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Graham Bloomfield: APC……. easy as 1, 2, 3?

Graham is a Land & Planning Partner at Sequence (Uk) Ltd as well as being an all-routes APC assessor, and a member of both MAAP and the East of England RAC.

I was delighted to present at a recent event on 6 October, hosted by the RTPI East of England Young Planners in navigating the APC process. After a challenging couple of years with COVID-19, it was fantastic to present at an in person event again and see some live feedback and reactions, as opposed to staring at a computer screen and desperately trying to track comments and questions in a chat function. There was also the added bonus of post-presentation beers with the majority of attendees staying on for a well-deserved drink or two after 90 minutes of APC presentation and discussion. And all within the setting of the recent Cambridge station redevelopment which has attracted much discussion in the planning world!

The success of the event owes much to the Young Planners Committee in the East of England which continues to go from strength to strength. I am grateful for their support and that of the wider RAC for assessor-led training to navigate the APC process, as well as the support nationally of the Membership team and MAAP. In the days of COVID-19 restrictions and online training, this saw a national reach for our humble APC events and a peak of close to 200 attendees, with assessor-led training having now been rolled out nationally. Hopefully the assessor-led events provide a unique insight and ‘peak behind the curtain’ for candidates, allowing them enhance their submissions and avoid some of the pitfalls.

What was also particularly rewarding is that while the event was nominally advertised for Licentiate candidates, we had a couple of attendees from the Degree Apprenticeship background who were looking forward to their written submissions, which are assessed in the same way as the Licentiate route.

The above highlights the great work that has been done by the RTPI in diversifying routes to membership with the Membership Assessment Advisory Panel (MAAP) and the Membership team taking the lead in implementation with the first degree apprentices successfully gaining membership earlier this year. This has been borne out by the continued growth in membership numbers and the continued efforts by MAAP and Membership to enhance the APC process for all routes. In particular having served their six year term, the chair and vice-chair of MAAP will leave big shoes to fill when they step down for 2023.

I would therefore conclude with a final call to arms to encourage chartered planners to take advantage of the regular opportunities to be involved in both MAAP and as APC assessors for various routes. Having done this now for a number of years it is both immensely rewarding but also educational and a good source of CPD, as well as a great way of making new contacts.


Interested in becoming an assessor?

If you would like to register your interest in becoming a new APC assessor or continue assessing APC submissions for the RTPI please register your interest by 7 November. 

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