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Julie Douglas: A call to support standards and quality in Planning Education

Julie Douglas is Higher Education Manager at the Royal Town Planning Institute.

As the stewards of quality assurance for planning education in the UK, Ireland and overseas, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is committed to raising the standards of education and training through its accreditation provision; supporting the successful professional development of planners and building a planning workforce that is not only capable and confident but is developing its leaders across the wider planning profession.

To achieve this aim, the RTPI works closely with a discrete group of volunteer members with an interest in planning education, who monitor the continued effectiveness of accredited planning schools, support planning school development and, ensure that the quality of provision of accredited programmes is maintained at the required standard in line with the RTPI’s education policy.

With currently over 50 members drawn from planning academia and practice, these volunteers comprise the RTPI Partnership and Accreditation Panel (PAP) and make an enormous contribution year on year to this key area of the Institute’s education strategy.

As our Education Policy Review draws to its conclusion and the pause on the accreditation of new planning programmes is lifted, we are now seeking new member volunteers with knowledge of RTPI education policy and higher education practice to become PAP members and support this work from Autumn 2023.

Volunteer roles on the PAP include Dialogue member, Chair and Vice Chair of the Accreditation Board (during the initial process of accrediting a new Planning School at a university), and Chair or Vice Chair of a Partnership Board (once a university has gained full accreditation). These roles are open to RTPI Chartered Members and retired Members or Fellows who are either working, or have worked, as planning academics or as practitioners in the public or private sectors. Further details on these roles and the application form can be found here.

Comprehensive training and guidance will be provided to all new PAP members in advance of being allocated a partnership or accreditation board role. This is an exciting time for RTPI Education as we look forward to adopting a new accreditation policy statement and implementing enhanced processes that will underpin it- join us to support our accredited partners to continue to develop high quality education and provide a route to professional recognition for the next generation of planners!

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