Professional development: Making the most of RTPI membership
It’s easy to underplay the depth of the RTPI membership offer, so a refresher may be due. Firstly, don’t be concerned about stepping forward and getting involved. The institute lobbies and influences ministers and officials in order to help shape policy positions – and your views on topical issues are always welcomed.
In terms of published material, The Planner’s magazine, email newsletters and website have a daily presence. The academic journal, Planning Theory and Practice, is available to members at a discounted subscription price (currently £33 per annum).
Bulletins, regional newsletters and monthly members bulletins round out the regular news offer, while good practice information, and case studies providing practical advice to members are published on the RTPI website.
In terms of management guidance, members get access to a range of free advice and information factsheets, for managers and aspiring team leaders. There’s also a regularly updated series of interview podcasts with leading planners, politicians and others. The institute also runs a cost-free employment law helpline and guidance on CPD activities.
For those moving into consultancy as sole practitioners, joining the RTPI’s independent consultants network allows you access to a range of member benefits and the opportunity to feature in the RTPI's Directory of Planning Consultants.
The institute's web site also offers guidance for existing planners considering their next career move. (Jobs are advertised in The Planner and on the Planner Jobs website.)
Finally there’s RTPI Plus – an exclusive package of consumer discounts including hotel accommodation, gym discounts, cashback gift cards and cinema discounts.
Attending RTPI Conferences and events
The RTPI regions and networking groups put on an extensive number of events, with the planning profession especially blessed with individuals happy to discuss topical issues – from legislative change to policy interpretation – in front of their peers.
The cost of RTPI events start from free and low cost upwards depending on topic and speakers. Then there are regular regional training events; these are run by the RTPI branches, and many are free. Also run annually are the RTPI’s national conferences, which typically take the form of full-day events with multiple speakers and an overriding topical theme.
The RTPI maintains an event calendar – The Planner magazine publishes details of these and other, non-RTPI events of interest to planning professionals.
For more information on the benefits of membership, visit the RTPI website.
To read more from the Planner 2015 Guide to Career Development please click here.