Here at ACD, we take professional development seriously, encouraging our landscape architecture graduates to work towards obtaining Chartered status with the Landscape Institute and gain the prestigious letters CMLI after their name. The Landscape Institute has developed the “Pathway to Chartership” which typically takes around two years, although this is structured around each candidate. This leads up to a verbal examination which was conducted in either Manchester or London but has now moved online with virtual examinations. The Pathway syllabus covers aspects such as demonstrating professional attitudes, understanding liabilities, developing a knowledge of the legislation covering our work, planning, LVIA, contracts, project management, and many other subjects relevant to the professional practice of landscape architecture.
Candidates are expected to undertake studies and complete self-assessment logs every quarter and to continually reflect on their learning to gain insights into what could be improved upon next time. Each candidate has a mentor, usually within the company, who encourages them to explore topics that crop up in their day-to-day work and tests their understanding.
At ACD, not only do we actively encourage our landscape architects to achieve chartership status but we also have an active involvement in the pathway process too. We have many members of staff providing mentoring roles to pathway candidates, supervisors who oversee both the candidate’s and mentor’s progress, and even a trained examiner. We currently have five candidates at different stages on the Pathway. James recently made a start, seeing a chance to develop his career during the restrictions of lockdown.
“After a year at ACD, I felt it was the right time to develop myself further and start on my P2C. Paula was happy to mentor me through the process. She has helped me move forward by setting questions for me and other members of staff as well as setting up regular meetings and presentations based on but not exclusively around the modules that make up the P2C”.
“Though doing this through lockdown has been challenging, the use of video calls/online meetings have helped greatly and also offer the ability to have group discussions which let us bounce ideas off each other as well break down subjects which help with an understanding of the material that needs to be absorbed to progress along P2C”.
“It’s great to have a supportive team from all the offices and all professions within the company, who help me understand more specialist subjects that are linked to our profession (e.g. Arboriculture and Ecology), even though I am working from home at the moment they are only a phone call away and always seem happy to help”.
As the candidates develop their skills and knowledge, they are better able to assist our clients and contribute more to the business – we wish them all good luck with their studies.