- Master of City and Regional Planning at University of Cape Town
- Bachelor of Social Science (Hons) at University of Cape Town
I am a Principal Planning Policy Officer at Guildford Borough Council (GBC). I have spent the past six years at GBC working across a wide range of specialist policy areas. My role has included supporting the progression of the first part of our Local Plan to adoption in 2019 and the second part from inception to and through examination, toward adoption in 2023.
Prior to that, I led a team of policy planners at the City of Cape Town in producing a range of planning documents for the eight planning districts within the metropolitan area. This included working closely with transport planning colleagues to support the local emergence of more walkable, public transport-oriented developments. I started my career at MCA, a planning consultancy in Cape Town, where I was promoted to Associate. Whilst at MCA, I played a lead role in compiling local plans and strategies for local planning authorities in various parts of the country, alongside preparing planning applications for public and private sector clients.
Approach your submission as a learning experience
Reflective practice is invaluable, although at times easy to neglect. Your PCS is a perfect opportunity to spend some time reflecting on what you did, why and how you achieved success (or failure!), and how these experiences demonstrate specific competencies. Doing so effectively is key for your submission, but the exercise has value well beyond that.
Don’t be afraid to change your mind
Select another PCS case study if you find it’s not working for you. When I started preparing my submission, I had three case studies in mind for my write up. As I started drafting outlines and reviewing them against the competencies, it just didn’t seem to be working but I muddled on, perhaps for too long, before replacing two of my case studies with another one and shifting the focus of the remaining one! If you’re stuck, don’t worry. Try another case study or chat to a professional colleague or mentor who might spark an idea of how you might shift emphasis within your chosen example to allow it to better reflect how your actions demonstrate the required competencies.
Don’t feel that you’re alone
There are people and resources that can help. Completing your submission can sometimes feel like a mountain to climb, especially with work and other pressures never far away. I found the RTPI Main Guidance and other resources on the website to be really useful to keep my submission aligned to expectations. I was also very fortunate to have a couple of MRTPI colleagues who pointed out some general submission pitfalls that, thanks to them, I was able to avoid – specifically the need to make sure you address all the competencies in your PCS!