Case Studies

The Transport Planning Professional qualification recognises competent transport planners with broad-based technical and managerial skills.

Below are case studies of some of the transport planners from different educational backgrounds, working in the public and private sector, who have gained the qualification. 

 

Alan Nettleton - TPP

I am a Senior Engineer / Transport Planner at ITP in Milton Keynes, generally working on transport assessments, traffic modelling, public transport analysis and the development of bus rapid transit sc

I am a Senior Engineer / Transport Planner at ITP in Milton Keynes, generally working on transport assessments, traffic modelling, public transport analysis and the development of bus rapid transit schemes on behalf of both private and public sector clients.

It was always my ambition to become a chartered engineer, but when the TPP qualification emerged I found it an ideal fit for my skills and experience.  So much of the work we win as a company is based on the quality of the CV of individual project team members, and I felt that the TPP has added hugely to the strength of my CV.  It provides clients with confidence that I have a good level of knowledge and experience, and as such makes me a more valuable employee.

There is no denying that preparing the required documents takes time and effort, and I found it useful to set myself deadlines for completing individual sections.  The advice of my mentor was invaluable.  The interview I actually found enjoyable.  The reviewers were friendly, and although they probed my knowledge thoroughly and were quick to expose my weaknesses, I got the impression that they wanted me to succeed.

 

Claire Whitfield - TPP

I began working in earnest toward TPP in early 2013, just over seven years into my career and when I believed my level of experience and responsibility would meet the competencies required

Having worked in the transport consultancy field since the completion of my Bachelors degree in 2005, Geography with Transport Planning at University of Leeds ITS, I have been fortunate enough to work on a wide variety of projects for both private and public sector clients.

At the start of my career it was often commented that there was no qualification for Transport Planners which was in any way an equivalent for the Chartered Engineer (CEng) qualification for Engineers. When Transport Planning Professional (TPP) was launched in 2008 it immediately became my overriding goal. I was determined to achieve it, whilst aware that it would take time, dedication and focus. In those early days, I attended CIHT and Transport Planning Society (TPS) organised workshop sessions and seminars, something that I continued throughout the preparation of my submission; I also joined CIHT North East Committee and the Young Professionals Group, on which I served three terms.

I began working in earnest toward TPP in early 2013, just over seven years into my career and when I believed my level of experience and responsibility would meet the competencies required, both technical and management related. Without a Masters degree, I followed the Portfolio of Technical Knowledge (PTK) route; although this involves preparation of two portfolios rather than just one, I actually found that completing the PTK helped me immensely when preparing my Portfolio of Evidence. The projects I referred to in both were largely the same with only the context changing from Awareness and Knowledge to Experience and Proficiency.

I successfully gained TPP status in late 2014, it was hard work and the Professional Review is perhaps the most challenging thing I have done in my career! The feeling of finding out you have been successful, and knowing that you have justified your experience in front of two respected and experienced Transport Planners, makes it all worthwhile. I can say without a doubt that my TPP qualification is the achievement that I am most proud of in my professional life.

I can also say, without any doubt, that it has pushed and enabled me toward further achievement. Since being awarded TPP I have been profiled as part of New Civil Engineer’s ‘Future Leaders’ feature and, in 2015, was named Young Professional of the Year by CIHT North East and Cumbria.

I am a huge advocate of the TPP qualification. I believe that, in the near future, our clients will expect to see those three letters beside the names of the people they have working on their projects. To me, it is already a respected industry standard and I only expect this to become more widespread, as we have seen for many years with CEng. My latest challenge has been to set up a UK-wide TPP Support Group within WSP, where I have worked since 2012. WSP already run a TPS Professional Development Scheme, which supports Early Career Professionals in taking the first steps toward TPP, but there was little support or information for those who were considering applying for TPP at a later point in their career. The group will formally launch at the start of 2018 and will aim, initially, to match applicants with mentors and to provide information on the various routes available.

I was also delighted, earlier this year, to be invited to join CIHT’s TPP Professional Standards Committee giving me the opportunity to help shape the future of the qualification. I took up this role in September 2017 and will continue for a six-year term to 2023, during which time I fully expect to see even more of our industry professionals pursuing and achieving TPP. I truly cannot recommend it enough. 

James Aylmer-Shanks - TPP

I was offered a job at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff as a Graduate Transport Planner upon completing my degree in Geography. When I started work my knowledge of Transport Planning was pretty limited.

I was offered a job at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff as a Graduate Transport Planner upon completing my degree in Geography.  When I started work my knowledge of Transport Planning was pretty limited. I was not aware of the opportunities and wide variety of interesting projects that would be coming my way.  I quickly signed up to study part time for a Masters in Transport Planning & Engineering.  I was fortunate to work on some of the largest planning projects in the country including the 2012 Olympics and the rail Northern Hub programme.

Following completion of my Masters I set myself a new target of completing the Transport Planning Professional (TPP) qualification.  Working towards TPP helped me to focus my career development and was great at identifying areas where I needed to gain more experience.  I became involved in the CIHT Manchester Young Professionals Committee with the aim of setting up a wide range of events for Young Professionals in Manchester.

