by seeking out nerdy types and talking shop.

I will definitely not waste my time hanging out in places like this.

View attachment 55074
If I go, we can be conference buddies. I'm in!
 

nrschmid

Cyburbian
Messages
2,896
Points
22
I'm already preparing for a real estate license and hope to transition into real estate development / land development next year. I have not been satisfied with the planning profession for many years so my exit is long overdue.
 
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Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
14,516
Points
57
In the same boat with my CM credits. I did write APA/AICP because of the difficult situation I found myself in this year. Here is a portion of their response:

You could apply for the COVID19 hardship CM exemption. If you were affected in anyway by COVID19 you can apply for this exemption. It is a partial exemption and your credit requirement would be reduced based on the amount of months you were affected by COVID19.

Your 2020-2021 reporting period will have at least a 4 month grace period. During this time you will be able to add your remaining credits for your 2020-2021 reporting period without lapsing. We do recommend to member to not rely on the grace period. Time spent in the grace period is time lost reporting credits for the next reporting period.

I do recommend looking at the Ohio Webcast Series: http://www.ohioplanning.org/aws/APAOH/pt/sp/webcast_home_page (APAOH | Planning Webcast Series) , and bookmark this site. These are all free On-Demand and live courses. There is a tab for past webinars and a tab for upcoming live webinars you can mark on your calendar and view live.
 
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12
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1
Your 2020-2021 reporting period will have at least a 4 month grace period.
Wow - the world comes to a grinding halt for a year and they allow you a 4 months grace period! This is the sort of institutional attitude that has me less and less aligned with a group who cares more about collecting their dues than its members.

Let me know if you apply of the COVID hardship and get approved. I know two who applied (unemployed) and were denied since they had worked for a part of 2020.
 

OfficialPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
948
Points
24
A couple observations... AICP tends to be more highly valued working in smaller to mid-sized communities and for consultants seeking work in those communities. For larger cities as well as State and Federal government agencies, the value is severely diminished, imo.

I'm already preparing for a real estate license and hope to transition into real estate development / land development next year. I have not been satisfied with the planning profession for many years so my exit is long overdue.

This post brings flashbacks from many many years ago. I was looking at RE development at one point, but ultimately decided against pursing a career as a developer. It's a really tough industry to break into and rise the ranks. Also when I dabbled into it, the day-to-day job functions weren't really aligned with my personal career goals. It all came down to IRR and Cap Rates, regardless of how crappy the end product would be or how it would impact the community. I might try non-profit RE developers one day though, but currently very happy in the public sector.
 
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