Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Real town planners and the training disease

boring training session
You know, I've written before about Continuous Professional Development or CPD as it's called. Yes we can laugh about it sometimes but the junk mail I received from our masters this morning really pushed me over the edge. Spawn of the Devil! A collection of useless courses and conferences for numpties who want some time off to sleep for a bit.
a council planner at rest
Now most planners I know are battle-hardened professionals who have dedicated their lives to planning - taking responsibility for their own development - and that's the way it should be. But I know many people in local government are different. A wee sausage roll from Greggs gets everyone excited then a two hour trip to the toilet with the Daily Record or the Sun for a read and a wee sleep is nothing unusual, believe me. They're the ones who haven't opened the City in History since they left university and spend their time fabricating gross car mileage claims. By God I would force every one of them to subscribe to Property Week - which I don't mind telling you is now my bible - even though some misguided people think it as a Fascist pamphlet.
typical council reading rooms
Looking down the list of courses in the junkmail I quickly realise something was badly wrong. Are they seriously suggesting that a qualified town planner needs training in subjects such as Retail and Town Centres, Sustainable Communities, Rural Planning and Regeneration or Housing Design? I just don't believe it! But if it is true, then these people should be barred from practice. Also if it's true that some planners have no skills in these areas then they shouldn't be giving the game away - it should be hushed up rather than publicised. I honestly don't know what the powers that be are playing at. I suspect it is just a money-making trick they are playing on the membership - buy our training or get your membership taken away. Disgraceful.
conference food
Anyway I'll shut up now before the goons in London swoop on me. If you get a chance to go on a day out like this, enjoy the lunch and make sure you get your CPD Certificate signed.

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