PAB Knowledge Components

On this page you will find a list of Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) Knowledge Components from the most recent (Approved March 3, 2017; Effective with 2018 SSR submissions) Accreditation Document.

PAB Knowledge, Skills and Values

The Program shall offer a curriculum that teaches students the essential knowledge, skills, and values central to the planning profession. These required components will be taught in such a manner that it is possible to demonstrate that every graduate has studied them. Ordinarily, this means that they are included in courses required of all students, although other approaches are possible. Specifically:

1. General Planning Knowledge:

The comprehension, representation, and use of ideas and information in the planning field, including appropriate perspectives from history, social science, and design and other allied fields.

  1. Purpose and Meaning of Planning: why planning is undertaken by communities, cities, regions, and nations, and the impact planning is expected to have.
  2. Planning Theory: behaviors and structures available to bring about sound planning outcomes.
  3. Planning Law: legal and institutional contexts within which planning occurs.
  4. Human Settlements and History of Planning: growth and development of places over time and across space.
  5. The Future: relationships between past, present, and future in planning domains, as well as the potential for methods of design, analysis, and intervention to influence the future.
  6. Global Dimensions of Planning: interactions, flows of people and materials, cultures, and differing approaches to planning across world regions.

2. Planning Skills:

The use and application of knowledge to perform specific tasks required in the practice of planning.

  1. Research: tools for assembling and analyzing ideas and information from prior practice and scholarship, and from primary and secondary sources.
  2. Written, Oral and Graphic Communication: ability to prepare clear, accurate and compelling text, graphics and maps for use in documents and presentations.
  3. Quantitative and Qualitative Methods: data collection, analysis and modeling tools for forecasting, policy analysis, and design of projects and plans.
  4. Plan Creation and Implementation: integrative tools useful for sound plan formulation, adoption, and implementation and enforcement.
  5. Planning Process Methods: tools for stakeholder involvement, community engagement, and working with diverse communities.
  6. Leadership: tools for attention, formation, strategic decision-making, team building, and organizational/community motivation.

3. Values and Ethics:

Values inform ethical and normative principles used to guide planning in a democratic society. The Program shall incorporate values and ethics into required courses of the curriculum, including:

  1. Professional Ethics and Responsibility: key issues of planning ethics and related questions of the ethics of public decision-making, research, and client representation (including the provisions of the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, and APA’s Ethical Principles in Planning).
  2. Equity, Diversity and Social Justice: key issues in equity, diversity, and social justice that emphasize planners’ role in expanding choice and opportunity for all persons, plan for the needs of the disadvantaged, reduce inequities through critical examination of past and current systems and disparities, and promote racial and economic integration.
  3. Governance and Participation: the roles of officials, stakeholders, and community members in planned change.
  4. Sustainability and Environmental Quality: environmental, economic, and social/political factors that contribute to sustainable communities, and the creation of sustainable futures.
  5. Growth and Development: economic, infrastructure, social, and cultural factors in urban and regional growth and change.
  6. Health and Built Environment: planning’s implications on individual and community health in the places where people live, work, play and learn.