Careers Advice: Applying for and working as a planning inspector

Written by: Baljeet Bennett
Published on: 25 Jun 2018


Working as an inspector for The Planning Inspectorate can provide good opportunities for planners to act as an impartial decision maker and advisor to the secretary of state on important developments in what are important roles in the planning system.  

Success in the role of an inspector will partly depend on the ability to command the confidence of a wide range of people through written and oral communication, including proactively managing and leading parties who participate in examinations and appeals, notably at hearings and possibly inquiries. It is essential that Inspectors are able to cut through detail and get to the heart of an issue.

The background of inspectors is very varied and includes engineers, architects, environmentalists, lawyers, academics as well as planners. All have become successful and confident inspectors. 

We need to recruit inspectors from time to time to maintain the level of our inspector workforce and to meet fluctuating demands of workload. Below are some general tips for putting together effective job applications:

  • Make sure you read about the organisation. Information on the internet will give you in-depth information.

  • Read the job description carefully and assess each requirement to see if your experience and knowledge are a close match.

  • Show that you have fully appreciated the nature of the job and that you have a degree of understanding of the relevant local and national planning issues.

  • Demonstrate that you meet the competencies that are attached to the application form, using examples from your experience and with reference to your personal qualities. 

  • After completing your application form, it is always a good idea to print off your completed form and cross check that you have answered the job requirements, and adequately demonstrated that you have the necessary competencies required for the role.

  • Last but not least, ensure that your application is proof-read.