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Ginny Duffell

Planner, States of Jersey

In 1997 I completed my BSc (Hons) degree and Diploma in Ginny Duffell _smallTown Planning at the Bartlett, University College London where I was fortunate to be taught by the late Sir Peter Hall.  During my final year, whilst undertaking my Diploma, I secured a position at DTZ as a Graduate Planner in their London office.  This provided an excellent opportunity to put planning into practice.  As graduates we were thrown in at the deep end.  The learning curve was steep but the rewards immense. The majority of my work was centred on viability studies and site appraisals across London and the South East.

I then had a hiatus from planning and chose to pursue a career in finance working for Anderson Consulting and JPMorgan in London.  As a young professional embarking upon my career these were excellent places to learn.  The fast paced environment, combined with first class training, shaped my work ethic, professionalism and client focus.  It also honed my time management and organisation skills.  These transferable skills are invaluable to a planner in terms of managing a caseload and each individual application. 

Following a career break to raise a family, and a relocation to Jersey, I decided to return to my planning roots.  In 2012 I joined the States of Jersey as a Graduate Planner.  Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands, with a population of circa 100,000, and is a British Crown Dependency of the United Kingdom.   It has its own government, financial, legal and judicial systems and operates an international airport; port; power station; incinerator plant; hospital and 38 schools.  As one of the 10 Development Control Officers we are responsible for managing a vast array of planning requirements from small householder extensions through to strategic infrastructure applications.

Ginny's top tips for future candidates:

  • Be disciplined and stay on top of your log book.  At the outset I scheduled monthly meetings with my mentor and agreed to provide log book entries for the prior month at each of our meetings.  This forced me to be diligent – there is a limit to the number of months that you can turn up claiming the dog ate your log book!
  • It's not enough to have read through the Guidance once - you need to know the Guidance inside and out, especially the sections on the competencies.  Don't even consider writing the log book, PES, PCS or PDP without having the Guidance open in front of you.
  • When choosing case studies for your PCS don't be seduced into thinking that large, meaty applications are necessary. Try to remember it's not what you dealt with but how you dealt with it.
  • Time management is important for the L-APC - don't underestimate how much time it will take to write and finalise the L-APC submission.  It can be quite tough to stay within the word count. You should write concisely and be prepared to spend time editing your submission to meet the word count.  You will also need to have your submission completed in advance of the deadline to allow sufficient time for your corroborator/s to sign off your work.  You should also leave time to get someone else to proof read your submission – in the end you will be so familiar with the text that silly typos become hard to spot.  Be realistic, this is not something you can dash off in a weekend.
  •  The PES, PCS, PDP and log book should all dovetail into each other.  I used footnotes in my submission to cross reference to my log book.  Cross referencing makes it as easy as possible for an assessor to see that you meet the L-APC requirements and competencies - give yourself the best possible chance of getting through first time. The PDP should also flow from the other submission components - for example, strengths identified in the PDP should be evidenced in the log book and PES/PCS. 

 

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 2014.