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Thread: Planning Institute of Australia membership

  1. #1
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    Planning Institute of Australia membership

    Is anyone here a member of P.I.A. ?

    Is it worth joining?

    What are the benefits?

    Can it hold back your career if you aren't a member?

  2. #2
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    Hmm, good questions! I'm keen to hear what the consensus is on this.. Normally i'd say 'no' to it holding back a career based on my local experience, but across Australia it'd be interesting to hear opinions...

  3. #3
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Im a member of PIA

    Benefits? Hmm a magazine every couple of months, constant updates on issues via email and conferences.

    In private industry i think it is seen as something beneficial to be a member of- in terms of networking etc, Local Gov not so much.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  4. #4
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    Benefits of being a member of the Planning Institute of Australia

    We, the Planning Institute of Australia are the national peak body for people and organisations involved in spatial planning practice in Australia. The Institute represents and supports almost 5000 planning professionals, Australia-wide and overseas.

    The objectives of the Institute are to:
     Serve the public interest of urban and rural communities.
     Promote the professional interests of members.
     Establish and administer standards of competency and professionalism within planning.
     Support plannersí professional development, including general and technical knowledge.
     Develop and disseminate planning-related knowledge.
     Provide a forum for the exchange of views on planning-related issues.
     Advance its shared core interest through all spheres of government, the private sector and academia.

    PIA also establishes professional standards on behalf of the planning profession, accrediting university courses and certifying practitioners, supporting professional development and maintaining a Code of Professional Conduct to which members adhere. This means PIA membership is seen by employers as a mark of a quality and professionalism. Those who have become Certified Practicing Planners also commit to lifelong learning and professional development and are again recognisable. Members can use the honorific MPIA and once Certified the CPP honorifics after their name. The Institute runs events at national and local (Divisional) levels. This includes an annual professional seminar program, yearly National Congress and conferences in most States/Territories as well as social and networking events. The Institute recognises and promotes outstanding achievement in planning and design through annual Awards for Planning Excellence at both Division and National level.

    Further information regarding the work of the Institute, including the Planning Report Card, Built Environment Meets Parliament, Healthy Spaces and Places, PIA Indigenous Working Group, Certified Practising Planner Scheme, PIA Policy statements and Policy submissions and more can be found at www.planning.org.au or you can contact 02 6262 5933 to discuss the benefits of membership with a PIA representative.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    I am a member. Same benefits as Natski - the journal can often be worthwhile. You would also be supporting the profession - its capacity to participate in public debate, represent the interests of the profession in political spheres, maintain education standards (PIA qualifies degree courses) and so forth.

    I have been involved in a lot of recruitment and I don't think membership has ever influenced me. It would probably be anti-EEO to make PIA membership a requirement for employment.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Hi.

    I've been a (student) member for a couple of years.

    The benefits for me are:

    Representation by a peak body at all levels of government and non-government policy-making opportunities;

    Access to excellent literature/journals (both State and National levels);

    Support, both professional and social; and

    Recognition among other professionals (and across all sectors).

    Mark SMPIA

  7. #7
    Cyburbian urbanrenewal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by north sydney View post
    Is anyone here a member of P.I.A. ?

    Is it worth joining?

    What are the benefits?

    Can it hold back your career if you aren't a member?
    Howdy there, after finishing my master's I finally have time!!

    So this thread seems interesting.......

    Is the planning institute worth joining? No, I don't think so. There seems to be a lot of back-patting at any PIA function I've gone to.

    Benefits? Career progression is up to the person, not if you're part of what is a private lobby group.

    Can it hold back your career? Of course not, that would be discrimination. Personally I've found it more beneficial being an overseas member of the American Planning Association - I get a magazine just like the PIA does, but it's interesting because it's not all the same people and same issues, it's different perspectives which are interesting to think about.

  8. #8
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    I joined PIA recently, I don't have to pay very much fees though because I'm still a student, that will change soon though.

