Monday, 25 September 2017

Industry News - Great Places in Canada (GPC) Contest

The Canadian Institute of Planners' (CIP) Great Places in Canada (GPC) contest is now accepting nominations until October 4th.

The Great Places in Canada contest began in 2010 and recognizes the contributions of planners by celebrating their lasting impressions on Canadian communities.

Check out the News Release for more information on this contest and for more details on how to nominate a local street, neighbourhood, or public space.

Friday, 14 July 2017

PSB News – July 2017

PSB News – July 2017

The Professional Standards Board for the Planning Profession in Canada (PSB) continues to work on the digitization of the certification process, which will include an online portal for certification applications and log submissions. The digitization project will also include an update to the PSB website, and we are working towards a fully bilingual website and service offerings.

The PSB is also actively recruiting volunteers for its initiatives. Specifically, we are in need of Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) application assessors. Any interested volunteers who wish to support the PSB with this process and are full/certified members of their provincial planning institute for at least three years may express their interest via email to Nzinga Brown, Certification Manager at PLAR applications require careful review and include a portfolio and self-assessment grid. Assessments usually take around seven-eight hours and can be completed over the course of one month. Assessors can review from 1-12 applications a year, depending on their availability. More information on the role can be found on the Volunteers page, in the Orientation package for PLAR assessors.

Professional Education and Examination
The next Professional Examination will be held on Monday, September 18th, 2017. This will be the third sitting of the new three-hour multiple choice format. The Professional Examination and Education Committee is working through an extensive examination action plan that includes improving the study materials provided to candidates in advance of the examination, as well as adding additional questions to our existing question bank and reviewing the current questions. The committee hopes to have the new study guide to candidates by August 2017.

As part of the examination action plan, the Professional Education and Examination Committee developed a feedback framework for examination candidates who were not successful. Moving forward, candidates who fail the Professional Examination will receive feedback outlining how successful they were in the three different areas (Public Interest, Ethics and Decision Making and Professional Responsibility).

The March examination will be held on Monday, March 19th, 2018. More details will be made available in the New Year.

Accreditation Planning
We are pleased to announce that in spring 2017, the PSB Board of Directors approved the re-accreditation of the University of British Columbia’s Master of Community and Regional Planning program accredited unconditionally, for the maximum of five years (until the end of academic 2020-2021).  Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved – Dr. Sandeep Agrawal, Dr. Marcia Wallace and Dr. David Hendrickson (the Site Visit Team), Dr. Penny Gurstein and the faculty at the University of British Columbia.

The PSB is also working with the Site Visit Team to finalize the report for the re-accreditation of the University of Northern British Columbia’s Bachelor of Planning. We look forward to reporting on the result of this site visit in the coming months.

The Accreditation Program Committee welcomed a new member –Dr.  Marcia Wallace (OPPI Representative). Longtime member Tracey Ehl has stepped off the committee and is thanked for her many years of support to the PSB.

For the next academic year, we are currently looking to staff Site Visit Teams for the University of Toronto, York University, McGill University and University of Alberta. As a reminder, each team must be composed of one out-of-province representative, one PTIA representative, and one Association of Canadian University Planning Programs (ACUPP) representative on each team, and must not have any conflicts with the University. Our goal is to recruit diverse Site Visit Team members for each university. If you are interested in participating on any of these teams, please contact Maddy Marchildon, Executive Director, at

Lastly, some of the feedback we have received in the past indicated suggestions on adjusting the verbiage in the communications with PTIAs regarding the process of accredited university programs; this will be reflected in the next communications that go out to the PTIAs, CIP, and Site Visit Teams.

Board of Directors
Our team has just returned from Calgary, where we participated in a series of meetings in conjunction with the Canadian Institute of Planners and Alberta Professional Planners Institute conference. The Board held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the members on June 17, where it reported on the last two professional examination sittings, financials from the 2016 year, and some of the improvements that have been made by working with a new management agency, amongst other items. Copies of the reports were circulated in advance to members and may be re-sent upon request.

