WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THE PROFESSIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLANNER CERTIFICATION VERSUS AICP CERTIFIED TRANSPORTATION PLANNER?
PTP is administered by the Transportation Professional Certification Board (TPCB). What is the TPCB? Is it part of the Institute of Transportation Engineers?
The TPCB is an independent corporation with its own Board of Directors. ITE provided the resources to support the initial work of the TPCB through a loan that has been fully repaid. ITE continues to provide staff support and other services; for which the TPCB pays, and is nearing financial self-sufficiency. All decision making is solely that of the TPCB Board of Directors.
How is the PTP examination developed and administered?
The TPCB contracts with Castle Worldwide, Inc., a firm specializing in test preparation, administration, and psychometrics that has contracts for such services with more than 80 associations. The initial effort of writing and screening questions is done by volunteer professionals. At that point, Castle takes over and prepares the examination; providing many locations and dates on which exams may be taken. The exam is administered as an internet based exam at computer test centers and is made available for three months each year: February, June, and October.
What is the value of accreditation to the certification programs of the TPCB?
The Transportation Professional Certification Board submits its programs to the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) and its accrediting body, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) for their review and action. ICE is in turn recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as the Standards Developer for certification.
The Professional Transportation Operations Engineer (PTOE) and Professional Traffic Planner programs have been accredited by NCCA. Why does this matter? NCCA accreditation is the gold standard for certification programs. This creates such benefits as being eligible for funding by the U.S. Veterans Administration under their training program.
Bottom line: What is the value of PTP certification to practicing transportation planners?
Like any other certification, PTP brings recognition to both the planner and his/her employer. This credential distinguishes you from any other practitioner by stating with absolute certainty that you have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to practice transportation planning at a professional level. For public agencies, having PTPs on staff tells both elected officials and the public that the agency values the employment of highly competent professional staff, and that the technical work it produces carries an assurance of competence. For consulting firms, employing PTPs increase your ability to compete for transportation planning projects because you can demonstrate your professionalism.
Finally, many of the individuals who now hold the PTP certification tell us that having earned it brings a sense of personal satisfaction, and creates a way to demonstrate to your peers that you are not just a transportation planner, but in fact a professional.
Both programs provide a credential that certifies the holder as a professional transportation planner. Eligibility for the Professional Transportation Planner certification is based on education and work experience, and successful completion of a certification examination. Eligibility for the AICP Certified Transportation Planner is more complex, in that it first requires earning the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification.
This information is from the TPCB and AICP websites as of 8/15/2010
||Accredited graduate degree in planning or transportation + 3 years work experience in transportation planning; OR
Accredited Bachelor’s degree in planning or transportation + 4 years experience; OR college degree + 5 years experience
||Member of the American Planning Association. Accredited graduate degree in planning + 2 years experience in planning; OR accredited Bachelor’s degree in planning + 3 years experience; OR unaccredited graduate degree in planning + 3 years experience; OR college degree + 4 years experience; OR no degree + 8 years experience
||AICP certification, 8 years total experience in transportation planning
|Application fee (non-refundable)
$590 testing fee
| $150 retake exam
$200 reschedule exam
|$100 late cancellation or transfer
||$150 late cancellation or transfer
||$275 for 3 years
||AICP dues are
$90-175/year (sliding scale based on salary)
|No addition to AICP dues
||Every 3 years;
No ethics violations;
45 professional development hours related to practice of transportation planning
|Every 2 years;
32 AICP CM credits to include 1.5 CM on ethics and 1.5 CM on current planning law
|Every 2 years;
32 AICP CM credits to include 1.5 CM on ethics and 1.5 CM on current planning law; and 10 CM in transportation planning
3 monthly windows each year
2 monthly windows each year