Planning Official Training Programs

Attending a planning official training program will provide you with the knowledge necessary to work effectively with a Planning Commission. You will learn:

  • Planning, zoning, and application review
  • Risk management
  • Skilled meeting management
  • Good governance techniques
  • The ethical obligations of a Planning Commission
  • And more

Since 1999, APAC has partnered with the Arkansas Chapter of the American Planning Association to train individuals who work with Planning Commissions. Program attendees include Planning Commissioners, Board of Adjustment members, Fire Chiefs, Mayors, City Council Members, and others who work with Planning Commissions.

Future Program Information

We made the difficult decision to postpone Planning Commission Trainings until we can schedule in-person training sessions or create high quality online options.

You can join our mailing list by completing this Google form. You will receive program updates and registration information as soon as these programs are offered again.

One-Day Training Programs

Three levels of one-day training programs are offered. The curriculum is developed and instructed by experienced Arkansas planners.

Planning 101 – This introductory training includes an introduction to planning, zoning regulations, subdivision regulations, a primer to planning in Arkansas, and ethics for Planning Commissioners.

Planning 201 – This training covers state statutes, rezoning, conditional use permits, site plan review, subdivision review, and meeting management. It concludes with a mock Planning Commission meeting.

Planning 301 – This training focuses on advanced skills and knowledge. The agenda includes small area studies, advanced zoning tools, the Planning Commissioner’s Toolbox, and time to discuss the planning needs of specific locations in Arkansas.

Become a Certified Arkansas Planning Official

In 2014, the Certified Arkansas Planning Official (CARPO) program was added. Individuals who successfully complete all three levels of the one-day training programs (101, 201, and 301) and a Capstone Home Study become certified. The capstone includes reading assignments, a written essay, and attendance at a Planning Commission meeting at another location with analysis.

We congratulate four individuals who became Certified Arkansas Planning Officials in May 2020.

  • Rick Barry, City of Springdale
  • Dan Boice, City of Monticello
  • David Keck, City of Gravette
  • Ron Tilley, City of Mena

More Information

Contact APAC at apacprog@ualr.edu or (501) 916-6050.

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