keith mitchellKeith, what professional qualifications do you have?


How important have your qualifications been to you as your career has developed?

My Masters was extremely important to provide the knowledge base on which to develop skills and experience in my chosen field. At the time, it was the key benchmark for young transport planning professionals in the labour market. However, it does not provide evidence of experience or ability to deliver projects. TPP has filled that gap, and I am delighted to now be able to use CTPP as evidence of my skills and experience.

What importance does your organisation place on professional qualifications in the development of the careers of your transport planners?

At Stantec, we place great importance to the education, training and professional development of our transport planning staff. We support academic courses extensively, as well as vocational training options. We have also supported Transport Planning apprenticeships, implemented the TPS Professional Development Scheme and encouraged staff to attain CTPP. While career progression is not entirely dependent on the attainment of qualifications, it is a key factor.

How important do you think professional recognition will be for younger transport planners, as they develop their careers?

It is difficult to understate the importance of professional recognition. CTPP in particular is a good indicator of the breadth of an individual's knowledge and experience, as well as demonstrating deeper proficiency in their chosen field. We are particularly keen on this aspect of the TPP as we believe that it extends individual flexibility, and provides the essential context for making informed judgements.

Do you encourage the younger members, the recent graduates, of your staff to follow a structured professional development scheme, and if you do, why?

Yes, we strongly recommend that our younger professionals follow a professional development scheme as this provides a structured route to achieving qualifications and career development. We support a wide range of professional development schemes, including the TPS Professional Development Scheme, as well as schemes for ICE, IStructE, CIWEM, CILT and more. We believe that such schemes can support the attainment of learning and experience outcomes that are important for achieving professional recognition, and provide the framework for accumulating valuable evidence for the professional review.

Why do you encourage others to work towards the TPP qualification?  What do you see as the main benefits?

We firmly believe that younger professionals should work towards professional qualifications as a way of accelerate career development, improving project outcomes for clients, and providing evidence to our clients of a level of capability. It is noticeable in our business that many of our leaders and managers have developed their careers through further education, training and qualifications whilst working for Stantec. At a more strategic level, transport planners have a critical role to play in changing the way we travel, how this influences the transformation of communities, our transition to zero carbon and our long term resilience and economic propserity. Our professional qualification helps to establish a knowledgeable and experienced transport planning profession, capable of influencing outcomes, and adding value through their work.

And finally!

Achieving professional qualifications may often seem a long way off for younger professionals, and burdensome to employers. In reality, it is little more than employers should be doing to invest properly in the future of our people, to ensure our work reflects the highest standards, and to influence the beneficial role that our transport systems can play in the future.

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