Working Group Chair: Henk van der Kamp.
Working Group members :
Henk van der Kamp, Dominique Lancrenon, Philippe Doucet and Paulo Correia.
ECTP Working Group on the Recognition of Planning Qualifications in Europe
The ECTP Working Group on the Recognition of Planning Qualifications in Europe has been set up to carry out a study and prepare proposals on the mutual recognition and mobility of planners across Europe. The study has been commissioned by both the ECTP and AESOP and was made possible through finance received from the French and Wallonian governments. EU Directive 2006/36/EC on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications is of particular importance in the context of the study as it provides a formal, legal framework for the mutual recognition of professional qualifications between different countries where planning is a ‘regulated profession’. The first stage of the study has been completed and was presented at the Spring General Assembly that took place in May in Belgrade.
As an initial part of the study an inventory was carried out of all membership categories within the 23 associations in ECTP in 21 countries in order to identify the education and experience requirements that member associations of ECTP adopt in deciding on admission to full membership. Full membership is defined in the study as: the category of membership which requires a candidate to meet the highest levels of educational and experience requirements set by the organisation. The study has explored the scope for a system of mutual recognition or agreement of professional qualifications by proposing a protocol relating to ‘planning’ that would be appropriate across Europe. Unlike the development of a ‘common platform’ under the provisions of the EU Directive, the recommended mutual agreement approach would preserve the autonomy of individual ‘competent authorities’ by allowing them to opt into and out of a mutual agreement with another organisation on a voluntary basis. This system would therefore have the considerable advantage of respecting the diversity between planning systems as well as the regulatory requirements of different countries while also allowing countries with similar planning systems to quickly and easily assess the competencies of applicants from those countries.
The study suggests a potential role of ECTP as a body with status and recognition both within the profession throughout Europe as well as within the relevant European institutions to oversee the operation of such a system of mutual recognition. It was agreed at the Assembly that each membership association would be asked to ‘verify’ the correctness of facts and interpretations in the report relating to their country as well as submit a response to the draft report. It is envisaged that a follow on stage of the study will develop the recommendations in further detail.
Henk van der Kamp, Chair Working Group, June 2011.