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Gaining accreditation

RTPI accreditation policy

The RTPI accredits Planning Schools at universities within the UK, Ireland and internationally.

The RTPI will consider proposals from institutions within the United Kingdom and Ireland seeking accredited planning school status on a case by case basis. It is important that pre-existing schools remain effective and viable.

International accreditation will be supported within the Institute's capacity to support International Planning Schools.

The required education standards for learning and teaching of planning are set out in the RTPI Policy Statement on Initial Planning Education.

The accreditation process

Accreditation is a rigorous assessment by which the Institute approves undegraduate and postgraduate degree level courses that meet the Licentiate stage of requirements for Chartered Membership of the RTPI.

It assesses the ability and effectiveness of the Planning School to deliver a planning programme that includes spatial and specialist teaching. The process operates according to the RTPI Guide to Accreditation.

All accredited planning courses must demonstrate how a student of the course, on exiting with the qualification, is able to demonstrate a set of specific learning outcomes found in Chapters 6 and 7 of the RTPI Policy Statement.  For UK and Ireland, additional guidance has been adopted for consideration by the Institute at any initial approach for accreditation.

Stages of accreditation

  • Stage 2 - Dialogue.  A Chartered Town Planner is appointed to advise the university on its application
  • Stage 3 - Accreditation. The accreditation visit takes place after submission of a formal application
  • Stage 4 - Partnership Status. A partnership board is set up so annual quality assurance meetings can occur

Universities wishing to make an initial approach regarding RTPI accreditation must review the RTPI policy statement, procedural guidance and expression of interest form.

Maintaining accreditation

Following a successful accreditaton visit, a partnership board is formed between each university and the Institute.  Partnership Boards are made up of key representatives from the Planning School, local practitioners and RTPI Chartered Members who are appointed as Chair and Representative (Deputy Chair).  An RTPI officer will sit on the board as secretariat.

Other areas of expertise can also be represented with attendees from the wider Department or Faculty.  Partnership Boards meet in full once a year (face-to-face or virtually) to assess whether the Planning School remains effective and to offer support, advice and the opportunity for feedback between students, university staff and practitioners.

Boards operate according to the RTPI Partnership Board Guide.

Key documents

RTPI Policy Statement on Initial Planning Education

Procedural guidance

Stage 1 Expression of Interest form

Requests for the RTPI Guide to Accreditation and RTPI Partnership Board Guide can be made to education@rtpi.org.uk