Careers advice: The importance of RTPI accreditation

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 2 Mar 2016

Matt Clarke

Matt Clarke looks at the benefits of Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accreditation.

Why join the Royal Town Planning Institute? Thinking back to when I became a chartered town planner, it seemed like the natural thing to do.

Working in a planning environment my then local authority employers impressed on me what RTPI accreditation could bring in terms of furthering my career.

As a planning technician, the fully-fledged planners I aspired to be like were all members of the RTPI and seemed to possess particular kudos.

Clearly there was, and remains, the potential to secure increased pay and enhanced career prospects, both of which reflect the importance placed by employers on accreditation.

It is also seen as a mark of professional competence. Indeed, the assessment of professional competence (APC) process tests individuals to exacting standards to prove that competence.

These days, as someone now engaged as an employer of planning professionals, I know from first-hand experience that due weight (to use a planning phrase) is certainly placed on achievement of RTPI membership, or at the very least upon a clear strategy to pursue this.

Boyer recently achieved RTPI “Learning Partner” status. Having been closely involved in the process of preparing and submitting the application for this, it served as a useful reminder to me of the benefits on offer.

It is also an indicator of the ways we can continue to focus on fostering the right environment for the next generation of planners with the assistance of the institute.

But this is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the full range of benefits membership of the RTPI offers – from access to a wealth of continuing professional development (CPD) resources to offering the scope to take advantage of networking opportunities across the planning community.

It also offers direct support and advice that may one day prove invaluable.

Matt Clarke is a director and head of Boyer in Colchester