About the Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) Program
Some form of required ongoing professional development or learning is common and widely considered a best practice for most professions and professional associations like PIBC. First introduced in 2003, the PIBC Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) program was developed to achieve this best practice and to ensure that all practicing professional planners remain current with contemporary theory, methods, skills and knowledge within their profession.
The PIBC CPL system is outlined in detail in the PIBC CPL System Guide (including subsequent updates). It describes the policies and guidelines for the completion, reporting and administration of ongoing professional development to be undertaken by every professional member of PIBC in British Columbia & Yukon. This includes all active Certified members or RPPs, practicing Fellows and Candidate members.
Helpful Quick Links for CPL Program & Reporting Information
- Click here to visit the Latest CPL Updates page for key current CPL information and updates
- Click here for CPL Reporting information
- Click here for CPL frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Click here for a copy of the complete PIBC CPL System Guide
- For technical online issues, you can send us your CPL reporting information (such as who hosted the event, the title of the event, when and where details, etc.) in an Excel spread sheet and email to firstname.lastname@example.org, if needed.
- Click here to read Top 5 Mistakes Members Are Still Making with CPL Reporting published in Planning West magazine (2023)
- Click here to read Top Ten CPL Reporting Mistakes to Avoid published Planning West magazine (2021)
The CPL system requires all professional members to undertake and report the equivalent of 18 hours (or 18 learning units) of professional learning to PIBC each year. It is modelled after similar programs instituted by other professions and has been modified and improved upon based on members’ feedback and experience to date.
Through the national Professional Standards Committee – which is responsible for coordinating member professional certification & university program accreditation policies across Canada – PIBC works with other professional planning institutes and associations to collaborate and work towards a consistent approach to CPL for all professional planners across Canada.
PIBC’s Board and the Institute’s Professional Standards & Certification Committee broadly oversee the CPL program. Institute staff manages and administers the implementation of the program. Separately, the Institute’s CPL Committee oversees the development and delivery of CPL programming for members, such as webinars, workshops, and courses.
Quick Facts: Key CPL Program Information for Professional Planners
Below is a list of the essential information professional planners need to know regarding PIBC’s Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) program:
• The CPL program first started as of October 1, 2003.
• CPL reporting requirements apply to all active professional members of PIBC. That includes all Certified members (Registered Professional Planners or RPPs), all practicing Fellows (FCIPs), and all practicing Candidate members. Non-professional members (such as Student members, Pre-Candidates, Retired members, Honourary members, etc.) are exempt from the CPL requirements and are not required to report.
• CPL reporting periods are aligned on an annual calendar year basis (January 1 to December 31). The annual CPL reporting deadline is therefore Dec. 31st of each year. Members are encouraged to report their CPL activities throughout the year, as they complete activities, and are required to complete and submit all required CPL reports by the deadline each year.
• Two types of learning activities are recognized within the CPL program: Organized & Structured activities (those more formally structured learning opportunities typically organized and delivered by an external provider) and Independent & Self-Directed activities (those less formal learning opportunities personally pursued by members themselves). Members can undertake and report both types for credit (within the guidelines and limits outlined elsewhere in this guide).
• CPL activities are measured using “Learning Units” (LUs). For most types of activities, Learning Units typically correspond with the number of hours of active learning engaged in for each activity, rounded to the nearest quarter hour (15 minute) increment. In some cases, particularly for less structured activities, guidelines for the assignment of Learning Units are provided (as outlined in the PIBC CPL System Guide).
• The total required number of LUs to be undertaken and reported by members for each reporting period is 18.0 LUs — including a minimum of 9.0 LUs of Organized & Structured learning activities. Members can also only receive credit for a maximum of 9.0 LUs of Independent & Self-Directed learning activities per year.
• Members report their individual CPL activities and applicable Learning Units online using the Institute’s online membership system (accessed through the PIBC website, using members’ existing email address login and password). Members can login online to report and review their CPL activities at any time.
• In recognition of the fact that members’ access to organized activities can sometimes vary from year to year, members may carry up to 9.0 LUs of excess Organized & Structured activities forward for credit in the next subsequent reporting year. Members may not carry any Independent & Self-Directed LUs forward and may not “bank” or carry forward excess Organized & Structured LUs for more than one year.
• Learning activities (Organized & Structured activities or Independent & Self-Directed activities) do not need to be reviewed in advance or pre-approved by PIBC in order to count for credit. Members are free to pursue and undertake appropriate CPL activities. Occasionally, PIBC will review and pre-assign Learning Units to some activities in advance (particularly PIBC CPL activities), but this is simply for convenience and for the information of members (it is not required for an activity to count for credit).
• Due to the range and diversity of different types of planning work planners engage in, learning activities do not necessarily need to be directly related to traditional land-use planning to count as acceptable CPL activities that can be reported for credit. Provided an activity is, in some way, reasonably relevant to the day-to-day planning work of a professional planner – whatever area of planning they may work in – that member can report that activity for credit. Members are always encouraged to report any and all activities they reasonably believe might be relevant and might count for CPL credit.
CPL Information & Links
For complete and detailed information on the CPL program be sure to click, download and carefully review the PIBC CPL System Guide.
Members who encounter CPL reporting challenges can email Member Services Coordinator Kelly Chan at email@example.com.