Successful event should become annual
In mid-January 25 graduate landscape architects were formally presented with their Chartered Landscape Architect certificates at the inaugural graduation ceremony held at The Building Centre in London, writes Adam White.
I hosted the evening with LI President Noel Farrer on hand to formally present the certificate to each candidate. This is the first year a ceremony has taken place for newly chartered landscape architects; the reaction has been positive and it now looks as if it will become a regular fixture in the Landscape Institute’s calendar.
After completing academic study at an accredited university, graduate landscape architects can apply to join the Landscape Institute’s ‘Pathway to Chartership’, often referred to as the P2C. This process of reflective learning, followed by an oral exam, is completed entirely at the candidate’s own pace, and is based upon the knowledge and experience they gain in practice. The Pathway is the system that leads to becoming a Chartered Landscape Architect, based on active learning, mentoring, and finally an oral examination. Successful candidates can add the title CMLI after their names.
Recent graduate Nicola Wright CMLI found the Pathway to Chartership syllabus useful for getting her up to speed with the level of knowledge required in the workplace. The syllabus explains and clarified everyday professional terminology and bolstered knowledge of other areas of practice. 'At first it was quite daunting,' she said, 'but I learnt a vast amount of information about areas that are now specialisms. I was able to see the benefits of it.'
After two years of hard work and a successful exam result, Nicola can now enjoy putting what she’s learnt into practice. 'It’s going to be put into reality! I’m going to have to do it now. I’m relieved and actually looking forward to what might happen.'
The formal presentation was followed by keynote speeches. Noel Farrer talked about how one day is never the same as the next when working as a landscape architect and highlighted the important role the Landscape Institute now has on the political stage. He urged the newly qualified chartered landscape architects to get involved with supporting the profession at a local, regional and national level.
The idea of an awards ceremony has been discussed for many years and Past President of the Landscape Institute, Nigel Thorne, agreed that it should most certainly become a regular feature of the Landscape Institute calendar. He told the new CMLIs, 'reaching chartered status is one of the most significant milestones in any professional landscape architect's career, but this is only the start. As a chartered member you are now an integral part of the organisation – criticise it and you criticise yourself; if you feel there is need for change or improvement then for that to happen you need to be present to make it so.'