Latest user statistics for the site, operated by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), reveal page requests for April to June (2008) breaching the 300,000 figure for the first time, while total usage in the first six months of this year matches that of the whole of 2005.
Developed by learning publishers, Echelon Learning on behalf of the RTPI, planningmatters.co.uk is both a job support and learning resource for planners.
It offers bespoke planning modules, a suite of interactive self-assessment activities, a portfolio of useful web-links and related articles and journals, and a library of generic management skills materials, These self-assessments combined with a personal electronic learning log also enable planners to monitor and record their continued professional development (CPD). Content can be acquired on a pay-as-you-go or subscription basis from £2 and £50 respectively.
Blog popular draw
A legal commentary in the form of a fortnightly blog on new planning legislation and its interpretation by the Courts and local authorities is a popular draw to the site.
Record overall visits to the site can be partly attributed to growth in numbers of licentiates and RTPI appointed mentors opening accounts. Licentiates and mentors now make up nearly 25% of the total RTPI membership, says the organisation.
One of the benefits of being a mentor/licentiate RTPI member is free access to the legal commentary, which for example this week examines:
- progress of the Planning Bill through both Houses of Parliament;
- new regulations regarding environmental impact assessment in connection with applications for mineral planning permission;
- the case of R (E Riding of Yorks Council) v. Hobson  EWHC 1003 (Admin) in regard to listed building alterations.
Free-to-access content is another draw to the website. This currently includes a recently updated module on Transport Planning and a valuable management kit bag of Project Scheduling Tools.
Visitors can brush up on how to create and use a Gantt Chart, how to control the timing of a project through Critical Path Analysis, and how to monitor a project's progress through a Milestone Chart.
New and updated content is published regularly on the site where the latest module to be published analyses the National Planning Framework for Scotland.
Media contact: Peter Muir T: +44 (0)1296 715228; E: echelon[.]pmpr.co.uk.
Sales contact: David Hill T: + 44 (0)20 8568 1500; E: david[.]echelonl.com.
About Echelon Learning Ltd
Echelon Learning is a consultancy-led publishing house that integrates electronically-delivered knowledge and learning into the development of management skills and business performance.
Echelon Consulting spearheads the company’s service with the development of new content in meeting clients’ requirements. This is usually derived from analysing employee knowledge and learning needs captured during client learning programmes.
Where appropriate, Echelon Publishing then offers this new content to a wider audience by publishing the material in generic format. This is made available in the form of easy to use ‘learning nuggets’ and is complimented with business development information licensed exclusively from one of the market’s best-known providers, Bloomsbury.
Echelon e-Learning provides the electronic systems which enable content to be published, distributed and usage tracked, and offers work-based solutions to a global audience. Echelon’s blended learning based on a bespoke site populated with material selected to support specific courses, builds knowledge prior to the event and refreshes application when back at the desk.
Echelon technologies help organisations place solutions at people’s fingertips, whether solving everyday business and work-related problems or helping gain qualifications and continued professional development.
• Has a content management system enabling informational or learning material to be developed or converted into XML so that it can be published and distributed in text and/or via the web.
• Has a learning management system to provide ready access via the web to highly structured information, which is easily searched and retrieved, and whose usage can be tracked and learning logged.
• Publishes and/or reformats content for professional bodies and commercial organisations to help students and employees maintain or develop requisite skills throughout their careers.
• Supports people from the outset of their careers in working with professional bodies to develop and deliver the learning content required by students in preparing for examination.
• Frees up the knowledge and learning contained within a business so that people have ready access to these resources in helping them to solve problems or develop their careers.