Planning Officer, Harborough District Council
I graduated from Leeds University in 2004, with a degree in Environmental Management (BA Hons). I began my planning career in 2006, taking a job as a Planning Assistant in the Development Management Team at Harborough District Council (HDC) and in 2009 I gained promotion to my current position as Planning Officer. Whilst working for HDC I was able to study for my Masters in Spatial Planning and was elected as a member of the RTPI in June of this year.
My job involves dealing with a caseload of planning and other applications, giving pre-application advice and representing the Council at appeal. Working in a relatively small team, I have had the opportunity to deal with a varied and increasingly complex case load, including large-scale major residential and mixed use schemes. Harborough has a high proportion of listed buildings and Conservation Areas and as such I am also experienced at dealing with schemes involving heritage assets.
My tips for future candidates are:
I found the Professional Competence Statement (PCS) the most challenging part of the submission. I would give the following advice to a future candidate with regards to the PCS.
- Read the guidance and particularly the assessment criteria very carefully and continually refer back to this to ensure what you are writing is relevant. Omit parts of the case studies that do not relate to the assessment criteria.
- I attended a RTPI L-APC course, which I found useful.
- Think carefully about the case study selection. Identify which cases you will use to demonstrate which parts of the assessment criteria and what specific examples you will use.
- Remember it will be much more difficult for someone else reading your submission to spot where the examples link to the assessment criteria. Use signposting to explain at the start of a case study, which skills this will demonstrate.
- Demonstrate you are reflective and that you have developed as a planner over the course of your experience. For each case study conclude what you have learnt (linking this back to the assessment criteria). Explain whether you now use the same or a different approach and why.
Please note: To stay fit for purpose, L-APC requirements do change over time. For the most up to date advice please always refer to the L-APC Guidance on the Licenitate APC webpage. Candidate details provided here are current at time of L-APC submission in 2012.