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RTPI Board agrees to fund second phase of Education for Everyone project

The RTPI Board of Trustees has agreed to fund a second phase of its Education for Everyone project to fulfil a Corporate Strategy commitment to undertake a detailed review into broadening access to pathways into chartered membership and reaching out to attract diverse talent. That meant reviewing access to routes into membership and focussing on delivery mechanisms and the content of planning education.

Education for Everyone provides an excellent opportunity to bring current RTPI policy reviews running on our Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and our Accreditation policies and procedures together. Put simply we wanted to remove unintended barriers for students, as well as universities and employers. At the same time, we wanted to reach out to attract diverse talent, broadening access to pathways into chartered membership. We consulted with multiple stakeholders during the initial phases of these reviews . And those stakeholders came back with a rich variety of views which we took a pause to assess.

Having carefully considered all feedback our Board of Trustees has reached a consensus.  What was termed the Education Policy Review has been reset, and Education for Everyone has been widened in scope and will now be moving forward. This second phase of the project will involve additional research, policy development, consultation and engagement with all members and stakeholders during 2024. No decisions have yet been made on the final content of the work or any amendments to current APC or degree accreditation policy requirements. Subject to reporting back to the Board next year for its decisions, and consideration of further feedback from planning schools and others involved supporting pathways into chartered membership, the intention is to agree transitional arrangements and look to commence implementation, as appropriate, from September 2024 and beyond. 

Additionally, a report on the findings of our APC survey was shared with our Membership & Ethics Committee as well as our Membership Assessment Advisory Panel in September. The outcomes and recommendations from this next phase of the Education for Everyone project will be considered in the context of implications for the operation and requirements for the APC to help form part of our broader commitment to diversifying the profession. Any potential changes to the APC are not expected to affect submissions made before 2025. The focus of Education for Everyone complements our CHANGE action plan, a 10 year plan to help members and employers achieve a more representative profession. It also complements RTPI education pipeline initiatives on work experience, bursaries, apprenticeships, volunteering and schools outreach.

RTPI Chief Executive Victoria Hills:

“We need to attract the brightest and the best into the profession wherever they are and whatever their background is. Town Planning is in the top four university subjects for students finding employment within six months of graduation. It should be a highly attractive option to young people looking to enter the profession.

“Yet our State of the Profession Report revealed that while in some areas including gender we compare well to other comparable professions, in others there is still a long way to go, particularly in terms of race.  According to the ONS only 5% of Town Planning Officers are from Asian and Black communities, despite nearly a quarter of students on our accredited courses coming from those communities.  

"We know we need to be doing more to ensure that talented people from all backgrounds are proactively welcomed into the profession. We need to ensure there are no unintended barriers to entry, actual or perceived. Education for Everyone is the vehicle we’re taking this important work forward with." 

RTPI President Sue Bridge:

“I am delighted to see both reviews moving towards implementation under the one banner of Education for Everyone. A joined-up approach which links the good work of teams across the RTPI is vital to ensure that we can create the widest possible pool of experts entering the profession. I am delighted that the Board has agreed to now move forward to the second phase of the work and that I have been asked by the Chair of the Board to chair the trustee group that is overseeing the project."

For more information about the project please view our hub

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