In June 2015,  I successfully completed TPP.  I found the TPP process (preparing submission documents and the professional review) to be very rewarding and I was proud to have successfully gained the qualification.  I am hoping to use my experience of gaining TPP to help mentor others through the process.

Judith MacDonald - TPP

I am a Senior Transport Planner with Transport Scotland, Scotland’s national agency for transport. My employer has provided support to enable me to achieve TPP

I am a Senior Transport Planner with Transport Scotland, Scotland’s national agency for transport.  My employer has provided support to enable me to achieve TPP and I when I started in Transport Scotland as a graduate, my employer and I developed a training plan to gain the necessary experience  to meet the TPP objectives.  I wanted to gain TPP as it is a high quality qualification and I recognised that it would give me, as a professionally qualified transport planner, the same status as Chartered Engineers.

There is no doubt that it is challenging to gain TPP.  It helped to have a mentor who had been through the process before and was able to give advice and encouragement.  I found that it was important to understand and work towards each objective at the early stage of gaining TPP and I allocated time in the evenings to study leading up to my professional review but the hard work was worth it.  I believe that by going through the TPP process I gained a lot of transport knowledge on the various competencies.  TPP is an excellent way to demonstrate the experience and abilities that I have gained over the past years working in transport.

Leanne Farrow - TPP

I was successful in obtaining the TPP qualification approximately seven years into my career in the private sector, and after completing an MSc in Transport Planning from University of Leeds.

I was successful in obtaining the TPP qualification approximately seven years into my career in the private sector, and after completing an MSc in Transport Planning from University of Leeds.

Having TPP to your name demonstrates that you are working at an accredited level, sets you apart from your peers, shows commitment to your career and to your profession and without a doubt, increases your career prospects.

Personally, I couldn't recommend it enough. It's not just the sense of achievement you get from obtaining the qualification; I got a great deal out of the process or "journey" of working towards it.

I believe key to this is to follow an appropriate graduate training programme, in order to obtain the breadth of experience required for TPP.  The skill of personal reflection on your achievements and learning outcomes, and identifying and targeting the weaknesses you need to improve upon, are crucial elements of continuing professional development and for getting "TPP ready".  My expertise is in transport policy / strategy and influencing travel behaviour, and I found that having evidence of my professional development against a set of objectives helped me demonstrate to my employer where I needed exposure to different opportunities to plug the gaps in my experience.

Having a supportive mentor who will encourage and challenge you is absolutely essential. There is plenty of support from CIHT and TPS if you need help with this. I would also recommend getting involved in a professional institution, as it provides many opportunities for learning and developing an effective network.

I think if you have made TPP a long-term goal, done the ground-work and have prepared for it effectively, the actual application and review process itself is challenging, but definitely achievable!

It's worth remembering too, that TPP provides benefits beyond those seen at a personal level. TPP raises the level of professionalism of our industry, giving transport planners the same level of recognition as engineers and other professionals service providers. It's something I'm very proud to be part of and I would recommend anyone working in the industry to make TPP a goal and see where it takes them.

Michael Koerber - TPP

Upon completion of an MSc course in Airport Planning and Management, I joined Mott MacDonald as a Graduate Airport Planner in 2008.

Upon completion of an MSc course in Airport Planning and Management, I joined Mott MacDonald as a Graduate Airport Planner in 2008. Aviation had been my main area of interest until then but shortly after joining the company, I contributed to the development of a highway model which set me off on an unexpected career path. While aviation remained my speciality, I developed an interest in understanding the requirements and features of other transportation modes.

I enrolled in the TPS Professional Development Scheme (PDS) in 2009 in view of achieving the TPP to demonstrate that I had achieved the required breadth of multi-modal experience to be considered a transportation professional.

The PDS enables structured career development, and at the same time provided the justification for moving between teams to obtain the necessary breadth of experience. As a result, I gained experience in various roles including airport planner, airport capacity analyst, transport planner, aviation analyst and project manager due to taking the initiative and making best use of the opportunities that my company offers.

My ambition to achieving TPP status provided me with the necessary skill-set to succeed in my current role as Transport Technical Advisor. Being based in Singapore, I advise on and contribute to the delivery of fascinating transport projects across a range of sectors (airports, toll roads, rail, ports) in a diverse set of countries including Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia.

I would encourage graduates with similar ambitions and interests to consider working towards the TPP as it provides the necessary direction to obtaining skill-sets that enable being successful in a variety of roles within the transportation industry.

Nick Boyle - TPP

I have been with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham for almost twelve years now. I am responsible for a number of business areas including development control, transport policy, urban design

I have been with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham for almost twelve years now. I am responsible for a number of business areas including development control, transport policy, urban design, road safety and travel planning.

I achieved my MSc from Westminster University in 2010 and it was at this time I heard of the TPP qualification. My first degree was in chemistry and as I had an unusual background in transport planning and responsible for a wide range of services it seemed to be an ideal qualification for me to work towards.

