IAP2 Certification Program 

Become an IAP2 USA Certified Public Participation Professional!

The assessment process was developed by a Task Force of IAP2 members from USA, Canada, and South Africa in consultation with our membership. Thank you to our volunteers for making this happen! 

The program offers two levels of certification: Certified Public Participation Professional (CP3) and Master Certified Public Participation Professional (MCP3). The CP3 designation is awarded upon successfully completing a three-step assessment based on 5 Core Competencies. The MCP3 is an application process that responds to mandatory and optional criteria. You may apply for MCP3 Certification after obtaining CP3 Certification.

Interested? Take a look at the Professional Certification Program, Policies, & Procedures Manual!


  • $300 CP3 Application
  • $450 Case Study Review
  • $2,150 CP3 Assessment Center process
  • $425 MCP3 Application

Key Dates:

  • Application Process is rolling. You may apply at any time. 
  • The deadline to apply for the next Assessment Center is January 6 2023.
  • The next Assessment Center will be held virtually and is April 28 & 29, 2023

For More Information

If you are still wondering “What exactly is professional certification?” and why it is different from the 5-Day Foundations (formerly Certificate) training then read all about it in this blog and WATCH a video from our Certification Taskforce Chair, Wendy Lowe.

Wondering what the process is like and why you might choose to become certified? We encourage you to listen to Steven Wolf, an IAP2 USA Master Certified Public Participation Professional. Learn why he applied and the value he sees in professional certification.


Please review the kit and FAQ carefully and let us know if you have any questions before applying. Contact us at Info@iap2usa.org – We would be pleased to help.

We look forward to your participation in this exciting new program!

 Review the 2022 Information Kit and  Frequently Asked Questions document
►  Review the Core Competencies - evaluation is based on meeting these 5 criteria
►  Download and review the CP3 Application

►  Download and review the MCP3 Application and Quality Standards
►  To learn more about the process, watch the Professional Certification Informational Webinar

Certification Scholarship Available

The new Debra Duerr Memorial Scholarship is available to eligible P2 practitioners. 

Thank you to our donors for making this possible!

More information   Scholarship Application 

Upcoming Certification Deadlines

  • No upcoming events

Steven Wolf, MCP3

"After 36 years in the business of Public Participation, Public Involvement, and Public Affairs, and in fact, enjoying a lot of success and a good reputation, I still thought it was important to get a third party validation of my effort."

"One thing for sure is, getting Certified is definitely an investment. But, I think it is a very wise investment and a very prudent investment."

IAP2 USA Certified Public Participation Professionals

Wendy Lowe, CP3

Owner, P2 Solutions
Idaho Falls, ID

Learn More

Doug Sarno, MCP3

President, Forum Facilitation Group
Washington, D.C.

Learn More

Steve Wolf, MCP3

Community Engagement Director, JEO Consulting Group   

Greater Omaha, NE

Learn More

Sara Dechter, CP3, AICP

Comprehensive Planning Manager, City of Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ

            Learn More


Ken Smith, CP3

Principal p2 Practitioner,
Public Participation Matters

Gauteng, South Africa

Tina Geiselbrecht, CP3

Research Scientist, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Austin, TX

Learn More

Leah Jaramillo, CP3

Vice President, Public Engagement Professional
Salt Lake City, UT

Learn More

Catherine Smith, CP3

Partner, CityWorks People + Places 
San Diego, CA

Learn More

Allison Wong, CP3

Community Engagement Manager, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces
Los Angeles, CA


Maddie Hughes, CP3

Urban Planner and Public Engagement Consultant, Shockey Consulting Services
Kansas City, MO

Cassie Hemphill, CP3

Missoula, MT

Learn More

John Godec, MCP3

Expert Communication Strategist and Facilitator
Phoenix, AZ

Learn More

Theresa Gunn, MCP3

President at Gunn Communications, Inc
Phoenix, AZ

Learn More

Chris Cannon, CP3

Senior Principal Consultant of Community Engagement, UrbanTrans North America
Atlanta, GA

Susan Bankhead, CP3

Senior Vice President of Client Affairs, JPW Communications
Carlsbad, CA

2017 Professional Certification Webinar
An Introduction

Review the Certification process. Learn from the Assessors what they are looking for when you apply. They want you to be successful and they have included tips in this information webinar:

Download the Powerpoint

Key Information 


 All IAP2 members in good standing who have completed the 5-day IAP2 Foundations in Public Participation (formerly Certificate course) are eligible to apply.

Find Foundations near you!

Foundations in Public Participation is the only international program of its kind. This program provides participants with an overview of public participation, best practices in the field, and dynamic techniques to enhance impact. This unique training program equips participants with practical tools for designing and implementing effective P2 plans.

Upcoming Foundations

  • Contact us to bring Foundations to your area!

Gain experience:

If you are a seasoned P2 Practitioner, you may already have the experience that you need and have been applying your knowledge of IAP2's Foundations to your practice for years. If this is the case, your next step is to check out the Core Competencies required of a CP3 and the CP3 application

If you are new to the practice and are looking for ways to hone your craft and diversify your background and knowledge of P2, we offer a variety of programs you may benefit from including, our mentorship program, online learning courses, learning webinars and much, much more.

No matter where you are in your journey towards certification, download and review the 2018 Information Kit,  Frequently Asked Questions document, or review the Professional Certification Program, Policies, & Procedures Manual. Also, review the Core Competencies - Note: evaluation is based on meeting these 5 criteria.


IAP2 USA in cooperation with IAP2 Canada and IAP2 Southern Africa are working on behalf of the rest of the IAP2 Affiliates and the Federation to develop a Certification Program. The goal is to create a Certification Program for IAP2 USA that can serve as a template for other Affiliates that want to define their own programs.

We asked you to be part of our effort. Click here for more background.

In May 2014 we hosted an information webinar “Working Together to Create an IAP2 Professional Certification Program”. This was followed up with a survey that went to all members in the US, Canada and Southern Africa. The information received in the surveys helped the Task Force to create – the Core Competencies. These Core Competencies were unveiled at the 2015 IAP2 North American Conference in Winnipeg. Again we asked for input and thoughts as the Core Competencies were finalized. In November of 2014 the Task Force held a webinar to finalize the Core Competencies based on the information received. View the webinar here. In January 2015 the Task Force turned its attention to creating the assessment process and developing a Certification Pilot Program.

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