Skills development is a major part of TPS work and the Society has responded to the new demands following the recovery in the transport sector.  The TPS Professional Development Scheme (PDS) is now the industry standard and, as well as consultants, an increasing number of local authorities are joining.  It now has over 400 graduate trainees, almost doubling in two years.

The PDS has now been refocused to meet the needs of these trainees, and to move them through more quickly to completing the scheme and then progressing to applying for TPP – the transport planners’ equivalent of CEng.  Completing the scheme still means that the knowledge requirements for TPP have been met, however, the levels of technical and managerial experience required have been reduced in some areas, meaning that trainees can complete the scheme in 3 years rather than 5 to 6.  The changes came into effect on 8th September.

Since 2016 those without a degree are now able to apply for the Transport Planning Apprenticeship which has been developed with TPS and CIHT support.  This is compatible with PDS and apprentices can move straight onto the PDS when they finish and thus have a route to TPP available to them.  The first group of about 40 apprentices should complete their apprenticeships in 2018.

Keith Buchan, TPS Skills director said,

“We have surveyed our trainees and mentors and spent a year talking both to users and other relevant organisations including the TPP governing bodies.  There was overwhelming support for these reforms and we look forward to seeing more trainees completing the scheme in coming months.  We also look to welcoming both more graduates and now apprentices to the scheme in 2018.  The next steps are to gain greater recognition for the completion of PDS and work to support those who complete it to move on to achieving TPP.”


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