Professional development: How to make the most of the RTPI’s networks

Published on: 31 May 2018

Networking [square]Never underestimate the value of networking – nor the variety of networking opportunities conferred on you by your RTPI membership.

The networks, groups and forums operated by the institute embrace all aspects of professional planning practice and offer fast-track development for any planner seeking to specialise in a particular discipline.

As well as valuable peer to-peer discussions, you’ll put yourself in a position to debate hot topics and, through debate, influence developing RTPI policy and, ultimately, government policy. Network members share knowledge of these topics through the email bulletin, website, study visits and meetings and events.

The Planning for Housing Network is run jointly by the RTPI and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), reflecting that fact that cross-professional co-operation lies at the heart of successful planning for housing.

The Transport Planning Network (TPN) is run jointly by the RTPI and the Transport Planning Society, and champions the integration of transport and land use planning.

The Urban Design Network helps demonstrate and promote the value of good urban design to clients, developers, local authorities and other community decision makers.

For planners in enforcement roles, the Network for Planning Enforcement (NAPE) caters for those “at the sharp end” of planning and development management. The group encourages planning enforcement officers to network through local regional groups, an annual conference and a LinkedIn Group.

Those considering a move into consultancy are supported by the Independent Consultants' Network (ICN), an RTPI group set up for sole practitioners or small planning consultancy practices.

The Planning Education and Research Network (PERN) supports greater communication between educators, researchers and practitioners in the planning community.

The International Development Network (IDN) forms part of the RTPI's international activity and strategy. It's a networking and information resource for people with an interest in planning and international development.

RTPI networks cater for planner type as well as specialism. Those with less than 10 years' post-qualification experience can join the Young Planners Network, which has branches in each country of the UK and the nine English regions. As well as informal networking and social events, the young planners network offers the opportunity to get involved in the committees that organise each group’s activities. An annual young planners conference takes place each autumn.


Full details of the RTPI’s networks, groups and forums can be found here on the RTPI website.

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