Urban and Regional Planning Extension Program (URPEP)


The Urban and Regional Planning Extension Program (URPEP) will be of interest to current VIU graduate students and mid-Island area planning professionals interested in taking a series of courses that will expand their knowledge base in a fast-paced learning environment.

These courses will also be certified through PIBC and will qualify as Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) credits for Registered Professional Planners.

The six courses can be completed in as little as one year (between September and April) or students can take as long as they like to complete the six courses.

Students can take the URPEP more than once to continually add to their knowledge in community planning.

Program Objectives/Learning Outcomes

The Project Objectives are to advance knowledge, create opportunities for learning, and develop connections among learners. 

By completing the URPEP, the student will achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Build new knowledge in specialized areas relating to lands, people, and the environment;
  • Maximize skills across a wide range of important topics in planning;
  • Analyze and build connections among various issues in planning;
  • Gain an understanding of best practices in place in other jurisdictions;
  • Benefit from the cross-pollinization of ideas across levels of government and communities;
  • Continue to grow as a contributing member of the planning profession.

Ultimately, it is hoped that the URPEP will contribute to “what planners need to know” through an ongoing and ever-changing series of fun, information-filled workshops and events.

Admission Requirements/Pre-requisites For Entry into The Program

Entry into the URPEP requires one of the following:

  1. Membership in the Canadian Institute of Planners/Planning Institute of British Columbia;
  2. Current enrollment in the Master of Community Planning Program;
  3. Current enrollment in other graduate programs at Vancouver Island University; or
  4. Permission of the Director of the Master of Community Planning Program.

There are no additional pre-requisites for entry into the URPEP program. 

Requirements Necessary to be Awarded the Credential

To receive the credential:

  • The student will register for the workshops in one of two ways:
    1. professional planners- through the program website;
    2. current VIU students - through the MCP Program Director.
  • The student must complete six (6) one (1) day workshops. 
  • The student must be in attendance for the entirety of the workshop (no partial days are permitted).
  • A participant could complete the URPEP more than once as the workshops will change each year to ensure they are relevant in an evolving planning landscape. 
  • The participant will be advised by VIU by email when they have completed the required workshops. 
  • They will then receive their “Statement of Completion” by mail/in person at VIU.

The URPEP Courses

These are short-term “hot topic” workshops focused on a specific issue or aspect of planning and/or a related discipline. 

The contact time for these workshops will be approximately 7-8 hours, enabling the course to be completed in one day.  Field components may be included in the workshop requirements.  Topics will vary, but will include:

  • Project Management
  • Approval Processes
  • Archeological Assessment
  • Negotiation and Mediation
  • Retail Planning
  • Social Enterprise
  • Vector Works/CAD
  • Economic Development
  • Project Economics
  • Emergency Planning
  • Presentation Graphics
  • Real Estate Practice
  • Planning for Community Amenities
  • Asset Management
  • Community Servicing Issues
  • Food Systems
  • Community Water Planning
  • Liquid Waste Management
  • Stormwater Management
  • Alternative Transportation
  • Parks Planning
  • Asset Management

What’s in it for you?

  • Professional Planners will gain required CPL credits and will take a variety of courses on interesting topics
  • Current VIU students will expand their knowledge and network of professional contacts
  • Everyone will learn something new!

Fees Per Course

  • Current VIU graduate students can take the courses at no cost
  • Professional Planners and VIU Alumni will pay $149 per course

There is no registration fee for the Program.

Deferral Policy

You may defer your course by emailing to Pam.Shaw@viu.ca at least two (2) days before the course to get your registration fee transferred to the next course you attend. Please note that some courses may have different deferral policy per specific notices.

Cancellation Policy

You may cancel your registration by emailing to Pam.Shaw@viu.ca at least seven (7) days before the course to get a full refund. Please note that some courses may have different cancellation policy per specific notices.

Courses in 2019/20

  • Healthy Communities, September 12, 2019
  • Parks Planning, October 17, 2019
  • Climate Change Resiliency, November 7, 2019
  • Archeology of the West Coast, February 20, 2020
  • Islands Trust Professional Development Day, March 4, 2020
  • Campbell River Field Trip (cancelled due to COVID-19)

Courses in 2020/21*

  • SafeGrowth, September 24, 2020
  • Indigenous Protected & Conserved Areas, October 22, 2020
  • Airport Planning, November 19, 2020
  • Parks Planning, January 21, 2021
  • Campus Planning, February 11, 2021
  • Archaeology of the West Coast, March 18, 2021

*Spring semester courses to be confirmed

Click HERE to register for upcoming courses.


Credential: Students are awarded a "Statement of Completion" from Vancouver Island University

Length of Program: Six (6) one (1) day workshops, with workshops generally offered three times each term on approximately the third Thursday of September, October, November, January, February, and March.

Contact: Pam Shaw, Director of the Master of Community Planning Program

Phone: (250) 753-3245 x 2620

Email: Pam.Shaw@viu.ca