The Planning Institute of Australia—counterpart to our American Planning Association—is asking its members a simple question: What Makes a Great Planner? Kristy Kelly, PIA’s CEO, shared their inquiry on the LinkedIn APA discussion group recently. As I’ve worked through my job search, I’ve asked myself the same question, and also how I might apply the skills I’ve learned as a “Planner” (whatever that is) out in the real world.
This is part of a larger effort to reorganize the group to be more relevant to their members. That seems like a worthy effort, but it’s the specific framework that seems particularly transferable across countries, at least across those with a similar tradition in English common law. The six core competencies identified include:
- Professionalism and Integrity
- Spatial Understanding (Ability to understand and communicate spatial concepts)
- Technical Knowledge (of planning content areas)
- Planning Framework (Understanding and ability to work within)
- Community Engagement (Ability to communicate and engage with a range of stakeholders)
- Creative Integration (to develop balanced solutions)
It is a good sign that “ethics” is the very first bullet listed. Good luck to our friends Down Under in their current Search for Excellence.