Professional Certifications

Do professional land use planners need to be licensed?

California, like most states, does not require a professional license or certification for planners; however, many are certified by either the American Planning Association (APA) or the Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals (ABCEP). The APA provides testing to award successful applicants with an American Institute of Certified Planners registration (AICP). A more rigorous review and testing program is provided by the ABCEP to award successful applicants as Certified Environmental Professionals (CEP). This certification requires a four-tier process, including an examination and oral interview. The CEP certification has 5 categories. Professionals ranging from botanists to air pollution control specialists can become CEPs. Kim Tschantz, owner of Cypress Environmental and Land Use Planning, is the only CEP in the Monterey Bay area.


Is there a Certification for Sustainable Planning or Sustainable Development?

The U.S. Green Building Council provides a LEED Professional Accreditation to distinguish building professionals who have attained the knowledge and skills to successfully steward the LEED Certification process. LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) have demonstrated a thorough understanding of green building practices and principles and the LEED Green Building Rating System. The LEED AP credential represents knowledge of the LEED Rating System and its application in practice. LEED APs facilitate the integrated design process and streamline the LEED Certification process. More than 60,000 building professionals from across all areas of practice have become LEED APs since the Professional Accreditation program was launched in 2001.