Last year, Royal Town Planning Institute events took place in 97 different towns, villages and cities across the UK and Ireland. Of all those events, 37 per cent were free and 78 per cent of all places cost less than £100.
We are delighted that attendance at events organised by the RTPI nations and regions has grown consistently since 2007. Some networking and social events were held during the year, from awards presentations to five-a-side football tournaments, but 86 per cent of all RTPI events provided continuing professional development (CPD).
You can now book our autumn events, with training available on subjects ranging from local distinctiveness to how to win planning inquiries, from housing in areas of constraint to retail impact assessments. There are many types of event available to members, including evening seminars and half-day courses, making it much easier to find something to fit your schedule even if you are unable to get much, if any, time away from the office.
Attending events is only one way to complete CPD and develop your expertise. Structured reading of sector publications such as Planning or journals like Planning Theory and Practice, on which RTPI members receive a significant discount, can be a useful source of CPD, as can volunteering for Planning Aid or undertaking a secondment.
You could also consider studying online. The RTPI will shortly be launching a virtual learning environment. In addition, RTPI Conferences is currently looking for your views on the use of webinars for low-cost training.
Kate Webster is marketing officer at the RTPI. If you're looking for face-to-face training, designed by planners for planners, don't forget to see what's coming up in your area and book your place at www.rtpi.org.uk/events