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RTPI responds to positive results from membership survey

06 March 2014

cath ranson with chainThe RTPI has today published key results from its 2013 membership survey and has set-out how the Institute is responding to the views of members.

During a four week period in late 2013, 5,718 members completed the survey – more than a quarter of the membership. The Institute would like to thank all of those members who took the time to share their views.

Cath Ranson

Cath Ranson, President of the RTPI, said:  “I’m delighted that so many members chose to provide the RTPI with their views, and I’m extremely pleased to see how positively members feel about the RTPI. The survey provides strong evidence about how valued MRTPI is by members, employers and clients. The results also indicate very clearly what members want from their Institute and I know that staff are working hard not only to meet those expectations, but to exceed them.”

Trudi Elliott

Trudi Elliott, Chief Executive of the RTPI said: “The survey results are helping shape the Institute’s work as it prepares a new corporate strategy and business plan from 2015-20 to ensure that it focuses on what matters to members and enhances the status of professional planners. Looking even further ahead, the survey results will help the Institute to chart and respond to the demographic changes in the membership and the profession in the future.”

The membership survey is the first part of a new programme of research by the RTPI into the ‘state of the planning profession’. This work will generate intelligence on the wider planning profession, and support the RTPI's work in representing members and the profession more effectively.


Some of the key findings from the survey include:

  • The RTPI has a long-standing membership with significant experience. Just over half have been members for 16 years or more (51%). The largest single proportion have more than 30 years' experience in planning (27%), followed by 18% who had between 6 and 10 years' experience.
  • Chartered members are more likely to earn £35-55k than non-Chartered members. More than half (54%) of Chartered members earning £45-55k say it has affected their salary.
  • The majority of members indicate their employer regards RTPI membership either as essential (33%) or desirable (39%). Nearly half of members (45%) say they are part of the Institute because their employer or clients require it, followed by 38% who say that they are members because it provides them with essential skills and knowledge.
  • In terms of employers, half of members work in local government. More than a fifth (22%) of members work for consultancies.
  • More than three-quarters of members say they are proud of working in planning (77%).

Members particularly emphasised that the Institute should prioritise policy and influencing, media profile, sharing good practice, and training and development.

More key findings from the survey can be found in summary report here 

RTPI response

The March 2014 issue of The Planner magazine also includes an article on the key findings from the survey and how the RTPI is responding to the results. These responses include:

  • Further policy and research publications to increase the Institute’s profile and influence. The RTPI has already published the first two in a new series of policy papers, on large-scale housing development and transport infrastructure, and further policy papers will be published this year.
  • The Institute will also be publishing five Planning Horizons papers during its centenary year. These will take a step back from immediate policy concerns and take a long-term, global view of planning and the challenges we face in the 21st century, such as climate change, demographic change, urbanisation and health, and planning for economic growth and enterprise.
  • To support its policy work, the Institute has also invested in its research programme, including the Small Project Impact Research Scheme (SPIRe) – a fund to support high-quality research projects with the potential to impact on policy and practice, and to encourage closer collaboration between the RTPI and accredited planning schools.
  • Regular news bulletins and increased engagement with members via social media.
  • The Planner magazine’s new website, which will be launched in the next month. Both the new website and the magazine offer RTPI members a forum for debate on planning issues, as requested by members.
  • Building on the popular RTPI Learn platform that has already gained more than 1,000 members since it launched earlier this year.
  • The Institute will be continuing to promote the theme of ‘Proud of Planning’.