Make sure that golden threads link all aspects of your submission
- BA (Hons) Human Geography - Leeds Metropolitan University
- MA Town and Regional Planning - Leeds Metropolitan University
After graduating from my Master's course in 2013 I began looking for a planning job. To gain vital experience I undertook voluntary part time work for a local architecture firm, providing planning advice on their projects. I also approached my local councils where I was accepted for work shadowing opportunities at Leeds City Council and Kirklees Council. Each gave me vital insights into both the planning system and planning in the public sector. I successfully applied for a job at Kirklees Council, where I have remained for five years.
Kirklees Council has allowed me to flourish as a planner, nurturing my professional development by establishing a strong support network and encouraging me to deal with increasingly complex planning matters. This has allowed me to quickly progress from dealing with minor developments to being lead officer on an ever growing and varied roster of major development proposals. My day to day role includes the assessment of planning applications against planning policy, negotiating as case officer on varied developments, acting as planning lead for council projects as well as offering planning advice to members of the public and local councillors.
- Pick a case study that has meaning for you – Picking a case study of a project you're proud of, or that truly taught you something, will help you feel more invested and allow you be more passionate. This will make it easier to share the work you've done with others and to think and write about it.
- Make sure that 'golden threads' link all aspects of your submission – Your submission is made up of three assessed documents and the log book. They should not be seen as individual documents, but part of a larger whole, being intrinsically interlinked. For example, if something didn't go as planned on your case study project, enter it in your Log Book, reflect upon it in your Professional Competency Statement (PCS) and tell everyone how you're going to learn from it in the Professional Development Plan (PDP).
- Reflect and review your courses of action continuously throughout – Reflection and review is, currently, a 'core' type of evidence required within the competencies and as such should be integral to your actions and submissions. I'd suggest drafting a reflection and review paragraph on each main action you're detailing in your submission. If you feel it's too much later, you can always refine it down.
What does being Chartered mean to you?
Achieving MRTPI status is important recognition of my professional competence, abilities and knowledge; not only to my colleagues and those I work with, but to myself. It demonstrates that my years of education and work experience have cumulated in an internationally recognised level of professionalism. However, I am well aware that my professional development must never stop, but by being MRTPI I can look forward to great opportunities in my career.