The Board also met in person to continue discussions from their strategic and operational plan.  The next quarter will primarily be focused on overseeing the creation of more robust preparation materials in time for the September sitting of the Professional Examination, developing a communications plan, and considerations for board succession planning to implement in 2018.

2017-2018 Board of Directors – from top left (clockwise): Finlay Sinclair (APC), Bruce Singbush (Treasurer), John Jarvie (Past Chair), André Daigle (Bilingualism), Chris Leach (PEEC), Diana Hawryluk (Vice-Chair), and Gary Buchanan (Chair)

Finally, we are working on finalizing the Shared Services Agreements, with the goal of having signatory parties sign off by the end of July. Stay tuned for your updated agreement shortly.

At the CIP conference, PSB presented CIP with a cheque for the loan balance. The loan was received from CIP in 2013 to aid with PSB’s start up expenses. We are grateful to CIP for their support.

From left (clockwise): Eleanor Mohammed (President, CIP), Gary Buchanan (Chair, PSB)

Wishing everyone a great start to the summer!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

PSB News – April 2017


The Professional Standards Board for the Planning Profession in Canada (PSB) is in the planning stages of a digitization project for the certification process. This upgrade will include creating an online database where applicants can submit their applications and supporting documents online, and candidates can submit their logs and complete other steps of the certification process electronically. A digitized database will help candidates keep track of their progress, provide clarity on the application process and seamlessly link the certification process to membership with the PTIAs.

The digitization project will also include an update of the PSB website. Over the past few months, the certification team has been tracking frequent inquiries received by staff regarding the application and certification processes, including questions about the materials listed on the website. These inquiries will help guide the development of a new website that will support planners completing the certification process by providing information in a more clear, user-friendly and accessible way.

Professional Education and Examination

The March Sitting of the Professional Examination was held in March 2017 with a total of 119 Candidates. This was the second sitting of the new three-hour multiple choice format. Details for the September sitting will be provided in the coming months. 

Accreditation Planning

We are pleased to announce that in Winter 2017, the PSB Board of Directors approved the accreditation and re-accreditation of the following programs:

  • University of Alberta’s Bachelor of Arts Major in Planning and Bachelor of Science with Specialization in Planning programs accredited unconditionally, for the maximum of five years (until the end of academic 2020-2021). Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved - Harry Harker, Randy Lambright and Ryan Walker (the Site Visit Team), Dr. Sandeep Agrawal and the faculty at the University of Alberta.
  • Vancouver Island University’s Master of Community Planning program accredited unconditionally, for the maximum of five years (until the end of academic 2020-2021). Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved – Kari Huhtala, Dana Anderson, and Dr. Laura Taylor (the Site Visit Team), Dr. Pamela Shaw and the faculty at Vancouver Island University.
  • Dalhousie University’s Bachelor of Community Design, Honours and Master of Planning programs, re-accredited unconditionally for the maximum of five years (until the end of academic 2021-2022). Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved - Bruce Curtis, Douglas Foster, and Dr. Lisa Borstein (the Site Visit Team), Dr. Patricia Manuel and the faculty at Dalhousie University.
PSB also conducted site visits in Winter 2017 for the re-accreditation of the University of British Columbia’s Master of Community and Regional Planning, and the re-accreditation of the University of Northern British Columbia’s Bachelor of Planning. We look forward to reporting on the result of these site visits in the coming months.

The Accreditation Program Committee (APC) welcomed three new members – Doug Daniels (SPPI Representative), Quincy Brown (APPI Representative), and Virginia Maclaren (ACUPP Representative). Thanks to Dana Kripki, Jolie Whetzel, and Pamela Robinson who recently finished their terms on APC.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors met in February in Toronto to develop work plans for the implementation of its existing strategic plan. The result of this strategic planning session is a critical path for the next two years to advance the following priorities: developing a bilingual service model, digitizing the certification process, volunteer engagement and board succession planning, and communication strategies. Moving forward, the Board will work with the Executive Director to drive its strategic activities forward and deliver high value accreditation and certification solutions. We look forward to reporting further on the progress of these projects on the PSB Blog in the coming months.

