Skip to main content
Close Menu Open Menu

Victoria Hills: New Year, same priorities

Each year the RTPI begins with a review of our membership. During a difficult economic period, the number of members that we are able to maintain is an indication not only of the continued value of an RTPI membership but provides a health check on the industry as a whole.

However, we are pleased to report that, following a steady 6% growth in members between 2020 and 2021, we have managed to maintain our 27,000 members, even seeing a 1% growth in paying members. This is a sign, I hope, of recognition of the important work of planners and the importance of professional membership in supporting career development and having the professional credibility that comes from being a part of an internationally respected organisation.

Maintaining the planning pipeline

We are constantly striving to ensure qualified professionals, working to the highest standards, are continuing to choose planning as a career. That is why we’ve been working to nurture the next generation of planners by teaching best practices and embedding a high standard of planning early.

2022 provided promise that a new generation is continuing to take the planning path when we saw the first cohort of Chartered Town Planner Degree Apprentices successfully completing their Apprenticeship in 2022 and becoming Chartered.  We saw just under 70% of members transferring theirfree student membership to becoming licentiate members in 2022 – a 23.65% increase in the number of conversions compared to 2021. This is an outstanding vital statistic in benchmarking the health of the profession.

Celebrating planning excellence

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence showcases and celebrates the best plans, people and projects, recognising and highlighting the positive contribution planning professionals make in the communities we serve around the world.

It is my pleasure to announce that entries for the Awards for Planning Excellence 2023 will be opening next week, on 17 January. There are 15 categories to choose from including a new ‘Inspirational Leader of the Year award.

The shortlist will be celebrated locally in the summer, and then nationally with the finalists, in November, where the silver jubilee cup will be awarded to the most outstanding of all the project or plan category winners.

Get involved in National Planning Policy consultations

On 22 December, as the seasonal automatic replies were being switched to ‘send’, the long-awaited Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill: Reforms to National Planning Policy was published for consultation. This much anticipated “prospectus” comes as a welcome opportunity for planners to inform how Government planning reforms intend to deliver levelling up in more detail.

We will be holding regional workshops to guide our response. Members hoping to attend a workshop in their area can find further details online: NPPF policy roundtables.

We’ve also begun a series of blogs to help keep our members informed about the NPPF as we move through the consultation stage. Our first, NPPF: DLUHC’s Secret Santa, can be found on our site, with a new blog from the RTPI’s expert policy team published online every Thursday.

A warm welcome to incoming President Susan Bridge FRTPI

The 18th of January will see the inauguration of Susan Bridge to the role of RTPI President in 2023. I’ve worked closely with Susan in her time serving both at Chair of the Board of Trustees and as Vice President of the RTPI. I firmly believe her dedication and experience will help our Institute to continue making a positive impact within and through the planning industry.

Susan is a Chartered Town Planner, and Fellow of the RTPI, with nearly 30 years' of experience as a planning practitioner in local government and over 12 years in the development industry. In her previous role at Chair of the Board of Trustees, Susan has presided over a period of transformational change for the RTPI including governance changes and the refurbishment of Botolph Lane.. As such, I cannot imagine an individual more knowledgeable in the ins and outs of the RTPI than her, and I know that Susan will be a fabulous ambassador for the profession.

The inauguration will open up with full attendance for the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, though we will continue to livestream the event at from 16:30 on January 18.

Back to top