Top challenges facing planning profession revealed by RTPI


The RTPI’s Member Value Project survey found a lack of qualified staff, poor work-life balance and stress were among the top challenges facing those in the planning profession

The survey, which was completed by planners across various sectors, locations, and career stage, also aimed to find the challenges that the planning profession faces today, and understand how the Institute can better provide for its members.

The Member Value Project survey was initiated in 2023 to gather feedback from members and non-members on the value derived from RTPI membership.

The survey data revealed:

  • 43% note a lack of skilled or qualified staff
  • 40% find it difficult to balance work and personal life
  • 34% experience high levels of stress
  • 34% lack the time to study and undertake professional development
  • 30% struggle with a low salary
  • 25% find it hard to look after their mental health and wellbeing

Public sector planners represented over half of those affected

Notably, a proportionately higher number of responses were received from members in Local Planning Authorities, with public sector 57% planners answering the survey compared to, 34% from the private sector, 3% from the third sector 3%, 1% self-employed 1%, and 6% ‘other’.

This reflects the unique challenges faced by public sector employees compared to their counterparts in other sectors.

“Overstretched and underfunded”

Victoria Hills, chief executive of the RTPI said, “The survey results paint a concerning image of an overstretched and underfunded profession, with staff scarcity being one of the most significant challenges planners face today.

“The insights gained from the survey are invaluable, and will guide our future initiatives to best support our members and the planning profession as a whole.”

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