Becoming Professionally Qualified

If you are an accountant, an architect, a lawyer or a surveyor, you are expected to have a professional qualification in addition to a degree. That qualification demonstrates that you are recognised as having the competence, based on both knowledge and experience, to work as an architect a lawyer or a surveyor, and that you are committed to complying with the standards and ethics of that profession.  Part of this is to join a professional body and thus be subject to their Code of Conduct.

The same applies to transport planners, for most of whom the ultimate aim is the Transport Planning Professional, TPP, awarded jointly by the Society and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, CIHT.  TPP holders can now add a chartered title and become CTPP (more on this below).  To maintain their title they must of course continue to be a member of a professional body such as TPS.

But for those transport planners with an engineering degree, Chartered Engineer (CEng) might be an appropriate professional qualification, and for those with an accredited degree in town planning membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute, MRTPI is likely to be appropriate. Others might choose to become a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, CMILT.

While none of these qualifications is mutually exclusive - many transport planners have two or more of them - the TPP is the only equivalent qualification that identifies someone uniquely as a professional transport planner.

TPP - The Professional Qualification for Transport Planners

To be awarded the TPP you need to demonstrate that you have the knowledge that underlies your skill as a professional transport planner and a good depth and especially breadth of expertise based on experience, as well as the ability to work with and manage others, and to manage and present your work.

Click below to see why some of those with a TPP think it is important.

The Routes to Award of the TPP

Most of those seeking the TPP follow a route that culminates in a Professional Review Interview, but there is also a Senior Route for those with considerable experience in both transport planning and management.

The Professional Review (Standard) Route

For those following the Professional Review Route, there are three key stages to satisfying the requirements.

The first stage is learning - obtaining the technical knowledge that underpins a professional career. This can be achieved by one of four paths:

  • by completing the TPS Professional Development Scheme (PDS) - the only TPP approved graduate training scheme.
  • by having an approved transport Masters
  • for those with a UK Honours degree (or its equivalent), by submitting a successful TPP Portfolio of Technical Knowledge (PTK)
  • for those without a UK Honours degree (or its equivalent), by submitting a successful TPP Technical Report through which they need to demonstrate that they have achieved learning outcomes that might be expected of a candidate entering through the three other paths.

The second stage is demonstrating your professional and managerial competence across a broad range of modes and contexts through a TPP Portfolio of Evidence and a Professional Review.  This consists of a presentation of a project from your work, followed by an interview with two trained reviewers who are senior members of the profession.  The PDS also uses a similar process and prepares the ground for the TPP Review.

The Senior Route

The Senior Route is for those transport planners who:

  • demonstrate extensive experience at a senior level sponsoring, guiding and/or leading teams, projects or research across a variety of transport planning skills, modes and contexts;

  • have made a substantial and recognisable contribution to the transport planning profession over their career to date;

  • are or have been in a senior position within a project or team with responsibility for the performance and well-being of a team of transport planners and/or related professionals;

  • are willing to contribute to the professional development of transport planning staff and commit to working as a TPP mentor and advocate.

Senior Route candidates are required to demonstrate a higher level of competence overall reflected in the need for Proficiency in more units than Standard Route candidates applying for Professional Review. In the absence of an interview to validate their competencies, and reflective of their seniority, candidates are expected to have, and to demonstrate, significant experience which unequivocally confirms that they meet the competency requirements These candidates have to demonstrate the depth and breadth of their experience through a detailed CV and by completing a senior route portfolio in which they relate their experience to the TPP competence requirements.

CTPP– working together to recognise the status of transport planning

After five years work by TPS and CIHT, a new title has been created: Chartered Transport Planning Professional, CTPP.  Only a chartered body can award a  chartered title so CIHT alone offers the new title.  They have amended their Royal Charter in order to do so.  However, only holders of the TPP can apply for the title, and it is not a new qualification.  There is no additional knowledge or experience requirement once TPP is attained.  The governance of TPP remains a partnership between TPS and CIHT and is unchanged.

By going through the process of application to the Privy Council, CIHT and TPS have gained formal recognition of the status of transport planning and this has been widely welcomed.  While going through the chartership process, TPS and CIHT have agreed to remove a restriction on the holding of TPP, and thus also CTPP, by members of other professional bodies involved in transport planning.  Before this change they had to also become members of either CIHT or TPS.  It was felt that this more open approach reflected how the professional bodies work together to develop skills and to promote the profession. Already CILT has been approved and its members can apply for TPP and CTPP in the same way as TPS and CIHT members.

TPP holders can apply for CTPP through:

TPP administration is undertaken by CIHT Education, paid for by the TPP partnership.  Standard Route interviews are held twice a year, Spring and Autumn, the next review cycle is as below.  Standard Route applications as well as PTK and Senior Route submissions should be sent through 

Spring Reviews 2024

Submission Deadline: Friday 5th April 2024

Interviews Held: w/c 20th May 2024 (possibly running into June)

Autumn Reviews 2024

Submission Deadline: Friday 20th September 2024

Interviews Held: w/c 4th November 2024 (possibly running throughout November)

Please Note:

Submission of a Portfolio of Technical Knowledge (PTK), which is the first step for many TPP applications, can be made at any time.
Submission of a Senior Route application can also be made at any time.  However, candidates are reminded that successful completion of the TPS PDS, or completing an Approved Masters means that a PTK is not required since both meet all the Knowledge requirements for TPP.

All candidates must be a member of either the TPS, or CIHT, or an approved organisation (currently ICE, CILT and RTPI).

Designated Membership of TPS

Members of the TPS, who are awarded the TPP qualification, and are not also members of CIHT, are required to become Designated Members of the Society. This includes the annual TPP fee.  As with all those awarded the TPP qualification, they are required to maintain at least 25 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) a year and to comply with the Society’s Code of Professional Conduct. The Society has a CPD guidance document, and a Code of Professional Conduct.

Further Information

A chart summarising the routes to professional qualifications can be found here.

A leaflet providing an overview of both the TPP qualification and the TPS PDS can be downloaded by clicking here.

Further details on the TPP qualification are available here, and from



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