Build a career in
Planning at DLA
Good planning is non-negotiable if societies are to meet the challenges of our time. At DLA, our work aims to deliver homes, jobs and transport solutions in a way which balances the needs of communities, economies, and the environment. This is how we can achieve sustainable growth and create the resilient and vibrant places we would all choose to live in. Much of our work is at a scale which makes a real difference but can also have a huge impact. At DLA you will learn how to balance all of these issues and put them into practice. Our aim is to help you to become an exceptional planner and a leading professional, so that you can make a difference through your career.
A group of experienced planners and colleagues is ready to support you through every stage of your early career development. This begins from the moment you apply, when our Information Manager, Roz Collier will ensure your application is handled smoothly. If you decide to join us, recent planning graduates will guide you through an induction week, and be on-hand at lunchtimes to help you settle in. An APC Mentor will be assigned and work with you as you begin to assemble and later submit your RTPI application, whilst additional opportunities for mentoring on projects and professional activities will also be established. Our aim is to embed you in the social, cultural and project life of DLA as quickly as possible, so that you soon feel part of our team.
First point of contact
Joined DLA in May 2000 after completing a BSc in Psychology from the University of Manchester and an MA in Librarianship from the University of Sheffield. Roz is the initial point of contact for potential new recruits and organises our work experience programme.
Joined DLA in 2012, Fran has over 15 years of planning practice, strengthened by an early career in the public sector. She supports DLA’s recruitment and collaboration with university networks and has shaped DLA’s Mentoring Strategy and has a commitment to help nurture creative and critical thinking practitioners.
Joined DLA in April 2014 after completing a BSc in Geography and Urban and Regional Studies with an MSc in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Birmingham – he has been a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) since August 2015.
Joined DLA in August 2017 after completing an MPLAN in Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield, she has been a member of the RTPI since November 2019.
Joined DLA in 2014, after completing an MPlan at the University of Sheffield in 2013 and has been a member of the RTPI since 2017. Joe has been the APC co-ordinator at DLA since 2020.
Joined DLA in October 2017 after completing an MA in Urban Design and PgCert in Planning Practice at Cardiff University, she has been a member of the RTPI since December 2019.
Joined DLA in February 2020 after completing a BA in Geography and a MA in Town and Regional Planning at the University of Sheffield, he recently submitted his APC and is working towards becoming a Chartered Member of the RTPI in 2022.
Joined DLA in September 2020 after completing a BSc in Spatial Planning and Business Management, and MSc in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Birmingham, she is currently working on her APC and is working towards becoming a Chartered Member of the RTPI in 2022.
Try to gather an understanding of the types of projects we are working on.
Are there any that you have a strong interest in?
Be prepared to talk about them at the interview.
Tailor your CV and covering letter – do some homework and find out what we do, who we are and how we work.
Be prepared to talk about yourself beyond the workplace, specifically your achievements, wider experience, and interests.
When writing your CV, clear presentation is key. It needs to be concise whilst covering all relevant experience and time periods.
Be sure to know the difference between planning and masterplanning/urban design; whilst they are interrelated and equally central to DLA, they are different jobs requiring different skills!
Be yourself, finding a company that suits your interests, drives and character is so important. You should always feel happy at work and enthusiastic about the work you do.
CV and interview advice
After submitting your letter of application and CV, shortlisted candidates will be invited to our office in Milton Keynes for an interview. You’ll be welcomed by our receptions and then asked to complete a short written task which will be reviewed ahead of a meeting with two of our planning Partners. While some degree of formality is inevitable, we aim to make the interview process relaxed and friendly so that we can get to know and understand each other. You’ll also be shown around our office by a recent graduate, which is a chance to find out more about our working environment and meet some of your potential future colleagues.
We’ve gathered some tips together to make the experience a positive one.
Guiding you through your APC application
DLA has an excellent track record in guiding candidates through the APC process, with an established mentoring scheme to support you to gain MRTPI accreditation.
Outlining the process
As a part of your induction at DLA you’ll have a session with our APC co-ordinator, outlining the process, key milestones and what to expect.
Support and encouragement
Once you become a licentiate member of the RTPI, you’ll be able to select and engage with one of DLA’s experienced APC mentors (made up of recent successful APC candidates, and previous APC Mentors). Your mentor will be someone you’re comfortable working with and who you feel will support and encourage you through the process.
Your APC mentor will hold regular catch-ups throughout the drafting process and help you understand and promote how the wide range of projects you will be working on will satisfy the requirements of the RTPI.
Before submission, the DLA APC review team members will be on hand to go through your application and help with any final questions, helping you move forward to submission.
When you receive your RTPI accreditation you’ll be promoted to a Planner. DLA will cover the costs of your application and membership with the RTPI.