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RTPI reveals top challenges facing planning professionals

The RTPI has identified the top six challenges confronting the planning profession today, as revealed in its Member Value Project survey.

The Member Value Project survey was initiated in 2023 to gather feedback from members and non-members on the value derived from RTPI membership.

The survey, which was completed by planners across various sectors, locations, and career stage, also aimed to find the challenges planning professionals face today, and understand how the Institute can better provide for its members.

The survey data revealed:

  • 43% note a lack of skilled or qualified staff
  • 40% find it difficult to balance work and personal life
  • 34% experience high levels of stress
  • 34% lack the time to study and undertake professional development
  • 30% struggle with a low salary
  • 25% find it hard to look after their mental health and wellbeing

Notably, a proportionately higher number of responses were received from members in Local Planning Authorities, with public sector 57% planners answering the survey compared to, 34% from the private sector, 3% from the third sector 3%, 1% self-employed 1%, and 6% ‘other’. This reflects the unique challenges faced by public sector employees compared to their counterparts in other sectors.

Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the RTPI said, “The survey results paint a concerning image of an overstretched and underfunded profession, with staff scarcity being one of the most significant challenges planners face today.

“The insights gained from the survey are invaluable, and will guide our future initiatives to best support our members and the planning profession as a whole.”

The RTPI launched its 24/7 wellbeing helpline in 2023, following concerns that heavy workloads were putting excessive strain on planners. The helpline is available to all members. You can read more about the Member Value Project here

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