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Leadership, Skills and Resourcing

The Leadership, Skills and Resourcing work package includes implementation of Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 provisions relating to:

  • Role of Chief Planning Officers
  • Planning fees
  • Performance reporting
  • National Planning Improvement Coordinator
  • Elected member training

Performance and Resources

The High Level Group on Planning Performance meet quarterly to discuss performance issues. The group is jointly chaired by the Minister for Local Government Empowerment and Planning and the COSLA Environment and Economy Spokesperson. The group comprises the Scottish Government Chief Planner, Heads of Planning Scotland, Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland, Society of Local Authority Chief Executives, Society of Local Authority Lawyers and Administrators, the Key Agency Group, the National Planning Improvement Champion and the Applicant Stakeholder Group. The applicant stakeholder group was formed in 2023 and provides views from a customer perspective. Membership includes: Scottish Property Federation; Homes for Scotland; Scottish Renewables; Scottish Land and Estates; Scottish Tourism Alliance; Scottish Planning Consultants Forum; Federation of Small Businesses; CBI; COSLA and Scottish Government.

On 20 November, a wide range of stakeholders came together to discuss resourcing and skills issues. The aim of the session was to identify practical solutions that we could collectively take forward without additional resourcing. The summary of the workshop session provides more detail.

On 28 February, we published Investing in Planning – a consultation on resourcing Scotland’s planning system. The consultation builds on the ideas generated in the workshops and sets out a series of proposal which aim to improve capacity and build resilience particularly within planning authorities. We encourage all stakeholders to participate in the consultation process which is open until 31 May 2024.


The Scottish Government has been working with HOPS, RTPI and other partners to progress the recommendations of the Future Planners report, published July 2022. The report sets out a series of short, medium and longer term recommendations to increase the number of new entrants into planning authorities and other parts of the planning sector. The report's recommendations cover diverse areas of action including support for funded postgraduate opportunities to increase the number of people gaining planning qualifications; extending opportunities for students to gain relevant work experience; enabling universities to maintain the viability of RTPI-accredited planning courses and increase the number of home students where possible; as well as exploring possibilities to retain more international students in the workforce.

The Scottish Government is a member of Partners in Planning (formerly the Scottish Planning Skills Forum). The Partners in Planning website is a single access point to the knowledge and skills that enables behavioural change in the planning system.

National Planning Improvement Champion

Scotland’s first National Planning Improvement Champion was appointed in September 2023 and is based within the Improvement Service. The role aims to support continuous improvement in the planning system.

Elected Member Training

We recently consulted on the introduction of mandatory training for elected members who will be involved in the planning process. The consultation closed in October, and we are considering the responses and next steps.

Draft NPF4 logo

National Planning Framework 4

Read the adopted NPF4 on

Last Updated: 28 Feb 2024