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Planning Skills - learning and development for staff in Scottish planning authorities

Planning Skills Series

The Planning Skills Series addresses learning and development for local authority planning staff.


We work closely with local authorities, Heads of Planning Scotland, Scottish Government, key agencies and the RTPI to identify the priority development needs for planners, and work with stakeholders to provide opportunities and resources to meet those needs.


Click on the 'Planning Skills Network' tab for information about future events.


About the programme

The Programme was set up in 2006 to support the modernisation of planning through learning and development. It was previously funded by the Scottish Government, although all 34 planning authorities (32 councils and two national park authorities) now contribute to the running of the programme.


The programme is currently focusing on:


  • working with authorities to identify and implement a sustainable approach to skills development
  • promoting a joined-up approach to learning and development and working closely with key agencies and other organisations to maximise available opportunities and avoid duplication
  • working with stakeholders to identify priority development needs and agreeing how best to meet those needs


The approach we take seeks to:


  • utilise existing opportunities and resources, avoiding duplication of action being taken by others
  • make learning and development opportunities accessible to all authorities
  • encourage sharing of learning through organisations
  • provide different types of learning opportunities


If you have any questions or would like to discuss learning opportunities, contact Irene Beautyman or Trevor Moffat.


Places, People and Planning: A consultation on the future of the Scottish planning system

The Improvement Service (IS) welcomed the recent opportunity to input into this review of the planning system. The consultation highlights the key role of planning to nurture our places, our environment and our communities, and guide future change so that it benefits everyone. We are keen to see the review advanced promptly to promote planning’s role in this delivery of great places.


The IS did not respond to every proposal made in the consultation but focused on those where it had the expertise to provide input. As such  our response focused on the three key areas of:



Download the full IS response to Places, People and Planning: a Consultation on the Future of the Scottish Planning System


Irene Beautyman
Planning for Place Programme Manager

Tel. 07908 930763

Email Irene


Trevor Moffat

Project Officer

Tel. 07834 516824

Email Trevor

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