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RTPI priorities for Continuing Professional Development

07 September 2015

Housing and public health priorities for Continuing Professional Development

Current issues around housing and public health and ongoing feedback from its members have prompted the RTPI to review the continuing professional development (CPD) of planners in the UK and across the world.

Eight areas of knowledge and skills have been identified by the RTPI this week as key CPD priorities for the future and will form part of their extensive CPD programme:

  • Delivering housing to meet national needs - The emphasis will be on promoting design and quality of places and communities in tackling the housing crisis.
  • Health and inclusive planning - This is about enhancing the role of planning and the built environment in creating a more equal, inclusive and healthier society.
  • Understanding and practicing in a market economy - This is about increasing planners’ understanding of markets, including the economics and financing of developments, and the economic consequences of their decisions.
  • Understanding land as a resource - This is to enable planners to better understand the impact of land use on energy supply and usage.
  • Communication, mediation and negotiation skills – The demands of communicating complex information and working with a wide range of stakeholders mean that these are vital skills a planner must improve constantly to get the job done effectively and efficiently.
  • Effective decision making – This is specially geared towards helping planners find the optimal solutions amid often conflicting demands and understanding the political contexts of decisions. 
  • Management and business skills – Advice on running a consultancy practice or managing a local authority team, especially during times of recourses cost, is considered by members to be important.
  • Ethics – The nature of the profession means planners are faced with the requirements of their employer, the needs of individuals affected, the collective welfare of the community and their own personal views. Feedback from members indicates that more CPD support in this area is needed.

 Trudi Elliott, Chief Executive of the RTPI, said:

“Planners have a huge responsibility in society as professionals working in both the public and private sector to create better places. They work at the nexus of social, economic and environmental concerns, addressing the many challenges the world faces in an ever-changing environment. This requires planners to keep learning throughout their career. 

“RTPI provides an extensive high quality CPD programme that is constantly refined to ensure it addresses the most urgent and topical needs. These priorities for focus were identified following extensive engagement with members and will give planners a sharper focus for their professional development, and help maintain the standards of the profession.”

David Carlisle of AECOM said:

“AECOM employs over 100 planners in the UK and Ireland who are chartered or working towards full membership with the RTPI. As a learning partner we seek to support staff at all levels of the organisation with continuing professional development and through the assessment of professional competence.

"Operating in a competitive market, it’s critical that our workforce is committed to maintaining high professional standards and can provide our clients with excellent advice and customer service. We achieve this through ongoing training and development and believe that the priorities identified for 2015/16 align well with our priorities as a planning practice and the nature of our projects over the coming year.”

Chartered planners are required to do at least 50 hours of CPD in each 2 year period. Future RTPI CPD materials will be designed and aligned with the eight priorities. New resources and future CPD materials can be found at