Working as an Assistant Planner

The Role

I began work as an Assistant Planner at the City of Edinburgh Council in August 2016.  Over the two year programme I gained experience working on planning policy, planning applications and enforcement.  The two year programme gives newly qualified planners the opportunity to learn different aspects of planning and gain a broad range of experience to gain chartered membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).  This could include working on masterplans, urban design projects and using the Place Standard.

Place Standard

The Job

Whilst working on planning policy I worked on updates to planning guidance, undertook research into Short Stay Commercial Visitor Accommodation and wrote Planning Committee reports.  I also helped to designate Restalrig as Edinburgh’s 50th conservation area, working with community groups and members of the public on drafting the Character Appraisal, preparing consultation materials, and meeting community groups.

In my second year I moved to development management and enforcement. I gained experience of processing local planning applications, listed building consents and investigating breaches of planning control.  I also provided planning advice at the help desk.  The work is varied and interesting and gives you the opportunity to influence development in the capital city.

Planning Helpdesk

Learning, Development & Mentoring

Regular training on a variety of topics is provided to support learning and development.  Assistant Planner’s are also given a place at the RTPI Young Planner’s Conference.  As well as training, I was supported through the RTPI Assessment of Professional Competence process by a mentor.  We met on a monthly basis to monitor my progress with my logbook and ensure I was receiving sufficient experience. My mentor hugely supporting me in my submission and I secured chartered membership of the RTPI last year.

Opportunities

Since completing the two year programme as an Assistant Planner I was successful in obtaining a permanent position as a Planning Officer within the Householder and Enforcement team.  I have subsequently been given the opportunity to work in the City Centre Major Developments team.  There are regular opportunities to work in different areas and get varied work experience, making the Edinburgh planning service a great place to start your career in planning!

The posts for four Assistant Planning Officers are now being advertised. Closing date 18 January 2019.

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