In her inaugural speech as President of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2024, Lindsey Richards announced that the Institute has achieved its highest membership count ever at 27,216 members despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
The Institute has seen a consistent upward trajectory in its membership numbers, experiencing almost 20% growth over the last decade, with 6.4% growth since 2020. The primary areas of growth within the institute are seen among Chartered, Licentiates, and Affiliates.
Notably, the institute has witnessed a record number of conversions from free student membership to the Licentiate class. In 2022, the RTPI reached a highest conversion rate of just under 70% (69.31%) of eligible free students taking their first step towards progressing to Chartered membership.
In 2023, the Institute aimed to maintain this high conversion rate in 2023 succeeded in increasing it to 71.14%. This growth is attributed to enhanced engagement with students throughout their courses and at the crucial point of completing them.
The number of first-time Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) applications to Chartered status saw a substantial surge in 2023, recording a 42.6% growth. This marks the highest number of first-time applications on record, reflecting a growing interest and commitment to professional development within the planning community.
The Royal Town Planning Institute's continuous growth signals its robust position within the industry, with a steadfast commitment to advancing the standards and engagement of its members, even in the face of economic challenges.
Speaking at her inauguration, Lindsey Richards, President of the RTPI in 2024, said: “The coming year I want to increase our presence in schools, career fairs and universities, where we can promote planning as a career choice and also make the important connection with other disciplines being a foundation to further learning. Last year we saw a record number of graduates becoming licentiates so we must build on this success.”