    The journals they send you are pretty good. I work in local government so I applied to join the "local government planners network" when I joined PIA although I'm not really sure what they do.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    My experience with PIA as a foreign planner is that they really dont do much other than a magazine.

    The people that run PIA themselves are business owners. There is no mentoring programs, no salary survey's, etc.

    The problem with Planning in Australia is there is NO salary guidelines. You can work 10 plus years in the UK and someone would offer you 50k or so.

    PIA does not want a salary survey because the business owners themselves are most active in PIA. they want the cheapest labour available.

    JOIN RTPI, APA, or ULI. PIA really doesnt do much other than claim there is a shortage of planners in OZ.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    I have to agree with the previous poster.

    JOIN APA

    Anyone from around the world can join. If you a recent grad its only about $50 US.
    The magazine you get is excellent and worth the price alone. You also get:

    -salary survey
    -mentoring in career
    -articles that will appear in PIA magazine 2 years later

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Woolley's avatar
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    Apparently they sponsor our degree significantly in conjunction with Gold Coast City Council.

    However, I think if all the student groups related to planning degrees join forces, we could out perform them, especially the Queensland Young Planners Group.

    The APA sounds like a good option. Did a google scholar search for planning related journal articles produced in 2009 and there are quite a few good journal articles produced by the APA.

  12. #12
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    I dropped out of PIA after a couple of years as they didnt seem to do anything and charged a very large membership fee. However, I mainly resigned when PIA introduced the "Certified Practising Planner" which is something they made up and with no legal standing (I'm already a registered architect and admitted as a lawyer in NSW, both of which are a status guarenteed by legislation) so I thought that this made up CPP, which everyone was told they must do, was a bridge too far. Employers cant refuse to employ you because you dont have CPP and anyone can still call themselves a planner (unilke lawyers and architects).

    Thats my two cents worth.

    Savanna100

  13. #13
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    Can't agree with you more savannah. I can see no benefit in what CPP has brought to the profession. The architects got it right in legislating for their profession whilst us planners lag behind. It concerns me that some of the people I work with are CPPs and lack some pretty basic knowledge of the planning system.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Woolley's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by expat123 View post
    My experience with PIA as a foreign planner is that they really dont do much other than a magazine.

    The people that run PIA themselves are business owners. There is no mentoring programs, no salary survey's, etc.
    Actually they now do offer mentoring/mentee programs. Not directly, but sourced from private and government sectors.
    Last edited by Woolley; 16 Jun 2009 at 2:01 AM. Reason: needed to add something

  15. #15
    BWharrie's avatar
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    PIA - no thanks

    Like savanna100 I joined but was sadly disappointed by the conferences and get togethers. It is all focused on Strategic Planning rather than the cut and thrust of Development Control. Just a bunch of big time master planners wanting to bellyache to each other how good their projects are rather than looking at the ground floor issues that we deal with each minute of the day. Like sharing assessment models, conditions of consent and the like rather than re-inventing the wheel all the time. I did try the LGPN but the chair never answered my emails or suggestions.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Woolley's avatar
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    Anyone want to help me overthrow the PIA

  17. #17
    BWharrie's avatar
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    PIA overthrow

    Count me in. Does it need Development Consent? I'll approve anything (with conditions).

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Woolley's avatar
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    I noticed on the PIA homepage that they state to have over 5000 members. Do you think that is accurate. Is there really that many in our profession?

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Supposedly there are 10,000 planners in Oz. I dont know how they define a planner though, as there are construction planners that could be figured into that definition. I think those numbers are inflated a bit for membership as there is no benefit for government planners to be members of PIA. less than 20% of the planners I have worked with were members, but that could be just my experience In Private, you can run an ad for "CPP" next to the directors name. Like previous posts this not legally binding and anyone can call themselves a planner. I would take it seriously if they got legislation passed much like lawyers, architects, and accountants.

