Professional Exam


Next Sitting of the Professional Examination Scheduled

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
  • Fall Examination
    Monday, September 18th, 2017
  • Spring Examination
    Monday, March 19th, 2018

The fall sitting will be held on September 18th, 2017. Please note, Examination sittings are held twice in each year – once in the spring and once in the fall. The September examination location(s) will be announced in the coming weeks.. More details can be found below.

Register Online

Professional Examination FAQ

Q.  WHEN CAN I REGISTER?

A.  Registration for the examination will open mid-July and will close on Friday, September 8th, 2017. Candidates will not be able to register for the examination past the deadline.

Q.  WHAT IS THE COST OF WRITING THE EXAMINATION?

A. The cost to write the PSB Professional examination is $500. The Examination fee is $500.00 plus GST/HST, and may be paid by Visa, MasterCard, or cheque. The PSB office will confirm receipt of your payment and advise you of the location and time of the Examination by e-mail. Please note there will be a separate fee for each Examination attempt ($150 per additional attempt).

Q.  AM I ELIGIBLE TO WRITE THE EXAMINATION?

A.  To be eligible to write the examination, you must have completed the Ethics & Professionalism Course and Test and had your Mentor and Work Logs approved by the PSB.

Please note these requirements do not apply to OPPI Candidate (Provisional) members. Please contact OPPI for Professional Exam eligibility requirements for Candidate (Provisional) Members.

Q.  WHEN DO I NEED TO SUBMIT MY LOGS BY?

A.  If you have not yet submitted your work logs or mentor logs for approval, you must submit them to Nzinga Brown at certification@psb-planningcanada.ca for review no later than Monday, August 14th, 2017.

Q.  WHERE IS THE EXAMINATION TAKING PLACE?

A.  The September examination location(s) will be announced in the coming weeks. Please check our website frequently for updates.

Q.  WHAT TIME IS THE EXAMINATION TAKING PLACE?

A. The September examination is taking place at different times, depending on your province. Please see times below:

  • British Columbia & Yukon: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST
  • Alberta, Northwest Territories & Saskatchewan: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM MST
  • Saskatchewan: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM CST (DST not observed)
  • Manitoba: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM CST
  • Ontario: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (EST)
  • Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & PEI: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM AST
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM EST

Q. WHAT IF I AM NOT LOCATED NEAR AN EXAM CENTRE?

A.  You will need to arrange for an invigilator satisfactory to PSB and for a room in which you can write. You are responsible for the cost, if any, of your Examination room if you choose this option. On your registration form, please indicate the name and email of your invigilator. This person must be a certified member of the Institute of at least three (3) years standing, or another professional (clergyman, accountant, lawyer, school principal, police officer, bank manager, etc.). You cannot have a personal relationship with your invigilator. The name of your invigilator is due to the PSB by Friday, September 8th, 2017.

Q.  ARE THERE ANY MATERIALS TO HELP ME STUDY?

A. We have developed a new Examination Preparation Package, which we hope you will find useful – it discusses the types of questions you will find on the Examination along with tips from other Candidates on how they have prepared. You can download this here. You should be familiar with the CIP Code of Professional Conduct and may also find it helpful to review the material in the Ethics & Professionalism course (including the questions and cases at the end of each module). We have made supplementary material on Public Interest available as well; please click here to download a copy. In responding to Examination questions, it is useful to consider CIP's identified competencies (particularly the enabling competencies) as well. Please note a hard copy of the CIP Code of Professional Conduct and CIP's identified competencies will be provided to all candidates during the examination. Invigilators will provide these documents as well to those writing the exam outside of Ontario.

Q. WHEN WILL I BE INFORMED OF MY RESULTS?

A. Results will be provided to candidates two weeks after the examination date. The actual mark as well as the passed/failed percentage rate will not be shared.

Q.  WHAT IS A PASSING SCORE?

A.  To pass the Examination, you must achieve a score of 80% or higher.

Q.  IF I FAIL THE EXAMINATION, WILL I RECEIVE FEEDBACK?

A. Candidates will not receive specific feedback on their examination. Candidates will be informed which sections of the examination they passed or failed.

Q. CAN I APPEAL MY EXAMINATION RESULT?

A. You may appeal on procedural grounds only. Procedural grounds would include situations where you had requested a special consideration based on a visual or other physical impairment, and that was not granted. This does not include technical difficulties independent of the exam space, such as personal laptop issues or with poor internet connection.

If you have any questions not addressed in this FAQ, please contact Taylor Weinstein, Operations Manager, at operations@psb-planningcanada.ca or by phone at 647.317.6924 x204.

Q. I HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO WRITE THE EXAMINATION. WHAT DO I DO?

A. At the time you register for the Examination, please advise the office of your requirements, and we will attempt to accommodate you. Please note that if you require the Examination in a special format (Braille, audio, etc.), we will need at least four (4) weeks' notice. If you require an assistive device, please arrange to bring your own, as PSB does not own any. If your assistive device requires power, kindly let us know at least a week in advance so we can ensure power is available for you. If you will be bringing a service animal or support person, please let us know at least four (4) weeks in advance so we can determine whether we need to arrange a separate room for you.

