Education & Events

OACA's Primer on Planning Course (POP)


Primer on Planning (POP)

Delivered through AMCTO, this one unit course is offered by the Ontario Association of Committees of Adjustment and Consent Authorities (OACA). POP provides a basic understanding of the land use planning process in Ontario and related regulations.  This course is designed for those working in this related field and satisfies one of the four requirements to obtaining the ACST or ACM accreditation through OACA. OACA awards a Certificate for successfully completing this program.

Program Format

POP is available in one format:
  • Correspondence Format: In this format, you are required to read the textbook, submit assignments, and complete an exam according to a given schedule. You will be assigned to a marker who will grade your submissions. If you have questions the marker can answer them, but there is no live lecture or instruction. Instead, all activities and communication are performed via the AMCTO Connect online learning platform.
  • Zoom Format Offering is not availabe for this course.

Correspondence Format Tuition Fees

Course Fee: $435.05 ($385.00 + $50.05 HST)

All course materials including the textbook are provided through online access. If you would like a hard copy of the textbook, an additional $40 fee applies and the total will be $480.25 ($385.00 + $40.00 + $55.25 HST)Hard copy textbooks are shipped after registration closes.

​​Correspondence Course Refund Policy: A student who cancels from any Unit before the first scheduled assignment due date is entitled to a partial refund of fees less a refund levy of $113.00 ($100.00 + $13.00 HST). In order to receive the partial refund, you must submit written notice of your cancellation to Education Department. No refunds will be granted for cancellations received after the first scheduled assignment due date. A student cannot transfer their registration or payment to a later date. No returns accepted or no refunds for the hard copy textbook.
Course Information

The first three lessons of the course provide an overview of the land use planning process in Ontario. The main planning instruments, policies and controls are introduced and described, as well as the evolving provincial-local relationship in planning. Particular attention is given to the official plan and the zoning by-law. The next two lessons represent the central core of the course and provide a detailed examination of the powers, procedures and practices of committees of adjustment, land division committees and consent authorities when considering applications for minor variances, legal non-conforming uses and consents. Factual situations and descriptions of pertinent case law are used to highlight the issues under discussion. The final lesson deals with validation of title and issuing a “Validation Certificate" under Section 57 of the Planning Act – what it is and when and how is it used.

This course has six assignments and an exam.

Registration is closed - the POP course has reached capacity for the Winter 2023 term. Next offering will be duirng the Fall 2023 term and registration will open July 2.