David, what professional qualifications do you have?

I have Fellowships of the ICE, RTPI (retd.) and CIHT, and was also a Fellow of CILT until 2008.

Why did you choose to be a member of so many professional bodies?

First, because no single body represented mainstream transport planning. Second, because my needs changed as my career developed.

How important do you think having the TPP qualification will be for transport planners in the coming years?

I believe that the TPP qualification will become the core professional qualification for transport planners. We now need the main employers in both the public and private sectors to put their weight behind it.

OK, but, since transport planners have managed without a professional qualification until recently, why is one important now?

I have been very fortunate in my career, working for and with some outstanding individuals, and gaining some very special experience, including being with the GLC at a really exciting time. Through these opportunities I became accepted as a transport professional. Then, as Chief Transport Planner of the GLC and, later, Director of Planning for LT, I was close to the centre of transport policy making and research - a rare privilege.

As few of today's transport planners will be fortunate enough to get such opportunities, they need a qualification that defines them as a professional transport planner. The TPP qualification provides a clear demonstration of this. It has been crafted, as far as is practicable, to cover all the essential components of contemporary transport planning, building on the knowledge and good practice developed over the last four decades. Further, with over a third of a million graduates a year, having a high quality and relevant professional qualification is of real value in today's competitive job market.

You have recently been awarded an Honorary TPP, what do you see as being the two most important things people in your position can do to help raise the profile of the TPP?

Senior professionals must convincingly argue for widespread recognition of the TPP qualification with their contacts in both the public and private sectors. We have to use our formal and informal contacts to increase awareness of the TPP among senior managers, particularly in the public sector.

What are the two most important pieces of advice you would give someone in the early stages of their career as a transport planner?

First, get a good boss and a supportive partner! Having a challenging and interesting job and a first class mentor is the best foundation for a successful career. Second: take your own personal development seriously; avoid being a "nine 'till fiver". Study, attend professional and technical meetings, get some of your work published, become expert in an aspect of your field that interests you - even if it is rather narrow. By so doing you will appreciate the expertise of others and be better placed to make use of it and, who knows, one day it may just help you get that top job!

More About David

David, started his career with Manchester Corporation before joining the Greater London Council where he became Chief Transport Planner, and then went on to become London Transport's Director of Planning. After retiring from LT, he was a director of Halcrow Consulting until 2009. David is now Chairman of the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund, a charity that support research and teaching initiatives in transport and provides bursaries for transport Masters students. He is also a Visiting Professor in Transport Studies at Imperial College and an RAC Foundation Trustee.


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