Like many of my colleagues, during my time at planning school I was introduced to OPPI and with it, the Registered Professional Planner (RPP) designation. At the encouragement of our professors, many of us became student members of the Institute and began our respective professional journeys toward becoming RPPs.
As students, we were focused on consuming as much knowledge as possible during our time at school and learning about the profession from both members of the academy as well as seasoned practitioners who dedicated their time to teaching the next generation of planners. We studied planning history and theory, land use planning, community design and environmental planning, among many other subjects. Notwithstanding our varied scholarly interests and career aspirations, many of us enrolled in the program with a goal of changing our communities for the better after graduation. We wanted to make a difference.
The varied interests of my fellow classmates are representative of the breadth of the planning profession and the diverse career opportunities that are available to those who join its ranks. However, we all have a common bond that we share regardless of our employer or area of specialization: we are RPPs. Achieving and maintaining this designation signals to decision-makers and members of our communities that its holder is committed to upholding the public interest through the course of their professional planning work. While becoming an RPP is a significant milestone, it is not an end in and of itself but instead represents the start of a professional journey as a certified planner. Planning is dynamic and subject to constant change. Ontario’s communities must evolve to thrive socially, environmentally and economically. RPPs are highly educated, ethically committed and trained to guide communities through this evolution for the public good, and are committed to Continuous Professional Learning
(CPL) as part of their professional practice.
Bill 122, Registered Professional Planners Act, 2017, had Second Reading in the legislature on May 11th, 2017
The evolution of our profession, including most recently the introduction of Bill 122 – Registered Professional Planners Act, 2017
in the Ontario Legislature, is indicative of the importance of the role of planning to creating thriving and resilient communities. I have had the privilege to meet many fellow RPPs through volunteering with OPPI and I encourage all of you to do the same at some point in your careers. You can also support planners along their professional journey as a Sponsor or Mentor
. Our members come from all parts of the province and work in a variety of different planning roles from government to private practice, to universities, not-for-profit agencies and many more. The work of professional planners is as diverse as our membership base and it is because of this that the RPP designation is so important in uniting members of our Institute.
Planning decisions impact our communities in myriad different ways today and well into the future. The significance of these decisions demands advice that is objective, sound and rooted in furthering the public interest. The RPP designation provides this assurance.
I am an RPP. Together, we are OPPI.