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PR 01 - Baroness Andrews to launch RTPI Learning Partner Initiative

08 January 2007

Baroness Andrews, Communities and Local Government's Minister for Housing and Planning in the House of Lords, will launch the RTPI Learning Partner initiative at 12pm on Wednesday 10 January. The launch will take place at a lunchtime reception at DCLG's offices at Eland House, Bressenden Place, London.

Baroness Andrews said: \"The RTPI Learning Partner initiative is aimed at engaging with employers to support planners in maintaining and developing their competence throughout their planning careers.  RTPI Learning Partner status is therefore a benchmark of excellence in an employer's training and development practices. It demonstrates their commitment to high standards of professionalism by employing planning staff who are committed to and supported in their professional development.\"

Royal Town Planning Institute President Clive Harridge, a Director at Entec UK Ltd, said: 'The RTPI Learning Partner initiative is an important kite mark which allows current and potential employees, clients and the public to identify organisations with strong staff development policies. I am pleased that Entec is one of the first companies to become an RTPI Learning Partner since professional development is at the heart of our business in ensuring we continue to achieve exemplary professional standards.'

RTPI Learning Partners will be able to promote their involvement with the initiative through use of the RTPI Learning Partner logo. RTPI Learning Partner organisations will also be included in an online directory of RTPI Learning Partners.

The RTPI Learning Partner initiative is formally supported by Communities and Local Government, the Scottish Executive and Scottish Improvement Service, The Academy for Sustainable Communities, and the Planning Officers' Society in England.
For further information or to book a free place please contact:

Jacqui Ward, Membership Education & Lifelong Learning Department, 0207 929 9481

Andrew Kliman, Communications Manager, 0207 929 9479
Notes to Editors

1. RTPI Learning Partners are: DTZ Consulting & Research, Entec UK Ltd, Ove Arup & Partners Ltd, RENEW North Staffordshire, Scott Wilson Group plc, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Terence O'Rourke Ltd.

2. Pursuing RTPI Learning Partner status during 2007: Barton Willmore, The Environment Agency, Hambleton District Council, London South Bank University, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, London Borough of Hackney, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Westminster University.