The Board is preparing for the PSB Annual General Meeting (AGM) taking place on June 17, 2017, 2:00-4:00pm in Calgary, Alberta at the CIP Conference. The AGM is an opportunity for the PSB Board to provide high level reports to its members, the Provincial and Territorial Planning Institutes (PTIAs) and the Canadian Institute of Planning, on the operational, on the PSB’s strategic and financial activities over the past year. We look forward to meeting with the PTIAs and CIP!


At the strategy session, the Board mapped out priorities for the next year. The priorities with the largest financial impact include the new digitized database and expanding our bilingual services. These priorities will help create additional value for candidates across Canada.

The 2016 financial statements are currently being reviewed by an external auditor and will be presented at the AGM this June.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

PSB News – January 2017

Professional Education and Examination

The Professional Standards Board for the Planning Profession in Canada (PSB) launched the new format of the Professional Examination in September of last year. What was previously a long-written essay style examination is now a three-hour multiple choice exam. It continues, as it has to date, to assess enabling competencies competencies. Though no longer in long-written format, the question bank was designed to allow Candidates to use their thought processes and ability to integrate theory and past experience into future practice.

Developing the new format of the examination was the direct result of listening to Candidate feedback, and implementing a more modern approach to administering certification examinations. The new format allows for a quicker turn-around time for marking, expediting the process of delivering results to candidates. What previously took three months now takes no more than two weeks for Candidates to receive their results.

Moving to a multiple choice examination took months of hard work from a selected panel of planning professionals, who were required to develop the questions and scrutinize each possible answer, so a clear “correct” answer could be determined. This method was created to ensure the certification process is fair, clear and relevant. Once all questions were developed and analyzed, a trial exam was set for a select few long standing Full Certificated Members and recently certificated individuals. Based on their results and comments, the committee evaluated each examination question again until final bank of questions was agreed upon.
The next sitting of the Professional Examination will take place on March 20th, 2017. More details on the sitting can be found here.
Congratulations to the newly certified Professional Planners of 2016:
  • Banani Afsana
  • Lina Al-Dajani 
  • Matt Alexander 
  • Haseeb Amirzada 
  • Ruchika Angrish 
  • Jesse Auspitz 
  • Dalia Bahy 
  • Kimberley Baldwin 
  • Eric Bays 
  • Jonathan Benczkowski 
  • Jonah Bonn 
  • Joanna Bowes 
  • Erika Brown 
  • Sarah Burger 
  • Allen Burgess 
  • Phil Busby 
  • Melissa Campbell 
  • Jeff Chase 
  • Joyce Chen 
  • Ann Marie Chung 
  • Stephen Corr 
  • Caroline Cregan 
  • Alisha Cull 
  • Adam Curran 
  • Laura Dainard 
  • Andrew Dales 
  • Claire Daniels 
  • Danielle Lisa De Fields 
  • Antonio De Franco 
  • Leith Deacon 
  • Reed Des Roches 
  • Frances Dietrich-O'Connor 
  • Matthew Dumont 
  • William Dunn 
  • Matthew Edward 
  • Ashley Elliot 
  • Meagan Ferris 
  • Heather Finlay 
  • Kathleen Fralic 
  • Andrea Friedman 
  • Jasmine Frolick 
  • Linda Fyfe 
  • Dan Godin 
  • Ian Goeres 
  • Alexandra Goldstein 
  • Kate Goslett 
  • Adam Grossi 
  • Julie Hannah 
  • David Hannam 
  • Michael Hayek 
  • Nathan Hercanuck 
  • Chris Hilash 
  • Erin Huck 
  • Jennifer Huff 
  • Mark Iamarino 
  • Kurt Inglis 
  • Mark Johnson 
  • Laurie Johnson 
  • Tate Kelly 
  • Kristy Kilbourne 
  • Nola Kilmartin 
  • Caroline Kimble 
  • Alex Kolsteren 
  • Amanda Kosloski 
  • Luka Kot 
  • Casey Kulchki 
  • Michelle Kwok 
  • Lisa La Civita 
  • Samantha Lahey 
  • Jessica Lai Man Kwan 
  • Eric Lalande 
  • Kelsey Lang 
  • Jacob Larsen 
  • Claire Lemay 
  • Armando Lopes 
  • Ryan MacKrell 
  • Jennifer Maestre 
  • Tolek Makarewicz 
  • Alexandra Mangat 
  • Eric Mann 
  • Yuri Mantsvetov 
  • Truper McBride 
  • Devon McCloskey 
  • Michael McConnell 
  • Geoffrey McGrath 
  • Gillian McKee 
  • John McMulkin 
  • Jeff Medeiros 
  • Adam Miller 
  • Sarah Minnes 
  • Hillary Morgan 
  • Andrew Morgan 
  • Gregory Morrison 
  • Lara Nelson 
  • Garrett Newman 
  • Milan Nguyen 
  • Brynn Nheiley 
  • Julie Nolan 
  • Meghan Norman 
  • Erica Ogden 
  • Brynne O'Neill 
  • Brandon Orr 
  • Anya Paskovic 
  • Evan Perlman 
  • Lyla Peter 
  • Madelaine Peters 
  • Julia Pierdon 
  • Michael Pirocchi 
  • Caitlin Port 
  • Jaime Posen 
  • Jonathan Pradinuk 
  • Craig Purves 
  • Kevin Rachman 
  • Aaron Raymond 
  • James Reed 
  • Kayla Rell 
  • Melissa Ricci 
  • Scott Ritchie 
  • Michael Ruus 
  • David Sajecki 
  • Heather Sewell 
  • Sabrina Sgotto 
  • Meng Xi (Stream) Shen 
  • Simona Simion Julia Smachylo Andrew Colin Smith 
  • Adrianna Spinosa 
  • Jeff Thompson 
  • Shannon VanDalen 
  • Mirej Vasic 
  • David Veights 
  • Juliet Van Vliet 
  • Emily Wall 
  • Vicky Weekes 
  • Lindsay Wiginton 
  • Elora Wilkinson 
  • Kimberley Manon Wilmot 
  • Ryan Wong 
  • Kasel Yamashita 
  • Nicole Zambri 
  • Robert Zilke 
  • Tania Zimmerman

