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RTPI Learn – a new way to learn

Ulrika Meegolla

The institute’s virtual learning site allows members to turn on and dip in to top up their CPD, says Ulrika Meegolla, RTPI communications and public affairs officer

RTPI Learn is our new virtual learning site, developed to support planners increase their knowledge.

All RTPI members commit to maintaining and developing their expertise through a minimum of 50 hours of continuing professional development over a two-year period. It is this commitment to ongoing quality learning and development that sends a powerful message to employers, clients and the general public that membership of the RTPI is the gold standard mark of planning professionalism.

Cath Ranson, RTPI president, says: “RTPI Learn is a great new benefit to our members. Ensuring our members remain up to date with changes in planning law and the planning system is a priority and we are continually looking into the different ways we can aid members. We launched RTPI Learn in January as a new way to support planners, but it is also an excellent source of CPD.”

Free to use

More than 1,000 planners have already signed up to use the RTPI’s free online virtual learning site. For RTPI member Keith Naylor, RTPI Learn provided a lifeline following a cycling accident that left him unable to travel.

“The accident last year made it very difficult to get to RTPI events and keep my CPD up to date. RTPI Learn appealed because it is free to use and easy to access. You can log on when you want, dip in and out as you want and you can learn in your own time at your own pace. It also produces a good, checkable record of CPD.”

RTPI Learn offers four learning modules each with about 15 hours’ worth of learning. The modules are a mix of text, web links, video clips and diagrams and interactive quizzes with instant feedback.

“The interactive element is one of RTPI Learn’s strengths,” said Naylor. “It makes you think about what you’ve just gone through. There is up-to-date analysis and isn’t static like a book.”


Four modules

The four modules currently available through RTPI Learn are: Viability: understanding development economics; Planning for climate change; Public engagement in planning; and Infrastructure delivery planning.

Planning consultant Lee Prebble said: “I’ve found RTPI Learn really useful. After nearly 40 years in the industry, it’s not often I come across something completely new, but the viability module was one. It offered a great explanation of what a developer is looking for. It explained the different approaches to development and the financial differences between large and small developers.”

”After 40 years in the industry, it’s not often I come across something completely new, but the viability module was one”

Neale Hall, another learner, said: “The viability module was very interesting. It gave lots of detail about dealing with developers. I knew the ins and outs of the topic, but it was great to see the calculations developers use when assessing the viability of a development. I now have a much greater understanding of how a developer would look at a site and of the issues developers face.

“I’d advise others to take advantage of RTPI Learn,” said Hall. “It’s an asset for those professionals who struggle to get the time to go on a course. You can do the modules in your own time, free of charge, and it gives you CPD hours. It’s a brilliant tool to use when you’re working away from home.”

For the RTPI’s overseas members, RTPI Learn has proved to be an invaluable resource.

Ashish Kelkar is an RTPI affiliate member living in India. He is studying for an MA in Town and Country Planning (Distance Learning) at the University of the West of England and has also registered with RTPI Learn.

“I’m getting a good knowledge of the planning systems in the UK and a broad view of planning as a subject. The modules are very easy to understand and are very informative.”


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