Senior Planner, Maddox Associates
I completed an MSc in Spatial Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL. I completed my undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Sussex, where I was awarded a First. My employment experience to date has involved a variety of roles, including both private and public sector experience, allowing me to develop a well-rounded understanding of the planning process. Following completion of my Master's degree I initially carried out a three-month role at Local Dialogue, which is a public affairs consultancy. I then worked within development management at Croydon Council for six months.
For the past 18 months I have been employed by Maddox Associates, which is an independent planning consultancy. I began my role at Maddox Associates as a Planner and was promoted to Senior Planner once I passed my APC and obtained my MRTPI qualification. Within my current role, I work across a range of development sectors including residential, commercial, mixed-use, visitor/short-stay accommodation, student accommodation and retail. My workload is focused principally in London and the south-east, with current projects ranging from residential schemes in boroughs such as Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Ealing, to student accommodation in Reading, Southampton and Colchester.
Experience of the L-APC process:
Gaining MRTPI status is important to me as it demonstrates my professional competency as a town planner. It also demonstrates that my employment history and Master's degree have contributed to my overall proficiency in town planning. Obtaining Chartered Membership has also been highly beneficial for me professionally, as it has resulted in a promotion and more responsibility within my role.
Laura's top tips for future candidates:
- Make sure you read the guidance in detail and ensure you constantly cross-reference it when you are drafting your written submission. It is particularly helpful for the Professional Competence Statement (PCS), where you need to ensure you have thoroughly met the prompts in relation to each competency.
- I found it really helpful to have a mentor who was familiar with the projects I was working on and the work I was doing. This way, they were able to suggest examples for my case studies in my PCS that I may not have thought of.
- Choose case studies for your PCS that you have had a lot of involvement in, and where you have influenced decisions and outcomes. Don't just pick the biggest and most impressive projects you are working on.
- Ensure the actions in your Professional Development Plan (PDP) have a clear timeframe and are measurable. The actions should also link to the weaknesses that you identified in your SWOT analysis, as well as your overarching goal.
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.