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Routes to Membership FAQs

The new routes to Chartered membership

Q: What route to Chartered membership should I take from January 2017?

Q: When can I apply through one of the new routes?

Q: What do I need to do to apply through one of the new routes?

Q: How much will it cost to apply through the new routes?

Q: From 2017 there will be three routes to Chartered membership – the existing Licentiate APC (L-APC), the new Experienced Practitioner APC (EP-APC) route, and the modified Associate APC (A-APC) route. What are the key differences between the latter two?

Q: All routes to Chartered membership will be competency based in future. What does that mean and how will it affect my chances?

Q: Are there any changes planned for the application process to become a Legal Associate?

FAQs for existing members

Q: I am a Licentiate, is the Licentiate APC (L-APC) changing?

Q: I am a Licentiate, can I apply through the EP-APC route?

Q: I am a Licentiate, can I apply through the A-APC route?

Q: I am an Associate, can I apply through the EP-APC route?

Q: I'm an Associate wanting to do the Associate Assessment of Professional Competence (A-APC). Is this going to be changing?

Q: I'm an Associate working on my Associate Assessment of Professional Competence (A-APC). How will these changes affect me?

Q: I need to resubmit my A-APC application, can I submit a new application under one of the new routes?

Special Entry, EU Pathway and Reciprocal Arrangements routes FAQs

Q: I wanted to submit a Special Entry application, but was not able to do so by the closing date of 26 October. What are my options now?

Q: I need to resubmit my Special Entry application, can I submit a new application under one of the new routes?

Q: I wanted to submit an application through the Reciprocal Arrangements with PIA, NZPI and CIP, but was not able to do so by the closing date of 10 June. What are my options now?

Q: I wanted to submit an application through the EU Pathway, but was not able to do so by the closing date of 10 June. What are my options now?

Technical membership FAQs

Q: I wanted to become a Technical Member, but was not able to submit an application by the closing date of 10 June. What are my options now?

Q: I'm currently a Technical Member. How will this change affect me?

Background to the changes

Q: Why have the Special Entry, EU Pathway and Reciprocal Arrangements routes closed?

Q: Why has the Technical Member class closed?

Q: Who was involved in deciding what changes should be made?

The new routes to Chartered membership

Q: What route to Chartered membership should I take from January 2017?

A: Details of the routes from January 2017 are now online. From January 2017 there will be three routes to Chartered membership:

  • Licentiate Assessment of Professional Competence (L-APC) – existing route
  • Associate Assessment of Professional Competence (A-APC)
  • Experienced Practitioner Assessment of Professional Competence (EP-APC)

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Q: When can I apply through one of the new routes?

A: The new routes come in from January 2017. There are submission dates scheduled throughout 2017.

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Q: What do I need to do to apply through one of the new routes?

A: Each route has a detailed guidance document and other supporting resources which set out what is required:

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Q: How much will it cost to apply through the new routes?

A: An administration fee is required for each route. For the Licentiate APC this is £230 and for the Associate APC and Experienced Practitioner APC this will be £290.

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Q: From 2017 there will be three routes to Chartered membership – the existing Licentiate APC (L-APC), the new Experienced Practitioner APC (EP-APC) route, and the modified Associate APC (A-APC) route. What are the key differences between the latter two?

A: The A-APC is for members who are already Associates and wish to progress from that membership class to Chartered membership. The EP-APC is for candidates who wish to apply directly for Chartered membership, subject to meeting the requirements.

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Q: All routes to Chartered membership will be competency based in future. What does that mean and how will it affect my chances?

A: Candidates will need to demonstrate that they meet the required competencies for the membership class they wish to join. The competencies relate to the skills and understanding you need to demonstrate that you are a reflective professional and a competent spatial planner. A competency based approach also assesses candidates' awareness of the context in which they operate and of the factors that impact on their work. The competencies are based on the existing Licentiate APC competencies which were thoroughly reviewed in phase 1 of the Routes to Membership project, and are designed to be used by candidates internationally.   

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Q: Are there any changes planned for the application process to become a Legal Associate?

A: We consulted with member and non-member planning lawyers about what they want from membership, and reviewed the current application process to become a Legal Associate. New guidance is now available.

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FAQs for existing members

Q: I am a Licentiate, is the Licentiate APC (L-APC) changing?

A: The L-APC was reviewed in phase 1 of the Routes to Membership project (resulting in the updated guidance, launched in March 2015). It is not changing again now. The non-accredited routes are changing to be more consistent with the established, competency-based L-APC.

Q: I am a Licentiate, can I apply through the EP-APC route?

A: Yes, if you meet the experience and other requirements for the EP-APC route

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Q: I am a Licentiate, can I apply through the A-APC route?

A: No, Licentiates cannot apply through the A-APC route, which is for those who do not have a fully RTPI accredited degree. They can apply through the L-APC route or, if they meet the requirements, through the EP-APC route.

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Q: I am an Associate, can I apply through the EP-APC route?

A: Yes, if you meet the experience and other requirements for the EP-APC route

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Q: I'm an Associate wanting to do the Associate Assessment of Professional Competence (A-APC). Is this going to be changing?

