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RTPI publishes ethics guidance for the first time

27 April 2016

Set of three guidance notes now available to support RTPI Code of Professional Conduct


For the first time the RTPI has published guidance on professional ethics, which reiterates planners’ need to ‘act fearlessly and impartially in their professional judgement’. 

Growing ethical challenges

The Institute recognises the growing ethical challenges that members face as planners are under pressure to deliver more with limited resources, and as more of them operate internationally in very different cultural and political systems.

The 2016 Planning Convention has a dedicated “Ethics Under Pressure” session, while the new Ethics and Professional Standards guidance is an attempt to provide more clarity and support in this area.

The guidance note covers issues including ethical challenges, conflicts of interest, equality and diversity, professional competency, gifts and hospitality and use of social media. A summary of this can be found in the April issue of The Planner magazine and online here.

More clarity and support for members

Andrew Close, Head of Careers, Education and Professional Development, said:

“Professional planners are held in high regard because they deal with important long term issues affecting the public. Issues can be complex and planners need to weigh up and balance often competing demands for the use or development of land. Planners therefore play a key role in ensuring economic, social and environmental factors are appropriately considered by local politicians and communities.

“This guidance addresses a wide range of different situations and should help members steer through them with more confidence and exemplify the professional behaviour expected of them.”

Other guidance

Two other supporting notes have also been published to help members follow the updated Code of Professional Conduct published in February:

Starting your own Private Practice – This supports our members who are considering or who have recently set up as an independent planning consultant. It introduces the main issues that need to be considered, from the preparation of business plans and setting up a fee structure to assessing professional strengths, effective networking and maintaining work-life balance. It contains up-to-date insights and top tips from practitioners from our Independent Consultants Network.

 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – Planners operate in a fast changing market and regulatory environment. Keeping up with all the latest development can be a challenge. This guidance has been updated and provides a step by step approach for members who, as part of the terms of their membership, are required to take reasonable steps to maintain their professional competence throughout their working life by developing their professional skills and knowledge. It aims to make CPD easily achievable and equates to only 30 minutes a week.