    Its Funny cause PIA makes it a goal to have every planner a CPP to legitimize the profession, but the federal government doesn't even recognize PIA as a suitable organization to assess planner qualifications for migration. This was one of their strategies in 2004 after the inquiry along with increased university places for planning. 5 years later we have seen no increase in university places, no salary survey for members like any countries planning bodies, the dropping of urban planner from the Victoria State migration scheme, and no representation from PIA on the new Occupation in demand list due out in 2010. I guess a year long magazine subscription with a bunch of master planners promoting their own designs and practices is worth $480 in PIA's opinion.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
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    PIA

    A former colleague of mine (I had left the firm some years back) attended the PIA conference then. I asked him how the conference was and he said that there were some inspiring discussions on what it meant to be a planner in this current age and time.

    However, the part he was disappointed with was on how the PIA saw planners as only mediators and facilitators in the development process.

    One of my reasons for leaving PIA (apart from the high fees and that I have left Oz) was I wasn't sure where PIA (and the profession) was going in general.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
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    Josh,

    Good points taken. I dont think PIA knows where its going either. Anything in the news they put a release out for (climate change, housing affordability, sustainability, etc) They had a change of President in the last year and have been somewhat quiet since.

    PIA basically is a bunch of mid to small design and consulting owners pushing their own agenda, such as how local government planners can process DA faster for their own benefit. NSW PIA currently wants to do away with the current EPA legislation due to the delays it costs their clients. They could care less about; planners working conditions, salaries compared to other related built environment professions. I have known colleagues that have worked for these people previously and there turnover rate speaks for itself.

    I use to be occasionally involved with local chapters in RTPI and APA when I was working in the UK and USA, and these groups actually encouraged ideas from student planners and up. As you said PIA only sees things one way and forces its opinions on others. The sad thing is young planners such as Woolley and BWharrie already have lost faith in them as well. Planning has so much potential in a rapidly growing country that Australia is. Its a shame the profession is not better represented in Australia and many young planners end up leaving the profession.

  22. #22
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    As I am changing careers and only just beginning to enter the field I find the above comments very interesting.

    As a potential student trying to find information the PIA offers nothing of value. The APA has a very useful site and offers a lot of practical information.

    If there is such a severe shortage of planners throughout Australia I wonder why the PIA has not stepped up a bit in terms of providing comprehensive information regarding the industry and offering more advice to potential students.

    I think I will join the APA instead.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Woolley's avatar
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    I feel that If there are 10,000 planners in Aus I am sure we could create an organisation that helps planners and the profession. The PIA also need a decent forum, website and need to better communicate with students and planners.

    Planning is so disjointed in Aus, I don't see the network
    We architects and urban planners aren't the visible symbols of oppression, like the military or the police. We're more sophisticated, more educated, and more socially conscious. We're the soft cops.- Robert Goodman, After the Planners My Planning Forumino

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
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    I think I will contact APA about getting a commission for converting Aussie planners to sign up for APA membership. There have been numerous over the years and they all like the monthly magazine, it provides ideas for the firm owners to steal and publish 2 years later in the Aussie Planner publication. If these people knew how to run a successful firm they wouldn't be close to bankruptcy or already bankrupt. Add another young person with an interest in planning to the list that PIA sucks.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Woolley's avatar
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    Ok I think we should do something... I don't see where the money is being used by the PIA, they seem to be in limbo.

    It would need sponsors, volunteers and planners. I can volunteer some of my time so long as it is seen as beneficial. I dabble in web development and can help create forums, online chats, pages , etc.

    I would love to have the support to compile an online search so that people can search for

    councils
    businesses
    jobs
    planning profiles (e.g. resumes)
    degrees
    planning schemes/instruments/laws
    planning terms
    planning books, software, journals
    planning for young children i.e. games or activities
    individuals
    planning firms
    planners

    I have an email list of every planning degree and (I think) that is available in Nz and Aus.

    Would love to find people who specialise in IT esp. mySQL, social/sponsorship coordinating
    We architects and urban planners aren't the visible symbols of oppression, like the military or the police. We're more sophisticated, more educated, and more socially conscious. We're the soft cops.- Robert Goodman, After the Planners My Planning Forumino

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