Planning Officer, Chorley Council
I completed an undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Liverpool. I went on to volunteer for and then gained employment with the Groundwork Trust. I worked with communities to deliver environmental regeneration projects in Merseyside and Greater Manchester. After four years I joined Bolton Council in a team co-ordinating the delivery of Neighbourhood Renewal projects in the most deprived areas of the borough. I focused on environmental and economic development projects, directing resources and investment towards deprived areas. During this time I gained a secondment co-ordinating a corporate project to rationalise Council property through integrating Council and partner services within shared locations. The strategic planning and co-ordination that this involved exposed me to the planning profession, highlighting the importance of engaging with the plan making system to lay the foundations for the future development of the town at a strategic level.
Working within this spatial framework, I regarded planning to be at the heart of physical, social and economic development. I was enthused to the point where I sought to pursue a career in planning at the Council. I began this journey working to build the evidence base for local plan preparation and in monitoring progress against the existing and emerging plan policies, particularly in relation to housing delivery. At this point I embarked on a part-time Master's degree in Planning at the University of Manchester. Following the completion of my degree I became more involved in local plan consultations, providing policy advice and took a greater interest in the detail of development and the impact on communities. I subsequently gained a position in the development management team at Chorley Council, where I have managed a broad variety of development proposals through the rigours of the development management process.
Experience of the L-APC process:
I found the L-APC process encouraged me to reflect on learning experiences throughout my time in planning, which has really helped to synthesise those experiences into something useful. This process has helped me to develop my own perspective on particular situations and has helped me to understand the value of being a reflective practitioner. I feel that gaining Chartered Membership has increased my credibility as part of a professional community that strives to uphold high standards and strong ethics.
Iain's top tips for future candidates:
- Don't rush into making your submission. Wait until you have built a variety of experiences that you can draw on in demonstrating the competencies. This may also give you a broader perspective when reflecting on those experiences.
- Follow the guidance closely.
- Consult the key competencies continually as you develop your log book. This will keep you on the right track and enable you to identify any competencies that that are less well developed so that you may aim to build experience in those areas.
- Reflect on the experiences you have been through, how you feel about the successes and failures. Be honest with yourself and build this into the case studies in your submission.
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 2015.