Senior Planner, Atkins Global
I've been a planner since 2006 and have worked in both the public and private sectors – two opposite ends of the planning world!
After the completion of my Geography degree at the University of Plymouth, my first position was as a Planning Assistant within a busy development control team. Alongside this, I enrolled with the University of the West of England for a Town & Country Planning MA. This part-time course gave me an excellent theoretical background to the planning profession.
In 2007, I was promoted to Planning Officer and in this role I progressively dealt with more complex and challenging planning applications. The ability to weigh competing material considerations, in order to reach balanced decisions, is a vital skill I learnt here.
To broaden my experience, in 2011 I joined a central London planning consultancy specialising in major retail development. This brought with it the need to adapt quickly to the commercial challenges of private sector planning. Whilst at the firm, I was promoted to a Senior Planner role and was elected as a corporate member of the RTPI.
Going forward, I have recently accepted a Senior Planner role with a consultancy specialising in major infrastructure and I am looking forward to new challenges ahead.
My tips for candidates are:
- Don't be afraid to be critical of your own experiences - It is important to be self-critical of your planning experience. In my career I have found that I have developed most when I have been in a challenging situation and needed to learn new skills and competencies to progress. I believe that citing examples such as these within your statement is really compelling to the Assessor because it demonstrates that you are a reflective professional.
- Use a single case-study for the professional competence statement - For the professional competence statement, I would recommend selecting a single case-study where you have utilised many of the planning skills and competencies. The advantage to this approach is that you can demonstrate to the Assessor that you have developed various skills throughout the early part of your career and can now call upon them, as and when necessary, for more complex spatial planning work.
- PDP objectives - When writing your PDP it is important to reflect upon your own weaknesses and then write clear and measurable career objectives (which are specific, measurable, and time limited) to overcome them. By writing the objective in this fashion it enables you to be able to continually reflect upon your career development and it is also great evidence for the Assessor.
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 APC Resources webpage. Candidate details provided here are current at time of L-APC submission in 2012.