Merton Council is the first London borough council to be made a Learning Partner with the prestigious Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
The council had to go through a rigorous ten-month assessment process before achieving this status, which demands organisations are committed to a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.
The Plans and Projects and Development Control sections of Merton Council were judged on how they promoted individual planners’ professional development and the ways in which they identified, monitored and reviewed staff’s progress.
The RTPI also looked at how managers supported personal development and embraced diversity among the council’s employees.
The Institute aims to raise standards across the industry by recognising and promoting those organisations, like Merton Council, which encourage training and development as a way of retaining staff and ensuring they maintain high standards.
Councillor Diane Neil Mills, Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration, said: “This is great news for Merton. It shows the council is committed to providing learning and development for its staff to make sure they are able to deliver the best possible service to our residents.
“Good planning is vital in creating areas where people want to work and live and so we have to get it right. Being a Learning Partner means we will be able to attract better quality applicants when advertising job vacancies in our planning department, which will help give us a competitive edge.”
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Notes for editors
Merton’s position as a Learning Partner will be reviewed annually.
The RTPI is the only body in the UK responsible for the professional certification of planners.
It offers its members – both organisations and individuals – support, advice and development opportunities to help them become among the best in the industry.