Planning Skills Programme

The Planning Skills Programme shares the skills, knowledge and behaviours to maximise planning's proactive contribution to delivering the type of places in which people can thrive.

We work with local authorities, Heads of Planning Scotland, Scottish Government, key agencies, the RTPI and other stakeholders to deliver and co-ordinate the following:

If you have any questions or would like to share learning opportunities or needs, contact Trevor Moffat. To keep up to date with Planning Skills events and programme developments, join our mailing list.

Download a list of Planning Skills member organisations. Organisations wishing more information about joining Planning Skills programme should contact Trevor Moffat.

Planning (Scotland) Act 2019

With the introduction of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, passed by the Scottish Parliament in June 2019, planning in Scotland is undergoing a substantial transformation.

An independent panel was appointed to carry out a review of Scotland’s planning system in 2015. The review identified six outcomes to guide this planning reform:

  • Strong and flexible development plans
  • The delivery of more high quality homes
  • An infrastructure first approach to planning and development
  • Efficient and transparent development management
  • Stronger leadership, smarter resourcing and sharing of skills
  • Collaboration rather than conflict – inclusion and empowerment

Focus remains on these six key outcomes as the Act is implemented.

The Planning Skills Programme has an important contribution to make in developing and sharing the required skills, knowledge, and behaviour. We are working closely with the Partners in Planning Forum which informed the RTPI research paper 'Developing Skills, Behaviours and Knowledge to Deliver Outcomes' on mainstreaming the changes that sit beside the legislation.

2021 Skills in Planning Research Paper

The research is published by Partners in Planning, a collaboration that aims to:
  • build the capacity we need to deliver quality places that promote wellbeing, sustainable communities and inclusive growth
  • pull together the skills, knowledge and behaviours of those working with Scotland’s planning system to maximise their contributions to achieving these outcomes
  • promote high quality and fit for purpose planning education and lifelong learning to support planning in Scotland.

Read the paper: Skills in Planning Research Paper

Future Planners Project

This research was commissioned by Scottish Government and carried out by Heads of Planning Scotland (HOPS), the Improvement Service and RTPI Scotland. The report presents key findings and recommendations to improve career promotion, recruitment, and retention within Scotland's planning authorities.

Read the report: Future Planners Project Report

Trevor Moffat - Project Manager, Planning for Place