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Master Planner / Advanced Master Planner Certifications


Master Planner Certification

The Center holds three courses in cooperation with the Berks County Planning Commission, Berks County Bar Association, and the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Education Institute (PMPEI) for elected officials, appointed planning and zoning officials, and other individuals interested in the following topics:

  • Zoning Basics
  • Subdivision and Land Development Review
  • Community Planning

Individuals completing all three courses (27 hours) receive their Master Planner Certification from the Center for Excellence in Local Government and the Berks County Planning Commission. 
130 + individuals from a variety of municipal and development backgrounds have now been certified since the program began in 2000.

Advanced Master Planner Certification

Individuals completing their MP certification are eligible to pursue Advance Master Planner Certification in accordance the following guidelines.

Purpose and participants:

  • Goal:   To assist Master Planners (and other officials) enhance their core knowledge and understanding of planning principles, techniques, and best practices they can apply to promote and sustain smart growth communities.   
  • Target audience: The Program is designed initially for officials who have completed the  Master Planner Program; other officials who have sufficient knowledge of a given topic may participate  in  the educational activities but will not receive credit for their work


  • Officials must complete fifteen (15) units of training in at least two core workshops plus additional training activities to fulfill the AMPP requirements
  • Each land use training program offered by the Center will be assigned a specific number of units based on the length of the activity (e.g. a dinner program will be worth one unit; an evening workshop will be worth 2-3 units; and the PA Land Use Institute will be worth 3-5 units)
  • To receive credit, officials will be expected to attend the educational activity and complete the pre-session assignments (on-line or hard copy), where applicable 


  • Core Areas (a minimum of five units required): Officials must complete the required activity for at least two of the following three core areas of training  (each activity will be worth two to three units)
    • community planning
    • land use regulation
    • design 
  • Optional Training (in addition to the core activities)
  • These activities will include on-going, regularly scheduled  programs offered by the Center (e.g. PA Land Use Institute) as well as special initiatives designed to address contemporary topics/issues and best planning practices, site tours, and smart growth efforts
  • Officials also may choose to undertake an independent case study of a specific issue or development in their community; the topic will be pre-approved and the official will present his/her final report to the Center’s Local Government Advisory Council; a maximum of three units will be received  following the completion of the study
  • A maximum of three units may be earned through participation in a land use training program(s) offered by another organization.


  • Activities will be offered in various formats, such as classes/workshops; on-line; tours; dinners, and independent study primarily during evening hours, with some daytime or weekend sessions