The Future State of Landscape – building a sustainable future

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Your questions answered

What is the LI doing?

In 2017, the Landscape Institute (LI) undertook extensive research into landscape education and practice. The goal was to join the dots between education providers, employers and professional bodies, ensuring the profession is equipped to deliver for the benefit of people, place and nature – today and for future generations.

Through an industry-wide survey, over 800 professionals helped us understand the shape of the landscape sector, current trends, and the challenges it faces.

The results highlighted pronounced skills shortages in key areas of professional practice, and emphasised the need for multi-disciplinary skills and standards. In response, the LI has prepared a briefing document, the Future State of Landscape. The document details what the LI aims to do in the coming months and years to ‘future-proof’ the landscape profession:

  • update our entry standards with a common professional syllabus and modular competency framework that links to emerging disciplines and better reflects all fields of landscape practice
  • improve diversity by attracting professionals from a wider range of backgrounds and disciplines
  • consider chartered designations for other landscape and place professionals
  • revise membership categories
  • engage with employers and educators to align education with talent needs
  • streamline and digitise university accreditation
  • digitise membership processes and explore mechanisms for assessment throughout members’ careers
  • explore new courses in landscape management and urban place making
  • address the lack of landscape education in Wales and Northern Ireland

When will this take place?

This change will not happen overnight, and we need the support of all our members to make it work. Every suggestion will be scrutinised by our Board, Council and relevant volunteer working groups. No changes will be implemented without consultation with the wider membership.

We anticipate the first round of consultations to occur in August. Following reports to the Board of Trustees and Advisory Council, a second round will begin in mid-September and run until the end of October.

We hope to have agreed the new framework in early 2019. However, it will take some time beyond this to embed the framework across our systems and processes.

How will this affect current members?

The LI is first and foremost a membership body. A key principle underpinning this work is that existing members will not be hindered. Furthermore, the high standards our members currently demonstrate will be maintained.

Our goal is for an outcome that is of benefit to practitioners, organisations, clients, education providers, and society as a whole.

I'm a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute (CMLI). Will this affect my qualification?

Absolutely not. The LI will always recognise that its existing chartered members have demonstrated the highest standards of professional practice and knowledge. Our goal is not to change or dilute existing standards, but to broaden them – to incorporate the wider range of skills the profession needs to remain relevant in the future.

I mentor, supervise, examine or currently study on the LI Pathway to Chartership. How does this affect me?

The current chartership syllabus is still relevant and in use. Eventually, the new framework will replace the syllabus. But those on our existing Pathway will continue using the current approaches.

We believe that the current standards and assessment criteria will remain relevant to the landscape architects that comprise the majority of the profession at present.

I’m an LI-accredited education provider. How does this affect me?

The landscape courses the LI currently accredits bring talented landscape architects into the profession. These courses are, and will remain, a crucial entry route for the LI.

It will be necessary to explore different routes, including apprenticeships, chartership for experienced practitioners in related professions, and broadening our accreditation remit to include other landscape courses. It is not our intention to dilute the high standards upheld by our currently accredited courses, nor undermine their importance to the profession.

Any further questions?

If you would like to know more about this important area of work, please get in touch via