The core of CIP’s Mission is providing support for our members. Therefore, in development of our current Strategic Plan, we took considerable time to think about how we could deliver value to our 8,000 members. We recognized how everyone’s career path is a unique journey and how our members’ work lives dramatically changed since the pandemic. For these reasons and more, our Strategic Plan–1,835 Days of Impact–embeds Career Support for Life as a strategic priority and commits to support members through every twist and turn throughout their professional lives.

As CIP advances this priority, we do so through our Values: being Creatively Courageous, acting as Agile Wayfinders, and creating Focused Impact.

CIP’s Contributions to Career Support for Life

Our actions are largely focused on two levels: 1) supporting aspiring planners, so they can have long, effective, satisfying careers, and 2) career development, delivering quality resources and professional development opportunities. 

Supporting the Future of the Planning Profession

There is no one pathway into the planning profession, which is why CIP recognizes the importance of connecting with students in all programs and has extended free membership to all students. No matter the program or location – students interested in planning receive free membership. Currently, CIP has over 1,400 student members from accredited programs and 360 from non-planning university programs.

We have also further invested in providing financial support to students in accredited planning programs through scholarships and bursaries provided by our charitable partner, the CIP/ICU Planning Student Trust Fund. CIP provides all overhead costs, including staffing, for the CIP-PSTF, and in 2023, we provided over $19,000 in support, including funds for the new CIP Diversity Impact Bursary. In total, 11 students received financial assistance for their studies in 2023, as well as travel support to attend the national conference to help recipients build their professional networks.

Helping Our Members Take the Next Steps in Their Careers

Taking the jump into management and leadership roles can be challenging. We believe that good leadership shouldn’t be a mystery and that our members shouldn’t be left to solve it by themselves. The Emerging Leaders Program is an interactive hybrid program for early-to-mid-career professionals that covers everything from goal setting to building professional relationships to self-care and stress management. The first cohort of 25 emerging leaders participated in an online version of the program in 2021-2022. This year, the program was highly competitive, attracting 99 applicants for 15 in-person openings. The program will return in 2024.

Making it Easier to Find Planning Opportunities

New at the 2023 national planning conference was the Professional Development Lounge. This feature offered professional headshots, resume tip clinics, as well as a physical version of the National Job Board. The First Time Delegates Welcome was another new addition to the conference, and the popular Meet & Mentor also returned, led by the College of Fellows, providing additional networking opportunities.

Over the past year, 318 job opportunities were published on the National Job Board. To further support the development of the next generation of planners, CIP continued to offer complimentary job postings for student and recent graduate positions, and since June, we are offering complimentary job postings for those positions seeking Indigenous planners, related to an Indigenous project or community, or published by an Indigenous employer.

A One-Stop Shop for Continuous Professional Learning  

In-person learning opportunities: An objective of our strategic plan is to deliver a one-stop-shop for career development resources that cover the full lifecycle of planning careers. A key component of this is our annual national conference, held in June in Halifax, NS. Over 750 planning professionals attended Navigation 2023 in person, with an additional 130 attending online. CIP held over 40 sessions, 9 workshops, and 14 learning tours. The 2023 conference also included a new student conference stream, providing valuable knowledge-sharing opportunities through sessions and posters for planning students across the country.

Online learning opportunities: Through our annual member survey, we know that free webinars and learning opportunities are a top priority for our members. In line with our strategic plan, the CIP team has focused on offering learning opportunities and tools related to our five action issues: climate change, healthy communities, housing, reconciliation, and equity, diversity, and inclusion.

In 2023, CIP introduced a new CPL reporting tool which automatically assigns CPL units to members’ records who attend live events. As a result, CIP members have earned CPL units related to our five action issues:

413 CPL units related to climate change1121 CPL units related to healthy communities887 CPL units related to housing553 CIP units related to EDI

Self-guided learning opportunities: This fall, we were honoured to launch the online Indigenous cultural awareness course “The Path: Your Journey Through Indigenous Canada”. The Path is an acclaimed and interactive six-module course on the history and contemporary realities of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in Canada. We are pleased to offer this course at cost-value. The Path is eligible for six unstructured learning units. After completing the course, participants will also receive a certificate and a CIP digital badge.

Recognition for Your Professional Achievements

Beginning this year, CIP now issues Digital Badges, powered by Credly, to help members share their professional achievements in the virtual space. You can receive badges for your professional membership, presenting at the national conference, and other CIP-related accomplishments. Then, showcase them on your LinkedIn, email signature, or anywhere else you promote your work! Since launching this spring, we have issued 7,294 digital badges to our members. More badges will be available soon – stay tuned for more information!

Bringing the Latest Career Opportunities Straight to Your Inbox

CIP’s focus on supporting our members’ careers also extends to how we communicate timely and important information through our monthly career-based issue of Plan-It: Career Central – a curated and consolidated opportunity to share news and events related directly to your professional development. With an average open rate of over 69%, we are delighted to see how beneficial it has become to so many of our members. Check out the latest learning opportunities, job postings, and more in Career Central – landing in your inbox on the third Wednesday of every month.

CIP looks forward to continuing to provide tangible and affordable in-person and online learning opportunities to our members that will help them take the next step in advancing their careers in planning.