A: There will still be an A-APC route for Associates who want to become Chartered Members, but it will be modified so that it is in line with the established Licentiate APC and the new Experienced Practitioner APC routes. It will still be a competency-based route, but the submission details will change. If you're currently working on your A-APC and have queries please contact us at membership@rtpi.org.uk

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Q: I'm an Associate working on my Associate Assessment of Professional Competence (A-APC). How will these changes affect me?

A: If you're currently working on your A-APC please continue working on your submission using the current guidance. If you have queries please contact us at membership@rtpi.org.uk

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Q: I need to resubmit my A-APC application, can I submit a new application under one of the new routes?

A: If you have been advised to resubmit under the current route and guidance, you are advised to continue with that resubmission. However if you are waiting to gather more experience or gain extra knowledge, and would prefer to apply afresh through the new routes, you may do so. You will need to make sure that you familiarise yourself with the guidance, requirements, administration fee and submission dates for the relevant new route, as this will be different from your current route.

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Special Entry, EU Pathway and Reciprocal Arrangements routes FAQs

Q: I wanted to submit a Special Entry application, but was not able to do so by the closing date of 26 October. What are my options now?

A: Our new Experienced Practitioner Assessment of Professional Competence (EP-APC) route to Chartered membership will replace the Special Entry, Reciprocal Arrangements and EU Pathway routes from January 2017, and will be a competency based route for planners with experience (from anywhere in the world).

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Q: I need to resubmit my Special Entry application, can I submit a new application under one of the new routes?

A: If you have been advised to resubmit under the current route and guidance, you are advised to continue with that resubmission. However if you are waiting to gather more experience or gain extra knowledge, and would prefer to apply afresh through the new routes, you may do so. You will need to make sure that you familiarise yourself with the guidance, requirements, administration fee and submission dates for the relevant new route, as this will be different from your current route.

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Q: I wanted to submit an application through the Reciprocal Arrangements with PIA, NZPI and CIP, but was not able to do so by the closing date of 10 June. What are my options now?

A: Our new Experienced Practitioner Assessment of Professional Competence (EP-APC) route to Chartered membership will replace the Special Entry, Reciprocal Arrangements and EU Pathway routes from January 2017, and will be a competency based route for planners with experience (from anywhere in the world).

You may be eligible to apply now to become an Associate. This is a partial professional qualification which demonstrates that you have achieved a certain level of knowledge, understanding and competence in your chosen spatial planning field. Associate membership also offers a route to becoming a Chartered Member: the Associate Assessment of Professional Competence (A-APC).

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Q: I wanted to submit an application through the EU Pathway, but was not able to do so by the closing date of 10 June. What are my options now?

A: Our new Experienced Practitioner Assessment of Professional Competence (EP-APC) route to Chartered membership will replace the Special Entry, Reciprocal Arrangements and EU Pathway routes from January 2017, and will be a competency based route for planners with experience (from anywhere in the world).

You may be eligible to apply now to become an Associate. This is a partial professional qualification which demonstrates that you have achieved a certain level of knowledge, understanding and competence in your chosen spatial planning field. Associate membership also offers a route to becoming a Chartered Member: the Associate Assessment of Professional Competence (A-APC).

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Technical membership FAQs

Q: I wanted to become a Technical Member, but was not able to submit an application by the closing date of 10 June. What are my options now?

A: You may be eligible now to become an Associate: current requirements to become an Associate. Updated requirements, which will include requirements for candidates without degrees, will come in from January 2017.  If you do not yet meet the requirements to become an Associate, we also offer the Affiliate class.

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Q: I'm currently a Technical Member. How will this change affect me?

A: All current Technical Members will remain in their class throughout 2016. During 2016 we will be liaising with individual Technical Members about transferring to the Associate class (from where they will have the option of taking the Associate APC route to Chartered membership). You don't need to do anything now, we will contact you, but if you have specific queries please contact membership@rtpi.org.uk.

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Background to the changes

Q: Why have the Special Entry, EU Pathway and Reciprocal Arrangements routes closed?

A: To maintain the "gold standard" of Chartered membership, the RTPI's Board of Trustees has decided that all routes to membership should be competency based. These routes did not have competencies, and had not been reviewed for some time. So during 2015 a review was carried out and the decision made that they would close, to be replaced by our new Experienced Practitioner Assessment of Professional Competence (EP-APC) route to Chartered membership.

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Q: Why has the Technical Member class closed?

A: There was no route from Technical membership to Chartered membership, so Technical Members were not able to progress their membership as their career and experience developed. Technical Members told us that this is something they wanted to see changed. We consulted with them, and RTPI Committees, Panels and Boards during 2015 and the decision was made to close the class and that in future those who would have applied for Technical membership will apply to be an Associate. There is a route from Associate to Chartered membership (called the Associate APC) for those Associates who want to work towards Chartered membership.

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Q: Who was involved in deciding what changes should be made?

A: A member-led project working group, reporting to the Membership and Ethics Committee, reviewed the current routes, made proposals for a new membership routes structure and the competencies that would underpin any new non-accredited routes. We consulted on the proposed changes with RTPI member Committees, Panels and Boards and individual Technical Members from July-September 2015. We then took proposals to the RTPI General Assembly and Board of Trustees in October-November 2015. The Board is the decision making body of the Institute.

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