The Landscape Institute’s Pathway to Chartership (P2C) programme is the process by which Licentiate members of the Institute record and reflect upon their working experience and personal study with the aim of gaining enough experience and knowledge to become Chartered Members of the Landscape Institute. With a set syllabus and programme of submissions Pathway candidates log learning experiences related to syllabus topics and complete quarterly submissions reflecting on the periods events while all the time discussing happenings with their chosen mentor and with progress carefully observed by their assigned supervisor.
While the P2C process can be undertaken outside of the working environment it is much easier to progress while being part of a working team. At terra firma graduate staff members are actively encouraged to work towards becoming chartered and are supported where ever possible along the way. I am now well into my journey along the path having begun in the middle of last year and have benefited from and appreciated being part of a pathway sensitive office. Firstly having been paired up with a mentor who I work alongside makes discussing chance learnings, asking questions and organising meetings very easy. Secondly as graduates have been encourage to do the P2C there are a number of candidates in the office and therefore a number of mentors also. This means that there are lots of people around who are aware of the current syllabus, happy to point out when you might have done something that is worth recording and to discuss what you have learned with you. This makes it a whole lot easier to continually reflect on what you are learning. I have also been assigned on many different types of project allowing me a wide range of learning opportunities through interacting with different types of clients, working with various consultants and using all sorts of legislation. All of which has allowed many different learning experiences.
Both supervisors and mentors have encouraged the formation of a study group. Where away from their office P2C candidates are able to meet and discuss syllabus topics and share each other’s experiences. Having a number of us in the office participating has made it much easier to do this, and we have been joined by a number of other candidates from different practices in the local area. Terra firma have kindly allowed us to use the office space when required to have sessions with external speakers and suggested those who we might approach.
This all costs the practice in giving mentors time to support candidates as well as the individual efforts of all the staff who go out of their way to provide information, arrange talks and give varied tasks to inexperienced graduates, requiring a greater level of explanation than if they were repeatedly given the same tasks.
So why go to all this effort? Well aside from the obvious benefit of having more fully qualified staff allows you to undertake more work and charge more to do it, by being on the pathway and progressing at a good pace candidates will automatically become more professional. It creates a structure to learn professionalism and encourages self-taught learning which will be used in working practice. Personally moving up the levels that measure experience and knowledge of syllabus gives me confidence to carry out my job, interacting with other professionals and making informed decisions. Therefore, by being on the pathway I am doing my job better.
I am sure I have missed out a number of other aspects in which my company, colleagues, mentor, supervisor and study group have assisted and encouraged me but from the list of those involved it is clear to see how much of a team effort it is undertaking the P2C at this practice. For that I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for their support so far. In the future I look forward to gaining chartered status and helping others in the same way that I have been helped. All that remains to be said is a huge good luck (sure you don’t need it!) to terra firma’s Isla Denton Thompson and study group member Antje Eisfelder who recently undertook their exams and are awaiting their results, fingers grossed guys!