Q. DO I NEED TO BRING ANYTHING WITH ME ON THE DAY OF THE EXAMINATION?

A. You must bring your own laptop, which you will use to take the exam. Please ensure you bring your power cord and any other accessories your laptop requires. Any technical malfunction resulting in an inability to complete the exam (ex. Dead battery) will be the responsibility of the candidate. More information regarding the examination will be provided to candidates once they register.

Q. WHAT IF I AM AN OPPI CANDIDATE (PROVISIONAL) MEMBER?

A. OPPI has an agreement with PSB under which we administer the Professional Examination on their behalf. This replaces the oral Exam A. For information on how this process differs from that applicable to Candidate members going through PSB's process, please click here.

Q. I'VE REGISTERED FOR THE EXAMINATION BUT AM UNABLE TO ATTEND IT – WHAT HAPPENS?

A. As soon as you know that you will miss the Examination date, please contact Taylor Weinstein, Operations Manager, at operations@psb-planningcanada.ca or by phone at 647.317.6924 x204. If you advise us by 3:30 PM ET on the Thursday before the Examination date, there will be no adverse consequences. We can either refund your fee (please allow up to 30 days) or retain it and register you for the next sitting. If you miss this deadline, you will be considered to have chosen not to write the Examination and to have used one of your attempts; your fee will not be refunded. Please note that, if you have had a health or business/personal/family emergency after the cancellation deadline which caused you to miss the Examination, you should contact the PSB office to request that no penalty be assessed, and will be asked to provide proof (such as a doctor's note, letter from your employer, etc.) of the emergency. You need to contact us within three (3) business days of the Examination date.


Notice to members of the PSB members and Candidate members of the Provincial or Territorial Institutes or Associations:

The Professional Standards Board for the Planning Profession in Canada (PSB) is pleased to announce the launch of a new Professional Examination format. After careful consideration, the PSB has made the decision to administer a multiple choice exam. The first sitting under the new format took place on Monday, September 26, 2016.

It will, as it has to date, examine enabling competencies, not functional competencies. Though no longer in long-written format, the question bank has been designed to allow Candidates to use their thought processes and ability to integrate theory and past experience into future practice. Please be assured the exam will maintain its rigour and continue to require significant preparation. The new format will also allow for a quicker turn-around time for marking, expediting the process of delivering results to candidates.

The examination will be administered online, and so we ask that candidates bring a reliable laptop and charger with them to their exam sitting. Details about accessing the examination will be given via email to those who register for the exam through email.

The Professional Examination Preparation Package will still be available, and is still the recommended way to effectively prepare for the test.

The exam will continue to cover questions in the following three areas:

  • Public Interest
  • Ethics
  • Professionalism

Candidates must still achieve a score of 80% on this Examination for it to be considered a pass. As in previous practice, a candidate may retake the Professional exam up to three times (this includes any previous attempts) if they do not pass the first or second time. We require separate payment for each attempt. The candidate would need to wait until the following exam sitting to retake the test, which take place bi-annually in the spring and the fall.

The new exam questions are currently in the process of being vetted by a number of professional planners. This is to ensure fairness, clarity and relevancy to the certification process.

A recap of the important points:

  • PSB will be administering the Professional Examination in multiple choice format; Candidates are no longer able to write the written format of the exam, effectively immediately.
  • The exam will maintain the same standard as before, requiring significant preparation as well as a minimum of an 80% to pass the exam. You may attempt the final exam up to three times should you not succeed on your first two attempts.

Professional Exam

The Professional Examination is the last step on your road to becoming a full, certified member of the profession.  It consists of three sections:

  • Public interest
  • Professional responsibility
  • Ethics

The entire Examination is three hours in length and is invigilated.  The questions are multiple choice.  Please note that you are not being examined on your technical knowledge of planning, but on issues of professionalism.


Examination Procedure - What to Expect

PSB holds two Examination sittings each year - one mid-March and one mid-September.  You must pre-register for the examination using the registration form above.  Registration closes ten calendar days before the examination date, and late registrations are not accepted; your registration and payment must reach us by the closing date.  The Examination fee is $500.00 plus GST/HST, and may be paid by Visa, MasterCard, or cheque.  The PSB office will confirm receipt of your payment and advise you of the location and time of the Examination by e-mail.  Please note there will be a separate fee for each Examination attempt ($150 per additional attempt).

Please note, this is a closed-book Examination.  You are not permitted any notes or cellphones and will be asked to leave such material/devices, along with any bags you may have, at the front of the examination room.  

A passing grade is 80% or higher. You will be notified within) 2 weeks from the Examination date whether you have been successful. You have a total of three attempts, including your first one, to succeed on the Examination.