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! 

Thursday, 10 March 2016

PSB News - March 2016

Accreditation Program Committee

In the interests of greater transparency for our colleagues at ACUPP, the Accreditation Program Committee (APC) has been posting updates on Committee activity.  These posts are roughly semi-annual, and are posted on the "University Accreditation" page (  If you are interested in APC's activities or in the accreditation of university planning degree programs in general, we encourage you to take a look at this page.  In addition to APC updates, we have also posted information relating to the accreditation process.

Thanks to Tracey Ehl (OPPI member of APC) for developing these posts!

As of this writing, two re-accreditation site visits - Queen's University and University of Saskatchewan - have been completed, and the final visit of the 2015-16 academic year - Simon Fraser University - is on track to start March 21. Our thanks to the Site Visit Teams for being so giving of their time to support this important function.

Professional Examination - March 2016 Sitting

After a serious software issue prevented us from allowing Candidates to write the September 2015 sitting on their computers, we are pleased to announce that we have arranged for a new software provider for the March 21, 2016 sitting.  Feedback from Candidates who have downloaded the software and completed the practice exam (a test to ensure the software works correctly on their computers) has been positive so far.  If you are registered for this sitting, you will have received information on the software already; new registrants will be sent the information upon registration.

New Professional Examination Format

The Professional Examination Sub-committee has been working hard on development of a multiple-choice Examination.  Since our last update, the Sub-committee has met three times and is working on the question bank.  They will be reporting to PSB's Board of Directors on their progress at the March 18 Board meeting.  On behalf of PSB, we extend our deepest appreciation to the members of the Sub-committee:
  • Bruce Singbush, Chair (OPPI)
  •  Janice Harper (API)
  • Autumn Dawson (SPPI)
  • Wayne Caldwell (OPPI, University of Guelph)
  • Ron Keeble (OPPI, Ryerson University)
  • Chris Leach (MPPI, PEEC Chair (ex-officio)
  • Brian Brophey (OPPI Registrar - Committee Resource)
PSB's Interim Executive Director also provides support to the Sub-committee.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

PSB News - January 2016

There have been a number of key events at PSB in the past couple of months, so let's get down to it:

PSB Issues RFP

PSB's The Board of Directors is soliciting proposals for a new association management services provider.  Deadline for submission of proposals is Friday, January 22, 2016.  [Note:  the RFP process is now closed.]

Next Sitting of the Professional Examination

The next sitting of  the Professional Examination will be held on Monday, March 21, 2016.  If you have completed your mentorship, sponsorship and the Ethics & Professionalism course and test, you can register for this sitting by March 11, 2016 by downloading, completing and submitting the registration form (

PSB Developing Bilingualism Plan

PSB's Board of Directors has appointed a Committee on Bilingualism, chaired by André Daigle, MCIP, RPP.  The Committee is developing a plan to allow PSB to deliver all services bilingually.

New Professional Examination Format Under Development

The Professional Education and Examination Committee (PEEC) has been asked by the PSB Board of Directors to determine the feasibility of an on-line, multiple-choice Professional Examination to replace the current essay-style Examination.  If feasible, this will allow immediate informal feedback to Candidates on whether they were successful in the Examination.  PEEC has appointed the Professional Examination Sub-committee (PES) under the Chairmanship of Bruce Singbush, RPP to oversee this important work.

PSB Strategic Plan

At its meeting on November 13-14, 2015, the PSB Board of Directors began development of a strategic plan to guide our growth over the next few years.  The RFP for a new service provider and the development of a multiple-choice Professional Examination are among the key initiatives of the plan.

VIU Master of Community Planning Given Preliminary Accreditation

Vancouver Island University's Master of Community Planning degree program was granted preliminary accreditation on a conditional basis by the PSB Board of Directors.  Congratulations to Dr. Pam Shaw, RPP, MCIP, the program faculty and the University's administration on achieving this important milestone.

University of Alberta Planning Degree Programs Given Preliminary and Retroactive Accreditation

The BSc (Planning) and BA (Planning) degree programs offered by the University of Alberta were granted preliminary accreditation and retroactive accreditation (to the 2012-13 academic year) by the PSB Board of Directors.  Congratulations to Dr. Sandeep Agrawal, RPP, MCIP, the program faculty and the University's administration! 

University Planning Degree Programs Re-accredited

In 2015, PSB renewed the accreditation of planning degree programs offered by three universities:

  • Ryerson University
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Waterloo
Each program has had its accreditation unconditionally renewed for the maximum period of five years.  Please note that Waterloo's PhD (Planning) was not re-accredited since, under the terms of the Planning for the Future project, doctoral programs are no longer eligible for accreditation.  Our congratulations to Dr. Chris De Sousa, RPP (Ryerson), Dr. Richard Milgrom, MCIP (Manitoba) and Dr. Clarence Woudsma, RPP (Waterloo) and their respective faculties!