REMINDER: Changes to NZPI's Membership Categories & CPD

In 2015 the New Zealand Planning Institute sought and gained endorsement from voting members for a raft of changes to the current NZPI membership categories. The below changes will commence on 1 January 2016.

NOTE: It is only a requirement to complete 25 hours for the period 1st Jan - 31st Dec 2015 if you were a Full or GradPlus member at the beginning of 2015 - please click here for full details

If you joined part way through the year or were a Recent Grad, Grad 1, Grad 2, Grad 3 or Grad 4 member in 2015 your compulsory CPD starts from 1 January 2016 - please click here for full details and read through the below.

A new title for some

From 1 January 2016:

  • All Grad 1 & 2's will be known as 'Graduate members' with the following post-nominal letters 'Grad.NZPI'.
  • All Grad 3, 4 & 4+ will be known as 'Intermediate members' with the following post-nominal letters 'Int.NZPI'.
NZPI will no longer accept applications/nominations for the following membership categories, Technician, Life Fellow and Hon Fellow. Those who have already achieved these titles will of course retain them, along with the status, responsibilities and rights that are currently associated with that membership category.

The following membership categories have been moved to the NZPI Regulations: Retired and Non-Active. This does not impact on the status, responsibilities or rights of members within these categories.

Pathway to Full Membership

There is a clear expectation by the Board that Graduate members will transition to Intermediate membership and then progress to Full membership. Towards that end, once a Graduate has gained 2 years work experience in Planning, they must transition to Intermediate. Intermediate members will have six years from the point at which they graduate and gain employment as a planner to apply for Full membership of the Institute. They can if needed, request an extension under special circumstances. Failure to apply for Full membership within the stipulated timeframe or alternatively to seek an extension will result in a loss of membership status and transfer to the Associate Category.

We encourage Gradplus members to take a look at the following:

  • As part of the Full application we ask for 3 copies of 3 separate work examples, not sure what to submit - please click here.
  • The Statement of Experience Form also needs to be submitted as part of the Full application; experience must be corroborated by the employer - please click here for full details. If you have worked in one area of planning, or haven't had a great breadth of work experience, don't let that deter you from completing the Full membership application. While wide experience may help, the interview panel are more interested in your views, opinions, approaches to problems, and analytical processes. The panel try to ask a range of questions, drawing on your own experience.
  • Once the application has been reviewed & approved, a membership interview will be scheduled; the following link offers some great tips & advice: Preparing for your Full Membership Interview

Those who already have 6 years experience have been given a 2 year transition period, they have until January 2018 to submit their Full membership application. Any further extension requests must be submitted before 31st December 2017, please send to Experience will be determined as acceptable in each case by the Membership Convenor when reviewing the Full Membership application. If it is determined that the experience is not sufficient, the Membership Convenor will work with the applicant to map out any further experience that may be required - our advice is to get the application in at your earliest convenience so we can make the appropriate recommendations. To download an application form, please click here.

Continuing Professional Development Requirements

As of 1 January 2016:

  • All Graduate members will be required to undertake Continuing Professional Development in order to maintain their membership status. Graduate members will be asked to complete 15 credits of CPD per annum. A small component of that will be core CPD that all Graduate members must undertake to be able to transition to Intermediate membership. Those courses, three in all, which have been identified by the Board as core CPD will be available online and face to face so that all Graduate members will have access.

  • All Intermediate members will be required to undertake Continuing Professional Development in order to maintain their membership status. Intermediate members will be asked to complete 20 hours of CPD per annum. And again, a small component of that will be core CPD that all intermediate members must undertake to be able to transition to Full membership. Those courses, four in total, that have been identified as core CPD will be available online and face to face so that all Intermediate members have access. Intermediate members will be advised of the core CPD courses early in the New Year. The consequences of not meeting your CPD requirement are laid out in the above Regulations.

  • The maximum points Full members can achieve within Category 3 is now 10 CPD points and the maximum points that can be achieved within Category 4 is 5 CPD points.

  • In addition, under Category 1, full members shall over a three year period demonstrate a commitment to refresh their understanding of ethics and planning from a Maori perspective by securing at least two CPD points from learnings related to the above.

It is particularly important that you note the following new clause within the Regulations:

11.3 A members CPD record will continue to be held by NZPI and will be revived should the former member choose to rejoin the Institute at a later point.

This clause has been introduced since a number of members with a CPD deficit have allowed their membership to lapse and have subsequently rejoined to avoid a breach of the CPD requirements.

Recording your CPD and work experience

NZPI has a new online booking system for its CPD and a CPD recording system, click here for details. We encourage Intermediates to keep a log of their work experience using the Statement of Experience Form and keep their form & CPD record up to date as they travel the path from Intermediate to Full membership.

Partially Active Membership

NZPI has introduced the concept of 'partially active' within its Regulations. This concept has been established for those members who for various reasons are not working full time. Being partially active means that you are eligible to pay a discounted NZPI subscription. All members are required to meet their continuing professional development (CPD) requirements however 'partially active' members may wish to seek advice from the Learnings Centre Manager on how they meet their required CPD credits per annum (Regulations, Clause 11.2).


Should you have any queries regarding the changes outlined above or what they mean for you then please feel encouraged to contact Manfred Lee, NZPI's Membership Officer (