Accreditation Planning

The Accreditation Planning Committee has continued to meet on a bimonthly basis over the course of the last year. Its work consists mainly of:
  • Overseeing the policy and procedures for delivery of the accreditation program in accordance with the National Membership Manual – Accreditation;
  • Reviewing applications and determining eligibility requirements for accreditation within the Standards; and
  • Approving selection criteria for reviewers, the recruitment and training of volunteer reviewers, as well as reviewing and approving recommendations for accreditation before forwarding them to the Board of Directors. 
We are pleased to announce that in 2016, the PSB Board of Directors approved the re-accreditation of the following programs:
  • Queen’s University Master of Urban & Regional Planning program unconditionally, for the maximum of five years (until the end of academic 2021-2022).  Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved - Dennis Jacobs, Lloyd Talbot and Dr. Sandeep Agrawal (the Site Visit Team),  Dr. Dave Gordon and the faculty at Queen's.
  • University of Saskatchewan’s Bachelor of Arts in Planning program unconditionally, for the maximum of five years (until the end of academic 2021-2022). Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved – Ramona Mattix, Doug Daniels, and Andrew Seidel (the Site Visit Team),  Dr. Robert Patrick and the faculty at the University of Saskatchewan.
  • Simon Fraser University’s Master’s of Resource Management (Planning) program, unconditionally for a period of two years (until the end of academic 2017-2018). Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved - Ryan Walker, Jolie Whetzel, and Raymond Young (the Site Visit Team), Dr. Tom Gunton and the faculty at Simon Fraser University.

PSB also conducted site visits in Fall 2016 for the University of Alberta’s Bachelor of Arts, Planning program, which was granted preliminary and retroactive accreditation in 2015, and Vancouver Island University’s Master of Community Planning program, which was granted conditional preliminary accreditation in 2015. We look forward to reporting on the result of these site visits in the coming months. 

