Keith, what professional qualifications do you have?

MSc, TPP, FCIHT, FCILT

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

My MSc 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 is an academic qualification, and does not provide evidence of either experience or ability to deliver quality work. There was therefore a significant gap in the available qualifications at the time. TPP has filled that gap, and I am delighted to now be able to use TPP 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 Peter Brett, we place great importance to the education, training and professional development of our transport planning staff. We support academic courses, such as Masters courses, extensively, as well as vocational training options. We have also implemented the TPS Professional Development Scheme, and encourage staff to attain TPP. While career progression is not totally dependant on the attainment of qualifications - as we take account of each individual’s wider personal progression in these decisions - we consider it as a key factor.

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

In today's employment market, it is difficult to understate the importance of professional recognition. TPP in particular is a good indicator of the breadth of an individual's knowledge and experience, as the TPP requirements necessitate each candidate to develop a broad range of knowledge and experience, as well as being proficient in their chosen field. This is something our business is particularly keen on, 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. Indeed, 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?

I firmly believe that younger professionals should work towards professional qualifications, as I believe that this can accelerate career development, improve project outcomes for clients, provide evidence to employers and clients of a level of capability, and enhance the value of an individual to an employer. In our business, it is noticeable that many of our leaders and managers have developed their careers through further education, training and qualifications.

At a more strategic level, the performance of our transport network is a key factor in supporting economic growth, sustainability and social equity. If the relatively strong performance of the transport sector in the public spending review is anything to go by, this is recognised by Government. It is therefore essential that the transport planning workforce is knowledgeable, experienced, capable of influencing outcomes, and adding value through their work. Ultimately, a better qualified workforce will bring benefit to UK plc.

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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