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At the introduction of the TPP qualification, it was agreed that a certain number of the established transport masters degree courses would be approved as of a sufficient standard to allow a successful student to apply for the TPP qualification without first submitting a portfolio of technical knowledge for consideration.
In order to ensure that these originally approved masters degree courses remain of a sufficiently high standard, since 2010 the TPP Professional Standards Committee have been undertaking a rolling programme of review using the same criteria and unit descriptions used for the TPP itself. To-date it is anticipated that this rolling programme will take in the region of five years to complete. Each year approximately five universities are contacted to invite them to submit evidence for a review of their masters degree courses.
At the same time Universities with new courses, or established courses as yet not approved for exemption from the TPP PTK, are welcome to submit an application at any time for consideration by the PSC.
The aim of the masters degree course approval is to show the course will provide a level of awareness and knowledge across the wide range of TPP competency criteria. These will form the foundation of the individual's ability and skills in the future. The aim of the assessment for the TPP is to show the individual has gained experience and proficiency from working in their career.
The criteria used to describe each of the units that need to be covered by an approved masters degree course were agreed after a period of extensive consultation and professional input by GOSkills and the Transport Planning Society as part of the work to develop national occupational standards for transport planners.
On submission of an application for approval of the masters degree course, the form and any supporting documents are reviewed individually by three members of the Professional Standards Committee. Following discussion to compile these assessments, the recommendations are presented to the full committee and discussed.
The outcome of the full PSC meeting is agreement of a letter stating whether the masters degree course has met the TPP requirement. The letter will also include any requests for clarification or further information and any recommendations for additions to the course that would enable it to be assessed as exempt from the TPP PTK.
Should it not be possible for a university to implement the recommendations or suggestions of the TPP PSC then they must be aware that ultimately the masters degree course will be removed from the register of TPP approved courses published on the TPP website and made available through the TPS and CIHT.
We look forward to receiving new submissions from universities and undertake to offer relevant suggestions and advice.