Board of Directors

The Board last met in person in July 2016 during the CIP conference in Quebec City; however, it has continued to meet via teleconference on a monthly basis. The 2016-17 Board is composed of:
  • John Jarvie, Chair
  • Diana Hawryluk, Vice-Chair
  • Gary Buchanan, Secretary-Treasurer
  • André Daigle, Director
  • Christopher Leach, Chair, PEEC
  • Finlay Sinclair, Chair, APC
  • Bruce Singbush, Director

As a number of years have passed since its creation, the Board will meet in February in Toronto to review its strategic plan to ensure the priorities of the organization continue to ring true and to develop a work plan with the Executive Director for the next three to five years in order to move forward the planning profession in Canada. Currently, some high-level priorities include developing bilingual service model, communications and technology strategies, and volunteer engagement. We look forward to reporting further in this regard in March.


With the fiscal year ending December 31st, PSB is wrapping up the annual financials and preparing for its review engagement. As a result of an increase in Candidate intake and Candidates writing the Professional Exam, as well as costs savings in board and management expenses, PSB will end the year with a higher than budgeted surplus. The application of this additional surplus will be determined at an upcoming strategic planning session. Stay tuned to find out PSB’s 2017 budget priorities.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

PSB Appoints New Management

The Board of Directors of PSB is very pleased to announce the appointment of Redstone Agency Inc., Toronto, as PSB’s new management services provider.  As those of you who have been following this blog and the website know, the Board issued a Request for Proposals in December 2015; after an intensive process, they have selected Redstone, who will assume their new responsibilities May 1.  The company describes itself as “Millennial-owned, tech savvy and digitally obsessed”.  The Board feels this is a good match, both for our Candidates (many of whom are, themselves, Millennials) and for the directions identified in the PSB strategic plan.

Redstone is a millennial-owned association management agency, and its leaders are well-positioned to help navigate the start-up landscape in order to help PSB grow and prosper. They have a number of contacts in the not-for-profit management, professional and legal fields, adding to the PSB network of resources and knowledge on best practices for building a foundation for any organization. Additionally, succession planning is extremely important, for any organization, in order to ensure growth and sustainability. Redstone’s leadership are actively planning for the future workforce and association members coming down the pipeline, and help any organization working with them to do the same. This includes being tech-savvy and taking advantage of digital trends. Customer service and building relationships are extremely important to Redstone, as they recognize that they are at the frontline for Board members, candidates, and the PTIAs, and can make or break an individual’s experience with PSB.

The team that will be working with PSB include Maddy Marchildon, Executive Director, as well as Taylor Weinstein, Certification Manager. A senior leader at Redstone, Maddy has worked with over twenty not-for-profit organizations. She is focused on ensuring her clients always receive advice based on best practices and brings a wealth of knowledge in volunteer engagement, CMS and website platforms, as well as change management. A bilingual member on the team, Maddy also has expertise in providing board and volunteer support and structuring the annual financial reporting systems of many organizations. Taylor is a dedicated, outgoing and high-energy team member who brings a wealth of experience to every organization she manages. With expertise in budget and critical path management, Taylor's extensive training will allow her to review and improve the current certification processes, as well as provide superior customer service to PSB’s stakeholders. Taylor also has experience in event management and fostering the relationships with clients and stakeholders.

Maddy can be reached by e-mail at  Taylor’s e-mail is

Carly Silberstein and Bailey Roth, Redstone’s co-founders, will also be contributing their expertise, energy and enthusiasm to PSB’s management.  We are excited by the opportunity to work with such a forward-looking group, and anticipate this move will result in an improvement in overall service levels to our Members, Candidates, accredited University programs and other stakeholders.

Please note that our phone numbers will remain the same – 647.317.6924 and toll-free 1.844.202.9002.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Update on University Re-accreditation Site Visits

We're pleased to announce that the PSB Board of Directors approved re-accreditation of the Queen's University Master of Urban & Regional Planning degree program unconditionally, for the maximum of five years (until the end of academic 2021-2022).  Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved - Dennis Jacobs, Lloyd Talbot and Dr. Sandeep Agrawal (the Site Visit Team) and Dr. Dave Gordon and the faculty at Queen's.

