A Professional Development Plan

In reflecting on my professional development, I consider that my skills and competencies are suffering from significantly and that my level of responsibility is rolling out to represent this. Leading the development of the Neighbourhood Plan is a challenging process that has attracted on my skills across an extremely wide range of areas. It has additionally however been an extremely rewarding section of work and the one that Personally i think has significantly developed my main spatial planning skills and will provide a sturdy basis to help expand my professional development. I also believe that my experience at RDA and (name removed) City Council has enabled me to learn to develop the wider generic skill set required of built environment pros, particularly in terms of multidisciplinary working, negotiation and mediation, and leadership. This will provide a strong basis that to develop my future profession within the sector and effectively respond to change.


Well developed analytical and research skills

Strong statement writing/policy skills

Breadth of experience in spatial planning and regeneration through roles at Development Company & Council

Strong social skills

Wide selection of professional associates and sites through engagement in Regional Activities Committee and Young Planners Events


Limited knowledge of development control and 'the technicians of planning' - inquiries, compulsory purchase forces etc.

No immediate line-management experience

Need to build up skills in terms of managing discord/difficult situations


Urban renaissance and current general population policy dedication to building skills amidst built environment specialists - e. g. Academy for Sustainable Areas, Regional Centres of Quality, CABE

Emergence of City Parts and development of associated organisations and bodies

Widening selection of general public sector special delivery systems and regeneration businesses e. g. URCs, UDCs, RDAs

'Missing technology' of planners could provide opportunities for faster career progression


Impact of Comprehensive Spending Review on regeneration spending and development within the sector

Impact of review of land use planning/potential change of politics direction under new Labour leadership

Competition from recent upsurge in volume of high calibre graduates concluding accelerated RTPI-accredited Experts degrees.


Period: September 2006 ˜ September 2008

Date of next review: March 2007


Current job title and company details

Since 3 April 2006 I have already been hired as Planning Officer (Planning Regeneration) at (name removed) City Council.

Current job / role

My key area of work is the task management of the creation of an Neighbourhood Plan as a non˜statutory area planning file. The core responsibilities which the production of the Neighbourhood Plan involves are:

Preparation and arrangement of the opportunity and method of the production of the Neighbourhood Plan;

Preparation of the Baseline and Issues statement;

Commissioning and management of consultants to assist in stakeholder and community proposal workshops;

Co˜ordination of both Official Group and Advisory Conferences; Principal point of contact for community and stakeholder enquiries; Planning of the Neighbourhood Plan doc and associated Sustainability Assessment and Consultation Declaration;

Liaison with Elected Participants; and

Preparation of formal reviews to Planning Lead Member, Cupboard, and Council.

Outside the project management of the development of the Neighbourhood Plan, my role also includes:

preparing development briefs for key sites, and associated community and stakeholder proposal;

providing coverage advice in relevant pre˜application discussions with coders relating to significant development sites;

working with companions to secure the implementation of ideas and urban regeneration techniques;

preparing reports to Lead Member, Case and Council to seek political endorsement where appropriate; and

providing planning advice to acquaintances and stakeholders across a variety of disciplines including housing, property, neighbourhood management, education services, and panorama design.

Current strengths

Policy / report writing skills ˜ they were significantly developed through my work at RDA and can give a strong basis to inform my production of policy documents and development briefs. See log book entrance, p. x

Analytical and research skills ˜ we were holding also significantly developed through my work at RDA and have been critical in encouraging my preparation of a Baseline and Issues statement for the Neighbourhood Plan area. See log reserve admittance, p. y

Project management and collaborative working ˜ my task management of the Historic Towns and Places review at RDA developed my task management skills in conditions of taking care of the consultants and financial management. My skills in collaborative and multidisciplinary working were developed through liaising with the steering group and engaging key partners and stakeholders. See log e book entrance, p. z

Current areas for development˜

Engaging and dealing with the neighborhood community ˜ due to the nature of my role at RDA this is not an area in which I needed experience prior to working at (current employer). It will be important that I continue steadily to develop skills in this field in order to effectively perform the duties of my role. Taking forward the Neighbourhood Plan process will be a key means of growing my skills in this area. See log e book web pages a, b and c.

Knowledge of the development control / implementation side of planning ˜ this relates to developing my thorough knowledge across a variety of key areas that could be termed the 'mechanics of planning'. Included in these are planning applications, appeals and questions, call˜ins, development control and enforcement, and compulsory purchase powers. They are not areas in which I previously experienced experience given the nature of my role at RDA. They will however make a difference areas for development given the greater local l execution based mother nature of my role at (location removed).

Developing skills in understanding and mediating politics situations ˜expanding skills in politics recognition and mediation will make a difference given the political nature of planning, and collaboration working more generally. In terms of my role at (location removed), the areas that i will seek to bolster include managing interactions with key companions and stakeholders, fellow workers from other parts within the Council, and Elected Users.


