Supporting Documents

Qualification - can be demonstrated by providing a scan or photograph of an academic transcript or certificate of graduation (certified copies are not necessary).

CV - should describe the applicant's employment history (not just the projects they've worked on) in enough detail to match their experience with the entry requirements.

Statement of Claim - should briefly summarise the applicant's career. Applicants should pick out relevant and strong examples of work experience that can show competency in the required Categories of Experience (see below).

Reference - Referees must be current PIA Members (Full Member and above). The referee is asked to provide a statement relating to the applicant's experience as it relates to their membership application. An example reference template is available for download


Categories of Experience

To be approved for Full Member or Registered Planner members must demonstrate years of planning experience. Relevant 'planning experience' will fall in to one of the Categories of Experience listed below.

Applicants must show experience in at least three of the Categories of Experience listed below with a minimum of 6 months shown for each of the categories selected.

Categories of Experience:

Category Description Examples
Plan making, including strategic planning, master planning and structure planning. Spatial strategic planning providing the reasoning, evidence, policy outcomes and land use controls for an area, precinct or place (including built form, urban structure, landuse, infrastructure coordination, zones/overlays and development standards / performance measures). Regional / District / local Plans, Zoning plans, overlays, structure plans, master plans, development control plans
Planning policy development, review and/or policy interpretation and advice. Preparing and using the narrative, evidence and implementation mechanisms to reach a land use planning decision and achieve an outcome for a place or issue. Preparing a Housing Policy, Rural Lands Policy, justifying varying a development standard, implementing an Infrastructure Contributions Plan
Plan implementation including development assessment and statutory planning. Assessing a development proposal based on the prevailing strategic plans and development assessment criteria. Also building the digital and other frameworks to enable assessment. Preparing or considering a development application / planning permit - also designing assessment pathways
Place-making and urban design. Using planning, urban design, community engagement and multi-disciplinary skills to inform and guide outcomes for site or precinct so that future development and infrastructure contributes to the outcomes sought for the place and community. Preparing a master plan, an urban design guide, social plan or contributing design elements to a strategy for a place
Assessment of impacts and effects of policy and development actions including environmental, social, cultural, transport, built form, and economic.

Environmental / transport/ traffic/ biodiversity/ social/ heritage impact assessment, economic appraisal.

(another dimension is respectful engagement of first nations people)
EIS, Transport and Traffic assessment (and modelling) Benefit Cost Analysis, Social Impact Assessment, Heritage Impact Assessments
Land use assessment and management, including planning for climate change mitigation and adaptation and the assessment of natural resources. Preparing and using land and resource management plans, applying fire, flood and coastal processes planning and assessment guidance, undertaking biodiversity assessment, conservation and management. Embedding resilience in planning strategy and accounting for climate and natural hazard in planning decisions Preparing management plans - preparing or using natural hazard guidelines, mapping and modelling tools in land use planning decisions
Research, evaluation and publishing of urban and regional related planning matters. Academic and policy-oriented research based on a sound evidence base - informing planning policy or decisions. Peer reviewed papers and well-founded and evidence-based publications relevant to planning policy and public decision making
Teaching of planning. University and Continuing Professional Development teaching of aspects of urban and regional planning - and the use of planning frameworks / tools (including digital) Teaching of accredited university planning syllabus / subjects – and related subjects in geography, economics, social and environmental sciences relating to places and communities. Teaching the professional practice of planning to practitioners.
Planning expert witness and/or advocate. Preparing or reviewing expert input as a topic specialist, interpreting planning policy and regulation, preparing submissions and presenting material to land and environment courts / panels / tribunals. Preparing and delivering statements of evidence (or expert input) relevant to an appeal / development assessment / Inquiry planning decision making
Communication, negotiation and/or mediation for planning outcomes with stakeholders. Preparing submissions and participating in non-court forums to achieve a planning decision / place outcome - responding to the values of different stakeholders Participation in mediation in a land use or development assessment matter
Designing and/or delivering community engagement of planning related matters.

Designing or using systems of community involvement / engagement / consultation relevant to a place, planning issue or decision.