The site visit to Simon Fraser University is concluding today (April 15).  Many thanks to the Site Visit Team - Jolie Whetzel (APPI, Chair and out-of-PTIA representative), Ray Young (PIBC, in-PTIA representative) and Dr. Ryan Walker (ACUPP representative) - and Dr. Tom Gunton, Director of the program at Simon Fraser.

The final report of the University of Saskatchewan Site Visit Team (Ramona Mattix, Doug Daniels and Dr. Andrew Seidel) has been submitted to PSB following a review of the draft by Dr. Bob Patrick of the University.  It will be on the agenda for the next APC meeting.  Thanks again to the Team and University for turning this report around quickly!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

More PSB News!

Successful University Site Visits

PSB's Accreditation Program Committee (APC) has organized two successful site visits so far this year.  The first, to Queen's University, took place January 27-29.  The Site Visit Team (SVT) turned the report around extremely quickly:  the draft went to Queen's for comment February 5, which is extremely rapid, considering the work that goes into developing the report!  Thanks to SVT members Dennis Jacobs (Chair and in-PTIA representative), Lloyd Talbot (out-of-PTIA representative) and Dr. Sandeep Agrawal (ACUPP representative) for their hard work.

 Queen's University program Chair Dr. Dave Gordon quickly provided comments back to the SVT and they finalized the report.  APC dealt with it at their meeting March 21, and their recommendation will now go to the PSB Board for a final decision.

The University of Saskatchewan site visit was March 7-9, and the SVT is working on the draft report.  Thanks to Ramona Mattix (Chair, out-of-PTIA representative), Doug Daniels (in-PTIA representative) and Dr. Andrew Seidel (ACUPP representative) for their work to date.

APC is now working on the schedule for the 2016-17 academic year.  University planning programs up for re-accreditation are Dalhousie University, University of British Columbia, and University of Northern British Columbia.  In addition, the University of Alberta's undergraduate degree program will be undergoing its final accreditation visit in the fall.

March 2016 Professional Examination Sitting

The March sitting of the Professional Examination was held this past Monday (March 21), with a record-breaking 91 Candidates and OPPI Candidate (Provisional) members registered.  At the Toronto Examination centre, we had a full house.  The new software, adopted in the wake of the software failure we suffered in September, performed well, with very few problems reported.  For those who wrote on computer, your papers must be uploaded by Friday, March 25 at 5 pm ET.  Long-hand papers for those who wrote remotely are coming in now and all papers will be going out to Examiners on Monday for the first round of marking.  As a reminder to those who wrote, each paper is marked at least twice; where the first two Examiners disagree on the pass/fail status of a paper, it goes for a third and decisive marking.

PSB Annual General Meeting

PSB will be holding its Annual General Meeting at the CIP/OUQ Conference in Québec City in July.  Staff are currently making the arrangements.  Four Directors' terms have expired:  André Daigle (CIP), Bruce Curtis (OPPI), Chris Leach (MPPI) and Finlay Sinclair (PIBC).  All are eligible for re-election.
PSC News

PSB works closely with the Professional Standards Committee, which is made up of representatives of all the PTIAs except OUQ (a PSB representative participates in PSC meetings as an invited guest; OUQ and ACUPP have observer status).  PSC sets and reviews the standards developed through Planning for the Future - important work for the profession.  At the end of December 2015, the term of PSC Chair Charles Lanktree (OPPI) came to an end.  All of us at PSB wish to express our thanks to Charles for the cooperation and courtesy he has extended us over the past three years.  At their January 2016 meeting, PSC elected Elaine Mitchell (API) as their new Chair - congratulations Elaine!


PSB also wishes to thank all those who have volunteered their time and expertise to help us deliver on our mandate:  Board and Committee members, Site Visit Teams, Examiners, PLAR Assessors, Mentors and Sponsors.  Without your willingness to give back to the profession, PSB could not exist.  We deeply appreciate all you do for us.

If you are interested in being part of PSB's volunteer corps, you can find information about our various volunteer roles at and, if you'd like to sign up as a volunteer, please visit, our enrollment tool.  Thank you for your interest!

Coming Attractions

PSB will have some exciting news in the next couple of months - be sure to check back here for updates!