Long term goals

My long-term goal is to develop my job in the public sector. There are a wide range of reasons which underpin this determination. These include the range of opportunities available, the breadth of work and the capability to make a difference and see tangible results from your projects, together with the supportive organisational culture and dedication to personnel development and maintaining a confident work˜life balance.

My goal would be to work within planning/regeneration within a particular delivery body as I really believe this would provide greatest prospect of creativity and innovation. Within the prevailing organisational landscape, this may for example be within an Urban Regeneration Company. There are however likely to be other similar bodies emerging in the foreseeable future as the organisational landscape changes.

I believe my experience as of yet within the RDA focusing on a proper / policy established level, together with the more local level, execution˜focused experience I'll enter my present role at (location removed) will put me in a good position to realise my goal by giving me a broad selection of experience in planning and regeneration.

Short term goals

I will establish my skills in terms of dealing with the local community and securing effective engagement in the plan˜making process.

I will develop my understanding of the 'mechanics of planning', including planning applications, appeals and inquiries, call˜ins, development control and enforcement, and compulsory purchase forces.

I will establish my skills of politics awareness through handling relationships with key lovers, stakeholders, fellow workers from other portions within the Council and Elected Participants.

(extended on next webpage to permit for space for comments, right)


Objective 1: Develop skills of community working and engagement.

How will I make it happen?

Liaise with the Consultation and Commissioning group and other acquaintances to build up a best practice approach to community engagement within the creation of the Neighbourhood Plan. First conference December 06.

Learn best practice techniques of facilitation from specialist consultants commissioned to accomplish the Neighbourhood Plan workshops. Initial meeting setup for March 07.

Continue to assist in the facilitation of relevant community proposal workshops and happenings at the Council. Workshops approaching in November and Dec 06.

Continue to wait community facilitation workshops through my volunteer role with regional Planning Help (see samples in log book, webpages d, e and f). Workshop event July 07.

Attend relevant training occasions on community engagement techniques organised by the RTPI, Planning Aid, or the (location removed) Planners Training Group. Specifically, event on Engaging with Young People in Feb 07.

Objective 2: Develop complete understanding of the 'technicians of planning'.

How am i going to get there?

Involvement with development control co-workers at (development & regeneration services consultancy) in pre-application discussions with designers for structure proposals for key sites. Achieving scheduled for October 06.

Developing my working understanding of the main element development control guidelines, through familiarisation with the GDPO and planning legislation, and familiarisation with the Council's relevant draft and adopted Supplementary Planning Documents, including the Planning Responsibilities SPD, Property SPD, Greenspace SPD, Design and Offense SPD, and the Nature Conservation & Biodiversity SPD. Have read and recognized all documents by January 08.

Relevant web-based research via Localaw and the DCLG and HMSO websites to develop my understanding of relevant documents associated with the statutory types of procedures and legislative context.

Involvement with co-workers from the Plans Group with regards to supporting in the prep of case for appeals and call-ins. One-to-one set up with (colleague) for November 06.

Attendance at relevant planning inquiries to see and learn from proceedings. Inquiry examining (details removed) as a consequence for January 07.

Keep updated of amendments to the statutory procedures through reading relevant articles in Planning, the look Concerns website, and participating Planning Law upgrade incidents. Ongoing - review amendments/learning benefits in Apr 07.

Objective 3: Develop skills in conditions of political awareness and relationship management.

How will I make it happen?

Co-ordination of the Neighbourhood Plan Official Group and Advisory Group, which will develop my skills in relationship building with officers from over the Council's Directorates, in addition to Elected Customers and community reps. Meeting scheduled December 06.

Actively employ key external stakeholders in the production of the Neighbourhood Plan, including the (location removed) URC, the PCT and NHS Trust, (local area) Police, and key Documented Friendly Landlords.

Continue to make my network of professional connections through my role on the RTPI Regional Activities Committee and my participation in the (regional) Young Organizers Group and Planning Aid.

Comments Summary

Overall this is a definite and comprehensive Professional Development Plan. The applicant has thought deeply about where he sees his profession progressing, so while his short-term goals are centered on improvements relating to his current role, this is part of an wider vision for the future. You can find clear ownership of the PDP - on reading it you understand the candidate's talents and weaknesses through the same themes being found and attended to in the SWOT, the talents/weaknesses of the PDP, and future aims. So as the short-term goals might not immediately and explicitly work at the long term goals, it is easy to see how these goals/aims have been arrived at. Although the rest of the APC submission is not shown here, the PDP is also clearly identifiable as belonging to this candidate, which is therefore clear that it's an extremely personal account. References are created to sections of the log e book, which help with this. The actions that are discovered are just a little vague - the feedback show how this has/could be better by determining more organised/specific activities, and by producing target time frames. The candidate does not rely solely on general activities at work, but recognizes some firm CPD activities that will more than likely have to occur beyond the day-to-day employment e. g. organized reading/research with particular issues/documents at heart. Individuals should avoid relying entirely on activities that will take place during day-to-day work to meet aims - undertaking an activity at work doesn't necessarily mean become familiar with from it, and opportunities to defend myself against certain work activities tend to be outside of your control.

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