Three candidates were awarded a commendation for their APC submission in 2016. Read their top tips:
Sara’s roles have led her to be involved in a range of planning proposals in locations across the 34 Scottish Planning Authorities. Her experience ranges from advising on town centre change of use applications to assisting with applications for major housing, mixed use and energy proposals. She applied for Chartered membership under the Licentiate Assessment of Professional Competence (L-APC).
- Studied BSc Geography at Aberdeen University.
- Went on to study MSc Urban and Regional Planning at Heriot Watt University.
- In 2014 started working as a planning consultant in Glasgow.
- Joined Iceni Projects as a Planner in January 2017.
Sara’s top tips:
- Get stuck in – ensure you have the right experience to meet the competencies. Don't be afraid to ask for greater responsibility or to get involved with different projects to increase your experience and exposure to a wider range of planning issues. This will improve your ability to meet the competencies, and keep the job interesting!
- Keep it social – stay in touch with people who have recently been through the APC process and others who are currently preparing their submission. Sharing ideas and discussing case studies and experiences was useful in gaining a better understanding of the competencies and the submission expectations. Attending networking events and events specifically about the APC made the process more enjoyable and helped keep me focussed on the submission requirements.
- Plan it – being organised early on was important to keep me focussed and to ensure I had time to review my submission once it was drafted. I set deadlines for drafting each section of my submission and marked these in both my diary and my mentor's diary. I had clear deadlines which helped keep me accountable. I would recommend having your mentor, colleagues and friends review your submission and let them know to expect it, so they can schedule time to review too.
Elisabeth’s role involves advising and managing a variety of projects including: major scale mixed-use developments; residential; commercial; and heritage projects across the 12 central boroughs of London. She applied for Chartered membership under the Licentiate Assessment of Professional Competence (L-APC)
- Studied MPlan Urban Studies and Planning at University of Sheffield graduating in 2011.
- Spent a semester at Aalborg Universitet, Denmark as an Erasmus.
- Awarded a Sustainability internship in Sevilla, Spain, researching flexible housing typologies for 3 months.
- Began as a volunteer in November 2012 at Lambeth Borough Council, in April 2013 was promoted to Wandsworth Borough Council.
- In 2014 joined the Royal Borough of Greenwich Major Applications team.
- In July 2015 joined Indigo as a Planner, being promoted to a Senior Planner.
Elisabeth’s top tips:
- Don't rush – take your time, and wait until you are ready to submit, be confident that you have enough experience to meet the competencies.
- Ask for feedback from your peers on your submission –everyone has a different perspective and will pick up on different parts of your submission, their insight is invaluable.
- Be thorough – when referencing a Supplementary Planning Document or a piece of legislation show the assessors that you 'know your onions'!
Ciaran has worked on projects that include, residential schemes, industrial developments, student accommodation and retail planning, and has helped him to develop a well-rounded understanding of different aspects of the profession. He applied for Chartered membership under the Licentiate Assessment of Professional Competence (L-APC).
- Studied Geography at University of Bristol
- Postgraduate degree from the University of West of England in Town and Country Planning
- Completed a PhD at University of Bristol exploring the 2006 financial crisis and subsequent austerity policies
- Joined Savills Bristol team in September 2015
Ciaran’s top tips:
- Know the APC guidance inside out – familiarise yourself with the APC Guidance document and assessment criteria at an early stage and always have it open when you are updating your logbook.
- Carefully consider your choice of case studies – it is important to recognise that the most interesting projects may not necessarily be the best case studies. Make it easy for the assessors by ensuring your submission clearly demonstrates how you have met each competency. Relevant references to the logbook are also important, particularly to show, for example, how you recognised a need for development in year one, and how you achieved this in year two.
- Be specific in your Professional Development Plan (PDP) –your actions should be clearly measurable and achievable, with a clear indication of the timeframe involved. Space is limited in this section so I found it useful to have a single goal, followed by a linked series of detailed objectives and actions.