(Respectful engagement with first nations people)
Preparing or considering submissions, participating in an inquiry and applying community and stakeholder weight and interest to planning policy and development decisions
Administration and/or leadership of urban and regional governance. Executive management or technical leadership of the development and review of planning policy or spatial plans or development assessment systems – or leadership of place teams (in public or private practice) Development (or EIA) assessment managers, Strategic planning managers, Place managers
Preparation and/or prosecution of planning law. Drafting and interpreting regulation and guidance on planning matters – designing governance arrangements for planning decision making Drafting legislation, preparing, reviewing and applying planning regulation, guidelines and statutory plans.
Project management of planning related matters. Project management, priotisation, evidence gathering, procurement, budget and human resource management towards a planning outcome (in public or private practice) Team leaders of planning strategy or development assessment, consultant project managers
GIS / Spatial design including the use of data for city analytics Design, development and use of plantech / digital tools/models and spatial data for an urban or regional planning purpose. Software designers, planners, users and creators of planning related content and tools


Discounts and Concessions

The Institute recognises that from time to time members may experience personal circumstances that result in financial difficulty. To enable members to maintain their membership and to enable the Institute to maintain its wealth of knowledge and expertise, various options are made available for both payment plans and fee reductions.

For those who are on a 'career break', working part-time or have retired, reduced rates have been set up in our system to support you during these periods. You can automatically select these reduce fee types when joining, renewing your membership or reinstating a previous membership.

Reduced Fee Category

Discount

Notes

Retired

75% discount

Career Break

50% discount

Incl. parental leave

Part-Time Work

40% discount

Must work no more than 0.5 full-time load

Hardship

Assessed case by case. Up to 50% discount

Includes unemployment, return to full-time study and all other exceptional personal circumstances.

For further information regarding fee concessions please contact the PIA National Office by e-mail at membership@planning.org.au or by telephone at (02) 6262 5933.


Academic Membership

Academic membership rate is open to lecturers, academics and researchers working in the field of Planning at a PIA accredited university.

Individuals applying for the academic membership rate must be employed at a PIA accredited university and either be:

  • Teaching staff (0.6 FTE or greater)

  • Research fellow

PHD students studying full time qualify for PIA’s student rate of membership.


International Qualifications

While PIA is pleased to consider applications for membership made by planners from overseas, in order to ensure consistency in the delivery of professional services offered by Full Members the PIA Board has set additional requirements for applicants who have been trained outside of Australia.

In essence, overseas-trained professionals applying for Full Membership must meet the entry requirements of one of the four entry streams and must also demonstrate:

  • Firstly that their qualifications are equivalent in educational standards to planning qualifications offered in Australia; and
  • Secondly that they have a sound working knowledge of Australian planning law and planning systems.

The ways in which an applicants can achieve each of the additional requirements is listed below.

Qualification Equivalence

Qual Option a) International Planning Organisation Membership

PIA recognises membership of several international planning organisations. If you are a member of one of these organisations we will automatically recognise your educational qualification as equivalent to an Australian non-accredited planning qualification.

We recognise Full Membership (or equivalent grade) from:

  • Canadian Institute of Planners
  • New Zealand Planning Institute
  • Irish Planning Institute.
  • Royal Town Planning Institute Chartered members; and
  • American Institute of Certified Planners

If you do not hold membership with one of the above institutes but have completed a degree accredited by the institute, PIA will recognise your educational qualifications.

Qual Option b) Qualification Assessment

If you are not a member of one of the organisations listed in 4.3.1.1 or have not completed an accredited course recognised by them, you are required to have your planning qualifications assessed for Australian equivalence.

To demonstrate that your international qualifications are equivalent to Australian Standard, you can have your qualifications assessed by an assessing body linked to the Department of Immigration, such as VETASSESS or through the Department of Education and Training.

VETASSESS () has been approved by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to determine the equivalence of planning qualifications.

If you are not eligible to have your qualifications assessed or if you have another qualification that may apply, contact our membership team at membership@planning.org.au to discuss your situation.

Australian Competency

To accomplish the second requirement, that of showing a working knowledge of Australian planning law and systems, applicants have two options:

Competency Option a) Referee

If an applicant has at least two years work experience in Australia, one of their colleagues can act as a referee. This referee must themselves be a current Full Member of PIA, and they must have worked closely together during the two years. The applicant will need to provide a letter of reference from this member in support of their application.

Competency Option b) Unit of Study

Alternatively an applicant may undertake a unit of study in Australian Planning Law, and provide a transcript or certificate of completion for this unit.
PIA runs a correspondence course called Legislation and Governance that will meet this requirement. Alternatively, a unit of study from one of the courses can be completed
Note: Applicants are not required to complete a full course of study, just the relevant unit.