I first sat the TPP in 2011 and didn’t quite meet the required standard on a few of the assessment criteria. I underestimated the work required for the portfolio of evidence and I wasn’t prepared sufficiently for the professional review. The panel provided helpful feedback and I found a mentor. I worked with my mentor during 2012 and with my experiences of working on the 2012 Olympics was sufficient for me to pass the qualification in 2013.

The qualification has given me more confidence and professional credibility in public inquiries for example and I strongly recommend it to fellow transport planners.

Peter Crane - TPP

I am a divisional director for world class consultancy Mott MacDonald leading and managing their 80 strong Integrated Transport sub-division covering London, the south of England, south Wales and Scot

I am a divisional director for world class consultancy Mott MacDonald leading and managing their 80 strong Integrated Transport sub-division covering London, the south of England, south Wales and Scotland - we are also currently working overseas in places including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Gibraltar, Greece and Kenya.

For most of my 35 year transport planning career, following my economics degree and transport MSc, it was disappointing that there was no specialist professional qualification for transport planners similar to Chartered Engineer or Chartered Town Planner so when TPP started with a senior route, it was a no brainer for me to go for it.

It puts me on the same status as professionals from other disciplines recognising the breadth and depth of my technical and management experience. It enables me to lead by example encouraging and supporting all our eligible staff to develop themselves and their careers by working towards TPP. Furthermore TPP is becoming increasingly recognised as valuable by clients and employers, including myself!

Ross Paradise - TPP

After graduating with a Geography degree, I completed a Masters in Research (MRes) at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds.

After graduating with a Geography degree, I completed a Masters in Research (MRes) at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds. The course really inspired me to use my geographic background in a new way, as well as allowing me to learn about transport. This is also where I first became a member of CIHT.

Following some prompting from my tutor, I was offered a graduate role at the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). As a naïve and fresh faced graduate, this gave me a wide range of experiences in a great organisation, which helped to develop my understanding of transport challenges facing both the UK and further afield. It also built on my passion for promoting ideas that are sustainable, including the improvement of the urban realm for all users. I was involved in the team which helped develop the Manual for Streets, and the Pedestrian Environment Review System.

Following my time at TRL, I moved to Scott-Wilson (now AECOM) in my native Derbyshire. Moving into a consultancy environment was a big change and my career changed from that of being largely research based, to one working with a variety of public sector and private clients. My line manager was one of the first in the country to complete the Transport Planning Professional (TPP) process, and he encouraged me to follow suit. Working towards TPP helped me to focus my career development and helped identify areas where I needed to develop my portfolio of expertise.

In December 2016 I successfully achieved the TPP qualification.  I was not part of a specific development scheme: instead, I worked through the template provided by CIHT and discussed with other CIHT members how I might show my experience in a suitable way. For some time I did not think I had the necessary experience to tick all the TPP boxes. However, the support of CIHT through the Portfolio of Technical Knowledge (PTK) route encouraged me to continue, and I then felt capable of moving to complete my qualification.

For the TPP interview, I presented on a project which won the CIHT award for Sustainability in 2014, and which was also commended under the Effective Partnerships category. The most difficult part of the interview was coping with a broken foot I had sustained whilst (foolishly) playing football the night before! (And, as soon as the interview finished, I took myself to A&E!)

I am now looking forward to helping other members of AECOM staff in working toward TPP.

Yogesh Patel - TPP

Following a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from India, I decided upon a career in transport planning to allow me to combine my interests in transport planning and analytical and problem solving

Following a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from India, I decided upon a career in transport planning to allow me to combine my interests in transport planning and analytical and problem solving skills.

I started my career with Jacobs as a Graduate Engineer. I worked on Transport for London’s bus priority schemes and well know London Congestion Charging scheme. Earlier in my career I realised that professional qualifications can make a big difference to the professional progression.

During my career with AECOM, I worked on a variety of projects such as; Stansted Airport and Highways England’s Spatial Planning framework.  These projects provided me an in depth understanding on wide range of transport planning aspects.

After joining Atkins (April 2007), I gained a great depth of experience in my career while working on significant projects both in the UK and Overseas. My portfolio of experience includes; HS2, Heathrow expansion, Gatwick pier 6, M25 Junction 28 and A27 East of Lewes RIS schemes. My oversea project experience includes working on KRB concept design (Doha), Baku Masterplan, City of Light (Rabat) Masterplan and Port Sultan Masterplan.

As a Transport Planner with 14 years of experience it is my responsibility to ensure that the technical content of my work is robust and stands up to scrutiny that is expected as scheme’s go through the statutory process. I ensure that I keep up to date with the current transport issues through regular reading CIHT newsletter, Local Transport Today and TransportXtra.

I set myself a new target of completing the Transport Planning Professional (TPP) qualification. Working towards TPP helped me to focus my career development and was great at identifying areas where I needed to gain more experience. In May 2017, I reached landmark in my career development when I gained the TPP qualification through CIHT. This qualification is the equivalent of a Chartered Engineer for transport planners and I am very proud to have achieved this status so early in my career. I am thankful to receive great help from my mentor, senior members of staff from Atkins and very valuable guidance from CIHT. I am committed to use my experience of gaining TPP to mentor and encourage others through the process.

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