Planners issue new guidelines for fellows’ selection
WORRIED that its members are being admitted into the fellowship category despite the absence of a clear-cut criteria, the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has reviewed the guidelines for selection to the ‘prestigious class’.
The review was one of several activities at a weeklong retreat organised by the institute in Abuja, recently. Others are the finalisation of a model Land Use Planning and Analysis Report (LUPAR) report (to produce the multi-user template) and handover of the institute’s Examination Board.
Indeed, the institute had made attempts in the past to overhaul the existing benchmark. For instance, courtesy of the College of Fellows, a committee was set up to review existing criteria and present to the College for consideration before any other election. Though the committee was given a period of three months to submit its report, it never materialised.
However, the latest attempts to address inherent flaws came by way of the inauguration of a fresh College of Fellows Committee by NITP president, Dr. Femi Olomola, that deliberated on the issue for a couple of days. The committee comprises: Waheed Kadiri (chairman), Dr. Helen Anazia, Dr. Don Okpala, Dr. Stephen Hirse and Barnabas Atiyaye.
The Fellowship Class is the highest level of membership of the NITP, which lists other categories of membership to include: Student, Graduate, Full and Retired. However, Honourary (as well as Fellowship) membership are conferred on persons not engaged in the practice of the profession but have, by reason of interest, made valuable contributions to the advancement of the theory and practice of town planning.
Essentially, the NITP Constitution states that an aspiring fellow must be an active full member for no less than 10 years, and made significant contributions to the profession in the areas of practice, administration, research or academics.
But, according to the committee, the 10-year mark does not automatically qualify any full member to become a fellow, and needs to demonstrate that he/she has been an active member over the previous 10 years of full membership.
Amongst the new parameters for consideration to becoming a fellow include, activeness of member in the institute (membership of state chapter; evidence of regularity of attendance of meetings and programmes at chapter level/financial responsibility; regularity at national programmes; and attendance of mandatory continuing professional development (MCPD); practice (registration of private practice with NITP and TOPREC and number of projects handled.
Others are administration (participation in policy formulation; proposals for preparation of masterplans and planning schemes to government/private individuals, and number of successes recorded); research; academics (years of experience in teaching; courses taught and level; number of student projects supervised and disciplinary case with the institute.