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Working in the UK

The Royal Town Planning Insitutute does not provide a job hunting service, visa advice or provide internships. However, we can offer general advice on where to find work, which government department to ask regarding work visas and where to find more information.

General Advice

It's generally best to be in the UK or the Republic of Ireland when job-hunting as it demonstrates your commitment to living and working here and many employers and recruitment agents are keen to meet face-to-face. It can also be difficult to respond rapidly when a vacancy occurs if you are not here. However, things are channging and there are some recruitment agents and employers who now interview virtually e.g. on Skype. Where possible, try do a bit of research and find out about opportunities by coming over here on a holiday or attend a conference (for RTPI conferences and events see here). There may also be visa and work permit complications which mean that it is easier to come first as a tourist to research the employment market. 

Visas and Work Permits

We do not advise on immigration and work permits, as individual planners circumstances vary so widely.

For the UK, contact the UK's Government's Home Office who will be able to advise further. Information can be found here:

For the Republic of Ireland, contact the Irisk Naturalisation and Immigration Service who provide a one-stop shop for all asylum, immigration, citizenship and visa enquries for the Minsitry of Justice and Equality.

Online Research

It may be expensive to organise a short visit so doing online research may help. Search for UK and Irish planning consultancies, local authorities and universities using expressions such as town and country planning or land-use planning to narrow down the search if necessary. The RTPI also publishes an annual Directory of Planning Consultants and lists some of the multi-national consultancies which have offices and jobs listed worldwide here. (note: this is by no means an exhaustive list)

To find names and addresses of local authorities (councils/municipalities) go to the official:

UK Government information website for a complete alphabetical listing with links. Note: the names of UK local authorities do not always correspond to familiar names of towns and cities. For example, London consists of the City of London, the City of Westminster, and 31 other Boroughs from Barking & Dagenham to Wandsworth. Similarly, Greater Manchester covers ten metropolitan authorities including the cities of Manchester and Salford and the Boroughs of Tameside, Oldham, Bury etc (see the website for the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities). 

The Government of Ireland website contains information on all government wesbites including local authorities, online services and citizens advice.

Contact details for accredited RTPI University departments can be found in the Education & Careers section of our website. Many offer short courses as well as full-length undergraduate and/or graduate courses.

Job Advertisements

The RTPI's monthly magazine, The Planner, features jobs online - see: RTPI accredited universities also advertised vacancies on their websites. The national broad-sheet newspapers (The Guardian, The Independent, The Times and Daily Telegraph) also advertise planning jobs especially those in the public and charity sectors.

Finding out more

RTPI Membership 

If you are not already a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and you would like to become a member, then please see our membership pages  here. We havestudent, licentiate, chartered, associate, legal asssociate and affiliate members. Chartered membership is the highest standard. We do not have recipricol arrangements with other planning institutes but we do have offer ways for planners from other countries to become members  for example many experience planners join as Affiliate members.

UK and Ireland Planning Policy

UK - Planning is devolved in the UK i.e. although based on the same principles, there are different planning systems operating in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our website has information on all, including planning systems, responses to government consultations, research and events - see:  information on England here and under RTPI Scotland; RTPI Wales (know as Cymru); Northern Ireland. You can also go to the relevant governments' websites: For England: Department for Communities and Local Government; for Scotland: the Scottish Government; for Wales: the Welsh Government; for Northern Ireland see NI Direct (bringstogether information from all parts of government in Northern Ireland).

Republic of Ireland -has its own planning system and all information can be found on our website at RTPI Ireland and the Irish government's Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

In addition, the RTPI website also publishes Latest news and research and practice advice in our Knowledge section.

RTPI Networks: Our Networks, groups and forums provide wide-ranging information on activities, initiatives and events in specialised areas such as Transport, Urban Design, Planning Research, Rural Planning, Housing and International Development. They also provide a network for Young Planners and chartered town planners in private consultancy. 

Recruitment (Employment) Agencies

A number of UK-based recruitment agencies can assist in locating jobs in local authorities, property development companies and other employers of planners. Many advertise in our official magazine, The Planner. Please see:


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