Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.

Old Montréal, Québec

Become a Planner

In Canada, provincial and territorial government institutes and associations regulate the planning profession, this means the path to certification can differ across different regions. Planners should consult their regional provincial or territorial institute or association with specific questions.


How Do I Become a Certified Planner?

Achieving certification as a professional planner requires first becoming a Candidate member through one of three routes, depending on an individual’s situation and background. These are the three ways a planner can begin the certification process:

  • Earning a university degree from a planning program accredited in Canada by the Professional Standards Board (PSB) or l’Ordre des urbanistes de Québec (OUQ), or in America by the American Planning Accreditation Board. 
  • A Prior Learning Assessment Recognition that shows a requisite amount of experience, competency and knowledge.
  • Reciprocal Professional Membership, for professionals accredited by the American Institute of Certified Planners in the United States and the Planning Institute of Australia in Australia.

After gaining entry to the certification process, a Candidate planner must demonstrate their professional and ethical aptitude through a series of written exams.  

The Role of the Professional Standards Board

Representatives from the Provincial and Territorial Institutes and Associations share responsibility for the ongoing development, maintenance, and application of professional standards and membership processes by participating in the Professional Standards CommitteeThe Professional Standards Committee contracts the Professional Standards Board for the Planning Profession in Canada (PSB) to evaluate all applications for candidate membership. The PSB administers the certification process leading to the Registered Professional Planner (RPP) designation in most provinces, and is also responsible for the accreditation of university planning programs in Canada.


  • Assessment of applications for PSB's processes and eligibility for membership in CIP and its participating Provincial and Territorial Institutes and Associations
  • Verification of mentorship and sponsorship of work experience
  • Delivery of courses and examinations leading to credentialing as a professional planner

Accreditation of university academic planning programs

  • Administering accreditation reviews of university planning degree programs based on the accreditation program principles, policies and administrative arrangements*

Reciprocity Links

Over the years, the Canadian Institute of Planners has facilitated reciprocity links with foreign planning institutes. These agreements enable foreign planners to work in Canada (and vice versa). For current information on recognition of foreign credentials, see the PSB website.

Quebec Residents

In Quebec, planning programs are accredited by l’Ordre des urbanistes du Québec (OUQ). The certification process for planners in Quebec is administered by OUQ; please consult their website for more information.