Planning Official Trainings and CARPO

Attending a Planning Official Training will provide you with the foundational knowledge necessary to fulfill your duties as a city planning official. You will learn:

  • Thoughtful risk management.
  • How to build strong working relationships with city officials.
  • Skilled meeting management.
  • Good governance techniques.
  • About the ethical challenges encountered by planning officials.

About Planning Official Trainings and CARPO

Since 1999, APAC has partnered with the Arkansas Chapter of the American Planning Association to offer Planning Official Trainings. Attendees include Planning Commissioners, Board of Adjustment members, Mayors, and anyone else who wants to learn more about city planning.

In 2014, the Certified Arkansas Planning Official (CARPO) program was added. Individuals that successfully complete three Planning Commission trainings (101, 201, and 301) and a Capstone Home Study receive the CARPO designation. The home study includes reading assignments, a written essay, and attendance at a Planning Commission meeting at another location with analysis.

Training Descriptions:

One-day trainings are offered three times a year throughout the state of Arkansas. The trainings are developed by experienced Arkansas planners who are nationally certified through the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Planning 101 – The foundational training for newly appointed Arkansas planning officials or a refresher for more experienced members. The agenda 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. Completion of 101 or 201 is recommended before attending 301.


Registration materials will be available soon for:

  • Planning 101 – Held in Spring 2019.
  • Planning 201 – Held in Fall 2019.
  • Planning 301 – Held in Summer 2019.

For more information, contact APAC at or (501) 569-3436.