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Streamlined Chartered membership routes launched

28 June 2016

From January 2017 town planners in the UK and around the world will be able to obtain Chartered status from one of three streamlined routes. New guidance has been launched today by the RTPI, Europe's largest professional institute for planners.

The RTPI will offer three routes to Chartered membership which are all competency based and follow a consistent structure, while allowing candidates with diverse educational backgrounds and experience to be eligible:

  • Licentiate Assessment of Professional Competence (L-APC) (no change to this route)
  • Associate Assessment of Professional Competence (A-APC)
  • Experienced Practitioner Assessment of Professional Competence (EP-APC)

Full information and guidance on the three routes is available here

Whichever route a candidate takes, the destination is Chartered membership – MRTPI - the most highly valued professional status for planners. It demonstrates to clients, peers, the public and employers around the world that the individual works to the highest professional and ethical standards. 

The planning profession is changing

Phil Williams, President of the RTPI, said:

“The planning profession is changing and diversifying. Careers are no longer built along a classic route or in one sector, with many possibilities of entering the profession from different backgrounds. Apprenticeships or work experience schemes are also opening up new routes into a career in planning for younger people.

“By streamlining the routes to Chartered membership and introducing a clearer structure we are reflecting the changes in the profession to ensure as many interested, eligible and talented people are attracted to join us and develop their careers as Chartered Members.

“At the same time, a competency-based approach across the board will enable practitioners from different academic backgrounds and experience to demonstrate the high standards required.”

Overview of Chartered Membership routes

  • Licentiate Assessment of Professional Competence (L-APC) -This continues to be the main route to become a Chartered member and is for those who have completed a fully accredited RTPI degree and who graduated in 2005 or afterwards. It has been rigorously developed over the years to ensure the highest professional standards, including a full review in 2014. The other two Chartered membership routes have been modelled on this.
  • Associate Assessment of Professional Competence (A-APC) - This route is for those who do not have a fully accredited RTPI degree and is open to RTPI Associates. New criteria to become an Associate have been introduced to help those who wish to go on to do the A-APC by providing a consistent foundation on which they can build their future submission.
  • Experienced Practitioner Assessment of Professional Competence (EP-APC) - This is a brand new, competency based route for experienced planning professionals to apply directly for Chartered membership. Candidates are required to demonstrate a combination of educational background, experience and competence. The EP-APC builds on the considerable skills, knowledge and understanding that they have already acquired as experienced practitioners.

Other changes in 2017

  • Updated experience requirements for becoming an Associate will be in place, including options for those undertaking the RTPI Town Planning Technical Support Apprenticeship and for those without a degree or other qualification (who will be able to use their additional experience to demonstrate how they meet the required standards).
  • The Affiliate class will be broadened to welcome more members, including those working in planning who are waiting to gather the experience they need to progress to another class.