Transport planning has been recognised as a chartered profession after the Privy Council formally recognised it as equal to other chartered professional qualifications.
The move puts highways and transport practitioners on the same level as engineers.
Those working in highways or transport can now apply to become Chartered Transport Planning Professionals through the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT), which has been granted an amendment to its Royal Charter to award the title Chartered Transport Planning Professional (CTPP).
The move has limited initial practical impact but eventually the qualification could become the benchmark for those wishing to perform certain roles.
Applicants must successfully complete the Transport Planning Professional qualification.
CIHT President Matthew Lugg said: 'CIHT is delighted to have been granted the Chartered Transport Planning Professional title. We have many transport planners in our membership and the CTPP will give them the opportunity to achieve the level of professional recognition that they deserve for the important and highly skilled work that they do.
‘The benefits of becoming professionally qualified are well documented, and we are really pleased to be able to add the CTPP title to our range of qualifications. By becoming a Chartered Transport Planning Professional, highways and transportation professionals can demonstrate they have the necessary skills and expertise to continue to deliver initiatives in our sector.’
The Transport Planning Professional (TPP) qualification, awarded by CIHT and the Transport Planning Society (TPS), has been running for 10 years.
The qualification assesses a broad range of technical competencies as well as high level management skills. Entry to the qualification was previously restricted to members of CIHT and the TPS but this has now be extended to other recognised professional bodies whose areas of interest include transport planning and who meet the agreed criteria.
Stephen Bennett, chair of the Transport Planning Society, said: 'This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by CIHT and representatives from the TPS over the last four years and I would like to thank all those involved. We are convinced that the additional title will encourage all transport planning professionals to work towards TPP and CTPP and are completely committed to working together with CIHT and other institutions to promote them as widely as possible in the coming months.'
Current holders of the Transport Planning Professional qualification will be able to apply for the chartered title via a simple process on the CIHT website.
New applicants will also be guided on how to achieve this milestone. More information about becoming a Chartered Transport Planning Professional is available on the CIHT website.