Planning Official Training

Attending a planning official training will provide you with the knowledge necessary to work effectively on or 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 on or with Planning Commissions. Program attendees include Planning Commissioners, Board of Adjustment members, Mayors, Fire Chiefs, City Council Members, City Planners, and others who work with Planning Commissions.

Future Program Information

We made the difficult decision to postpone Planning Official 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.


The curriculum is developed and instructed by experienced Arkansas planners. Initial trainings include an introduction to planning, zoning regulations, subdivision regulations, a primer to planning in Arkansas, and ethics for Planning Commissioners. The next level of trainings cover state statutes, rezoning, conditional use permits, site plan review, subdivision review, and meeting management. The final trainings focus on advanced skills and knowledge. The agendas include 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 training programs and a Capstone Home Study become certified. The capstone includes reading assignments, a written essay, and attendance at a Planning Commission meeting in another location.

More Information

Contact APAC at or (501) 916-6050.

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