Law or Ethics

The purpose of this page is to give you information as to whether or not your presentation qualifies for either law or ethics credit.


For ethics: Activities submitted for CM ethics credit must focus on training planners on the standards of ethical behavior according to the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. While general ethics courses, local ethics laws, and ethics codes from other professions can introduce relevant issues as well, the AICP Code focuses on a system of moral principles specific to professional planners. This may be accomplished using a variety of formats and techniques, including those presented in the APA Ethics Toolkit.

As a rule of thumb, ethics sessions should elicit self reflection from participants and prompt them to consider how they might react to a situation or scenario. Ethics scenarios are rarely “cut and dried,” and the most effective ethics sessions challenge participants to view a situation from a variety of perspectives, taking into consideration several variables.

Since the Certification Maintenance program requires 1.5 credits of ethics per reporting period, when planning ethics session, consider offerings of at least 90 minutes. This consideration would be appreciated by AICP attendees, so that one session is all that is needed to meet the requirement.


For law: Providers must demonstrate that the content of the activity is related to planning law, such as environmental law, land use law, redevelopment law, administrative law, housing law, etc. Activities submitted for law-credit CM approval must be closely related to recently enacted planning laws or recent case decisions or trend in existing planning laws or case decisions. Please note that activities related to local-level regulations, policies and ordinances (including zoning), political movements, policy recommendations, and policy initiatives are not eligible for law credit. Training on law must constitute a majority of the content of the activity.

For the full CM provider handbook, click here.