Skip to main content
Close Menu Open Menu

Reflect-Plan-Do-Record-Reflect (Repeat)

Kathryn Thomson is the Head of Professional Development and Education at the RTPI. For all comments and questions please email [email protected]

It’s three weeks into January and I’m still saying “Happy New Year!” to people I’m seeing for the first time since coming back. Now, more than ever, I really hope that this year is a positive one for everybody. If the last two years have taught us anything, it is that we all need to be resilient, adaptable to change, highly informed and able to make sound, ethical judgements. All of these attributes are business as usual for the typical planning professional and indeed, are articulated in the RTPI Ethics and Professional Standards

One of the requirements of RTPI Membership is that everyone follows the Code of Conduct and carries out regular Continuing Professional Development (CPD). At the RTPI we describe CPD as 'the systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skill and the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional and technical duties throughout the practitioners working life'. Again, I would argue that in the last two years, many people have had no choice but to broaden their knowledge, learn how to use new technologies, and develop new skillsets, sometimes overnight.

I am proud to say that the RTPI has been very supportive of its staff and its Members during the last two years, acting with an abundance of caution, but maintaining the status of the profession, converting to an online then a hybrid way of working to keep the show on the road.  We created lots of free, online CPD opportunities during the last two years and provided free online modules for everyone on health and wellbeing in RTPI Learn We immediately converted our face to face masterclasses into a longer, online version, maintaining the high quality, in depth approach in a small group setting.   We have updated our masterclass programme for 2022 and are repeating the most popular masterclasses as well as two new topics of Applied Urban Design Analysis, and Planning for Elected Members. You can find further information about our masterclass programme here.

With so many different sources of CPD available, I am confident that Members should all be able to meet the Code of Conduct requirements of 50 hours of CPD over the last two years. We will soon be starting the annual audit of the Code of Conduct requirements and will be looking forward to seeing what you have done over the last two years and what you are planning on doing for the next two. In turn, this will help us plan a future programme of CPD activities for you, and  will match the Core CPD Framework that categorizes the skills and knowledge required in planning.

Regardless of whether or not you are audited, I hope you can all set aside some time to reflect on what you have done, how much you have learnt and think about how it could be done even better in the future.  The regular logging of CPD is a valuable process that records progress and helps you plan your career. On the RTPI website you can log in as a Member and record your CPD under My Profile then My CPD. All RTPI events that you book will automatically show up on there.  

If you are still stuck for ideas of what CPD you can do, there are a variety of new opportunities within the world of education and we would love you to be involved. The Chartered Town Planner Apprenticeship programme is growing and we are very pleased to have had our first apprentice pass the Professional Discussion and start the path to Chartership.

Please do encourage all employers and training providers to offer apprenticeships, or if you a are Chartered with three years experience, then consider becoming an Assessor for the Professional Discussion element.

Apprenticeships are a great way to get a more diverse pipeline of planners, and helps promote the profession to a wider audience. Championing Planning is one of the five Professional Skills in the Core CPD Framework, and is something that everyone can do, regardless of what stage you are in your career.  I hope this blog has given you some inspiration for your CPD and I wish you a very happy, productive and safe new year.

Back to top