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apa cm 150According to APA, all professional planners who are members of APA's professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), must engage in mandatory continuing education to maintain their certification. AICP members must earn a total of 32 CM credits (1 contact hour = 1 CM credit) within their two-year reporting period. A minimum of 1.5 CM credits must include the topic of ethics, and another 1.5 credits must be on the topic of current planning law. In addition, beginning, January 1, 2022, AICP members must earn 1-hour CM credit towards the topic of AICP Ethics, Law, Equity and Sustainability & Resilience.

Click here to find out general information on the program from APA.

CM Opportunities

There are a number of opportunities for APA California members to reach their CM Credit goals:


Regularly visit your local Section’s website for additional listings of CM professional development opportunities that include the Section's Speaker Series, luncheon speakers, as well as full-day and half-day workshops.  


Remember, Sacramento Valley Section members get a 10% discount (click here for programs).

UC Davis – Studio 30: There is no fee to enroll. If you’re interested in participating, contact Julia Lave Johnston, Attn. Studio 30, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


AICP Certification Maintenance (CM) Credit will be provided generally for all California Chapter programs and the annual APA California conference, APA-AICP National workshops and the annual APA conference.

Please note that AICP/CM credit is provided based upon hour-for-hour instruction and does not include lunch breaks or other breaks in instruction. The program booklets for APA and APA California conferences indicate the amount of AICP/CM credit that each session or mobile workshop is eligible for. 

Check out the many low-cost/no-cost CM professional development events located throughout the state posted on APA California’s Calendar of Events page.


APA California has an annual conference that is held in the fall that offers many sessions and mobile workshops that are eligible for CM credit. In addition to providing education for planning professionals, the APA California annual conference provides Planning Commissioner training and sometimes includes sessions that are eligible for MCLE (legal) credit.


CPF periodically sponsors workshops on topical issues. All revenue from registration fees in excess of nominal workshop expenses goes to the Foundation’s scholarship endowment. Go to APA California – CPF for upcoming CPF workshop information.


The National APA website contains a section on Certification Maintenance opportunities.  Please login to the National APA website to view the list of current, upcoming and past approved CM activities.


Take advantage of APA’s FREE online distance education products that offer CM credits. Listen to symposia, webinars, lectures and podcasts.



Many professional organizations (see some key organizations listed below) conduct their own workshops and annual conferences that provide additional continuing education opportunities for practicing planning professionals on planning related topical issues. Some programs may be eligible for AICP/CM credit. If they are not pre-approved in the program materials please check with the Vice President of Professional Development.

Other professional organizations: League of California Cities, California Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP), American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), ULI, The Great Valley Center.


Besides attending an event in person or online that has approved CM credits, you can also earn CM credits by:

  • Speaking/instructing at an activity that is registered for CM Credit(s) by claiming +1 during the logging step.
  • Pro Bono for your planning service. Claim up to 8 hours/CM credits, learn more here.
  • Self-report your attendance for an event that is not listed for CM Credits, learn more here.
  • Authoring an article, journal, or book, learn more here.

Learn more about the CM program and how to earn these CM credits here. 

CM Procedures


All professional planners who are members of APA's professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), must engage in mandatory continuing education to maintain their certification.
The Certification Maintenance (CM) program links certified planners to training opportunities that keep them up to date on the latest trends, technologies, and best practices. It also strengthens the value of certification, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to excellence to elected officials, community leaders, and employers.


AICP members must earn a total of 32 CM credits (1 hour = 1 CM credit) within an established two-year reporting period. If needed, AICP members will be automatically given a four month-grace period after the two-year reporting period ends, without penalty (reinstatement requirements waived during this period). During the four-month grace period, members can continue to earn and log credits to fulfill their two-year reporting period. AICP members may carry over a maximum of 16 credits from one reporting period into the subsequent reporting period; however, the mandatory topic (CM Ethics, CM Law, CM Equity, and CM Sustainability/Resilience) credits cannot be carried over to the next two-year reporting period. These topic CM credits must be earned every two-years.

Beginning January 1, 2022, AICP members will be able to start logging two new mandatory credits in addition to Law and Ethics. One of the new mandatory credits is , which will help planners build their skillsets in an area that is of pressing and lasting concern to communities across the country.

The other new credit is a targeted topic, which allows the AICP Commission to rotate the topic as they deem appropriate to reflect the professional development needs of planners in a rapidly changing world. The topic for this targeted credit beginning January 1, 2022, will be S, recognizing the growing need for planners to help their communities prepare for issues like climate change, sustainable development, and hazard resilience.

More details and FAQs about the Mandatory Topics can be found here.

All professional development activities must be entered by an approved CM educational provider to be eligible and posted for CM credit to claim into your online CM log. The list of eligible events and activities offering CM credits is growing every day, so please bookmark the CM website and check back to see whether an event you attended has been added. Go to the National APA website to view your CM log and claim credit for sessions you have attended: My CM Log.

AICP members in certain life and career situations may be eligible for a temporary or permanent exemption from earning CM credits.  The Exemptions from CM credit requirements assist in keeping their AICP membership active, or a temporary inactive waiving CM credit and paying dues for up to four years. Learn more and apply here.  Note, must apply before the end of the two-year reporting period.

AICP members who do not meet CM requirements within four years will lose AICP certification and will be obliged to seek recertification to regain the AICP credential. If for some reason you have let your AICP status lapse, you will have to complete a reinstatement process to regain the use of the AICP credential. To learn more about the reinstatement process, visit: AICP Reinstatement Policy.

2024/2025 Section Sponsors

Without the support of our sponsors, many of the programs we offer would not be possible. Click the logos below to find out more about each sponsor.

To our sponsors -- Thank You!